COLUMN EIGHTY-THREE, JANUARY 15, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
WHY DISCO STILL SUCKS: THE 'DOPEY' AMERICANS, 1975 " 1985
is for people who can't handle drugs."
--Ladd Henderson, 1976
TN---Here's what happened, really. Was a time when there were just a few
freelove dopers, really, but nonetheless The Conspiracy---"they"---decided
to get the ones that there were. So they put a lot of money behind the effort,
hired some guys to chase and catch the dopers, which the guys of course started
seriously doing. This was about 1970.
simultaneous time of Jungian mass boredom. I don't mean ennui, to which all
jaded intellectual types are prone, but sheer, unmitigated bovine boredom, to
which our less flighty but far more numerous fellow citizens can sometimes fall
prey. Such was the MO00oed of the people that they would believe anything they
saw on TV. Such that this is the time when the precursors to "Cops"
and stuff, that is, the Steadicam live action on-tape six o?clock News comes
into the historical portrait. About 1972.
geologically speaking, there began to appear on the nightly local news shows all
across the land news stories about the "busting" (that was the term
for arrest) of these alleged dopers, and how pernicious and epidemic it all was,
and the people watching the news and watching the drama shows, which had picked
up on it quick, maybe because they were into it earlier, started thinking, well,
shit, if everybody's doing it, what the hell.
And so, inured,
they started doing it, too. 1974. Suddenly there really was an epidemic. Demand
was high, and, like magic or why...a capitalistic marketplace, so became
production and supply. Suddenly South America had a Product. The war on drugs
became THE WAR ON DRUGS. More cops. More criminals...More laws. More prisons.
"coke whore" came into being.
The fall of so
many Americans into the grip of dope during that period of time caused a few
rents in the warp and woof of American cultural fabric that are still with us
today. I think it would be safe to say that, at least among single people of a
certain post-high-school age at that time, there were more people who did dope
than who did not. And most of 'em fell into the large area of the intellectual
had dope (and now we're talking cocaine, of course) not developed the cachet of
hipness, the bouquet-attitude of a fine wine ("it's pure pink
Instead we had alla these moocows watching ABC, CBS, NBC...and getting curious. We wouldn't have the problems we got today, and I don't just mean socially with the prisons and the
country musician sees it
alla that. I mean we have suffered mightily not from dope itself but from our
thoughtless, Puritanical responses to it in the past. Those responses created
the Drug Problem. Not dopers.
One of the
things we, as a culture, suffered because of this dope horseshit that our
kneejerk official responses brought down on us, is, we finally arrive, you say:
Disco is a
music form that is inseparably intertwined with this period of time. And Disco
was entwined with the mass drug culture, especially cocaine and quaaludes,
several top Disco labels running on the profits of massive coke deals, and the
drug was passed around as a party favor at all labels of the time. It being
prevalent in the realtime, how could it not in the time recorded?
Disco spawned a
lotta coarse deviations. The eagerness of, apparently, a lot of American women
to become better sex objects is one of them if we can judge by the popularity of
Cosmopolitan Magazine and its competitors, or by the increasing randiness
of even formerly sedate publications such as Good Housekeeping. This
phenom occurred by means of co-opting the Free Love movement that was somewhat
prevalent among the hipsters. Instead, Free Love became
Disco was the
theme music of these co-options and these corruptions. The friendly dealer
became the user dude who owed fifty large and was blown away to set an example.
The cops became corrupted. Many people died. Or worse, didn't.
many people escaped. Earlier learned values came to the fore, perhaps.
But, as in the Cosmo
example above, the ripples of this particular case of bad management in our
approach to the drug problem continue to spread, to strike islands in our
cultural ocean, and be reflected in myriad undetectable and
And so...Disco Still Sucks. ##
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