Taking Songs Too Seriously: Cabaret

You know the song Cabaret from Cabaret?  I just got it stuck in my head because I came across a blog called And By That I Mean Vagina with the subtitle "because life is not a cabaret."

Now my brain is immediately rebutting the song. Let's go through it together, shall we?

"What good is sitting alone in your room?"

Listen, Liza, the introverts have risen, and because they spend so much time alone in their rooms, they have time to make and post and repost gifs describing their desire to not be among other people.


I am, admittedly, a complete extrovert. But I am also an extrovert who is completely overwhelmed by her scheduled life and is desperately seeking ways to sit alone in my room. Why? Because it is good. What good is it? Let me tell you!

Sitting alone in my room allows for...
  • Time to think and be reflective
  • Time to write
  • Time to read
  • Time to actually clean my home so that I have dishes and clothes and don't catch diseases from my bathroom counter
  • Time to cook food so that I can eat and not die
  • Time to make the other random things that pop into my head that I never have time to make
  • Time to meditate and pray and be spiritual and stuff
  • Time to watch all the movies on Netflix
  • Time to exercise in my living room
  • Time to do yoga
  • Time to write encouraging cards to send to friends
Basically, the answer to your question, dear Liza, is TIME. Time to do anything that is not being out, which leads to the next line:

"Come hear the music play."

Meh. I can listen to music play anywhere.

 Maybe I'm getting old and crusty but I find that the only benefit of going to see people play music live is paying extra money to stand in a crowd, crane my neck around the one person who's taller than me that managed to stand right in front of me, have tired feet, wait for hours before the band actually comes out even though they advertised that they were starting at 9pm, hold my coat for hours because coat check is $5 and that is ridiculous, and buy an overpriced beer because I need something to do to pass the time while I wait for the band to come out, and I sure as heck can't talk to the friend I came with because it's so darn loud in there.

"Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret."

Okay, so I won't get hung up on the fact that life is literally not a cabaret, because I get what a metaphor is, but what does this even mean as a metaphor?  That life is a place where you watch people perform for you?  I guess you can look at life that way, but I'd rather think of it as a place where I participate in things, just a bit.

"Put down the knitting, the book, and the broom."

But I literally just picked up this book 30 seconds ago!  Don't make me put it back down!  I want the book!

Also, I have a cat, so if I don't sweep my floor every couple of days we get into a bad situation.  (Truth be told, I have a roomba specifically because I have a cat and hate sweeping my floor, so sure, I'll put down the broom and then pick everything up off the floor so that I can let a robot vacuum for me while I'm at work.)

"Time for a holiday."

I love holidays, but reading is a holiday for me!  Don't impose your noisy, late-night, crowded, slightly misogynistic holiday on me, Liza!

"Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret."

Again, not my metaphor of choice to describe life.

"Come taste the wine."

Well, okay, I won't say no to a glass.

"Come hear the band."

Again with the bands!  How many hours before they actually come on stage?

"Come blow your horn, start celebrating; right this way, your table's waiting."

I'm all for a celebration, and if you have a table for me, that's not so bad.

I'm not going to go on through the entire song, but she goes on to describe her prostitute roommate who died young but her corpse looked happy, and says that when she dies, she wants to die just like her roomie. How is that, exactly? Young? Happy?

Now, I'm not going to get into the whole question of whether some young women do voluntarily go into sex work and enjoy it - some say they do, and I think we can give them the respect to believe them - but most sex workers aren't all that happy about it. And I get the whole "I can't imagine getting old so I'll die young", but that's also not really something to aspire towards.

You know who else dies happy?  Other people who didn't go out partying every night and learned how to appreciate themselves for who they are instead of with constantly distracting themselves from reality.

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