Emma Warren - Dance Your Way Home

There you go again, denying us the pearls of your wit and wisdom!

But, ha! I can foil you. What you wrote was:

‘I shall consider buying the book as @JonathanE seems an interesting guy to discuss it with.

Wikipedia describes false consciousness thus:

“In Marxist theory, false consciousness is a term describing the ways in which material, ideological, and institutional processes are said to mislead members of the proletariat and other class actors within capitalist societies, concealing the exploitation intrinsic to the social relations between classes.”’

Firstly, thank you for the compliment.

Secondly, I fear I am no great Marxist although I think he and his ideas, particularly about history, are substantially correct. They’ve never been given a proper trial ‘cos bloody humans are such shits.

In the case of this quote and bearing in mind something else I think you said about clubbing - can’t quite remember your precise wording right now but it was to the effect that clubbing is not a revolutionary activity, please forgive me if I misinterpreted your point - I have been thinking about the solidarity issue overnight. My simple conclusion is that a lot of it depends on the purpose or the intention behind the particular activity.

On the one hand, Marx’s quote is to the point because a lot of clubbing and dancing, etc. is basically a matter of bread and circuses, the punters are just getting messed up and out of it because they need a break from their work-a-day lives. I am old enough to remember when getting out of it itself was considered a revolutionary activity - and I have sympathy for that view although I think times have changed enough, and more importantly the success of that “revolution” is dubious, that one should certainly question it.

Obviously, what Marx is referring to is that the kind of individual revolution of just changing/expanding your mind is “false consciousness” because it doesn’t change the conditions and relations of society between the different economic classes. Yet, one might argue that the long-term results of the various psychedelic experiments of the past seventy (or more) years have indeed changed society. Not as much as we might wish I agree, but since my childhood there have been many improvements. Not as many as I wish and there have been reversals. The process is not yet over, although I am not optimistic.

However, I do not think it quite fair to deny Emma Watson her own experience. If she finds that dance has all these positive effects, who are you to say she is wrong? I think it pretty undeniable that group activity that produces empathic effects, such as dancing, is a good thing. Sure, it’s not an immediate revolution and it can easily be distorted, but perhaps it’s a step on the path.

In my own experience with music and culture I have often been frustrated. All those peace songs and what changed? We’ve had bloody war after bloody war. For all the countercultural earth love, we’re still poisoning the planet and flooding the atmosphere with crap of all kinds. I understand that there’s an argument for false consciousness. Yet, Bob Marley, for example, has raised consciousness. Fela Kuti and Thomas Mapfumo also. They advanced the cause and I can’t see it as being accurate to think of them as merely pawns of the system.

And I think the more positive approach to Emma Watson’s experience is to accept it and take her at her word. Trust is a valuable thing to have.

I’m sorry I’ve got to go. No time to read what I’ve written, edit it, clean up the inane bits. But it’s more or less what I think and how I’ve lived my life. I hope you found it interesting. If I have to, I’ll polish it up tomorrow.

Peace and love, man!

EDIT: I’ve just realised that I wrote “ Emma Watson” repeatedly instead of “Emma Warren.” Please forgive me. Not up to correcting every instance at this moment.


Thanks for your reply/recovery skills, @JonathanE

I was merely suggesting a possible critical framework in which the assertion “dancing is solidarity” could be be discussed!

But do I want to think this hard about this? Is it good for my well-being? I’m not sure. And I would need to give the book a read if I was going to attempt to properly pull it apart.

(Another reason for deletions is that I feel like I am walking on egg-shells and could get a ban at any time. I recently got a ban from another forum for merely saying that I hoped the re-launch of Jockey Slut magazine didn’t have a Defected connection!)

Tellingly, I have seen only a handful of DJs expressing solidarity with striking British workers on social media. You’d think if solidarity was a concept so widely understood…


Will respond more fully to your comments tomorrow. Or the day after. :wink:

No problem. My wife has just been explaining how to move backwards and forwards thru’ time. We’ll sort this.


I’m in complete agreement with your comments, but have a minor observation to make on this specific aspect.

I’d say that ‘intent’ is not an absolute requirement in this sense. As you go on to imply, almost any communal activity can help foster a sense of cohesion between participants - and this can happen irrespective of any conscious intent that might lie behind their participation. Even soldiers on a battlefield are capable of feeling a degree of empathy for the enemy that they are attempting to kill or maim (obviously not in every instance, I’m just using perhaps the most extreme example that I can think of in order to illustrate the broader point).

Conscious intent is at the very least influenced by a variety of social constructs, and these can be manipulated in ways that seek to create the illusion of ‘free will’ among a population. Progressive change almost invariably emerges from below, which illustrates the importance of social cohesion in the interests of effecting those changes.

The revolutionary can easily become the ally of the forces of reaction by opposing or decrying incremental steps towards a better society than the divisive shit-show that continues to be foisted upon us in the interests of maintaining the current global financial system. Incremental changes help create the right circumstances for people to better appreciate the ways in which change might be in their interests. The dancefloor may not be about to cause the imminent collapse of global capitalism, but that isn’t really it’s role. It’s also easy to see ways in which it can be subverted or subsumed in the interests of the status quo, but that doesn’t in any way undermine its sometimes unintentional value to the progressive cause.

Anyway… You made some interesting points with which I agree! That’s it! :upside_down_face:


Excellent post, but I’d disagree with the second part of this.

Are you Frank?

Funny, I thought I just saw Paul from Test Pressing in a café. Would make sense as his radio show is on air now.

Well, of course! I was disagreeing with your earlier positions (both stated and implied).

And, No, I’m not Frank :upside_down_face:

You’ve had the big cheque. :wink:

Aren’t you essentially making the same argument that says Corbyn was a Tory/Brexit enabler?

“You’ve got to be a bit Tory else the Tories will get in.”

Wrt those last 3 posts:

What’s the ‘big cheque’…?

No. I genuinely don’t understand what you mean. Especially not in the context of this thread.


Just to be clear, I’m not trying to pick an argument with you. This thread is about a book that neither of us have read. I think it sounds interesting, you don’t seem to think so. I can live with that.

I’m definitely not trying to pick an argument. All good, mate.

You know I’m going to read the book!

Re: “the big cheque”.

People’s stance on whether the ‘progessive cause’ is compromised by mainstream appropriation often seems to change after they have had commercial success?

This is not a new observation.

You appear to be making a series of assumptions about a) my motivations for posting my (previously) sole contribution to this thread, and b) any ‘commercial success’ that you think I may have enjoyed… :slightly_smiling_face::upside_down_face:

You said your motivation was that you disagreed with my stance?

I can understand why the ‘s’ word wound me uo. But I apologise if I caused any offence.

The ‘big cheque’ was banter. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge you success or make any assumptions about whether you had had any.

@MusicForHangovers You’re a good writer. You’re not Frank, but you could be.:wink:

Ah… No, my motivation was to comment on an aspect of some interesting points made by @JonathanE . My comments were implicitly critical of your original points, but that’s about it.

“The ‘S’ word” - no idea what that is.

I’ve had lots of success. Enormous success. So much success, you wouldn’t believe it. Most of it happened in my own mind, admittedly.

Thanks, but I couldn’t be Frank because that’s simply impossible (unless you believe in metaphysics or whatever). Apart from anything else, his wife would have something to say about it.

That photo - no idea what or where, but it’s nothing to do with me.