Being a part of mosh pit can be exhilarating—rejuvenating even, being among the moving bodies, pushing and slamming, shoulders and chests rubbing and colliding, the heat of so many active persons in a shared space… but what if there’s nowhere to mosh?
Lauren Antrosiglio is taking it upon herself to provide more moshing opportunities in Corvallis; she’s started a group to gather and mosh, with therapeutic intentions, her Craigslist ad reading:
“If you’ve ever been in a mosh pit, you know the feeling you get afterwards. Relieved. Exhilarated. De-stressed. At one with your fellow moshers. It is a feeling that is crazy hard to explain, but it goes along the lines with having experienced bliss, camaraderie, freedom, and glory. It is badass. The problem is, we don’t get to mosh that often.”
Which is why Antrosiglio’s starting a Mosh Pit Club she hopes can meet in community rooms and willing venues. She intends for the club to bring their own speakers and create collaborative playlists to mosh out to.
“We’re looking for more people and a space,” says Antrosiglio, reassuring, “We aren’t out to destroy things—it’s about dancing.”
Like many who live here, Antrosiglio knows that “Corvallis is kind of tame. If we ask someone, ‘Can we come to your bar and mosh?’ they’re liable to say, ‘You’re going to destroy our place!,’ and that’s not what we want.”
If just ten people chip in five dollars to the cause, Antrosiglio says they can rent a room. “We could get an open community room that’s just blank, [that] has nothing in it, so we won’t damage anything.”
Chaos and Acceptance
Reflecting on generational differences and the place for chaos in current American culture, Antrosiglio confides, “I’m from Generation X. Our parents moved the whole ‘Peace, Love,’ ‘Let’s get together, try to love one another right now’ [thing] into the mainstream, and I appreciate that. [But] we aren’t allowed chaos, except for the chaos that is created by our government and corporations.”
Don’t get her wrong; Antrosiglio is “all for meditation and yoga, but sometimes, for some emotions,” she says, “you just have to mosh it out.”
Moshing has even helped Antrosiglio in her relationships. “I’m not a violent person,” she says, “but sometimes my partner and I would get into a tiff and I’d say, ‘Want to do it?’ and we’d go BOOM!” She mimed banging her shoulder against her lover, slamdance style.
Antrosiglio thinks peoples’ difficulty in realizing a need to express negative emotions may stem from being “in a haze of technology, and numbed by coffee and alcohol and weed.”
“I’m not an AA person,” she says, “but when you’re putting on a constant happy face on Facebook and Instagram, you’re denying a big part of yourself.”
Antrosiglio misses the feeling of community and even communion she can find in a really good mosh pit. “I was at an L7 concert out of town once, and when I was in the mosh pit, with people I’d never met before, I felt a sense of community I’d never felt in Corvallis… When we get together moshing, it’s a very pure, purging experience, except for the ones who would get violent and ruin it for everyone.”
Referencing the 1970s fad for using foam rubber bats to act out violent urges—which was supposed to help people harmlessly “ventilate” their impulses but which turned out to often encourage more violence—Antrosiglio says that by comparison, “Moshing is more like a group hug.”
Reflecting further on cultural gaps for expressive outlets, Antrosiglio says, “Real self-expression in today’s world is frowned upon. Technology is one reason. Nowadays, we are encouraged to look at ourselves as fragile and breakable, especially women.”
“We must fight through that,” she says. “Cowering in the face of a powerful patriarchy is not empowering. We need a place where we can come together as a community with no pretensions and express the emotions we are taught to not express. By moshing we can do that, in a therapeutic way.”
If interested in joining the Mosh Pit Club of Corvallis, contact Antrosiglio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, traditional mosh pit rules apply, including: no intentional violence, no being a bystander when people fall (as in help them up!), and no foot stomping with steel toed shoes. All genders and races are welcome.
By John M Burt