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Disco -- Shamanistic Vehicle of Space-Time Travel


Camille Paglia is back at Salon with her unique — and very, very deep — analysis of Madonna’s new CD “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” Some highlights:

The gushing reviews…applauded the CD for achieving Madonna’s purported aim of making people dance. My blood boiled at this insulting reduction of dance music to gymnastics — mere recreational aerobics. I for one do not dance to dance music; disco for me is a lofty metaphysical mode that induces contemplation…Disco at its best is a neurological event, a shamanistic vehicle of space-time travel.

Madonna intuitively understood the deep dynamics of disco — its implacable grandeur, its liquid pulses and skittering polyrhythms, its flamboyant emotionalism… {In 1991] I described disco as “a dark, grand Dionysian music with roots in African earth-cult” — a defense that seemed bizarre because disco had yet to achieve academic legitimacy (which arrived in the ’90s as more writers embraced popular gay history).

And finally, the kind of cocktail talk you probably won’t hear at the next NR gathering:

At a recent party in New York celebrating Salon’s 10th anniversary, the formidable Cintra Wilson said mordantly to me (I scribbled all this down on a cocktail napkin at the bar), “Madonna is the Robo-Celebrity, calcified with discipline — religiously saintly, physically superhuman, in all ways faultless. She represents the unspoken desires of America — to be good at everything!”


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