The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Kelly Kazek

October 19, 2008

'YMCA' is inherently dangerous song



After introducing my daughter to the glories of cake left in the rain with the 1970s version of “MacArthur Park,” we had a discussion in the newsroom about favorite songs from our youth.

I learned there are times you should keep your past to yourself, lest you be labeled odd.

For instance, should you really ever tell people — even close friends or spouses — that you can still remember all the words to Michael Jackson’s “Ben?”

I recently found a recording of the song on YouTube (did you know you can find anything there, even rarely heard recordings like the theme song from the old children’s show “The Banana Splits” and Paris Hilton songs?)

I played “Ben” for Shannon, who’s 15:

“Ben, the two of us need look no more;

we both found what we were looking for…”

I said to her: “You’ll never guess who he’s singing about.”

From her more contemporary standpoint, Shannon guessed: “Some little kid?”

Hmmm.

But no, this was Michael Jackson of the 1970s — hip, cool and still black. He was singing, I told Shannon, about a…rat. “Ben” was the theme song for a horror film.

She shrugged.

I guess when you listen to songs about “lovely lady lumps,” an ode to a friendship with a rat doesn’t seem so odd.

My coworkers who are a tad younger have been caught rolling their eyes at ’70s music, as if those Black-Eyed Butter Bean people are so-o-o-o much better. So when I had the opportunity to take one of our young reporters I’ll call Jennifer Hill — mainly because that’s her name — on a road trip to an Alabama Press Association convention, I gathered all my CDs from the ’70s.

On the trip with me were 20-something Jennifer, Shannon and one of her teen friends.

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Kelly Kazek
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  • kazek, kelly.jpg Today's interactive column: What's your Bacon Number?

    Google has created a search engine that automatically calculates any actor’s “Bacon Number,” meaning how many connections it takes to link him or her to Kevin Bacon, á la the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

    September 16, 2012 1 Photo

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    Kelly Kazek was born in Warner Robins, Ga., in whichever year adds up to her being 35.

    November 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Warning: Get ready for the apawcalypse

    Humans are being cat-washed — and I don’t mean by little sandpapery tongues.

    September 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg A wish for peace, perfect parking space

    August 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg What? Like you’ve never glued a foot to the floor

    ... I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. I like men, especially Channing Tatum, and I don’t even care if he’s smart. So today, in the interest of fairness, I want to give equal space to Stupid Girl Tricks.

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Fall of the South? Much ado about Honey Boo Boo

    It’s been 80 years since those living in the Great Depression focused on Shirley Temple to lift them from doldrums. In 2012, in the midst of the Great Recession ... Americans have a new bubbly, curly-headed icon to take their minds off their woes: Honey Boo Boo Child.

    August 12, 2012 3 Photos

  • kazek, kelly.jpg ‘Man aisle?’ What about a single mom aisle?

    I like to tell my peeps I don’t think all men are stupid. Just the ones who practically beg me to write about them like William Bonner of Augusta, Ga., who last week poured a shot of Bacardi 151 on his head and asked a friend to light it

    August 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • A girls’ guide to safe thong-wearing

    Yes, a pair of panties, which in my experience have always been non-violent, has joined the list of items mamas must warn children about: “You are not old enough for your own thong. You could put your eye out.”

    July 29, 2012

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Solutions for 'toe-besity,' bad mug shots

    I personally never worry about slimming down an area I can hide with a nice pair of Easy Spirits and instead concentrate on fat in places that could lead people to think I am pregnant … or a beached manatee … or a pregnant beached manatee.

    July 28, 2012 3 Photos

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