February 6th, 2009
I’ve got a great idea. Not only do I think it’d be an interesting social experiment, but I also believe it’d make a lot of people happy. In fact, that’s my idea’s first purpose: make happier people. My idea’s second purpose(s) are to cure cancer, terrorism, and obesity.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
I want to build a town. And in that town, I will legally require people to break into song and dance whenever and wherever the urge hits. Now, I don’t want to come across as a dictator, so I’ll encourage townspeople to lose their inhibitions first by placing decoys throughout the village who start singing in unexpected places, like the grocery store, the library, or the food court. I’ll spend about a year planting my decoys and soon, it will become so commonplace to see people spontaneously sing and dance that everyone in my town will feel they can do it too.
(Artistic rendering of my town. Everyone, even Great White sharks, are encouraged to jump and jive. But my town will not have men with swords or randomly placed ram skulls. If one of my town rams happens to die, I will give it a respectable burial, and not leave it to rot in the street.)
(Another rendering. This one of a group dance in the Vons.)
(Last rendering. This shows my townspeople at work.)
Ideally, my town will soon be full of people who sing along to the radio in Starbucks, shimmy down the street as they’re walking their kids to school, and grab random partners (my town supports monogamy, random partners are for dance only) for a waltz at the gas station. Next thing you know, public singing and dancing is so common and expected, that kids grow up thinking it’s OK to express themselves this way. No more will they cover their mouths as they sing in the car, or keep it down in the shower or remain seated at concerts. Instead, if my town’s kids feel happy, they will show it! Because they know it!
Now there’s going to need to be some infrastructure to support my town’s mission. First, I will replace traffic lights and street signs with more happy icons. I’m thinking this will be my town’s green light:
And this will replace the traditional yellow traffic light:
I’m still working on my red light symbol. Please feel free to suggest something in the comments and I will give it careful consideration.
Also, I’ll need to organize a lot of parades to keep the singey, dancey vibe alive. Of course, all sporting goods stores will be stocked with stilts, unicycles, roller skates, and clown cars, because those are the official modes of transportation in my town. In addition, my town will have many lampposts, park benches and slides to support spontaneous dance maneuvers
and I’ll have drive-ins with roller skating waitresses, where people come to watch Napoleon Dynamite,
Singing in the Rain, and the Sound of Music. I’ll have a town sound system obviously, with street corner speakers that broadcast the following contagious song and dance numbers (skywriters will etch lyrics in the clouds for group sing alongs):
My town is going to be a lot of fun, but there are some rules:
Number one: If someone asks how you are, respond with a thumbs-up.
(They will live in my town.)
Number two: Ankle kick practice is mandatory.
(They will not live in my town.)
Number three: You must learn disco.
Number four: It is illegal to think these kind of people are weird, even if they are.
Number five: Fireworks every evening.
And number six: Gospel brunch every Sunday.
My town is going to rock! I’m thinking I’ll start one as a prototype and when people see how no one in my town gets cancer, joins gangs, or murders people, they’ll want to build more of my towns across America and overseas. I’m pretty sure that after 20 years or so, if my town concept makes it to the Middle East, there won’t be any more terrorists either.
So I’m onto something for sure. I just need to find some usable new town space and pick a name. Any ideas? I don’t know, I like “Funky Town,” but I worry that people will confuse it with a farters’ colony. Whatdaya think?
Photos courtesy of Google Images.