Ruben Bolling at 8:50 am Wed, Feb 8, 2012
You can follow RUBEN BOLLING on TWITTER, and visit the TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE.
MORE: dance • louis • middle school fun • Tom the Dancing Bug • tomthedancingbug
Meet Jeopardy!'s new master--and his controversial strategy [Podcast interview]
True Detective ends its first season as it began: with two indelible performances [Recap: season 1, episode 8]
Reading the title of the post made my palms start to sweat. I knew what was coming and wasn’t disappointed. So many memories …
I wanted to laugh, but the pain unearthed wouldn’t let me. So true.
Poor neurotic, emasculated, undermining… poor Louis
Is there supposed to be a joke in here?
I can’t tell whether Louis is bored or in pain. I know that in this situation I’d be in pain. I’m very introverted, and being around too many people is painful and stressful, and can give me a skin rash, and being unable to find time and space to myself is also painful and wears me down.
P.S. For some reason, Disqus is not accepting OpenID logins.
The joke is that Louis creates his own pain, and needs to drag others down to feel better about himself.
I’m not seeing that.
Yeah, no, I don’t think he simply creates his own pain. He’s just not self-aware enough to realize that he could get over it and have fun. And then he’s shitty to his friend.
I think the running joke about Louis is that he lives waaay too much in his own head?
How do you know he can ‘get over it’?
We’d have to ask Ruben Bolling (depending on your theory of art I suppose).
I think you’ve pegged it. Living in his head.
It didn’t strike me as him trying to pull his friend down. It seems to me that his fear is that he’d look like a dork dancing, and is trying to ‘help’ his friend avoid that as well. Which only make the situation more sad.
Yes, I think you’re on to something there. The irony is that Louis is the only one watching, instead of participating, so it is only he who cares that Myron looks like a “dork.” When Myron was participating, he didn’t care.
Louis’ pain is (supposed to be) funny. That’s my take. I find it funny that a single page comic caused me such deep psychic distress.
It would be interesting to see this comic from a 21 year old Louis’ perspective. Does cheap booze help him overcome his aversion to attempting to dance? Or does it just make him surly and even less likeable? Fortunately for this introvert, it was the former. Even got in a go-go cage one time. One time.
I don’t think there’s supposed to be a joke. It evokes an emotional response that strikes deeper than a joke does – if you’re the type of person who relates to Louis and who did similar things at high school dances.
Your mileage may vary.
God, I hate Louis.
Bit of a fun-killer there, isn’t he?
As someone who’s been Myron, I agree.
As someone who’s been both Louis and Myron, I agree.
A misery shared ….
I miss smoking cigarettes most of all for the relief they provided at social gatherings. Much more effective than tying one’s shoes for escaping throngs of people while still looking like you’re doing something.
Especially if you roll your own ciggies, gives you whole minutes when you can legitimately not participate in the conversation. My lungs wish I wasn’t so introverted…
Some people may have comic heroes they look up to and try to emulate. Superman’s strong moral code. Batman’s determination. Aquaman’s fishiness. Me, I’ve got Louis.
Aquaman’s fishiness lol
Remember that 2 & 1/2 Men episode where Charlie told Jake to just walk up to the prettiest girl at the party and ask her to dance? When I was in junior high, I did that! And she said yes! Then I realized I had no idea how to dance or what else to talk about, got real sweaty, nearly passed out, almost threw up, couldn’t wait for the song to be over, then I ran back to my friends on the other side of the gym. I’m 38 and I still get nervous around pretty girls. :(
When I was *four* years old, I was the flower girl at my aunt and uncle’s wedding. In the middle of the reception, I asked my uncle to dance, and he looked at me witheringly and told me he had more important things to do. That sting of rejection was so strong that I remember it today. Middle school was hell.
Honestly, he could have picked me up and twirled me around once, what is dancing to a four year old?
For some reason, this comic made me think of that.
Wow, your uncle’s a jerk. And on his wedding day, no less. I’ve been uncling since I was eight years old, to four nieces and six nephews, and I can’t remember a time or circumstance under which I’d be too busy to cut a 30-second rug with one of them.
Tonight, my four-year-old daughter and I will do the Time Warp in your honor.
thanks, that actually made my day!
Especially since my 5 year old son is getting too cool to dance with him mom. :-)
I wish someone was around to make me read a comment like this every time I carelessly forget the pain I can so casually inflict on a young kid.
Louis is comment sections everywhere.
I still don’t get dancing. Some people, women mostly, think it’s the most awesome, most super fun thing to do EVER: dress up and go out dancing with your girlfriends YAY!!! BEST THING EVER! YAY!!!!
But even now that I get that yeah, it’s kind of interesting to move to the beat of the music, there’s SO many other things I would rather do with my time…
I’ve spent my life telling people that I have a bad knee. It’s much easier than trying to explain that I don’t want to participate in their sublimated mating rituals.
I used to be a good dancer, then I took an arrow in the knee.
I have an ax wound to my knee, but I used the excuse long before that. Fucking lamp genie; it doesn’t count if it doesn’t start with, “I wish…”
You need a couple of drinks (in my case more than a couple), and you need to be dancing in the vicinity of girls. If said girls don’t end up dancing with you after a couple minutes, it’s time to give up.
The only times I’ve enjoyed dancing were when I was with a girlfriend, or girlfriend-to-be. Otherwise it’s miserable :)
wow – the comments r better than the comic that inspired the comments…
This is all so depressingly sad. It is one of the most basic and necessary of human instincts to dance and let go. Psychologically it does you so much good. Speed, trips gabber and speedcore is my favourite. Drugs aren’t cheating but you need not to be afraid to let go with them either. Instead the only movement which the West invests with real psychological significance is the ritual rearrangement of words ‘where in the waste is the wisdom?’ – a cabbalistic dead end. (I feel like saying fuck Derrida here. That is unfair. He describes the problem from the point of view of a sufferer. But he is not the problem.)
Lay off the Derrida. Lay off the drugs. Go dancing. Problems solved.
The unconscious motivation behind all writing is to attempt to remove psychological/linguistic repression and suppression. As defined by psychiatry these terms really make no sense – there is in fact nothing nasty in the unconscious which needs to be forgotten – quite a lot about language and physics actually, a sense of ten/eleven dimensional universes and twenty-six dimensional universes. Drugs, dancing, writing are all trying to achieve the same thing. Which works best? In this respect writing is ultimately a very poor substitute for oral codes. Are you so sure that the ideologically motivated search for information (while the unconscious is unavailable) does not produce all kinds of hallucinatory and undesirable side effects? I am not.
The best way to be is to be. That holds true in three, four, or ten dimensions. Eleven if you throw in time.
I don’t deny a certain necessity to what you say.
Don’t forget to take into account that time is a four corner cube.
I’m lucky enough to have friends that will physically drag me out on the dance floor when I’m being a Louis.
Not ‘oh come on’ dragging either, feet up off the floor dragging.
I totally forgot about school dances. Rueben re remembers my own memories for me!
(one day later) Oh, I just realized I misspelled Ruben
Another great one, Reuben.
I have a visceral memory of being at a middle school dance, seemingly everyone except me having fun (’cause, of course, I was too self-conscious to notice the 30 other Louises like me along the walls) — when Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again on My Own” comes on, and I have my first-ever moment feeling like I’m in my own little cliché music video. Older siblings should really form rescue squads to whisk all the Louises from these dances and go play video games.
If I could go back in time I’d find myself at one of my miserable high school dances and say, “What are you doing wasting your time here? You’re supposed to be with all the artsy kids in someone’s basement smoking pot and watching Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’ !”
Bolling is unearthing all of the sentences I’ve unconsciously cut from the story of my life. Asshole.
hmmm that’s not very civil, rich.
Mail (will not be published) (required)