The Tyee, a newspaper out of Vancouver, BC has just mentioned hooping.org (and this video) in an article about hooping titled, What’s All the ‘Hula Hoopla’ about? The writer touches on an issue near and dear to my heart: the reclamation of participatory entertainment.
Most hoopers say they do it for fun, or the challenge of trying new tricks. Others are looking for exercise, and some even claim it provides a healing massage to internal organs.
But I see something subtly political in the rotating hoops.
The dancers came to the festival as part of the audience, but they’ve made themselves part of the show. It’s not a worry-free switch: I certainly felt self-conscious breaking ranks with the circle of gawkers to pick up one of the spare hoops. But it is a significant one.
So much of our entertainment is fed to us from far away: untouchable celebrities and faces on the television. I don’t know the names of my next-door neighbours, but I do know what Nick said to Jessica when the Newlywed came home with $3000 bed sheets. They do, and we watch.
Making the change from observer to actor is part of a larger movement spreading through lefty circles.
This is an issue I used to think about constantly when I was writing about the west coast rave community almost 10 years ago. Looks like although the scene is different, the issue remains: BE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN YOUR OWN JOY!