It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swag
by Nancy LaPierre
The online Top Ten list at the-top-tens.com begins like an assortment of 2000’s-decade Billboard artist nominees: ‘Michael Jackson’. . ., ‘Jennifer Lopez’. . ., ‘Chris Brown’. . .,
‘Shakira’. . . .
An unexpected twist then occurs, making the list a potential roster for this year’s Big STAR Entertainment Awards – ‘Prabhu Deva’. . ., ‘Allu Arjun Arjun’. . ., ‘Hrithik Roshen’. . . .
Scrolling down, it gets stranger still, for in the Number 9 slot is (drum roll, please) ————— Fred Astaire?
It’s a weird but pleasant surprise to find our namesake on this quirky, seemingly-random list, honored as one of the Top Ten Best Dancers of All Time!
It feels like nothing proves the timelessness of Fred Astaire’s talent and appeal better than the appearance of his name here, the sole ‘old-timer’ among some of today’s most popular, youthful, and well-known artists reflecting an eclectic mix of styles, backgrounds and nationalities.
Of course, No. 9 isn’t the place I and TMOTC (uh, that’s Too Many Others To Count) would assign Fred Astaire. For example, check out this list by the highly reputable Observer. But ‘nuff said. He’s there.
How fabulous that Fred Astaire is recognized as ‘a big name in lights’ to today’s youth, as drawn as they may be to alternative choices that they may perceive to exist, as well as the inevitable differences between generations that result from the sheer passage of time. Think, for a moment, of everything that has happened between the introduction of the ‘talkies’ and the unveiling of the I-Phone. Folks – we’re talking more than a hundred years!
The man who was ‘the bee’s knees’ to World War One’s Lost Generation would, in today’s lingo, be credited with ‘swag:’ that’s swag capable of surmounting more than a century to live large in so many hearts, including those of the young group some people credit with ‘digital DNA’ that is collectively known as the Internet Generation.