There was dancing now on the canvas in the garden; old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles, superior couples holding each other tortuously, fashionably, and keeping in the corners — and a great number of single girls dancing individualistically or relieving the orchestra for a moment of the burden of the banjo or the traps.You might say I wrestled with that sentence. The commenters — whom I read this morning, after I conked out and slept for 10 hours — helped me make the connection to wrestling. Terry said: "The key phrase, I think, is 'on the canvas.'" That affects how you think of the men pushing the young girls, the gracelessness, and the tortuously. Dancing is like wrestling here. In the "Gatsby" project, we look into one sentence, in isolation, but I just looked back into the text to get a better picture of that canvas, which I took to be a way to transform lawn into dance floor. I get to this sentence:
At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden.So let that be today's sentence. Lots of Cs: corps, caterers came, canvas, colored, Christmas. Christmas replacing the garden evokes the New Testament supplanting the Old. From the Garden of Eden to the salvation of Christ. By the way, that is the sentence just before the "crowded hams" sentence that made me angry 3 days ago.
I'll leave you to untangle the strands of colored lights that festoon the Christmas tree sentence, because I need to get back to what people said about yesterday's sentence. I must say I laughed out loud when McTriumph said:
Professor Ann, your first thought was musicians using the girls as instruments? You should write a novel, "Fifty Shades of Banjo."And then betamax3000 introduced Naked Andy Kaufman Robot. Betamax has done this "naked robot" routine before, but the Andy Kaufman iteration blew my mind, because I was still admiring Terry's wrestling insight, with men wrestling/dancing with woman, and then to bring up Andy Kaufman — when Kaufman not only had a comic act that was about wrestling with women, but he had a routine that consisted of taking the stage and reading, in its entirety, "The Great Gatsby." But it's not as if betamax3000 just said, "Hey, this is so Andy Kaufman — the wrestling and 'The Great Gatsby.'" No, betamax did a series of comments that twisted the "Gatsby" text into things that would be said by the Naked Andy Kaufman Robot:
I have pushed many women gracelessly backwards on canvas. It has been both tortuous and fashionable, leaping high from the corners of the ring onto the contestant below: in that moment there is Truth, Sweat and Cheers. Many people assume the urge to wrestle women is sexual. As a wrestler of women I can definitively say that this is untrue. Mostly. In the main it is about the defining moment of being Superior, of recognition of the Pinner and the Pinnee.
A few moments on Etiquette.And:
A sportsman never uses the Banjo or the Traps on a female wrestler. While he is allowed to use the Piledriver it is not to be done from a height greater than a women's modest skirt: below the knees only, gentlemen.
Danny DeVito did not understand. He would ask "Andy, why don't you stop wrestling women?" and I would reply "Danny, why don't you stop being so short and disheveled?"
Shirt tucked or not, in the ring Danny would've been able to stand as tall as his Courage would allow him to be, but -- sadly --he did not understand.
Tony Danza would argue "I'm a boxer. What would be so different if I boxed women?"
I could only shake my head. He did not comprehend the difference between wrestling and fighting. A punch is anger, but only through grappling do we experience the common ground between the sexes: the canvas ring is where the true colors are painted, like a woman's red nails or a man's 1969 orange Camaro.
I once wrestled a woman who smelled of avocado. In the midst of our grappling a moment was frozen as that scent overpowered my senses, psychically and spiritually. Was the avocado Fear or Power? How could I pin this woman down, this woman who smelled of avocado? How could I keep her soul and buttocks confined beneath me when the Avocado was everywhere? In the end I won the match, but the avocado defeated me on a far grander level.
Every woman has the Avocado inside her -- this, a true wrestler knows -- knows and respects...
The first time I wrestled a woman was practically a religious experience. At the end I laid on the canvas pinned, defeated and euphoric: through my bell-rung eyes I saw God through the rafters wink at me. I do not remember her name but I remember the look of Victory in her eyes and how I peed a little.And:
Women have soft elbows. When you are elbowed in the solar plexus by a woman it is different than a man's elbow: there is Understanding. There is Forgiveness.And:
When pinned between a woman's headstrong knees a man has no choice but to understand: it is the Silent Conversation, and the chafing will heal.And:
To repeat: wrestling a woman is not sexual. Excitement is for the Soul and the Arms and the Thighs, not the Loins. To have an erection in the ring is to give the Devil a Handle.There's more, but enough of the quoting of the Naked Andy Kaufman Robot. Let's turn to the wonderful commenter Chip Ahoy, crisply quipping:
Later, following the death of Gatz, the same canvas was turned over to modern dance.I remember that modern dance GIF. It was back in 2009, when I wrote about "Lawrence Halprin... 'the tribal elder of American landscape architecture'" whose wife was a dancer who, he said, "could not be contained by a rectangle," so he built her a dance deck that was the "odd, improvised shape" you see in the photo. Back then Chip Ahoy said:
But that didn't last. The dancers, bored of dancing set off in pairs to the beach, to break up and pair off again and break up and pair off.
I too knew that my wife could not be contained on a rectangular deck for she is uncontainable, so I improvised with an deck area that could be danced on several levels. The outer levels tilt so that anything placed on them slide off toward the center, and built with portals that promise escape but all lead circuitously back to the main dance area, rather like a hamster habitat. I rounded the edges and varied the angles for nature has few straight lines and fewer right angles and my wife is nature personified, and that made the whole deck railing more difficult, you see, which I then electrified because I knew she would make several attempts at an over-the-rail vault. The deck areas are also surrounded by a moat that I populated with piranhas that I feed regularly by dropping in a steak so they're veritably trained to converge en mass, along with back up electric eels and those really gross blood-sucking slugs, all to discourage wandering beyond the safety of boundaries I set forth with my architecture. The deck itself is fitted with sprinklers at its farthermost points that spray a mist with power hose force to warn the little sylph-like dancing scamp whenever her dance gives the appearance of breaking loose or she nears the end of her retractible chain.And then Chip proceeded to animate a dancer for the odd, improvised dance deck.
And now, it's your turn to dance. Dance all night in the comments, backward in eternal graceless circles, tortuously, fashionably, individualistically.