(Alex Needham’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/11.)
“Gird your pussies,” advises Taylor Mac at the outset of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, an epic work which unprecedentedly encompasses poetry, puppetry, cabaret, comedy, burlesque, immersive theatre, a reading from James Joyce’s Ulysses and performance art. It’s the day after the Washington Post publishes a video of Donald Trump bragging that his fame enables him to sexually abuse women, a vision of masculinity so revolting it makes male heterosexuality seem like a thought disorder.
Clearly, we have never been in more need of Mac’s “radical faerie realness ritual” which, in 246 songs and 24 hours, will replace the sick, straight America we know and loathe with a deeply queer one in which outcasts and outsiders are recognized and venerated as visionaries responsible for creating the country’s culture. Well, those parts of it worth bothering with: after all, Mac says, “the only cultural things conservatives have created are the Die Hard movies and God”.