When the initial reports came out about police arresting people merely for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, I thought maybe that was a little bit of overreaction. It seemed that a couple of people just started doing the Lindy Hop under the stern, yet Jeffersonian, gaze of TJ himself, and got arrested just for moving their feet a little.
But no, this started as a flash mob, one of those gatherings of people with plenty of time on their hands who are available to show up whenever and wherever and start dancing or whatever.
Which is fine, at the proper venue. They were out there again this past weekend, and they started dancing just to see if they could cause the police to show up, and what do you think happened? The police had to come and make them leave.
The flashmobbers then got all excited, thinking they were recreating authentic 60's street protest. And so they got to holler at cops and yell about their rights and let things deteriorate to a point at which they had to be pushed and shoved away from the area where a sign clearly indicates that the Memorial is an area where people should remain quiet and peaceful. No demonstrations are allowed. It's posted. Just like "No Smoking" or "No Parking" or "No Left Turn." They're called rules, and we live by them, or people would light their Tareyton in your face or park in front of fire houses or turn left down one-way streets.
You see, back in the 60's, people took to the streets and marched in protest against things that really needed to be changed. Segregation, and the war in Viet Nam, were blights upon our society, and it took a lot of people with a lot of courage to make those points and change the hearts and minds...and laws...of others yet unenlightened.
I nod with but slight appreciation at those who regard "dancing around the Jefferson Memorial while other people are trying to have a moment of quiet reflection about the brilliance of one of our founding fathers" as being an equal need.
It seems that the issue is that the US Court of Appeals ruled against those whose chief desire in life is to display their terpsichorean talents at the Memorial. That's a pretty weak leg to stand on, people.
I have an idea for those whose urge to Chicken Dance is so overwhelming. Why not Electric Slide on over to some hospital or orphanage and entertain people? Do something useful with your talents, instead of stirring things up just to stir things up.