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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Generation of Dancers. . . .

"We are raising a generation of dancers." --Harry S. Truman

After a particularly long day and evening, I put on "Human" by a little band that calls itself The Killers. The song asks a simple, yet cryptic, question:

Are we human?
Or are we dancers?

I was surprised to find out that the song was based on the above quote by Truman. He thought the same thing The Killers think - there is a slight possibility that, instead of being humans, we are dancers.

And someone please tell me: What does that mean?

So I got to thinking about it. Even as I write this I am listening to "Human" and stewing on the question.

We are in a new era of America, of the English language, of technology, of information, of interaction - this is a new world. And we are dancing across it. Our lives have become, now more than ever, like a performance on a stage. And we dance across that stage - striking, sexy, powerful, captivating - without saying a single word. We don't articulate, we move. We are busy, we are running, we are fighting to be seen, to be noticed, to be loved, to be adored,


What do all of us really want beyond being watched? We are our own idols, made to be looked at, prayed to, made to gather a cult-following. But that's pop culture for you, right?

I've always found dance to be an irresistible art form. There is something primitive, real, human about it. It is movement, it is harmony. It doesn't require lots of thought or listening, it requires feeling and believing. And what do humans do better than feel and believe?

So, is it so wrong that we love to be watched? Why would we dance for an empty theatre? Getting caught up in the music, being human - that's fine with me.
The Killers' chorus goes on to say:
"And I'm on my knees looking for the answer:
Are we human or are we dancers?"

I'm on my knees thanking God that I am a dancer. Because what is more human than that?

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.



  1. I don't know if you are ready for a very great poem by William Butler Yeats, but you need to give it a try. It is "Among School Children."

    The last two lines are one of the most important questions in life:

    O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
    How can we know the dancer from the dance?

    If you have difficulty understanding the poem, read the last stanza several times. Your cuppa is asking an important question.

  2. ok this is crazy awesome! i love youu!
    and the weirdest thing is that this week my blog was going to be about dancing i just havent finished it yet! ahh! great minds think alike :)

  3. Oh I love that song soooo much and I love you!!! I always knew that song has so much more to it but wasn't quite sure what they were going for. Oh that Brandon Flowers is a sly dog! I love him!