Xanadu is Jerusalem

Consider yourself warned. This is a flippant entry connecting thoughts floating around in my head.

In 1980, having memorized every song from Grease, I was so excited to see Xanadu. It was an hour and half of thin plot, showcasing the costume changes of Olivia Newton John dressed like a Studio 54 Ziggy Stardust surrounded by kitchily costumed dancing choruses - and for some reason, my parents absolutely drew the line (taste? a sense of self-preservation? what exactly was their objection?! It sounds AWESOME).

At the time, I was in my "wear roller skates everywhere" phase (I would have killed for the sneakers with hidden wheels), and I understood that the movie was like Grease but on roller skates. Reading the IMDB plot synopsis, that is probably a good summary and also probably how it was pitched.

As a consolation, my dad got me the album. It was a giant fold-out double album set with neon pictures. I pored over liner notes, sang every song until it was written in my heart (and probably on my parents' poor eardrums).

The Greek muses incarnate themselves on Earth to inspire men to achieve. One of them, incarnated as a girl named Kira, encounters an artist named Sonny Malone. With the help of Danny McGuire, a man Kira had inspired forty years earlier, Sonny builds a huge disco roller rink.
— http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081777/

Although I did eventually see Xanadu later, as AWESOME as it is, no movie could ever live up to all the hopes and dreams my 8 year old heart poured into it.

Now what does this have to do with Jerusalem, you ask. And sadly, the answer is not Hasids on roller skates. Although that won't stop me from pausing to look on youtube because that would be awesomely awesome ..... And I'm back. No Hasids on roller skates although I did find a song by Steel Pulse about wearing roller skates. And sadly, no, they didn't seem to be performing in roller skates. Although I think it brings an interesting juxtaposition Rastas/Hasids, but that is another post.

Tangent aside, what is the connection? For a couple thousand years, Jerusalem was Xanadu. Clearly not the Xanadu of Hasids on roller skates and Ziggy Stardust, rather it held a similar place in the hearts of Jews as Xanadu did for my 8 yr old self. The place Jews were denied, the place of song, wish fulfillment on a grand scale. If only we could return to Jerusalem, in the land of milk and honey, Jews would finally stop being pushed around and get to study all day.

Now of course, Israel has far more in common with Xanadu the movie than "Jerusalem," the place of longing (for proof, see the flash mob below). But it could never have lived up to the hype. No place is that good. Besides, chicks dancing in bikinis and dudes doing backflips to bad pop music is AWESOME.