Monday, December 10, 2007
I was in middle school when Saturday Night Fever became a break out hit. It ignited a craze for dancing and music, made John Travolta a huge sensation, and holds a memorable place in history for me and lots of others. But an article than ran in my paper this weekend made me think about the movie differently.
Have you ever really thought about the movie's message? The article suggests that Saturday Night Fever is as relevant as ever and deems it a serous portrait of American life. Just like Tony Manero (a young working class ethnic) who was determined to dance himself out of a dead end job ( he worked at a paint store), so is most of America -- 30 years later. In the movie, disco dancing was Tony's escape from his bleak world. Today, we have American Idol, America's Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. We have TV bachelorettes and apprentices.
The article's author, Bruce Schulman, calls the movie -- a road map to income inequality, ethnic racial politics and the lure of celebrity. He says we should heed the lessons of the young man in polyester.
I look around my community and I see those same concerns. We're a community of low-wage workers in dead-end jobs who struggle to be middle class. And while our melting pot of residents try to balance work and life, pay health care costs and rising gas prices, they too dream of a big break. But the reality is, like Tony, we're all just working on Stayin Alive.