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It seemed a little dry the past few days, so I thought I’d address a topic that was on my mind a little while back.
Furnishing a definition, I would say a Mosh Pit is a crowd action at a musical event. Generally near front and center, where the involved parties collectively engage in physical acts. Depending the event this ranges from the strictly physical of pushing, pulling, lifting, running to more violent acts ranging from degrees of punching, kicking ect.
I and an old friend went to a punk show a while back engaged in some ourselves. It had been quite a while since I had last, which was a staple throughout my youth. It was a pretty exhilarating experience to revisit and the psychology and crowd dynamics are something that have stuck with me. So I’d like to query, particularly the collective old guard.
Have you ever engaged in a mosh pit? Why? Did you enjoy the experience? Why? What behavior would you consider appropriate? Why? Do you feel physicality in a group setting is a return to more primitive socio-cultural roots, and is perhaps unexpressed by mainstream society? How do you feel this is coloured by co dependence vs conflict?
and some reference.
What is going on here?
Am I the only one who sees (or even read beyond the word \_MOSH PIT) the point Ung is making: _Do you feel physicality in a group setting is a return to more primitive socio-cultural roots, and is perhaps unexpressed by mainstream society? How do you feel this is coloured by co dependence vs conflict?_
He is talking about the very nature of humanism that begets most (all?) societal ills.
Some ppl write it off as: survival of the fittest and those who “cooperate” are fools.
Some can see “competition” as being what drives//spurs development…while those in the same field see competitors as the “enemy”….to be spied upon, to be vilified via advertising, being “hostilely taken over”, and most any other sort of manner necessary in the pursuit of: the ends justify the means.
It’s NOT like we don’t have “most pits” that are hugely more obvious & popular. American football….anyone? Sure, most physical “combat” of today is for the most part merely spectator. However, all one need do is go to sports bar to see fans doing all manner of revelry of great similarity to a most pit….tho not nearly as “violent”. Hey, now I have a great idea for a tremendously innovative kind of sports bar. “2nd down and clash-N-thrash to go”.
If one takes in the WHOLE PICTURE of what happens at an event where a mosh pit exists, they will see that the pit is ONLY A SMALL PART of the scene. Hell, they ARE a part of the “entertainment”….kinda like backup singers of a sorts.
OH, almost forgot.
The video Ung put up shows “revelers” not all that “physical (violently so)” and actually being highly cooperative en mass.
[This video](http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/1101457) shows a much more “gritty” side of the activity.
I’ve been in plenty of mosh pits. I used to go to metal concerts all the time when I was a teenager, I’ve been to plenty this year, and I plan to be going to one in a few months again. Each time I went there was always a mosh pit in the center of the room. I enjoyed it for the most part, shoving around, dancing while the band played on. Behavior appropriate for moshing? I don’t know, perhaps shoving or just running around the circle dancing. There’s really no need for punching or elbowing like I have done and have had happen to me so many times before.
Well a few bites. Think I might monologue.
One of the most interesting aspects to me is the power scale. Ultimately you are at the mercy of a large, (relatively) violent mob. Crushed in by dozens, potentially hundreds, potentially thousands, of people is a strange experience. It’s psychologically humbling as ones own physical force and decisions largely become irrelevant. Your welfare is immediately dependent upon the conduct of those around you. There is an element of very simple danger at work, and the only intermediary is the crowd itself.
So even as each individual is in a state of physical conflict, there is generally a group consciousness of cooperating in preventing harm. People who fall get picked up and put aside ect. This plays into responsible violence fantasy as well. The psychological space of stimuli overload, physical exertion, and mass groups is a potent cocktail for deindivuation and recurrent of Dionisyc cults since time immemorial.
> Some ppl write it off as: survival of the fittest and those who “cooperate” are fools.
> Some can see “competition” as being what drives//spurs development…while those in the same field see competitors as the “enemy”….to be spied upon, to be vilified via advertising, being “hostilely taken over”, and most any other sort of manner necessary in the pursuit of: the ends justify the means.
One of things I find most curious is the adoption of dual roles. Cooperation and conflict, enemy and friend, both exist within group thing boundaries. Frequently the same person who pushes you down is the person who pulls you up. And ultimately, that is the point. I might be in the minority here but I find there’s a pretty potent expression of catharsis and tribal solidarity.
> I enjoyed it for the most part, shoving around, dancing while the band played on. Behavior appropriate for moshing? I don’t know, perhaps shoving or just running around the circle dancing. There’s really no need for punching or elbowing like I have done and have had happen to me so many times before.
Could I press you for what and how you enjoyed it? I find the punching and elbowing comes back to group expectations and intent, matching the energy and violence level of the crowd. Do you feel that level of violence is always inappropriate? Or can be enacted responsibly and consensually?
alright. fight club type of mosh pits simply don’t exist. that’s just the myth, and the stories people tell. metalised hardcore mosh-pits is really just a bunch of tae bo. stuff can happen and punches can be caught, but it all doesn’t really freaking matter anyway. just like it doesn’t matter when you’re drunk at a party and spill bear over yourself, or have to spend the next morning puking.
i don’t really know what crap todays youth listens to, but the only pits i’ve seen is just a bunch of punching eachother below the neck. i never plan to join, but i always do, eventually. heck i’ve started some.
never got hurt moshing, no matter how aggressive the music. only time i got hurt was dancing to ska once: someone bumped into me and a bunch of glass broke my fall.
music has on most people the effect that it makes you wanna move. that’s what dancing is all about. but not all music makes you wanna dance…each music has a different effect. once the music sways you enough, you start headbanging or moshing, or whatever works with your style of music. great way to release energy, anyway.
the only time it may get dangerous is in hybrid genres when there’s a misunderstanding between concert goers.
oh, and circle pits just looks really, really silly, btw. what the crap is that?
now what about public sex at discos eh?
I’m not sure exactly what you mean by Fight Club. But, when Hazel Und Gretyl came by my neck of the woods it was virtually a riot. But that was kind of a Neo Nazi thing.
The worst I’ve ever got was the very first time I ever went out, got worked in the kidney. Since then mostly pulled thumbs and fingers, which is a bitch.
Think “disco’s” might be a cultural gap. I think it is analgous in Europe to a club or a rave here in the North? If we’re on the same page that is a pretty fair analogue. Different sort of Eros bent, but noteworthy. Never seen that happen on the same sort of scale though.
Like I said, I enjoyed shoving around and dancing. For the most part the pit was filled with my friends. I have been in a fight in a mosh pit before because someone deliberately punched me in the face, and needless to say I got pissed off. I wasn’t always looking for violence in the pit, just getting to let all my emotions and enjoyment fly at once felt pretty good. Nobody’s in there dragging knuckles waiting to start stabbing people or something; people express their enjoyment and their emotions in different fashions.