Sooner or later, they’ll get around to something you DO care about.
Meh—as a diehard disco-hatin’ rock and roller all my life, I thought so a long time ago. But maybe that’s just me.
Discerning cancellation connoisseurs so far have overlooked one of the most problematic boy bands of the 20th century — and it’s time to change that. The American disco group the Village People features a cast of empenised individuals donning costumes that glorify toxically masculine tropes of the time: a police officer, a cowboy, a construction worker, a sailor, a biker and, bizarrely, a Native American (more on that later).
This mono-gendered depiction of the local proletariat is laughably outdated. While some might say the only thing lesbians are actually good at is running nonprofits, today we know that Sappho’s daughters are just as good as men, probably better, at chasing down perps, roping steer and erecting skyscrapers. But let’s look at the music. Have you ever actually listened to the group’s 1979 hit ‘In the Navy’? On that track, it’s one of the band’s black members who shouts repeatedly, ‘I’m afraid of water!’
That raised my eyebrows. A constantly repeated racist stereotype is that black people can’t swim. The slur conjures up painful memories of the racial history of American swimming pools and that heated debate among the wokerati as to whether water itself is, in fact, racist.
Forget the fact that the music video was made with the help of the US Navy. The Village People, despite cashing in on military trappings, have remained silent on the struggle for trans people to serve openly in the military.
Silence is violence. And the name of the group itself is violence against trans womxn of color. Manhattan’s Greenwich Village today is emblematic of cis-het gentrification and a painful reminder of white real-estate terrorism. Take a stroll down Christopher Street on any given Friday night and see for yourself: trans womxn of color banished to basement stairwells and parked cars to perform sex acts for money in the shadows rather than high on a pedestal wearing golden knee pads.
Moreover, what does the ‘C’ stand for in the Village People’s number one hit song ‘Y.M.C.A.’? That’s right, Christian.
Today’s Alphabeteer is blessed with more enlightened sheroes and none involves cisgender men sporting getups that look like something from a plastic bag in the Halloween aisle at Ricky’s. While today’s paragons of LGBTQQAI2S++ liberation still play dress up, it’s usually as large, hairy women and we broadcast them in benevolently corporate media and in ads for Uber Eats.
The uniforms of true LGBTQQAI2S++ warriors aren’t fitted and pressed but more neon and bedraggled, like some highly poisonous, jungle-dwelling amphibian broadcasting to any creature in sight, touch me and die! The struggle for rights has moved well beyond an insular celebration of one’s own community to shock, revolt and intimidate all the others.
If the Village People wish to make a comeback in the age of woke, and pay penance to all the gender non-conforming children they’ve irreparably damaged, they’ll need a radical overhaul. Let’s rename them while we’re at it: the Global Village People. First to go are those caricatures of working class, Trumpian barbarism, to be replaced with more revolutionary-minded archetypes. Imagine the curtain rising on a packed Las Vegas stadium to reveal a college professor, a clipboard-toting community organizer, an app developer, the world’s fattest man, a Syrian war refugee, and Greta Thunberg — belting their new hit songs, ‘Trans in the Navy,’ ‘Go East,’ and everyone’s favorite open-borders ballad, ‘D.A.C.A.’
If that doesn’t sweep the Grammy’s, you’re all a bunch of bigots.
Well, of COURSE we are. The trick is to embrace their every insult and epithet, wear it with utmost pride, and then dare the shitlibs to do something about that. The moment you show even the slightest sign that you might possibly care even a little bit what they think about anything, you lose.