Written on May 16 2013
A few recent Harlem Shake videos get some people in trouble. If you don’t know what the Harlem Shake videos are, they are a new Internet meme (replacing Gangnam Style – finally!) where you are watching a video of some quiet environment (usually where people are working and/or minding their own business) and one particular person is in the middle of the room dancing by himself to the trap tune Harlem Shake by Baauer. Then, the video switches gears and suddenly everybody is dancing to the song, and they are looking as ridiculous as possible. Witness:
Anyway, a group of Florida students have been suspended over their version of the Harlem Shake video. 10 baseball players were suspended by the Brevard County School District because their Harlem Shake video features obscene gestures. In addition, 8 of the students were booted from the Titusville High School baseball team permanently. Talk about a blatant case of over-reaction.
One of the players stated:
“We made the video not knowing all this would happen, it was a joke. It just doesn’t make sense to me how they can have that much of repercussions over a stupid video that everybody is doing.”
The video, which had over 5,000 views within the day it was posted, was pulled from YouTube.
Now a new story from ABC says that the FAA is investigating an incident where the Harlem Shake was performed on a plane mid-flight.
“Obviously, I hope that this whole situation is solved with the FAA,” said sophomore Matt Zelin, a team member who told the Colorado College student newspaper that he shot the video. “I don’t see there being any reason why this should cause any trouble. We asked the staff and they said it was safe.”
An aviation consultant to ABC said:
“I don’t think there’s any concern structurally or when it comes to safety of flight. If the dancers had all moved to the front or rear of the plane simultaneously, that could have created a weight and balance issue for the pilots in the cockpit, but not a problem that put the plane in danger of crashing. It’s nothing the flight crew or the aircraft can’t handle. This gyrating around is of no consequence.”
Gyrating of no consequence? What about our psyches?
Our Personal Favorite Harlem Shake Videos
Sea World Edition
What’s your favorite? Hurry up, before the (already-played-out) meme dies for good.
Update – Middle East Protests
Harlem Shake videos have gotten students in Egypt and Tunisia into trouble. While the meme is jumping the shark fast in the states, it is ramping up in the Middle East. In Cairo, four students at a university were arrested for filming a Harlem Shake video in their underwear. In Tunisia, the minister of education threatened to “hold responsible” those who performed a Harlem Shake video without “proper permissions.” This caused a backlash among students in both countries, who organized protests.
Here’s the Tunisian Harlem Shake Video (which also incorporates Gangham Style – hey, we forgive you!):
The protests have led to more videos. Here’s a recent one in Cairo, which was filmed right outside the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood:
One from the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in Tunisia:
Source: Foreign Policy