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Americans upset by viral Single Ladies video don’t know their ass from TandA

Screengrab from Yak Films World of Dance videoYou thought ours was an oversexed culture obsessed with youth, but the recent furor over a viral video shows Americans don’t know their ass from their T & A.
 
Obviously everyone is aghast about too-young dancers gyrating to Beyonce’s SINGLE LADIES, but I think it says something hilarious about our ineptitude with sexuality. Like the mess of clueless philistines weighing in, I too am inexpert at what titillates about 7-year-olds, and it’s not going to stop me either.

Can we agree the Beyonce hit is lewd? I’m guessing her video was unremarkable, I recall the SNL spoof was camp, but what are Beyonce’s lyrics except deliberately crass? You expect a performance of “Single Ladies” to transcend its theme? You’re going to be offended regardless who is lip-syncing it.

Putting aside whether your daughter belongs onstage participating, where have you been? This is dance. Call it Vulgar Nouveaux or Burlesque Outré, it dates to Madonna’s mother’s virginity. This is dance, all you Kansans, onstage and on screen. Flashdance had nothing on Broadway, American Gigolo hid the sex behind clothes. Beside the point. Young dancers aspiring to tomorrow’s auditions want to learn what their role models are teaching. Children today love Spongebob, but they’re watching South Park and Family Guy too. The only uncomfortable party in the room is you.

I recently attended an elementary school talent show that included some dance-schooled troopers. Some of their precocious moves were admittedly out of place and some even off-putting, but it didn’t stop parents from appreciating the talent and obvious dedicated effort. Our little tarts didn’t come close, by the way, to the spirited Single Ladies performance, clearly well choreographed, taught, and executed.

Was outraged America also so unsophisticated to notice that the now infamous video was a multiple camera production? This wasn’t a family recording leaked by an indignant relative. It was a World of Dance competition where no one watching showed any shock at the performance. While I confess I’m still offended by the Jon-Benet pageant aesthetic, these costumes and the next Britney backup dancers did not surprise.

What entertained me most were the comments threading from the now multiple postings of the video. The original post accumulated over two million views and had to be removed for reasons that are self-explanatory apparently. On account of poorly-spelled death threats, I imagine. Eventually you’ll find observations defending the performance, but for the overwhelming part, everyone wants to weigh their indignation against the next, accuse the dancers’ parents of child abuse and round up a posse to chase the pedophiles they’re sure are lurking.

What I find endearing about their best Sunday earnestness is that these commenters wouldn’t know a stripper’s pole from where they get their haircut. Even as internet porn is so pervasive, and we worry it has saturated our psyche, it turns out the prurient pretenders– as hypocritical we know, as Republican congressmen– know as much about erotica as a prudes.

Even more entertaining is a certain tenor to their comments, part of a trend I’m horrified to recognize has been overtaking blogdom. It began I suppose when the personal computer extended the internet outside the lab. Emails used to abide a scientist’s protocol, then with the world-wide-web came spam. Blogs began with people who had something to say, and when comments deregulated to chat rooms, in came the freaks.

There’s a common tone to compulsive opinion-givers, I recognize it too often as I offer my own. It pervades the blogosphere now almost to have rendered discussion threads unreadable. It’s a tone of tone-deafness, in vocabulary, grammar and attitude. Related to a person not knowing what they’re talking about, the tell-tale ingredient is that they don’t care about the subject either. It’s a characteristic recognized in forced conversations and poor sales pitches, not always obvious when we’re regurgitating differences of opinion or ideology.

If I didn’t always before recognize the ignorance in the insincerity, this Tea Party tinctured pile-on has given me the scent.

The too-cursory indignation Middle America is showing about these 7-year-old dancers strikes a feeble, unfunny note. It’s the puritanical call for women of all ages to reduce themselves behind burqas, coming from voices self-loathing and unworldly.

2 thoughts on “Americans upset by viral Single Ladies video don’t know their ass from TandA

  1. It’s those colors they’re wearing, Eric! Red and Black? It’s lewd and perverse and way too communistic and anarchic for my taste in lingerie.

    Couldn’t they at least have worn the more traditional pink instead of that Frederick’s of Hollywood stuff? After all, they are only 7 y/o. I don’t want our American kids to be pole dancing down at the elementary school in sling bikinis!

  2. I’m sorry pilar but do you know what red or black mean as colors or why lingerie tends to be made on that colors?
    sincerely the choice of colors in this case suits wonderfully their great performance.
    there’s nothing lewd in neither red or black.

    the thing about those colors being too communistic and anarchic made me laugh so hard I almost peed. do you truly believe for a second that those girls are dressed in black and red for political reasons?

    by the way white lingerie is also extremely common (as common as red and black as a matter of fact) but white is the color of purity and innocence. probably the least possible lewd color (and one extremely common for childish clothes as I’m sure you know)

    finally one last thing. pole dancing is not lewd either. it only depends on the dance and the point of view of the viewer.

    just one single more thing before I end this post. congratulations Eric for writing the best article I have found about this video.

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