No. 301: "Dancing Queen," by ABBA (1976)
This post is part of a countdown series on songs that have stuck in my head and are part of my iTunes "hit parade" of most-played tracks. See all the posts here.
Would you like a year's worth of blog posts on '70s disco hits? Sorry, "Dancing Queen" is important to me, but it's not much more representative of my taste than "Jessica" is.
So the hunt for a blog gimmick goes on. And here's one that Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project beat me to. That blog is by a guy planning to watch the film Julie & Julia every single day for a year, each time finding something new to snark about:
Naturally, since Julie & Julia is a food movie, its characters tend to spend a lot of time chewing. So today, I tried to count every instance of chewing...
The film Julie & Julia was based on the book that was based on Julie Powell's blog about making every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of one year. (That blog is no longer accessible online.)
Powell's multimedia success has a lot of us trying to think of ideas for blogs with similar hooks. Having a fixed end point seems like a great way to impose discipline and structure on what can be a sloppy, aimless medium. More cynically, it's a way to keep to readers who might otherwise get bored and wander off. (The TV series Lost similarly kept people interested by announcing the date of its demise a few years before the fact.) Maybe readers are curious to know if the blogger will meet his goal; maybe they just want to know how the hell someone plans to get 365 blog posts out of watching the same movie over and over. Either way, the blog gets visitors.
I've tried to come up with my own concept, but others are ahead of me. Watching a terrible movie every day for a year sounds like a natural, but Nathan Rabin has already done My Year of Flops. So how about My Year of Menu Typos? Or My Year of Finding and Eradicating Double Spaces? How about watching every episode of The Simpsons, or every film ever to win an Oscar for costume design, but doing so in reverse order? There's gotta be room for a Benjamin Button Pop Culture Blog.
A blogger called the Gay Groom has already considered one gimmick with superficial appeal: trying out everything listed in the how-to book The New Joy of Gay Sex. But there were complications:
[It] turned out that there were a number of things I just don’t want to do… like a big hunk under S (I suppose it’s rather like Julie Powell’s difficulty with having to cook Julia Child’s unappealing French aspics) and I’m surely not prepared to try Celibacy, Promiscuity or Suicide.
Nor am I.
Getting back to music, I'm not sure there's a New Joy entry on shirtless dancing in public, but I would qualify for that one partly because of "Dancing Queen." In the early '90s, Boston's Gay Pride Day ended with a huge dance party in City Hall. Yes, in the multi-story lobby of Boston City Hall, one of the most-hated (and also much-loved) buildings in American architecture. It was actually a great place for a dance party, thanks to the disorienting layout that doesn't work so well if you're trying to pay a parking ticket.
As far as I know, there hasn't been a Gay Pride dance at City Hall for many years (though there have been gay proms there). There are smaller parties throughout Boston for Pride Day, but nothing as inclusive (or "civic-minded"?) as the City Hall shindig. So I have to play "Dancing Queen" to remember the moment. Then I go off to meet friends at a cocktail bar where we probably won't run into anyone else we know.