Mosh pits have existed since the beginning of time, or close to it. Storming the walls of the Bastille during the French Revolution? Mosh pit. The fall of the Berlin Wall? You get the idea. The notion of jumping up and down to “International Love,” packed together closer than pre-Covid lunch tables, feels foreign until you try it for the first time and realize it’s where you were meant to be. Or not–the mosh pit is not for everyone.
In case you can’t make up your mind whether to enter the fray, here’s a list of factors to consider the next time we’re in the tent.
Pro: Mosh pits are a process of self-discovery.
Ask anyone you want–mosh pits can be truly meditative. They might seem like live-in-the-moment experiences on steroids. But something that gives you that kind of adrenaline rush mixed with a healthy amount of terror is bound to help center your mind. There is also an element of Zen Buddhism about it; when carried along by the crowd, you can let go of the troubles of the day, and focus on the present. When asked at homecoming how he felt about moshing at the dance, one STA attendee shouted, “It helps boost my mental capacities, for sure. I wake up the next morning ready to actually do my homework and—” (At this moment, there was a BEEF unity call somewhere behind him.) “Everyone’s in that. Sorry,” he called, sprinting back to the cluster of dress-shirt-clad, raucous giants in the middle of the dance floor.
Con: Participation may lead to serious doubts about life.
How did I get here? More importantly, how do I get out of here? In more serious cases, mosh pits can lead to contemplation of one’s life decisions. Maybe you didn’t mean to get that far in, but an STA boy who’s a foot and a half taller than you was trying to get through and accidentally carried you along with him like a pool floatie, and all of a sudden you’re at the center of it all, with blurry bodies revolving around you like a planetary model in a Lower School science classroom. Or maybe you just didn’t know what you were getting into.
Con (or is this a pro?): Once you’re in, you’re in.
Mosh pits are like exclusive clubs – hard to get into without serious shoving, hard to stay in without constantly watching your step, and almost impossible to get out of. One person shifts and all of a sudden you’re being forced to jump a foot in the air in sync with the ten people encircling you. For all the effort you put into moving through the crowd, the only way you’ll get anywhere is by being body-slammed straight into an STA kid who puts you in a headlock without even realizing it. You might have gone in by choice, but the mosh pit chooses when to let you leave – if ever.
Pro: As the fall chill sets in, you will definitely not be cold.
Sparks fly as you bump into every other person within a 10-foot radius. It can seem a miracle of nature that small fires are not set off each time skin brushes against skin. Combustion level? Perhaps we’ll reach it with the next one.
Con: Germs are, in fact, shared.
You may call this common sense because of the millions of health bulletins we’ve seen over the past year, but a bunch of people pressed together in one space shares more than just body heat. Try not to think about exactly how much you’re trusting your immune system to throw off any and all foreign molecules that made their way into your body when you took a dip in someone else’s sweat. If herd immunity is a thing, however, mosh pits will surely help us get there.
Pro: The only alternative is standing on the side throwing shade on the people moshing while secretly wishing you were one of them.
Don’t be one of those people. They’re always there, just hovering around the side of the dance floor while sort of bobbing their heads up and down off-tune to the beat. They’re the ones who look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them that’s it, you’re just going to have to drag them in. But it’s just a disguise – they’re also the ones who form circles during the Cotton Eye Joe and nearly take someone’s eye out despite there being minimal arm movement required for that particular dance. Risks must be taken, even if the consequences are losing a toe to the end of a girl’s heel.
Con: Maybe you choose life.
That which does not kill you makes you stronger–and yes, this applies to the numerous injuries you are bound to receive over the course of a half-hour in the mosh pit. Bruises, sore muscles, stab wounds you’ll wake up the next day wondering where all those came from, but they’re a natural part of the experience and the sooner you accept it, the happier you’ll be. Yes, mosh pits should come with waivers like the ones they make us sign for every single other school function. But the possibility of a life-threatening experience is just part of the adventure.