OK, I'll begin with a confession: in my opinion, Hairspray is just an "OK" movie. Not amazing. Not life-changing. Not absolutely fabulous. Not worth watching every week, even if my roommates' friends do get giddy like schoolgirls and dance and sing along while watching it, or other friends who are otherwise quite straight-acting can't help but sing along with queer delight. You know who you are.
But I actually enjoy the last half hour or so, from the protest through the end. There's just something about seeing people stand for their right to be considered as human and respectable as anyone else and realizing how recent an issue racism is, as well as the zestful and exuberant enjoyment of being alive portrayed by the dance, the romance, the acceptance of self and others, and the simple statement that "without love", life is lifeless.
It makes me want to be more zestful in life. I don't think the richest in life is found by joining a choreographed dance number or by being exuberant in everything you're doing. I think it's more than that: to learn to allow yourself to simply enjoy life and its quirks and joys even amidst trouble and pain. Sometimes, when I start feeling a little manic about life (deliriously upbeat), I remember the trials other people are going through and the living conditions of people in certain societies, and it sobers me up. Sometimes, when I'm feeling weighed down by the gravity of life, I have to pull back and just be grateful for my blessings and guiltlessly enjoy life a bit and help others do so to keep from uselessly wondering what I can do about the suffering all around.
I want to act! I can't wait for others to stand up and take action to change the world for the better while I just play the system. There will always be reasons (usually involving self-preservation) not to defend a cause or an underdog or invest in changing the world for the better. There are too many battles to fight: they must be chosen carefully if my efforts are to be worthwhile and not meaningless token efforts spread thin. But to stand up and make your voice heard and make your life an example in some way, that is truly living.
I want to love! I hate the feeling of stomping out these amazing feelings of love, warmth, devotion, patience, tenderness, motivation to be better, and general motivation to be a better person I've felt when romantically attracted. However that is to happen, it would be really nice to allow myself to continue to feel it. There must be ways.
I want to dance! Figuratively. Maybe literally. I want to feel so good about life that I can't help but dance. Dancing is one of those things I've never really enjoyed doing, though I'm not sure why. There are some things in life I haven't done because there's simply no reason to try them: for example, I don't need to try illegal drugs. But there are other things in life, like dancing, I haven't done because I haven't really wanted to, yet I feel something stir inside when I see a great dance performance. I share the enthusiasm of the people performing and want to have the ability of showing that kind of expression in my movement. And to be honest, I wonder how much of my resistance to dancing is the simple fact that I feel completely out of place and unable to express myself in dance because I haven't done it, and I wonder if I learned how to be expressive with my body in that way, if I'd actually start liking to dance? There's something that feels good and happy about seeing people celebrating with their whole body in motion, and maybe part of me really does want to learn that joy.
...leave it to me to turn a feel-good movie into an analytical essay. *grin*