Things that are wrong with the world part 27


For the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing buzz about “The Harlem Shake”. Particularly on twitter but I’ve even got a few emails about it from people asking me my thoughts on it. Even though I am a professional unlicensed sociologist who has a hunger to know all things, for some reason, I chose to just ignore whatever was going on with this “Harlem Shake” thing cause, well, I honestly couldn’t care less. I was familiar with the dance. Turns out someone made a song named after a dance that is older than willow smith. It was something people were talking about literally almost ten years ago. This is what that was:

Just some stupid dance. However, a dance that did take a little skill to do. I surely couldn’t do it without throwing out my back. So, when “Harlem Shake” started popping up in my twitter timeline, I thought “hmm…that’s strange but, also, who gives a shit?”. Besides, I felt as though the Harlem Shake had peaked in 2004 when Cam’ron shouted it out in his song “Down and out” saying
“Nowadays a nigga got bake in the bake
Harlem shake? Nah, I’m in Harlem shakin’ the weight
Shakin’ the bake, shakin the jakes
Kill you, shoot the funeral up and harlem shake at your wake”

That’s pretty much as good as it’s gonna get.

But, regardless, I guess the lack of thought I gave it kept me from realizing what was going on. The white man had done it again. I honestly should have known the second I saw that name start recirculating that, in all likelihood, there was a viral video behind it (there always is). So, today, with a clear mind, I looked it up. Partially out of curiosity and partially cause I had a feeling it would be the 27th thing that’s wrong with the world. Jackpot. This is the first video I happened upon:

Within about 1 second I started to get that feeling I get every time I’m embarrassed to be white. Now, I’m not gonna get all soapbox on you and overlook that, on the surface, this is just some kids having fun. That’s all it is. THIS VERSION of the Harlem Shake is stupid and anyone can do it. That’s a huge aspect of this. But it’s hard to watch this and not feel like this shit is a little racist. I mean, it’s not even the same dance. They could call it the New Canaan shake or the Bethesda shuffle. Whatever it is they’re doing surely has no roots in harlem. But, like i said, I don’t doubt it’s origins were harmless enough which leads me to my beef:
Fuck all these dances

Is this something that is subtly racist? Of course it is. Do the frat boys who just stopped planking and doing borat impressions to do a Harlem Shake video have any idea of that? hell no. They’re just imitating some shit they saw on youtube. The only connection this song has to race for them is that the word “Harlem” is in it. While that should perhaps tip off the more inquisitive mind into maybe looking into said craze and really seeing what it’s all about, I’m afraid we aren’t dealing with the worlds greatest thinkers here. It’s just dumb kids having dumb fun. And it’s dumb.

All that said, these fucking dances…Between Tv shows where celebrities dance terribly for then entertainment of people too stupid to watch Honey Boo Boo and movies involving beef like situations that results in “Billy Jean” like gang wars that turn into dudes in bandanas backflipping and doing pirouettes, it’s safe to say that dancing is out of control. The world could use a little justice taken from the rule book of that hick town in Footloose. Much like all types of art, it’s been taken out of the hands of professionals and thrust into the grasps of just some average dickhead with a little time on his hands and decent camera on his phone.

There was a time when I would say dance crazes started from an honest place. They would get popular in one area and spread. I have no clue how any dance move originates but I’d like to think it’s typically some off the wall gay dancer kid in the hood who gets the ball rolling. Most likely at a school dance. Props to that kid. However, because of the popularity of viral videos and peoples undying need to get notoriety, the new shit is simply make up a dance where it’s sole purpose is to become a viral video.
From “Superman that hoe” to “walk it out” to whatever the fucking dumb dance the kids were doing 5 years ago. Much like the music behind it, it’s not coming from a creative place. It’s coming from the mind of the self made promotional artist. But, you know what? I suppose in 2013 , there is art to being a promotional artist.

So, while I’m mildly offended by the resurgence of “The Harlem Shake” , as done by out of touch, entitled white morons, I’m more taking a stance against all viral dance crazes. That includes the Macerena and the fucking electric slide. I’m against them partially cause they’re moronic but , most of all, cause none of these dances will ever compete with the pinnacle of dance, the “Movin’ Like bernie”. Now THAT is a fucking dance.

32 thoughts on “Things that are wrong with the world part 27

    • its a little crazy how the beats meme now. my little brother played it for me, i knew i heard it somewhere but couldnt put my finger on it. c4c’s great but when is despot putting a fucking album out???

  1. Damn, not sure if that last little bit is sarcastic. I hope so, but it never quite comes through in text. Screw the music demo submissions… you should accept dance videos next time. Perhaps dance videos to the persons own demo if they have one.

  2. “The world could use a little justice taken from the rule book of that hick town in Footloose.” i peed a little. i do miss the world were dancing was fround upon. dancing is a part of hip hop but the explosion of “hip hop” dancing(the shows with judges and dance steps ur mom can do)has really water down the art of it all. to me the last step in killing hip hop is gonna be ads for preparation H and shows about little people petting pitbulls by graffiti artist…the obama “hope” shit ring a bell with anyone?

  3. These things go as fast as they come. Why spend any time wondering such pointless phenomenons? No offense to you Tony though, I know you’ve got a knack for all these contemporary things and it gives material obviously. It’s just that personally I don’t see the point to give any proper thought to such thing, after the indifferent glance.

    • You kinda answered your own question. I don’t give a shit about this kinda stuff in real life. In fact, the first time i ever thought about it was when i sit down and wrote this article. so, yeah, it’s all about material and the joy of writing a good little rant. The concept of anyone actually being actually upset about anything like this is pretty funny though…I’m sure they exist out there somewhere.

      • Just semi-drunken pondering. It’s difficult to convey a certain attitude in the internets when you have none.

        More of a display of your writing skills and the ability to sink into any subject then. Perspective acknowledged. It’s all good.

  4. hey Blockhead. i think sometimes you get too deep in that shit and forget to have some fuckin’ fun you old bastard! i old too..its Ok.
    so i really got in to the viral shake vids. thought they were pretty good ones for “some average dickhead with a little time on his hands and decent camera on his phone”. even thought of doing an Alaska version(not Tim…hey how’d he get Alaska nickname. he live up here? love your weekly with him btw very much). I see where your coming from and can identify and respect your observations. thank you thank you for the “Movin like bernie” i think its the next one to go viral B. maybe a “chopped and screwed” halrem with the movin’ like bernie dance…hmmm?
    thought of you last night while i got into a “family pack” of Oreos. yeah i know…kinda gay, but you’re a part of my life now B.
    enjoy the day dude!

    • Thanks for the kind words but you understand that me writing off the cuff rants on stupid pop culture brain farts is my version of having fun, right? The humor is in that I actually give these trite things any sort of thought at all. That’s pretty much the point of half the shit i write about on my blog. in reality, I don’t care about anything i write about so much that i think about beyond what i type.

      • nah i get it. just giving you a hard time is all. it would be fun to find out what you do really care about then?..besides music obviously.

    • Are your referring to a typo? If so, props on wasting time to comment on this blog in order to complain about a typo to someone who obviously isn’t exactly a beacon of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
      Or is this about something else?

      • Big fan of your work & enjoy your blogging on occasion too but for fuck sake msn i think you’ve oversighted on this one. Its just fuckin fun and its a decent tune too (as tunes go in general these days)


  5. The song is called The Harlem Shake because of a sample. It’s not supposed to be a throwback or a rerelease or a tribute. The ‘dance’ that is currently happening is just a response to listening to the song. It has nothing to do with the original dance. You may be digging a little to deep for the hatred on this one.

    • If you don’t see the “new” dance and see that it’s 100% a shitty, jokey version of the original dance, you’re blind. However, that’s not the point of this at all. My entire point is making fun of “dance crazes” in general.
      Sometimes I wonder if people actually read anything I write or if they read the header and then comment.

      • I think you the folks who are saying you went a little too far are probably same people who 2 years ago were posting planking pictures. I think your making fun of dance crazes called people out about their own shitty tendencies to get caught up in moronic trends and now the accusations of “Aww come on. Lighten Up!” begin.

        Too say that this particular dance has nothing to do with the original is insane.Still, that’s not the point. these trends and dances are stupid. I just hope that this isn’t what humanity is remembered for.

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