Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Favorite videos of the 80's, part 2

Because of the dwarf, naturally.

Actually, I had always heard that "The Safety Dance" was about anti-nuclear weapons proliferation, which I thought was puzzling unless it was part of a bomb-you-back-to-midieval-times conceit.  Turns out my puzzlement was well-placed, if you believe the song's entry on Wikipedia:

The writer/performer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s New Wave music in clubs when disco was dying and New Wave was up and coming. New Wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. To uninformed bystanders this could look dangerous, especially if pogoers accidentally bounced into one another (the more deliberately violent evolution of pogoing is slam dancing). The bouncers did not like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression. Other lyrics in the song include references to the way pogoing looked to bouncers, especially "And you can act real rude and totally removed/And I can act like an imbecile".

Doroschuk disagrees with two common interpretations of the song. Firstly, he notes it is not a call for safe sex. Doroschuk says that is reading too much into the lyrics. Secondly, he explained that it is not an anti-nuclear protest despite the nuclear imagery at the end of the video. Doroschuk says that he considers Men Without Hats "a punk band with one hit song" and that as such they were "anti-everything".
So there you go.  Anyway, bring on the midieval dwarf!

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