'I Will Survive': the ridiculous and the sublime | Bob Garfield

The paradox of popular culture is that it never loses the capacity to make the corniest of karaoke cliches achingly transcendent

For the first four months of the school, we were serenaded in our house about a dozen times every day with the 1978 disco standard "I Will Survive". This has been courtesy of our ten year-old, who may not have the life experience for an anthem of defiant independence, but definitely has the pipes.

She's not a Gloria Gaynor type, exactly – more like a midget Ethel Merman. A real belter, this kid. When she finally got to perform what she'd been rehearsing, at her grade-school variety show, 400 grownups reacted in the first half-dozen bars as if they'd been Tasered.

Then they started clapping in time with the beat. Wives gave husbands dirty looks. Third graders were doing that sassy-black-girl thing with their necks.

Old Dad had a tear in his eye,

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