Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SMCM Harlem Shake - Why?

For the uninitiated, the Harlem Shake is a YouTube meme that started in early February 2013. You've probably seen it. You're probably sick of it because it's been played out. Major news networks, late night shows, and even ad agencies have all created their own versions.

To say it's "dead" is an overstatement. At this point making a Harlem Shake video is akin to [I spent ten minutes thinking of a 'good' comparison, and as you are about to read, failed] "men's rights activists" that play high school Field Hockey, trying to end "male oppression" .

So why is SMCM (I'm guessing student activities or ResLife) making one? And why is Urgo (via Twitter "rumors") (and by rumor I mean intentional "leak") leading it?

Why is a great institution going to stoop to the level of 'viral videos'? Is this another attempt at creating "community"? An admissions ploy (via accepting YouTube videos as applications)?

I get that Urgo is "casual". I like that he hosts crab feasts, had a radio show, and accepts invitations to dinner with seniors in their townhouse (via stealthbrags) but I really think this is a step in the wrong direction.

And maybe it's because I've become increasingly cynical about meme culture and it's evolution from funny images to a way for advertisers and corporations to quickly reach an "Internet audience" but this really doesn't sit well with me.

And let's not ignore the fact that the Harlem Shake is already a dance, and that there are many allegations that this new meme is just another example of appropriation of Black culture. So it makes sense that SMCM is jumping on an appropriative meme, with all those "diversity initiatives".

Alumni Orioles Game is July 1