Friday, 15 March 2013

My Harlem Shake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

In the beginning, there was Gangnam Style. The people enjoyed it and it was good, because it featured a foreign guy doing a silly dance. Gangnam Style became the most viewed YouTube clip of all time, but that popularity would soon decline once everyone on Earth had been exposed to it.  Once the furore had died down, a new YouTube sensation had to emerge to take its place, and at last it has arrived. Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for the Harlem Shake.

A Harlem Shake approaches!  Attack/Magic/Flee


To the uninitiated, a Harlem Shake may look like a group of escaped asylum inmates flailing their bodies to a derivative dubstep mess. However, the technical expertise of putting together a successful Harlem Shake is much higher than you'd expect. The creative director behind a Harlem Shake is responsible for managing anything from 3 to 3 million spirited individuals whilst making sure their artistic integrity is preserved. The subtle messages conveyed on screen have to be given the chance to flourish, and each person's unique story must be portrayed amongst this intricate tapestry of writhing limbs. This is not just a viral piece of nonsense; this is art in its rawest, most expressionistic form.  Also, they wear silly costumes.

In honour of this new sensation, please witness these classic examples of Harlem Shakery. I will be critiquing them, giving my own personal opinions (rather than the impersonal opinions I usually dish out), and see if I can identify any shining stars of the future that we can look out for.



First of all, the guy who falls out of the window definitely has a future career as a stuntman.  He falls straight down, but gets right back again because you're never going to keep him down when the camera is upon him.  Being a man of action who is utterly dedicated to his craft, he fights through the pain and shame to put on a spectacular performance.  For his bravery alone, I have to say that this is the best Harlem Shake video I have ever seen.

Many people who I’ve coerced into watching this video believe that these men who are tasked with the responsibility of protecting a country should have better things to do than participate in a Harlem Shake.  However, if you are one of those naysayers who believe that, you’ve obviously never heard of morale.  These brave soldiers are out there fighting the evil ones in tense gun battles, so gyrating around with Styrofoam on your arms is the best way to relieve that pressure.  Perhaps they can turn it into a victory dance when they celebrate the mass slaughter of the Taliban.



This one is very hypnotic.  I was transfixed by the guy in the storm trooper helmet wiggling around, watching his flesh squirm like he was full of live maggots. As you watch, transfixed by his underwater jiggery, suddenly, out of nowhere, BOOM, there are loads of people doing crazy shit!  I especially love the guy trapped in the sleeping bag.  His acting puts me in mind of a man who owes money to the mafia, who has been sealed in a bag and thrown in a lake to drown.  No doubt this is the emotion he is evoking for this tantalising routine.



Wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...WOAH!  Haha!  I didn’t expect that!  There was me thinking that it was going to be one guy dancing, then without warning, millions appear out of thin air!

Although the Biggest Harlem Shake is undoubtedly a masterful showcase of talent, it is difficult to focus in on anyone in particular, meaning that some of the more poignant performances are lost.  I have to admit that the guy on the 17th row back, 23rd from the left is particularly impressive.  His technique evokes memories of Sir Ian McKellen's stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Regardless, it has to be said that these folks shake harder than an epileptic suffering from pre-performance nerves at a jelly surfing contest.



Portland has an extensive Harlem Shake history, stretching back to the Industrial Revolution.  This is how they’ve managed to conjure up not 1, but 33 Harlem Shakes, each better than the last.  Version 33 corrects some of the mistakes made in Version 32, namely that the alien cut-out has been altered from green to grey for the sake of accuracy, and the guy on the exercise ball’s thrusting technique has been improved considerably.  His impressive hip action is enough to make anyone watching this video instantly pregnant, even men.  I've already named my impending baby Carl Jr. as I imagine the father's name is Carl.  Carl is a great name.  I love Carl.



I was a little surprised to see this.  Frankly, I figured that the Harlem Shake was a phenomenon that was unique to humans.  Surely our canine friends lack the penchant for choreography that a Harlem Shake requires.

I was proved wrong.  These dogs can not only Harlem Shake, they put many other Harlem Shakes in the shade.  They shake so hard that they have rocked me to my core.  These puppies have reached the zenith of their craft, and I can safely say that this proves the theory of evolution in one fell swoop.



Phew, as Elvis once said to a Parkinson’s sufferer, I’m all shook up.  I hope you enjoyed all this Harlem Shaking and that you don’t want to jump in front of a slow moving tractor from the banality of it all.  After all, randomness is hilariousness, purple monkey cheese.

If anyone would like to join me next Friday for a Harlem Shake, then feel free to come along. Get on a bus, book a plane ticket, or hitch a ride on a freight train and get badgered into oral sex by a homeless man, whatever it takes to get here.  I will be showcasing some of my dancing prowess in a manner in which Nanna would be proud.  As the late and great Maroon 5 once said, I've got the moobs like Jagger.  Or words to that effect...

20 comments:

  1. The Harlem Shake is cool and all, but I'm all about the Boston Sit. Basically, I sit in my cubicle shrouded in silence; then, when my computer starts making that farting noise and begins running slowly, I pound on my computer screen like an orangutan on bath salts.

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    1. I would love to join you for a Boston Sit, however, a colleague has offered to give a Glasgow Kiss after work. I'm not sure what that is, but I hope it is as enjoyable as a Boston Sit.

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  2. I do believe the fur-peeps had them all by the balls.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Agreed. Although I believe those dogs have been castrated, so it's nice for them to have some balls for a change.

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  3. I still don't know what a Harlem Shake is. I still don't care either. The only thing I feel remotely bad about is that I had to skim this and didn't watch any of the videos to preserve the mystique and my ignorance.

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    1. There is nothing more to a Harlem Shake other than what is in this post. It's a bunch of people wearing silly clothes and wiggling around to horribly generic, over-produced music. Frankly, I don't blame you for not reading my shit post today. I don't want to read it again either.

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  4. I'm trying my best to suppress the rage you have summoned from deep within my soul. I loathe dance trends. I hate the chicken dance at weddings, the macarena in the 90s, I hate the Charleston to this day! And country line dancing can boot scoot right up its own hillbilly arise. Damn the dance trends!

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    1. Pickleope, you are valued member of my little community here. I always look forward to your extremely witty comments and I crave your discerning feedback. However, if you ever say anything bad about the Macarena again I will ban you so fast it'll break the Internet.

      Addman xoxox

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  5. The funniest part about the Harlem Shake is looking at each person individually omf.
    However,
    it's really not worth having the shitty music stuck in my head for the next 10 and 1/2 years.
    Brb while I pour acid down my ears

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    1. After you with that acid bottle.

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  6. After all those Shakes... Bring on that slow-moving tractor.

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    1. That'd make a great alternative to "bring on the wall!"

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  7. My good friend Miss Fionaski the famous Russian spy created a Harlem shake and I did ponder creating a shadow puppet Harlem Shake but after almost no consideration I decided no I have listened to the music enough. I have seen most of these already but not the dogs I reckon its done by electrifying the floor, I tried it as an experiment with cats but may have used too high a voltage . . . . . . AH DAMN best not mention it to the RSPCA. Still on the bright side (no pun intended) fried chicken for tea tonight.

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    1. It doesn't work with cats. Cats are too uppity to attemp a Harlem Shake, even under duress.

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  8. Honestly, I still don't know what the Harlem Shake is either.

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    1. Just think of it as a...nope, there's no earthly parallel I can think of. It just is.

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  9. I had never heard of this until now. I feel tempted to make a Harlem Shake videos, but I only have two friends and don't think it would be the same.

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    1. If you make a Harlem Shake video, you'll probably end up with no friends.

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  10. What the hell did I just feast my bleeding eyes upon? Damn, I feel so old. :)

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    1. Don't worry, this will be replaced in 6 months by some other utterly banal trend, that it makes the Harlem Shake look like the zenith of human achievement.

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