OPINION: It is time to put an end to Harlem Shake videos
For the love of God, please stop with the Harlem Shake.
YouTube makes it easy—almost too easy—for everyone and their mother to jump on the latest dance trends bandwagon. We’ve lived through the Stanky Leg, the uncoordinated gyrating of “shuffling” and now find ourselves in the much-needed recession of Gangnam Style.
The Harlem Shake had its 30 seconds of fame and now needs to exit the stage.
To truly understand the travesty that is the Harlem Shake viral video, here’s a background: Named after a popular dance originating in Harlem in the 1980’s, musical artist Baauer wrote the song in 2012, which has since gone viral as part of a dance video.
|Adam Woodard, a sophomore at Mason, is studying communications with a concentration in journalism.|
The irony of the whole thing is that what happens in the videos is, in no way, shape or form, based off the original Harlem Shake. The real Harlem Shake is actually pretty cool. The modern Harlem Shake video phenomenon—not so much.
The beginning of the video starts with one person awkwardly dancing by himself—cool, right? Then the beat drops, and all hell breaks loose. The next 30 seconds are almost too painful to watch. As soon as the beat drops, the picture quickly cuts to a new frame and a hoard of people come into view; this is where the problems occur.
No talent is necessary for this part of the video. All you need to do is wear some weird costume, paint your face or wear something over your head, and then act as awkwardly sexual as humanly possible. You can accomplish this by doing any or all of the following: humping the air, the ground, someone else, a pole or inappropriately touching yourself—use your imagination.
Every video is the same. There is little to no difference between the videos. I watched the video Mason students created, and the production looked like a carbon copy of the millions of other videos that came across my Facebook timeline. Yes, I watched them all, and each view accounts for 30 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.
Think I’m crazy for this opinion? Hmmm, if only we knew how people from Harlem truly felt about the shake.
Oh wait, we do!
This video came across my timeline, and, thanks to SchleppFilms, we can all see how truly tragic the Harlem Shake videos are. New York people have attitude without being provoked. This is what happens when you diss their heritage.
I have nothing against video trends. I loved the youth of America’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” phase as much as the next middle-class white kid. But the dougie required skill. It required the ability to move your body. Anybody can dress up like an absolute fool and gyrate and grind on the first thing you see.
So, in conclusion, I’ve said it once and you can bet I’ll say it again. For the love of God, please stop with the Harlem Shake videos.
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