Monday, October 06, 2008

Are we human or are we dancers?

I totally love The Killers new single, "Human", which I own from iTunes and was on SNL this weekend. (Although there was something funny with the sound levels...)

This is what the lyrics are supposed to be.

What I hear is the question in the title of this post.

So, people, are we human or are we dancers? Are we made to go through life berating ourselves over every single little thing, or are we meant to dance through it, finding our own happiness? Are we both? Do you live to work or work to live? Do you want to dance or be merely human? What do you want?

I want to live my life until I'm the ripe old age of 100, have children, write books, and find my happiness along the way. I don't dance, so much as plod sometimes. But that's part of being human for me.

Tell me what you think. =)


David said...

I want 100 to be just the beginning!

Elissa M said...

Too many years of forced ballet class made me adamantly not a dancer- but I AM an artist, musician, and writer, so maybe I dance metaphorically.

One grandmother died at age 46, the other at 107. I guess it's a toss up how long I've got. I just hope I can keep doing the things I love until the end.

Ryan Field said...

I think it's important to always move forward, whether we dance or plod. Sometimes it's all about plodding, because we're only human. And sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to turn it around a few times.

I love to work, but I also think it's important to never let your work define you...not matter what you do.

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

OH! I was so mad the Killers didn't play "I got soul but I'm not a soldier."

I was shouting at the television.


Chris Redding said...

I think we should dance, but so many times we forget we have legs or we can't her the music.

Richmond Writer said...

At my child's school the teacher had the children complete the sentence, "When I'm 100 I'll be...."

I laughed at some of the sentence completions.

...a teacher.
...a cheerleader.
...old. video games.

So when I'm a 100 I'll be surprised that living through "history" I never noticed that it was any different than living an ordinary life.

Nancy said...

I think being human implies our many capacities to dance through life; we humans are complex entities with the capacity to love, contemplate, make art (be it the physical form of motion, something on the canvas, something on the page, etc.). I don't think being human excludes us from being dancers; it's part of what makes us reflective enough to be dancers. . . Now if only our society wasn't so obsessed with the sixty hour work week, we'd all have more time to skip and spend less time plodding along.

Nancy D'Inzillo

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Oh, I dance, baby. I dance.

One of my Acadian ancestors lived to 111. Yessss....

Angelo said...

Hi all,
I've been following silently for a while now, and finally thought I would jump in..

I am almost certain I will not make it to infinity, so I am less concerned counting the time that passes as I am the moments that pass. I think humans are dancers by nature, though the converse may not necessarily be true. (Anyone who has ever taken a ballet class knows that... ;) )

I believe it's not important what we dance to, so long as we dance. That, for some, means mechanical, rigid rules. For others, a wonderfully engrossing improvisation with or without a partner (or music, for that matter). And still, for some it means clapping one's hands to a beat that most assuredly has little to do with the music playing. That is dancing. That is human. That is one moment... and counting.

Steve said...

I heard the same thing you did, but convinced myself I was only hearing what I wanted to. I guess it doesn't matter whether those were the lyrics or not if that's what we heard.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

for me, i think being human is ABOUT cherishing things that make us humans. love, dancing, sex, comedy, beauty, art, music, and travelling are some of my favourite things to do. it's what makes me feel closer to other humans... or whatever, i guess.

Kristine Overbrook said...

Make your own happiness. Optimists tend to be happy. It’s not a fluke. When you look at the world to find the good happy things, you see the good happy things. You dance.

Otherwise you’re a lump with every negative piled on top of you, struggling to find the will to allow one more day to pass.

Dance. Being human is inevitable, dancing is the choice. Dance.

Neal said...

Glad you wrote about it.. because I've been listening to that song and hating it.. I think in part because I just wasn't getting the meaning of the lyrics.

Paul R. Dorasil said...

I respond to Brandon Flowers directly here.

M Jordan said...

I think the Killers are trying to say, "Have we lost our humanity to inanity." In other words, did we sell our souls for a bowl of triviality -- dancing, celebrity, instant gratification, etc.

Just my view, of course. But the song really touches me, both musically and lyrically.

Nigel Tewksbury said...

I think your question is a very important one, and for me, the answer is that we must strike a balance. While it is Romantic to have a "carpe diem" mentality, such a way of thinking inevitably has consequences. I like to aim for dancing with awareness. You won't see me flailing my arms like a drunken buffoon; rather, I go for a nonchalance, a studied freedom.

Joe Iriarte said...

Dancing through life
Mindless and careless
Make sure you're where less
Trouble is rife
Woes are fleeting
Blows are glancing
When you're dancing
Through life . . .

Sorry . . . that's the first thing that popped into my mind!


(The second thing that popped into my head was a country song, so maybe you should consider yourself lucky!)

Brad Kimmel said...

i am sure that i am wrong but did they mean the reindeer Dancer? Just another in a line? cut the cord...

a.mandrake said...

I have read most of Hunter Thompson's works and can't imagine such an optimistic intent in the question as I read here. I think you can substitute "puppet" for "dancer" and come closer to his theme. I'm not sure he was thinking as dancing as an art form or even as an intellectual expression in this context. Rather I believe he was envisioning dancing(in a club with empty-eyed, sullen faced kids) as an involuntary reaction to the beat of the music (as a metaphor for life) where you have no control over and are all too willing leave the decisions of which song is next and which is not permitted up to anyone else That scenario in firm opposition to “human” with all cognitive facilities in full force and use.
It is interesting how the band took that quote (way, way, way out of context) put it in a song that hit the charts in a lofty position when very few seemingly had any idea what it was about. What does that say about Hunter Thompson’s question?

Sam said...

The intent of the lyric is to ask: 'Are we human or are we dancers, moving synchronized to a beat somebody else is conducting, frittering away all our time and not paying attention to the world?'
Stuff like that, anyways. It's from a Hunter S. Thompson quote. Only reason I know so much about it is because he left the S off making it incomprehensible and profoundly irritating to hear.

donboy71 said...

i would like to be 100 but that is not the point. the point is what does it mean "are we human, or are we dancers" i don't get it do any of you