If you were to mention an object related to a ‘high brow’ subject to my dad (A famous painting, an unheard-of-to-my-generation author, a book from the 15th century, or rare musical recording) he’d trace back its roots (In real time, no Googling) and then either bring out that object – The honest to god original – Or some other rare object directly related to it.
Earlier this afternoon, my mom sent me an e-mail with a link to the Oprah Black Eyed Peas Concert:
EDIT: Taken off YouTube due to copyright violation I say with a hint of irony. Here it is via Oprah.com:
And it took mere seconds to trace its roots in ‘classic’ weblore.
What’s this all meme mean? Perhaps pop culture has gone to hell. Maybe we value the instant over the rare, the digital over the physical. Or maybe we all just love spontaneous dancing.
What are some other spontaneous dance hits? What other memes have deep origins that can be traced back further than the MTV Music Awards?
There are a handful of different types virals and memes. One offs, made with little thought, that went viral for various silly reasons, will no doubt spur spin offs. They will be less than their already subpar original.
Then there are creations brought to us with more thought and time, or have a deeper human connection. Something more worthy of infusion in our culture, and will hopefully endure what keyboard cat can not.
On that note, how did I forget this:
Our culture is digital. We are not. Not yet, at least. I am waiting on Nano technology with open arms and a vivid imagination. But as our minds merge with our creations, will we morph into a blob of culture, crap and … cats?