Re: Fascinatin' Rhythm

Warren Sproule (Warren.Sproule@SOCIOL.UTAS.EDU.AU)
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 12:48:08 +0200

For reasons that surpass my understanding, I received Brian Valimont's post
on the debate out of sequence, which is why it wasn't included in my last
summation (for which profuse apologies to both BV and the list). I regard
Brian's point about the metaphorical transference of military drill into
other spheres (such as education) as central, as is his view of drill as
repetition and reinforcement. Bubbling under Brian's post is another issue
regarding the FUNCTION of drill (drill as necessarily a means to a larger
end, or more efficient troop movement from point A to point B, a point
reiterated by both Mr. E and Tom Kavanagh, vs dance as a 'thing-in-itself')
- When he says that drill movements involve ">repetition of information
for the purpose of making them>more autonomic" I see drill as distinct from
dance on this dimension, where some forms of dance take spontaneous bodily
gestures and *formalise* them...:-( too clumsy - try this instead:

(some) DANCE = (normative/expressive) MOVEMENT----->
(abnormative/structured) MOVEMENT
(all) DRILL = (abnormative/structured) MOVEMENT---->
(normative/expressive) MOVEMENT

It further occurs to me that Baz Luhman's [sp?] movie _Strictly Ballroom_
is a nice take on the tensions inherent in the heterogeneous varieties of
'Dance'. Moreover, and with all due respect to John McCreery (and thanks
for the wry enjoyment gleaned from his hellish Burns night/school prom
experiences!), I don't see the 'subjective response' of participants in
military drill as being of significance to the exercise...this would assume
an egalitarianism at odds with both armed servies hierarchical structure
and military culture *per se*. Which isn't to say that the recruit can't
mention to his Drill Sergeant that he's not experiencing *jouissance* on
the parade ground, and the manouevres are neither in his opinion artistic
nor individually fulfilling; any guesses [from our more experienced
ex-army/navy regulars rather than draft resisters/evaders like John and
myself] as to the likely outcomes of such an encounter?

Take Care,

PS: Anyone familiar with John Arden's anti-war play _Sergeant Musgrave's Dance_?