Girls Just Want to Have Fun

For some reason I had Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” in my head this afternoon, which is one of my favorite guilty pleasures from the ’80s. I have never seen the video, so I thought I would check it out. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIb6AZdTr-A&ob=av3e

It is well worth 4:26 of your time. For the most part, it is a solidly cheesy ’80s video (nothing wrong with that) which acts out what the song is about–a teenage girl being rebellious and driving her parents up a wall. I’m not sure why videos that are literal like this get such a bad rap (or, conversely, why those that try to pretend they have no relationship to the song itself often get praised as “artistic.” For instance, the video for Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” [which is one of the best songs of all time; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi_XLOBDo_Y&ob=av3n]: I just don’t get it. Or Duran Duran’s “Come Undone,” which involves mermaid bondage [seriously! check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICnlyNUt_0o&ob=av2n]). But two things stand out:

1. THE FATHER IN THE VIDEO IS PLAYED BY CAPTAIN LOU ALBANO!!! I try to stay away from all-caps, but WOW! Has there ever been a better music video cameo? (If you don’t know who Captain Lou Albano was, here is his wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Albano)

2. On a more serious note, I was impressed at how ethnically diverse the group of “girls” is in the video considering that it was filmed in 1983. Kudos to Lauper for being inclusive.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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