harlem shake

Right after breakfast yesterday we went into the studio. Sunny took charge and explained again what he wanted to do. First all the puppets will sit on their stands for 15 seconds and then they all put their robes on and dance like there is no tomorrow for 15 seconds. It sounded like great fun and there were plenty of volunteers who wanted to take part, more than could fit on the tiny little stage. In the end we cast a lot to make it fair for all.

Like Socialite had anticipated, the entire thing was done and dusted in an hour or so. Work with the Dedes was never easier. Sunny was a fantastic lead character and he danced his little heart out to music only he could hear. The trouble started when I put everything together in a video editing program and I needed some real background music. Sunny of course had thought of this too and he gave me a file to use. But, oh dear, most of the others didn’t like his choice at all. It was some sort of techno or hip hop stuff which most of Dedes are no big fans of . Someone suggested using something more melodic that you can really dance to. Something that suited the majority of the Dedes.

“This is not a film by committee.” Sunny put his foot down. “I am the artistic director and this is my choice. So keep your noses out of it!” he insisted. He added I had no choice in the matter. Either I use this piece of music or he would withdraw the project altogether. Not the thing you want to happen after you have spent an hour in the studio already. But there was definitely no room for negotiation. To prove his point Sunny  left the room.

Minor, who was sitting in the corner pretending she wasn’t interested in the goings-on finally spoke up. “You know what he is trying to do?” she asked.

“Yes, he is trying to bully me into using some music that most of Dedes don’t like!”  I said very disappointed.

“What planet are you living on?” She rolled her eyes. “No, he is trying to make you do a Harlem Shake video!?”

“A what?” I asked, as I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I looked around for help but only saw blank faces.

“Oh gee” she said and came over to push me away from the keyboard. “You oldies really have no idea what’s going on in the big wide world yet you believe we teenagers live in a world of our own. That is so rich!” She loaded a page on Wikipedia and explained to all of us that Harlem Shake is an internet meme that started in the beginning of February this year and peaked by the end of the same month. According to Wikipedia, within a fortnight of the original upload forty thousand similar videos had been made and uploaded by individuals from all over the world. All in the same format that Sunny had suggested! After forty days the videos hit the one billion viewing mark. And according to Youtube the world had spent roughly 2,782 years watching Harlem Shake videos in this one month. She showed us a couple of examples, each of  them 30 seconds long with the same music Sunny had suggested. I was speechless!

“The only artistic input from Sunny really is that usually the participants drop some of their clothing in the second part, while the Dedes put theirs on. So most of the videos have sexual connotations. Mum wouldn’t like me to watch them” she added. “But there are some really funny ones. The Simpsons have done one, there is an underwater one, one by some soldiers in the Norwegian army, and plenty of washing machine to choose from. You name it… even advertising agencies are jumping on the bandwagon. And you know once this happens you really are too late. Let me tell you guys, you’ve missed this train!”

She went back into her corner shaking her head in disbelief.

Now what?