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DISCO STILL SUCKS: THE "DOPEY" AMERICANS,
Nashville, TN, November
24, 2002 - - 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.
Was a 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.
And, suddenly, 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 shows 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. More dope.
The term "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 bell curve.
For instance, 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 Bolivian flake, man"), and especially the mystique of
the very rare and expensive, and therefore to Americans, desirable...if
coke had remained something that only some old doper in the neighborhood
and a couple of white boys who paid him visits for personal use,
knew about, it woulda stayed a trashy thing to do. 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 murders and 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
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
course 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 Free Sex...which turned out, with AIDS,
to be very costly indeed. Still, to this day, sex continues to be
confused with love. Or better anyway, artfully separated from it.
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. When I hear Disco I am immediately transported back
to those unfathomably black societal waters, those unbelievably
scary cultural times.
Fortunately, many people
escaped. Earlier learned values came to the fore, perhaps.
But, as in the Cosmo
example above, the ripples of the 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 unpredictable and unchartable ways.
And so...Disco Still Sucks