Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who Said Disco is Dead?

Christopher Bader collapsed while walking in the woods with his wife, Debra. Debra saved his life. How? The CNN headline tells the story:

Disco tune saves man's life

I had assumed from the headline that the tune itself had done the life saving. Not so. But it still is pretty remarkable:
"I looked at him and said, 'He's dead,' because he wasn't moving or making any sounds at all," Bader remembers. "But I pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and called 911, and then a public service announcement I'd heard on the radio popped into my head."

The one-minute PSA from the American Heart Association instructed listeners, in the event of cardiac arrest, to perform chest compressions very hard to the beat of the 1970s Bee Gees song "Staying Alive." When someone suffers cardiac arrest, as pop singer Michael Jackson did last week, the heart stops functioning completely, and brain death begins within four to six minutes if the victim doesn't receive help.

"I sang the song and gave directions to the EMTs at the same time. It was like, 'Stayin' alive, stayin' alive -- take a right here, take a left here -- Stayin' alive, stayin' alive -- take this path down here -- Stayin' alive, stayin' alive,' " Bader remembers.
So the song "Staying Alive" actually helps people stay alive. That's incredible. Is this something that disco music can do? Can listening to disco music work like the cryogenic freezing period for criminals in "Demolition Man," where at the end of it you just have all these new skills you didn't know about?

Was Anita Ward's hit simply instructions to farm owners who needed to call their family for meal time? Has Bear Grylls just listened to more Gloria Gaynor than the rest of us? And how have the Village People not caused "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to topple?

But disco is dead in America and we no longer gain valuable life living and life saving skills from pop music. No wonder our life expectancy is so much lower than Europeans.



    Had to be said.

  2. Do we think that's the "PSA" that she saw?

  3. If songs start facilitating in action what their lyrics are about, what's next?

    - "Shot Through the Heart" causes cardiac arrest

    - "Hit Me Baby One More Time" increases domestic violence

    - bring a GPS when you listen to "Lose Yourself"