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    Mama used to tell me / Girl, you better load your gun up right

    Camille has a site–does everyone else already know about this?–to go with her new book. Included are several pages of “Camille’s World,” which is centered around top-ten lists, of which my…uh…favorite, is the following:

    LIST #2: The World’s Top 10 Disco Classics

    1. Irene Cara, “Flashdance” (Giorgio Moroder)
    2. Donna Summer, “Rumour Has It” (Giorgio Moroder)
    3. Jackie Moore, “This Time, Baby”
    4. Sylvester, “Stars”
    5. Lime, “Angel Eyes”
    6. Machine, “There But For the Grace of God”
    7. Evelyn Champagne King, “Shame”
    8. Pamela Stanley, “Coming Out of Hiding”
    9. Gloria Estefan’s cover of Vickie Sue Robinson’s “Turn the Beat Around”
    10. Madonna, “Deeper and Deeper”

    To which my reaction is: Okay, honey, whatever you say.

    Or on second thought, you know what? Not. NOT whatever you say.

    I mean, “Flashdance”? “Flashdance“?! For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I get the impression that Camille was thinking more of Jennifer Beals’s wet hair, pastel hardhat, and leotarded ass than of, you know, the song itself.

    Wait! I can put my finger on the reason: the song is crap. Not crap that deserves to be expelled from civilization–I’m kind of fond of “Flashdance” myself. But please. Camille identifies disco with African earth cult and dark sexual ambiguity. Listen to “Flashdance” and tell me you find anything whatever dark or ambiguous. Jeez. “A Fifth of Beethoven” has more sexual menace. From Donna’s oeuvre alone, I would pick about 12 different songs over “Flashdance.”

    Speaking of Donna, “Rumour Has It,” full stop? Eh? Better than “Love to Love You Baby,” certainly. Better than “She Works Hard for the Money,” which I’ve never warmed to. But, like, better than “I Feel Love”? “Dim All the Lights”? “Love’s Unkind”? Come on.

    And before anyone points out that I was born in 1972–yeah, I know. But I’m a gay guy; it says right on the ID card that you get to have imperious opinions about disco. I mean, I thought Paglia was pushing it by trying elevate Joni Mitchell to Great Modern Poet status. I should’ve known you can never underestimate her ability to top herself for sheer excess.

    “Flashdance”!

    2 Responses to “Mama used to tell me / Girl, you better load your gun up right”

    1. Night fever in MacArthur Park

      Sean Kinsell comments on my comment on his post on disco. Did you follow that? Me either. But then, I…

    2. Those were the days

      On Disco: Whenever any of my allegedly liberal music-nerd friends tell me how much they hate disco, I always like to ask, mischievously, “So are you a racist, a homophobe, or both?” Because to wholly dismiss disco as a genre…

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