Thriller! Pop Culture 2.0

I recently went to a party playing (almost) exclusively Madonna and Michael Jackson songs. We were not sure what to expect. An empty dance floor? A crowded club? A few hours before the party, we checked the Facebook event. Chantal was excited about the upcoming evening and posted a picture of her outfit for the night.

We arrived an hour after the party started. A few people at the bar, a few people on the dance floor. Two female DJs played songs only hardcore fans would know. Chantal was one of the fans at the bar. When the next Michael Jackson song (I couldn’t tell) played, Chantal, wearing a Madonna shirt, and her friends Jacqueline and Suzanne screamed something that sounded like ‘Mikaaaaa!’ (Our ears were bleeding just a little bit.)

After thirty, forty minutes, the club was crowded. Chantal and Jacky were dancing in front of the DJs. (Chantal and Jacky were very prominent figures this night; Suzanne was more of an introvert and often got lost in the shuffle.) The dancing crowd was a representative cross section of society: young and old, different (sub-)cultures, homo-, bi-, and heterosexual, all genders. A bold guy in his sixties, dancing alone, women in their forties and fifties, a big guy with a Madonna shirt (Sometimes I need to be alone and listen to Madonna.). Quite a few gay couples, two lesbians in lumberjack shirts (yes, I am serious, lumberjack shirts), two goth girls (with a lesbian vibe). Chantal and her friends were our favorites, but closely followed by another dancer: the Vampire Boy. With his shoulder-length hair, he looked like a younger version of Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire. Most of the time, he was wearing big, completely black glasses. He danced alone. Everyone danced as they wanted to–not necessarily regarding rhythm, current conventions, or other dancers’ possible opinions. Everyone seemed to have lots of fun.

I had my favorite moment of the night in the bathroom. A young woman complaining to another one that she should probably go home. Because:

I feel stupid. But I am not stupid!

The Bathroom Girl

The way she talked revealed her level of drunkenness. I remember these kinds of moments. And I was so glad that I don’t have them anymore. Well, usually, at least.

I love watching (and analyzing) people. Even if I am not officially doing fieldwork. That night, I learned a lot about the diversity of people these musicians reach. Most clubs and parties I go to have a quite homogeneous audience: same age range, same sexuality, mostly Caucasian people. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Madonna and Michael Jackson. But I love that, for one night, they brought all of us together. So: thank you all for a pomfortionous night!

Yet the biggest thanks goes to the most pomfortionous Pingu who brought me there, was the most fabulous dancer, and helped me remember. Without her memory I might have forgotten a few crucial details after the one or two (or so) glasses of wine I had.

Note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the dancers.

2 thoughts on “Thriller! Pop Culture 2.0

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