A supergroup of the 1980s, only recently recognized by the cognoscenti as being the harbinger of vast and lasting cultural change, Duran Duran has come to be synonymous with fanatic, dedicated political activism1 and high romantic poetry,2 mostly due to recent academic reinterpretation of their lyrics. Although Duran Duran are often confused with other bands of the 1980s, such as their contemporary Wham!,3 it is generally agreed that the band deserves the iconic status normally reserved for such figures as Nixon and Jesus.
Scholars of Duran Duran4 argue that the band almost single-handedly engineered the current resurgence of interest in traditional rituals of love and marriage. With such poignant work as "Girls on Film," frontman Simon Le Bon brought his devoted cadre of followers5 to new realizations6 about traditional family values.7
In the deeply troubled 1990s, departments of Duran Duran Studies began to spring up at major universities all around the world, giving new relevance to academics who were struggling desperately for a sense of purpose, given the decline in interest in useless disciplines like chemistry and philosophy. This charge was led by the redoubtable Theresa Tusk,8 whose elegiacal use of the high poetry of Duran Duran to heal the wounds in war-torn Colombia9 earned her the Nobel Prize in 1996.
1. As well as with the epic 1968 tits-and-spaceships flick Barbarella, in which Duran Duran is the mad scientist determined to destroy the universe by giving it a colossal orgasm. (Jane: "I'm here on the orders of the president of the Republic of Earth. I'm here to find Duran Duran.")
2. E.g., "I knew when I first saw you on the showroom floor/You were meant for me."
3. Whose elaborately stubbled frontman George Michael (n饠Georgios Kyracos Panayiotou) failed to shock the world with his 1998 arrest for "lewd acts" (see also "Herman, Emulation of Pee-Wee").
4. Not to be confused with "Duranies," who are simple fans of the group and fail to grasp the subtly complex nuances of their lyrics. While Duranies attend lowbrow events such as the annual DuranCon, academic specialists in Duranduranology are more likely to be found in cultural studies departments at high-end universities, publishing papers like the seminal "Hungry Like the Wolf: Dialectical Existentialism and the Revolutionary Proto-Semiotics of Duran Duran."
5. Known as "Simonites."
6. "Wider, baby, smile and you've just made a million/Fuses pumping live heat twisting out on a wire."
7. C.f. this chivalrous lyric from the cleverly titled "Be My Icon": "I love you so much I keep your cigarette butts." See also "Eschaton, Immanence of."
8. See also "Anagrams, Fun with."
9. Instrumental in this project was the now-immortal line from the epic "Meet El Presidente": "Ooh, ooh/When the chamber's empty/She said, "Ooh, ooh"/Meet El Presidente."
Kate Shuster, Contrib.