Shark Attack on Stage

A clip from the performance

It was during an NFL Superbowl performance that Katy Perry starred one of the most trending figures in early 2015. During the show, Katy Perry had two dancers in shark costumes by her sides doing silly dances. The shark on the right of Katy seemed to have had the dance on practice despite it being a bit bland. However, the shark on the left of her may have forgotten his moves and instead decided to flail his body around as close to the dance as possible. That of course did not work and he caught the eyes of many spectators. Since the show aired, the fame of the sharks exploded and with it came an influx of memes, t-shirts, and fan creations. Some fans of them even got related tattoos!

Why does everyone find the whole scenario so amusing though? It wasn’t a huge deal to watch. In fact, I would not have even noticed it unless someone pointed it out. I believe the reason people found the episode so amusing was because it was not as choreographed and perfected as one would expect it to be. In an article by Linda Holmes, she makes a point about a similar situation by stating:

“Consider the case of Marco Rubio and the water bottle. In and of itself, that story is, indeed, very silly: A Man Drinks Water. But to me, it seemed like a story about how spontaneity is in such short supply in politics that in highly choreographed setting, even small, meaningless things seem fascinating simply because they are unplanned.”

She talks of a scene where a political figure had to reach out further than normal to reach a bottle of water to quench his thirst. The guy never broke eye contact while he nearly stepped out of frame from the camera, making the whole thing awkward and in some ways funny. This same principle lies in Katy Perry’s Superbowl show. If both sharks were doing their dances properly, it most likely would not have gained the fame it did. The accident from the left shark stood out, making for one big, but short-lived, phenomenon.

Of course with all the hype built up from this whole fiasco comes the memes, community fanart, and even designs for t-shirts and hoodies, one of which Katy Perry herself wears. Some of these creations include edited gifs, team left shark and team right shark among social media, and even one person who got a tattoo of them. It’s really amazing what the community can come up with when a new trend rushes into the people so quickly and largely. However, I don’t think getting a tattoo is one of the best ideas as this fad left nearly as quickly as it came.

As with most one-shot trends in society being blasted everywhere, such as the recent “gold and white or black and blue dress” uproar, comes the many people who get tired of it being blasted in their lives over and over. The topic fades out quickly and begins to collect dust on the shelf. The sharks from Katy’s performance were hilarious to watch at first but the hype might have been a bit too much for us. At this point, most people have a nasty taste in their mouths whenever someone brings up the sharks. A joke can only be told so many times before people don’t find it funny anymore.

A relevant clip from Despicable Me

Twerk, Twerk, Twerk

Everywhere you look an artist is showing off their twerking skills. Twerking has been around for a while but, has taken a leap to the forefront of entertainment.You can’t watch a hip hop, pop video or a social media site without a woman twerking or showing off her rear end. Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce and many other females have taken this dance trend by storm. Besides creating a social extravaganza, Artist and big name corporations have capitalized off the fad. For those that don’t know,twerking is defined as a type of dancing in which an individual, usually a female, dances to music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance. In other words, when a female shakes her BOOTY…. VH1 stated,Twerking or the word twerk was introduced to the Hip hop community around 1993 when DJ Jubilee released “Do the Jubilee”. The south really brought twerking to the forefront with the likes of the Ying Yang Twins, Master P., and Cash Money Records. Since the rise of Hip hop from the south, twerking has favored the sounds of the south. Until recently, twerking was looked upon as an urban, ghetto, strip club movement and strip clubs are prominent in the south. The media has turned it around and now is looked upon as a means of amusement.

Taste-makers have a strong influence on the influx of this phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, taste makers are people who decide or influence what is or will become fashionable. Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj are a few taste-makers to name. Speaking of Miley Cyrus, the acceptance of twerking in the media reached new heights once Miley Cyrus 2013 VMA performance blew up the internet. Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” video had people drooling over their T.V’s and internet devices. Now, I am a man and I enjoy the entertainment of twerking but, lately thats all I see is booty. The emphasis of beauty has been transformed from the face to the booty. Mark Federman stated in “the Meaning of the Medium is the Message”, That we tend to focus on the obvious. In doing so, we largely miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time. In this article he was talking about our minds and technology but, I think thats how society takes in messages fed to them daily. The more the media accepts twerking, the more we become saturated with it everyday. I can’t go a day without checking my social media sites and not see a new video of a female twerking.

Somewhere a line has to be crossed on the appropriateness of the dance. Women who think this is ok to perform in spiritual settings and in front of their children are wrong.


Warning this may be offensive to some. See video here.

I liked the dance better when it was confined to the strip club and a couple hip hop videos. Now, there are professional twerkers, endless amount of legal provocative twerk content that circulates the internet everyday, and an influx of media influence. Little girls are influenced to dance this way daily. The message that men interpret from this dance is not appropriate for any children. Yes, we have to be responsible and monitor what our children are exposed to but, twerking has become so prevalent in the media that,you would have to block all media outlets from your children so they will not be exposed to this behavior. Even that is not enough.

In conclusion,we have to be more mindful of how our actions are perceived. In other countries twerking is not looked upon as a sexual reference. It’s more of a celebration dance other places. We American’s have added a sexual raunchy fixation to the dance. So, if I view women twerking and I get a sexual pleasure, I don’t think it’s acceptable for children. Especially, because I know the way men think is not always positive.

WTF Japan??!?!?!!!?

MEMEME_KeyVisual_JPG

This is probably the first thing you think of after finishing the music video Me!Me!Me! by TeddyLoid. A lot of people would automatically categorize this as some weird Japanese freaky fetish video and tune out the rest of it. Automatically casting judgment on it halfway through creating a skewed interpretation of something they didn’t want to understand. These people tend to not get past the shock value to really look at this video for what it actually is and the deeper meaning it has behind it.

A preview of the video was released on Nov 14th 2014 on the official Japan Anime Expo (if you click the EN at the top right cover of the page it will switch over to english) website with a description saying “You are attacked and ravished by many girls”. The website is a web series launched by the collaboration of Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara (known for their work on Neon Genesis Evangelion) and the Japanese media company Dwango to show the work of up and coming animators. The man behind all this, Hibiki Yoshizaki, released the full-length version on the 21st. According to KnowYourMeme.com, the video was instantly met with high acclaims from viewers and critics alike. From it’s high quality animation to it’s catchy backtrack done by techno DJ Teddyloid.

Click here to watch the video but might I mention that it contains some nudity and is for a mature audience.

Now this video as of 01/28/15 has reached up to 259,000 plays on Vimeo and has been posted on forums with some reaching around 500 comments per thread. Now the meaning behind this video has come to a few different interpretations and the creators never really came out with one either. To me this comes down to an Otaku (the Japanese term for someone who has obsessive interests) who’s lifestyle got in the way of reality. This is the first part of the music video with the girl in blue hair dancing around. But this lifestyle ended up morphing into something that morphed into a monster that started to consume him. He tries to fight back (when he transforms in the video) and kill the monster that he created as well as get his reality back. But he didn’t realize how big his obsession actually became (Rave party) and ended up loosing his battle.70b This music video starts out one way with some guy dreaming about a fantasy of his and completely twists it into something else. It shows us what can happen if we let something that we enjoy consume our lives. It also shows that things don’t always go the way we plan when it comes to fighting back to try and get things back to the way they once were.

The Fine Bros on YouTube did a react video of YouTubers watching the video and asking them questions on what they thought afterwards. The thoughts that most of them had right off the bat was that they didn’t like it at all with a few liking it on an animation perspective. But once they thought about what they just saw some were able to see the meaning behind the video. Just the reaction video alone had over 5 million views and over 15 thousand comments since it was posted on Jan 8th.

This video is a prime example of ‘What Monkey’s Eat’ when it came to how this gained traction. Linda Holmes says in her blog

“Justin Bieber, Duck DynastyBreaking BadGravity, and — yes — even Miley Cyrus twerking are all examples of what monkeys eat. Some good, some bad, some completely baffling. But all things that are making their way into a lot of people’s thinking, and provoking all kinds of conversations that we might not have otherwise.”

You have people posting this to their friends saying “Look at this weird video from Japan” and only really see it for the shock value. Then you have the few who are able to see past that and discover a message hidden in plain sight. Now my question to you is which one you’ll become?