Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why the Word "Groovy" and Others Like It Should Come Back

In my hometown the police one night pulled up an elderly lady's okra plants, believing they were marijuana. The woman was like 115 and called the police and told them, "Some young hooligans were up to their shenanigans and absconded with my okra plants." That made me laugh. She was using words almost never used anymore.

What she said reminded me of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (the real one with Michael Rennie, not the fake one with Keanu Reeves). There is a goofy little boy in it, who wears his baseball hat askew (this is in the 1950's), and he's always saying stuff like, "Golly gee willikers, Mr. Klautu, your buddy there Gort sure is nifty." I sometimes do that imitation for friends, which puts them on the floor.

Another word I use is "groovy." When I was about 12 years old a new station popped up on UHF (please don't ask me to explain the difference between VHF and UHF, because with cable everywhere these days no one know what they are anymore). This station on Saturday at noon ran all of Elvis Presley's movie, the ones with names like "Clambake" and "Viva Las Vegas" and they always involved him singing and driving nifty sports cars and getting all the girls.

This funfest was called "The Groovy Movie."

The station also ran all those early '60's Beach Party movies with Frankie and Annette and Bonehead, in which all of them were getting into mischief when they weren't singing and dancing on the beach, or else trying to fend off Erik von Zipper and his motorcycle gang.

Now after all that, I want to say I wish the word "groovy" would come back. Today I still use the word, ironically, usually to describe the deluded fantasies of liberals, all of whom are about four years old emotionally, and whose minds are so fuzzy I can't figure out how the come to any conclusion at all.

I usually describe their delusions as "their groovy little fantasy world." As I said, I use it ironically, because liberals always want to create Utopia but always end up creating a Hell, which they never understood.

The word "groovy" originally meant "in the groove," and it's what Mihály Csíkszentmihályi meant when he wrote about "Flow," i.e. being totally absorbed in something and feeling well-being.

Wikipedia puts it this way: "Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does."

In other words, when everything is groovy you are in the Flow. So calling those Saturday movies "The Groovy Movie" was correct, since when I watched them I was in Csíkszentmihályi's Flow.

In fact, you want a society that maximizes well-being and Flow. You sure aren't going to get it from fascism and Communism and liberalism and socialism, all of which involves the State crushing people through trying to impose Thoughtcrime and Doublespeak on everyone.

You can only get that Flow and well-being and flourishing through political and economic liberty. This is why the Founder's wrote about the "pursuit of happiness," which is a mistranslation of the Greek word eudaimonia, which means well-being/flourishing, and is achieved by arete, or excellence, which can only be achieved by autonomy, mastery and meaning/importance. In a word, it all has to be groovy.

It's all summed up by that one word. And that's why I wish it would come back.

Groovy, man.

1 comment:

Baloo said...

Far OUT, man! I SO grok what you're saying here! Reprinted with thanks here: