Monday, October 20, 2008

A Fate Worse Than Death?

OK, suppose you have a heart attack. And the paramedics arrive and start doing CPR -- chest compressions to keep the brain perfused with oxygenated blood. They have to be done regularly, about 100 times per minute. So, how might you give a paramedic a rhythm to follow, to keep them on time? Well, one obvious way would be music; preferably something with a good strong beat. In fact, specifically (and ironically): the 1977 Bee Gees' hit Stayin' Alive.

Frankly, if I come to in the ambulance and the first thing I hear is Disco, my first thought will be that I died and went to Hell.

1 comment:

bPer said...

I agree with you, EK, except about the Hell part. If I woke up in the ambulance hearing disco, I'd figure I'd been transported to one of those evil parallel universes. And if the EMTs all had goatees, whoa!

I've always hated disco. I like to quote Bob Seger on the topic: "Don't take me to a disco | You'll never even get me out on the floor | In ten minutes I'll be late for the door | I like that old-time rock 'n roll".

It wasn't just the crass commercialism of disco, or the boring, uncreative repetitiveness of it that I hated; it was what it did to my friends that I hated. Disco promoted attitudes of ultra-conformity, superficiality and glitzy excess. Normal, rational, thinking people became despicable robots when the disco started. I refused to follow along, so I (and others like me) became outsiders.

I can't help but think that some of the attitudes of disco stuck with those who participated. I've always wondered if it contributed to the the excesses of the '80s. Are echoes of it still visible in the anti-intellectual conformism of our generation today? I don't know.