Harlem Shake – viral video becomes disrespectful for the original Herlemers.

Harlem Shake – viral video becomes disrespectful for the original Herlemers.

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gangnam style1[dropcap3]I[/dropcap3]can say: Harlem is back to the first pages! And this is because of one Youtube video. I really haven’t seen this original footage, but after all I was forced to do this. I remember same story with another clip: Gangnam Style video – Korean pop singer who made more than billion views of his video by let’s say accident. So I’m watching and I am thinking: “OK, but where is Harlem Shake?” There was no P Diddy-Rnb video moves. I see only something totally different but no real steps called Harlem Shake.

I though maybe this is not right video so I typed in a Youtube’s search bar: Harlem Shake again. Multiple videos popped up showing some people who got a lot of time to waste doing some weird movements. After couple of days almost every Youtube page I’ve opened tried to lead me to watch another version of Harlem Shake. I saw numerous shakes:
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  • military,
  • nurses,
  • students,

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  • bikini girls,
  • Muppet’s,
  • dancers

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  • fighters
  • basketball players
  • office employees

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  • underwater
  • on the street with large crowd
  • during baseball game

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Photo by: Matt Weber
Photo by: Matt Weber

At this moment when I’m writing this text there should be more than 100 versions of this viral video. Every single country on this planet probably got their own. Is it phenomen? In some point yes, gathering people worldwide doing funny things. Unfortunately for me this is not viral but Virusal video. Weird and unhealthy behavior. Wrong, because real Harlemers are confused watching this poor performances. After showing this silly videos to original inhabitants they worry about how the name of their neighborhood’s been used by bunch of provocateurs.

This is also wrong because many youth worldwide will recognize Harlem as a place where people do stupid stuff on the street. I spoke with one of my students asking him: “Do You know Harlem?”. And the answer was instant: “Oh Yes, the place where everybody shake”. Initially I was confused but I came to the conclusion. I was scared because this shows me what impact on the future generations Youtube’s video has got. Instead of educational and innovative form of what is the real dance called “Harlem Shake”, this lead us to the lowest level of communication.

When I watch some pictures from Harlem, I can see some story behind. Story of place where many people lost their life fighting for equality (60’s), where everyday struggle led to poverty (70’s), where finally in the 80’s and 90’s Harlem became a mecca of Hip Hop and Black Community culture. When I watch modern “Harlem Shake” viral meme I see no story behind at all…

Instead of watching dozens of versions of “Shake’s”, please have a look on brilliant photographs from Harlem back in the days. Matt Weber’s Blog

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