Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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I Just Felt Like Doing It

I spent much of last night with my head stuck out the living room window, shouting at strangers. Spring break is winding down and people are become more and more desperate, cramming their quota of rambunctious behavior into the dwindling amount of time they have left. They're expected to be back at school soon, or at work, and the ticking of the clock is driving them insane.

I watched as they came pouring out of the bars, stumbling in dazed apprehension, trying to remember where they parked the car. Many of them passed beneath my window—shouting and laughing, dancing on the edge of violence, unaware I was watching them from directly above. More than once I considered screaming at them, or showering them with spit and whiskey. No reason, mind you—or at least, no good reason. Had I done it, I would have been unable to explain why. All I could say is, “I just felt like doing it.”

Ah, yes. The terrifying words, the motto of every psychopath and serial killer in history. I just felt like doing it. The evil twin of follow your heart.

Anyway, last night I also watched Saturday Night Live. It was disappointing. Jennifer Lawrence was on and every skit reminded me of junior high drama class. It was pretty sad. And unfunny. It’s too bad, because she’s pretty damn good. Or at least I thought she was. Winter’s Bone. Silver Linings Playbook. Of course, Hunger Games was a piece of shit. Or maybe it was an experiment. They wanted to see what happens when you do everything wrong. “I just felt like doing it.”

The other part of SNL last night that annoyed me was The Lumineers. They were good and fun to listen to, but they exemplified an annoyance I have. There seems to be a whole generation of people—or maybe just a large chunk of them—who have gone about their lives believing that everything is bullshit, nothing more than a shallow hype. Then, when these same people decide they’re going to make some music or write or pursue whatever their chosen field is and they commit themselves to discovering and exploring and creating their body of work, they inevitably discover the truth and power of the style—that it’s not all a waste of time. Needless to say, this is very exciting to them. Unfortunately, they seem to believe they are the first people in history to realize this is possible. “Woah, man! You mean there’s something happening here, after all? This is great! We have to tell everyone!” And they stomp around on stage, playing and singing their song as if it’s the Declaration of Independence when it’s really no more than a decently-executed song about a guy who kinda likes a girl. Congratulations, asshole. You just re-invented the wheel.

“I just felt like doing it, you know? It’s amazing. I actually felt like doing it.”

What a fucking miracle.