I’d like to take just a minute to discuss a word that, too often, gets misused and misapplied in the English language.
I’m talking, of course, about the word ‘dedication.’
It’s a word that gets associated with athletes and scholars and really anyone for whom hard work is a core value. But I’d like to suggest that dedication may simply involve any act in which the soul and the body unite for common purpose.
Naturally, I’d like to bring an anonymous University of Texas Longhorns fan forward as proof.
On Saturday, I was up in Austin for Day 2 of the Austin City Limits music festival. Between sets by the Levon Helm Band and Dave Matthews Band on the main stage, I found my way over to the stage where Austin-based band The Scabs were playing.
The Scabs are a pleasantly and refreshingly weird act. They’re fronted by singer Bob Schneider, who’s something of a legend in Austin. Nearly ever band he’s played in has become a local favorite, and The Scabs are no exception.
On Saturday, Schneider and Co. put on a show too obscene to be called quirky and too absurd to be underestimated. Their 45-minute set featured material that’s entirely unprintable in this forum. (On the set list: a tune inviting comparisons between oral sex and French explorer Jacques Cousteau, and a faux-death metal parody about shopping at H.E.B.) But the band kept the crowd rocking and laughing all at once, and that’s no easy feat.
But while Austin music fans were loving the joyfully bizarre set, I noticed one fan who was enjoying the music more than most. He kept bobbing his head and pumping his right fist in the air, even between songs. I didn’t understand why.
I assumed that — this being a massive music festival — some combination of alcohol and drugs were at work. (They were.) But then I got closer and found out what was really causing this man’s spontaneous celebrations. YouTubing the clip below is believing:
That, in the name of all things Merriam and Webster, is dedication. Skipping Austin City Limits was out of the question. Missing Miami’s 21-20 victory over Oklahoma wasn’t going to happen, either– and DVRing the game simply wouldn’t cut it. This fan had decided that it all had to be experienced live.
What this Longhorn fan found, I believe, is a remarkable testament to the pursuit of hedonism. He fused two outstanding passions — in this case: great music and college football rivalries — and found a way to multitask the many causes to which he dedicates his time.
As a lover of live music and a hater of opposing college sports teams, I must say: I was inspired. The bar has been set high for us all.