Sunday, 24 July 2005

So, America. In Detroit airport I wander around looking for a bus and getting ever more irate at the lack of infrastructure. Then a kindly man from the airport staff points me towards the shuttle bus and gives me four quarters in change to phone them; the shuttle bus company, ie a guy and his Mom, spend the entire journey trying to figure out where I should stay in Ann Arbor. And I end up in some kind of co-operative.

We go out. A band playing greatest hits of the 70s - funk, country and soul indiscriminately. This is unique. I have never been in a place where I was the best dancer. People standing around and watching. Couples where the girl wants to get into it and the guy is just standing there, ass rooted to the floor. She thinks she's a free spirit being held back, but she's playing a role too and is quite comfortable in her self-imposed restraint! So we show them what it's all about.

.... and then we go outside and there's a black guy playing his guitar, a two chord blues version of the latest dance hit, I think, and some couples doing the best, most joyous dancing I have ever seen. They jive to his blues - Asian, Latino, Black and White, the crowd clapping - just out on the sidewalk! Unimaginable in Europe.

But then you realise they are all professional.

But then, here anybody can be professional. No certificate required:all you have to be is good.

You see, this ambivalence is not really going to go away. It can be so amazing and then so dull.