Wanna know why so many got upset w/ the Harlem Shake phenom? It wasn’t so much because white kids who never heard of the dance doing it.. I think for a lot of folks that’s what was easiest top grasp onto.. but for many there was something else going on.. many weren’t quite able to articulate and pinpoint it, but something about this just felt foul..
Well here’s what was going on.. what was driving this Harlem Shake thing, wasn’t a bunch of folks sincerely having fun.. It was corporations getting behind this video and making the whole thing pop to the tune of big time money… So yes, folks were right when they said the Harlem Shake was the ‘Gentrified Harlem Shake‘ a term I first heard from writer dream hampton….To be accurate it was corporate gentrification.. The end game was to make it appear as if everything was spontaneous..but it was anything but.. I like to use the words ‘social engineering‘…to make it plain and simple, call it manipulation or just straight up pimping…
When speaking to classes, I remind folks today’s generation is being bombarded from all angles with information specifically designed to make them consumers and followers and not thinkers.. This Harlem Shake thing is a perfect way of showing how that happens.. This article below lays how all this went down and even though it doesn’t specifically lay this point out, I would emphasize, there’s no meaning to the phrase ‘let the buyer beware‘ or in the words of Chuck D from Public Enemy ‘Don’t Believe the Hype‘..here’s an excerpt from the Mashable article.. The entire piece can be found at; http://mashable.com/2013/03/30/harlem-shake-corporations/
You Didn’t Make the Harlem Shake Go Viral — Corporations Did
Google’s trend charts of the phrase “Harlem Shake” are seismic. Almost no one looked for the words until Feb. 7, then searches surged faster than any term Google ever had, except for “Whitney Houston” after her death. A few weeks later, they fell close to zero.
Experts said the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon was emergent behavior from the hive mind of the internet — accidental, ad hoc, uncoordinated: a “meme” that “went viral.” But this is untrue. The real story of the “Harlem Shake” shows how much popular culture has changed and how much it has stayed the same.
The word “meme” comes from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Bits of information — memes — propagate from brain to brain through imitation, are subject to selection and can be regarded as living structures, he says, “not just metaphorically but technically,” because new information changes our brains. They are often made deliberately — think catchphrases, slogans, melodies — and makers may try to propagate them as fast and far as possible, or make them go viral. The myth of the “Harlem Shake” is that its viral spread was spontaneous, not directed by financial interests — a pop culture, popular uprising. Here’s how the meme and the myth began.