Will You Trade Me a Lightshow?


Lightshow by Tofu of EmazingLights at DanzHaus / The GingerBread House (11.22.2011)

Daily Prompt: Barter System (photo: Skill)

In a previous life, long gone – or is it really ever gone – I used to live in San Francisco. While that could have been the start of a great story, I think I’ll spare you all the sordid (but oh-so-delicious) details.


     I used to be am a raver; however, the days of complete abandon and reckless behavior are long over. *snickers* (I’d like to think that I was a bit more responsible than that nowadays.)
     One of the biggest attractions at raves – from small underground industrial warehouses to large music massives – is the glow and wonderment of lights everywhere. On the more external level, there are lasers pulsating wild and convulsive patterns from the stage to the audience. On the more intimate, human level, what once started out with the basic glostick following along intricate patterns about a performer’s body has now spawned into various forms of light displays (ie: poi balls, flow lights, orbitals, conjuring, gloving). These light displays (aka: light shows) have themselves divided into various types of  lights and bulbs  used to create varying intricate and mesmerizing affects. Ultimately, it is the controller of the lights that creates the magic of a light show.
     On one hand, you have individuals who will, to put it simply, go through the motions of a predetermined set of performance skills in order to simply attract attention (or ladies).
On the other hand, there are individuals (ie: Tofu from EmazingLights, above) who pour their heart and soul into their art. For them, it is not only an art, but it also symbolizes life. It makes them who they are, and by performing selflessly for others (for free and whenever asked, despite their own mental of physical state), they not only express their whole being, but also demonstrate to the world a love that can not be compared.
     So what does this have to do with Bartering? In the realm of raves, there is the concept of asking people to “give [you or your friends] a light show”. For some, this is simply the act of taking without offering anything back (ie: water, a massage, etc.). For others, it is the impact and love of watching others’ shows, learning from them, forming a connection; for these individuals, a light show is bartered/traded for another light show in which mutual respect is garnered, and friendships are formed on both sides.
     (Note: Having done this before, I will say that there are obviously dicks out there who do this to rub in your face how good they are compared to you. That is frowned upon and not good etiquette when you consider a lightshow is a projection of the person’s creativity, thoughts, and life.)
     I believe that this is the most genuine type of bartering – to form the connection of humanity, respect, and friendship through a shared ideal and interest. (Although, perhaps I’ve stretched this concept).