Barry Smith: Irrelativity |

Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry Smith
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

Such was the urging of the lead singer. He was passionate and persistent, falling back on this old-school refrain as the funkified evening progressed. And his request (demand?) was clearly demonstrated by him and the rest of the band performing that evening, showcasing between them a variety of ways to throw one’s hands in the air as well as a nice sampling of waving-around techniques.

“Throw your hands in the air! Now wave ’em around like you just don’t care!”

Now, I can throw my hands in the air as well as the next guy, sometimes even better, especially if the next guy happens to be, say, Abe Vigoda. Just say the word and boom ” hands, meet air.

And I can wave ’em around, too. Oh yeah, don’t think I’m a stranger to hand waving. I understand the principles, and have a somewhat well-developed sense, of rhythm, such that my hand waving appears to be one fluid, undulating motion. I do yoga.

It’s that “not caring” part that gets me …

“Throw your hands in the air! Now wave ’em around like you just don’t care!”

See, the problem is, I DO care. I care a lot, maybe too much, and I don’t know how to NOT care. I don’t even know how to ACT like I just don’t care, which is technically what’s being asked of me ” to wave “like” I just don’t care. Try as I might, I can’t even seem to fake it.

Why is this so hard? The singer may as well be shouting, “Throw your hands in the air. Now go to the blackboard and solve this very complex algebraic equation in front of the whole class.”

“Throw your hands in the air! Now wave ’em around like you just don’t care!”

My hands are up, waving, but I am deeply concerned. I try to think carefree thoughts. Kittens. Butterflies. The end of the Bush Regime. But my mind keeps drifting back to my hands, waving around, and the nearly immobilizing care that I have regarding this activity.

Those around me, the ones who have thrown their hands up and are waving them around, sure don’t seem to care. Look at that guy. Not a care in the world. And the girl he’s with. She clearly does not give a crap about anything at the moment. These people can follow instructions a lot better than I can.

Hmmm … maybe, to them, I have the appearance of not caring. Maybe everyone is fooled. Perhaps my finely honed hand-throwing/waving technique has drawn their attention from my shortcomings vis-à-vis non-caring. Could it be that I have nothing to worry about? And if so, wouldn’t that bring me that much closer to a state of just-not-caring?

And what difference does it make what others think of my hand-waving, anyway? Maybe that’s the specific part I’m not supposed to be caring about! Now that I think about it, when it comes to hand waving, what else is there to care about, really, except what others are thinking of it?

True, there are issues of safety to be considered, so some care is necessary. You don’t want to engage in such behavior while standing under very, very low-hanging high-intensity power lines, for instance, or near a helicopter, or if a sniper is after you. No, waving your hands around while trying to hide from a sniper would be a bad idea, and how much you did or did not care would hardly be a factor.

“C’mon throw yo hands in the air! Yeah, wave ’em around like you just don’t care!”

But there are no power lines or helicopters impeding my hand waving, nor are there likely to be any snipers nearby. If so, they would have taken me out during the opening act, while I was attempting to break dance. No, there’s no reason for me to care. There aren’t even people close by with drinks I can spill, so I really am in a position to be totally freed up from care around the surprisingly complex subject of hand waving.

And yet …

(Next time: Sure, “Hey! Ho!” is easy for YOU to say …)

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