Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Need a Break After Thomas Browne
Time to rock out, Bourgeois Surrender-style.

Pat Boone of course is the Goldstein of popular music. Producing his image, either in audio or video form, though especially the latter, without fail sets off a two-minutes-of-hate style frenzy, the most vociferous haters usually being, if not exactly self-loathing, generic whiteness-loathing white people, which cursed existence they have themselves presumably and miraculously managed to avoid. The comments on this at the Youtube page are predictably over the top. "Just makes whites look so sad," "shocking lack of rhythm", "embarrassment to the whole Caucasian race", "White people have no rhythm...Why is this?" I get that it is funny and at the time there was the insult that real artists were being relegated to obscurity and denied credit by the likes of this guy and Lawrence Welk and so on, but methinks there are a lot of things that make white people look sadder than this issue many of us have with the more sensual kind of modern rhythms and expression. I'm not any big fan of Pat Boone, but at least he took care of himself and dressed well, and while his delivery was a little stiff he could carry a tune decently compared to most people one hears today. If one has to hang out with uncool white people--and some of us haven't got much choice--I'd much rather take the hopelessly whitebread but well-groomed and willing to dance and generally feign enthusiasm for something 50s crowd than The People of Wal-Mart, which is increasingly what is left to us now.

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