Lately, it seems my mind is set on ‘shuffle.’ Which would be fine, if it were like iTunes and all the ‘tracks’ playing in my head were actually favorites. But no, my current playlist consists of:
“(I’m Too Old) To Find A Job”
“My Hip Hurts”
and, for some inexplicable reason,
“Boogie Oogie Oogie”
I realize only that last one is a real song, and that’s too bad. Incidentally, “Boogie Oogie Oogie” represents one of the three lowest points in Grammy Award history
1. (1979)—A Taste of Honey (of ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ fame) is awarded the Best New Artist Grammy—also nominated that year? Elvis Costello.
2. (1989)—Jethro Tull is given the award for ‘Best Heavy Metal Album,’ because nothing represents pure Satanic evil and teen rage like a forty-two year old guy standing on one foot playing the freaking flute.
3. (2009)—Violating all the laws of God and man, the Jonas Brothers are allowed to perform with Stevie Wonder.
I thought of all this because I don’t just wake up with a song in my head—no, I’m so ADD I get entire setlists stuck in my head, and this morning I woke up thinking of all the songs I could remember with the word ‘boogie’ in the title (in case you’re curious: ‘Boogie Shoes,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Boogie Fever,’ ‘Boogie Wonderland,’ ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman,’ ‘Jungle Boogie’ and ‘Blame It On The Boogie.’
Now I understand that these aren’t the deepest musical sentiments ever expressed, and it has been a few years since I put on my ‘my my my my MY boogie shoes,’ but I think these records actually point to something profound (WARNING! CRACKPOT THEORY AHEAD).
Follow my logic here. All of the above boogie-centric songs charted between 1974 and 1979, and though my late teen years had their share of global issues and hotspots, I don’t remember ever, for instance, worrying about a worldwide economic collapse or crypto-Islamic terrorists. You wanna know what I remember from the news in the seventies? Lines at gas stations were long.
My point is, there have always been bad scary things in the world, but now fear is an inextricable part of the cultural fabric, and I believe this may be because nobody is writing songs about the boogie anymore. Or boogieing (sp?), or other boogie related behavior.
All I’m saying is that when disco was a part of the musical landscape, we weren’t involved in two wars. Coincidence??? I’ll even go so far as to say that disco was a great cultural equalizer, because almost everyone looked stupid dancing to it.
There was a popular t-shirt when I was in college that said “Fuck art–let’s dance.” I’d like to expand that sentiment to “Fuck politics—let’s dance.” Because when I read about a Christine O’Donnell, or a Glenn Beck, sometimes I think maybe they just need a little boogie in their sad, tightly-wound, attention-starved lives.
So much of what passes for discourse and debate today is just anger dressed up in a suit. Maybe if the Tea Partiers would swap their Revolutionary War garb for a white polyester outfit and just dance a little–blow off some steam–maybe after that, both sides could get together and talk about the issues like adults.