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

MLS

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league representing the sport’s highest level in both the United States and Canada. MLS constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the U.S. and Canada. It is expecting to expand within the next year. The league will be composed of 20 teams,17 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. The history dates back to a promise to FIFA in the U.S., which stated that there will be a professional soccer league established in the U.S. if the World Cup was hosted in United States.

Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded in 1993. The first season took place in 1996 with ten teams. MLS experienced financial and operational struggles in its first few years: The league lost millions of dollars, teams played in mostly empty American football stadiums, and two teams folded in 2002. Since then, MLS has expanded to 19 teams, and 20 teams in by next year. Owners built soccer-specific stadiums increased the over productivity of professional soccer. The average attendance at MLS matches exceeds that of the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, MLS secured national TV contracts, and the league is now profitable.

The 2002 World Cup, the United States unexpectedly made the quarterfinals, coincided with a resurgence in American soccer and MLS. MLS Cup 2002 drew 61,316 spectators to Gillette Stadium, the largest attendance in an MLS Cup final. MLS limited teams to three substitutions per game in 2003, and adopted International Football Association Board (IFAB) rules in 2005.

“What an incredibly historic day for Major League Soccer and soccer in North America and more importantly for soccer in our world ”

In 2007, the league expanded beyond the United States’ borders into Canada with the Toronto FC expansion team. Major League Soccer took steps to further raise the level of play by adopting the Designated Player Rule, which attracted international stars into the league. The 2007 season witnessed the MLS debut of David Beckham. Beckham’s signing had been seen as a coup for American soccer, and was made possible by the Designated Player Rule. Players such as Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Juan Pablo Ángel , are some of the first Designated Players who made major contributions to their clubs.

In 2013, MLS introduced New York City FC as its 20th team, and Orlando City Soccer Club as its 21st team, both to begin playing in 2015. In 2014, the league announced an expansion Atlanta MLS team as the 22nd team to start playing in 2017 and will be expecting 32 teams in 2020. Even though New York City FC and Orlando City were not set to begin play until 2015, each team made headlines during the summer 2014 transfer window by announcing their first Designated Players — Spain’s leading scorer David Villa and Chelsea’s leading scorer Frank Lampard to New York, and Ballon d’Or winner Kaká to Orlando.

The MLS has come a long way since starting the professional league in 1996 and writing soccer history of its own. It can only get better with kids getting interested in this sport and parks are starting to look full with random people kicking the ball.

 

DCI: Beyond Imagination

Drum Corps International (DCI) is at its highest level of popularity, spreading all over the world, reaching movie theaters all over the nation, and earning slots on ESPN. Drum Corps may not be trending on every newsfeed on Facebook like the recent Kim Kardashian “Breaking the Internet”, but within the performing arts and music industries a lot of people are familiar with DCI and there is no sign of it stopping there.

DCI’s popularity has expanded tremendously since the first drum & bugle corps were founded. The shows that are created now are much different from the past. Nowadays there are corps keeping up with technology by using modern audio technology and microphones to take their sound to a new level or sound. I’m a fan of DCI and have watched shows from DCI’s history. Personally, I have seen the modifications and can see the sport reaching heights that were never imagined.

Every year DCI is growing and expanding whether it be through advertising at high school marching band competitions or by airing DCI Finals on the big screen in movie theaters around the country.DCI Cinema

US Bands, run by the company “yea!”, holds a series of competitions for high school marching bands. “Yea!” also owns the drum and bugle corps, The Cadets. “Yea!” has a tent for The Cadets at some of the shows to reach out to local students that are in the age range to march in the corp.  The Cadets aren’t the only corp using this strategy of admission. DCI is the NFL of marching band (luckily with the exception of woodwinds). Every year the number of high school marching band shows that use DCI moves, ideas, etc. to take their show to a new caliber of professionalism and expertise increases.

DCI’s website posted an article explaining the logistics of the trip held for drum corps in foreign lands. “Carolina Crown Executive Director Jim Coates says that the idea for this trip to Japan is one that’s been in the works since all the way back in December of 2012. That’s when the corps started discussions with its corporate partner Yamaha about working on additional performance opportunities for the corps outside of the summertime Drum Corps International Tour.” Drum Corp is clearly on the rise overseas if there is a demand for people to watch drum corps in their country. Drum Corps have also been asked by Disney to perform in parades like their annual Christmas Parade. DCI is heard halfway around the world and it is in high demand.

Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan states an interesting point which ties to the potential future of DCI.  “Note that it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it.  Thus, the message of theatrical production is not the musical or the play being produced, but perhaps the change in tourism that the production may encourage.  In the case of a specific theatrical production, its message may be a change in attitude or action on the part of the audience that results from the medium of the play itself, which is quite distinct from the medium of theatrical production in general.”

Similar to many viral videos uploaded to YouTube, members of corps started recording themselves marching their show thanks to the technological advancement of the GoPro camera. The GoPro camera is commonly attached to their head or chest so they can perform their show without a worry of holding the camera or worry about the camera negatively altering their show. This trend has trickled down to high school marching bands. It’s interesting for the audience to see what the member’s point of view is and its especially nice for people who haven’t experienced marching in a show.  This is an excellent example of technology affecting pop culture.

            For those who aren’t familiar with a DCI show, here’s a taste of the sport with a video of my favorite show from this past season. The Bluecoats from Canton, Ohio won second place.

DCI has everything from challenging physical demands to an emotional roller coaster that will take you on the most beautiful journey empowered by the richness and warmth of brass and the shot of adrenaline which intensifies through driving rhythms of the battery.  In my opinion, it is the ultimate sport that can only be done by a high level of smart, talented, and athletic individuals.  It is the ultimate test a person can put themselves through to see what they are made of.  DCI is headed in a direction beyond imagination.

I marched with this corp in 2011.  So far, it’s been the best decision of my life.