Tag Archives: jerks

10 Things I Liked in 2010 (Singles, Supervillains, Socialism)

by Chris Randle

[I totally lifted this concept from Greil Marcus as well. My list is unranked and impulsive to the point of randomness; I avoided writing about anything I’ve already touched on at B2TW. And now, all hedges and caveats aside…]

1. Yeahhhhhhh

John Seroff’s epic Singles Jukebox blurb is a beautiful consideration of “Whip My Hair,” but to me the clip below embodies this ultra-processed, aggressively silly song. What’s more absurd, more galvanic in its absurdity, than a weak-voiced nine-year-old touting their “swag” and finally managing to convince? A parrot dancing to the same track! I can only assume that the lone Youtube user who clicked “dislike” here is even now teetering atop Mt. Crumpit with a sleigh full of stolen presents.

 

2. Damascus, Palestine, Texaco

A cut from Jean-Luc Godard’s maddening, cryptographic and sometimes very funny Film Socialisme:

 

3. “I’mma start rocking gold teeth and fangs” (Nicki Minaj’s 32 feral bars)

Still waiting on the music video, which promises lots of squicky necrophiliac imagery (I was hoping for a colony of bats nesting in Rick Ross’ giant beard), but “Monster” already has a storyline: it’s the track where Nicki Minaj reduces the world’s two most famous rappers to afterthoughts.

Her feat is less impressive than it appears on a tracklist; wheezing Grizzly Bear fan Jay-Z sounds like an awkward fogey here, and while Kanye acquits himself well enough, even pulling off a good punchline for once rather than a stupid non-sequitur (“Have you ever had sex with a pharaohhhhhh / I put the pussy in a sarcophagus”), he still strains as an MC. His other guest doesn’t. Nicki’s virtuosic verse mutates new flows, accents and personae at rapid speed: “Pink wig / Thick ass / Give ’em whiplash / I think big / Get cash / Make ’em blink fast.” She shares Kanye’s monstrous ambition, but not his self-pitying insecurity. Her climactic “AAAAAAH” modulates a scream queen’s cry with sharpened glee: suck in breath, grope around on the floor for your male gaze.

 

4. Light the Pentagram-Signal: Doctor Hurt in Batman & Robin

This one requires some nerdy backstory. Five years ago, DC Comics made Scottish weirdo Grant Morrison the writer of its main Batman series. (His anarchic 1990s head trip The Invisibles influenced my teenage self to a degree that is almost embarrassing.) A characteristically metafictional conceit of Morrison’s early issues was that all the Bat-archetypes from 75 years of publication history – the original pulp vigilante, the bizarre ’50s version who wore zebra suits and inspired Adam West, etc. – were his actual memories, and the stress of keeping these disparate personalities straight was driving Bruce Wayne insane.

The process was accelerated by Morrison’s new villain Dr. Hurt, a mysterious psychiatrist who claimed to be Bruce Wayne’s newly-undead father Thomas and then distributed evidence revealing that the orphaned hero’s parents were not saintly philanthropists but a locus of corrupt decadence. Eventually, in a crossover called Batman R.I.P., he put on a camp opera outfit, injected Bruce Wayne full of drugs and dumped him on the street to subsist as a disturbed homeless person. Then our protagonist made a new costume out of rags, regained his bearings with the help of fifth-dimensional imp Bat-Mite (seriously) and they had a big fight. But Dr. Hurt returned in 2010 for a final storyline that Morrison called “Batman R.I.P. repeated as farce.” It began, context-free, with this scene:

It’s a perverse inversion of the most familiar origin story in comics, one so famous that Morrison and artist Frazer Irving can go minimalist and rely upon iconic visual elements (the pearls that always scatter, the eternally recurring Zorro marquee). Dr. Hurt’s masturbatory fantasy comes complete with the sort of infernally opulent yet faintly ludicrous sex club that only exists in Radley Metzger movies. Remember the sight gag at the end of Rosemary’s Baby, where an upside-down cross is repurposed as crib ornament? The longed-for Black Mass emphasizes Hurt’s unusual nature as a foil: he thinks that merely killing his foe is so dull. “I will be Batman in my great black car, preying on the weak, in Gotham’s endless night.”

The conventional idea of an obsessive super-nemesis is strange enough already; imagine one who yearns to expose every certainty in your life as a pathetic, comforting lie. He could be a jilted fanboy. Even after discovering that the bad Doctor was neither Thomas Wayne nor the devil, just (in his creator’s words) “this gibbering idiot with a very comic-booky origin,” his anti-prologue retains some Satanic allure. In a storyarc that also featured Shavian villain Professor Pyg raving about “the multitudes of the mother goat,” it was the creepiest moment of all, a flourish of satirical geek-blasphemy.

 

5. The moral responsibility of the blowjob artist: How Should a Person Be?

The second novel by friend of the blog Sheila Heti was, as they say, a long time coming. (There was an impatient Facebook group, even.) It still doesn’t have an American publisher, and a new article in the New York Observer speculates why: Too much cribbing from reality? Too many graphic descriptions of blowjobs? I would add another factor, one that took me by surprise despite my membership in that social-media cheer squad: the extreme depths of black comedy that Sheila reaches. There are lantern-faced fish swimming alongside some of these jokes. How Should a Person Be? is about struggling to live the good life, whatever that is, and Sheila the character’s earnest, agonized desire to become a great artist (or at least a famous one) is played for many painful laughs.

A later chapter, for example, ends with this passage: “I hadn’t realized until this week that in [Moses’] youth he killed a man, an Egyptian, and buried him under some sand…I used to worry that I wasn’t enough like Jesus, but yesterday I remembered who was my king; a man who, when God addressed him and told him to lead the people out of Egypt, said, ‘But I’m not a good talker! Couldn’t you ask my brother instead?’ So it should not be so hard to come at this life with a bit of honesty. I don’t need to be great like the leader of the Christian people. I can be a bumbling, murderous coward like the King of the Jews.”

As a blond gentile with an Old Norse surname – some drunk girl once asked me, “Did you steal your eyes from a dead Nazi?” – I felt a little uncomfortable just reading that. (The sexual interludes, not so much, perhaps because they’re specific to a particular situation.) I can see why publishers might shy away from it. But all the mordant humour extracted from her protagonist’s indulgent delusions and artistic crises has a point, and a pertinent one: What does it mean to be a writer or painter in a world where niche-level, D-list celebrity is radically accessible?

As for that “fact or fiction” question, a parlour game without the fun, let me cite Harry Mathews, whose last novel My Life in CIA explored similarly muddy waters: “Henry James once said that the Venetian painter Tintoretto never drew an immoral line. That seems madness, because Tintoretto was squiggling all over the place. I came to the conclusion that what James meant was that the moral responsibility of the artist is to make something real happen, whatever it takes. And for me, that is the moral responsibility of a writer: to make something real happen on the page. Its relation to fact is irrelevant. “

 

6. One word uttered forever

Toronto’s Double Double Land hosts an occasional series called Talking Songs, where lecturers play various pieces of music for the audience before discussing them. Carl’s spoken there before; I have too. At the event’s return a few months ago, one of the performers was York University professor Marcus Boon, who gave a talk called “Chopping and Screwing: From Terry Riley to DJ Screw.” I don’t really remember anything he said. What I do remember is that he finished by playing a single 25-minute-long drone and asking us to listen.

Erik Satie’s avant-garde endurance test Vexations, 34 dissonant chords typically performed 840 times in a row, is often said to have quasi-hallucinogenic effects on audiences. Palpable heat, like the kind inside DDL – it’s perched above a Portuguese bakery – must only intensify that. While Boon’s drone pulsed, time collapsed inwards before stretching out as if it might snap; most eyes stayed shut out of reverence or boredom, but sometimes I cheated and caught others fluttering open, sexy in their languour. After the noise spent itself, Boon very quietly asked how it made us feel. I still don’t know what my answer is.

 

7. The image world: Picture This, by Lynda Barry

Picture This asks the big question on its cover: “Do you wish you could draw?” Barry’s manner is the best Grade 3 teacher any kid/adult could hope for, supportive and pedagogical yet utterly free of condescension, and it comes through in her cartooning. Like Sean Rogers notes, this is an activity book featuring such activities as “collect blue.” Barry argues that we’re encouraged to trace and doodle as children only to be dissauded while we grow up, and her attempts to liberate your inner scribbler echo the open-ended tone of John Cage’s motto: “Get yourself out of whatever cage you find yourself in.”

One of Barry’s strips, “Chicken Attack,” was written by a five-year-old boy named Jack. He was sitting next to her on an airplane. While Mom dozed, he came up with a script: “One morning, the chicken was eaten by a man. The man went to work. His stomach started to feel funny. He went to the port-a-let, and then he went. The chicken came out. The man was surprised. The chicken was also surprised. The chicken ran from the port-a-let to the construction site. They put the chicken in charge, and from then on, the chicken was boss.” Lynda Barry is also pretty boss.

 

8. Continue: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, by Bryan Lee O’Malley

The movie was fun, partly because its doomed marketing showed Torontonians that our shitty lives could be the basis for a fantastical mythos too. But it wasn’t first to do so, and in other ways I preferred Bryan Lee O’Malley’s print finale. It begins with depressed Scott Pilgrim acting like a skeezy jerk, hitting on his teenage ex: “So…uh…what’s it like to no longer be a child in the eyes of the law?” It gives another ex, Envy Adams (Chaotic Neutral), a costume that says “Legend of Zelda boss as worn by Lady Gaga.” And its unconstrained space allows for many pages where people just sit around and talk.

In that sense, the supporting cast was especially hard done by during the adaptation process; a lot of secondary characters got compressed to a single note or joke where they had originally existed in a broader context, one the self-absorbed hero didn’t always notice. As Mike Barthel wrote, “that sense of outward focus and of ladies existing without reference to dudes (or dudes without reference to ladies, honestly) absolutely vanishes [in the film].” I lament this both as someone who wants more movies to pass the Bechdel Test and as someone who thought Alison Pill was cute, which is probably to say, a confused someone.

Finest Hour‘s luxury of sprawl also benefits the villainous Gideon Graves. (That’s him above. In the movie he’s played by Jason Schwartzman, which is perfect casting if you dislike the public persona of Jason Schwartzman.) Gideon is a disquieting portrait of the smart, arty kid who becomes a grasping and covetous adult. A grimly funny, comics-only detail marks him as the only character in their thirties – indeed, he shares an age with his (happily married!) creator. The evilest ex is emotionally controlling on a megalomaniacal scale: Instead of stalking “the ones who got away” on Facebook, he captures them inside an elaborate machine borrowed from some Final Fantasy boss.

When O’Malley launched the series’ final volume last summer, my life was a bit like a Scott Pilgrim book – the bantering romantic scenes, not the epic battles, though they often bleed into each other. I didn’t strap somebody into a…device so I could siphon their vitality. But there were moments that resembled a flashback in Finest Hour, where the younger, less-evil Gideon watches pixie pugilist Ramona Flowers literally disappear from his life; moments that were one long uncomprehending “Whyyyyyyyy?” (Then, to fizzling teleportation residue: “But I thought it was going so well…”) This was maladroit and thoughtless for various reasons, as I probably would’ve figured out anyway, but the literary synchronicity led to a pre-emptive realization: Why would you ever want to act like a bitter, stunted asshole while blaming it on someone lovely? So call this comic a cautionary tale, as well as a damn entertaining one.

 

9. Torontopia time machine: Wavelength 500

I doubt that I could describe this event any better than Carl already did – or Michael Barclay, for that matter. The 10th anniversary of Toronto’s integral PWYC music series ended with a reunion of the Barcelona Pavilion (who broke up when I was still in high school) and a surprise set by Owen Pallett (who debuted his solo project at a 2004 Wavelength before going all those places). The BP were raucous and baldly conceptual again, even in the ways they scorned misty local eyes; their encore was an iPod singalong as it played Mag & The Suspects’ “Thousands Dead.” Whether or not nostalgia is misplaced, they certainly merited some.

Kids on TV followed, and then Owen, and then the 2003 iteration of the Hidden Cameras briefly swept aside layers of antipathy to play “I Believe in the Good of Life,” along with the half of the crowd that joined them onstage. There’s no visual record of it. (Never mind: Colin Medley popped up in comments to link his video!) I have to give you this clip instead, Owen and Steve Kado teaming up to cover “Independence Is No Solution.” It’s a great song about everything you believe in turning to shit: “Babies want to have publicists / Because better babies make best-of lists.” (No publicists contacted B2TW while we threw these together.) In that room, though, on that night, it felt more like shoving a crowbar in the coffin than a nail.

 

10. Thrash this mess around: Four Corners, at Steelworkers Hall, July 23

The concept for this show was simple enough. Four bands, all of them loud and scuzzy, manned the corners of a large room inside venerable Steelworkers Hall. We were in the centre. When the available light changed to a given colour, we streamed towards that corner for a few songs’ worth of ritual abuse. The beauty was in the details, and not just because the bill included Anagram, one of my favourite local bands.

Wandering through the cavernous Steelworkers Hall, with its tributes to industrial unionism and lefty agit-kitsch, I thought the venue could almost be a museum for older models of independent music. Meanwhile, the spastic colour cycles appropriated the structural logic of video games. But underneath those lurid lights, radical politics no longer seemed anachronistic, and the moshing reminded me that cathartic fake violence has its own history. To echo one of Carl’s entries, it was a new way of living. If you’re the resolution-making type, I hope you find a few of them.

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Filed under books, chris randle, comedy, comics, dance, events, lectures, literature, movies, music, TV/video, visual art

Teach Me How to Boogie #4: “Teach Me How to Dougie,” by California Swag District

by Chris Randle

In the first installment of TEACH ME HOW TO BOOGIE, I talked to my friend Amelia Ehrhardt about bounce music and the moves that go with it. She’s still studying dance at York University. Today’s very special edition of the series is about a single song, the nation-sweeping jerkin’ anthem “Teach Me How to Dougie,” and its titular dance craze (see above). Or at least that was the plan. My long Gchat conversation with Amelia wandered off on various tangents again – all about the same subject, this time. I condensed three hours of instant messages into this discussion. Welcome to Dougie 101.

Amelia: I just watched this:

Chris: I was going to ask if you wanted to know more about that track, or The Jerkin’ Movement in general, but it seems like you’ve already done the research!

Amelia: Background research

Amelia: It’s funny background research, via wikipedia youtube and urbandictionary

Chris: Did you have to look up “redbone”?

Amelia: What is that? I haven’t heard it yet

Chris: That may only be in the dirty version of the track (so not that first music video) – one of the guys says he’s going to find a “thick redbone” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Red%20Bone

Amelia: hahahaha

Amelia: “The fundamental thing, first of all, is jerking. Jerking is the main thing you gotta know, to jerk.”

Chris: It’s almost Zen

Chris: Here’s another favourite jerkin’ track from 2010:

Chris: “my iPod got the Bangz like it’s wearing a wig”

Amelia: Holy shit this is awesome

Amelia: Have you seen any of fzcentral’s videos?

Chris: No, are they dougie-related?

Amelia: Seem to be

Chris: You’ve probably figured this out by now, but the main membership/audience of jerkin’ is teenager skaters from L.A.

Amelia:

Amelia: I think fzcentral is more focused on jerkin…Can I say that?

Amelia: So let me get this trajectory – dougie is like a subcategory of jerkin’

Chris: Or a subset – or just a jerkin’ track married to a dance craze

Amelia: OK

Chris: The beat of a jerkin’ song is typically minimalist, and I think the one on “Teach Me How to Dougie” may actually be “live percussion” presets from some audio program.

Amelia: Cowbell apparently

Chris: Yeah

Amelia: I’m watching a bunch of tutorials about how to boogie

Amelia: I mean, dougie

Amelia: Hahaha!

Chris: Although the California Swag District have been mildly controversial, because I guess they’re the equivalent of a boy band?

Chris: They all have names like C-Smoove

Amelia: How long has the dougie been like an officially recognized dance?

Chris: Since 2009, at least

Amelia: Jesus this happens so fast

Chris: There’s a song by Wes Nyle called “Dougie”

Chris: Personally I don’t really care if the group was created by an A&R guy in Burbank, because c’mon: “This beat was bubblegum/So I had to chew it.”

Chris: (Not sure if there are any A&R guys in Burbank)

Amelia: I’m sort of doing 3 Gchats at the same time right now, and I showed a couple of these videos to Jon and some of what we are now talking about is really relevant to this – just about how quickly this stuff develops

Amelia: Second time this has hit me – I was thinking about it last time I was talking to you about this.

Amelia: Things are codified so quickly; ballet took 100 years to develop 5 foot positions, now whole subcategories pop up in what – a year?

Amelia: Like, the system of academic dance I studied when I was young, if the syllabus needed to be changed it took a DECADE

Amelia: Not to be like wow it’s 2010 the future is now and boy it’s fast

Amelia: but shit

Chris: I think teenpop like “Teach Me How to Boogie” moves especially fast

Chris: Back when Soulja Boy first blew up someone presented an EMP paper suggesting that “microcareers” like his would become normal – though Souljerrrr is still hanging in there, possibly through sheer weirdness.

Chris: One of his mixtapes this year was named after an anime series

Amelia: Well they were right weren’t they? Microcareers are kind of normal now

Amelia: It’s funny – this video

at 2:37 there’s a section of arm stuff and Jon was like “is that contemporary dance” (joking) but what’s interesting is that yes, it is

Amelia: Most contemporary dance classes I’ve been to have wiggly arm stuff

Amelia: I think maybe that’s the technical term? Anyway it’s all hip hop, jerkin, tipping, etc.

Amelia: also how much of it gets appropriated by drag

Amelia: That’s the other thing – how quickly it develops means that it gets subverted really quickly too. It’s hard to tell where it starts/finishes

Chris: Is it? I’ve never seen a drag show

Amelia: God it’s amazing, I saw this weird piece a couple months ago, trying to find the choreographer’s names now

Amelia: ILL NANNA / DiverseCity Dance Company

Amelia: All men, and half of it was pretty straight hip hop…hoods, jeans

Amelia: You know – they broke free! took off their hoods!

Amelia: Then they were all in heels and lingerie, doing all the feminized versions of the same dances.

Amelia: What’s the one form – is it rockin? – I can’t remember

Amelia: Anyway it has a whole other version that is the “women’s” style, which is so interesting, in all the development of western dance and trying to gender-neutralize everything, contact improvisation, women doing the lifts, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Amelia: and ultimately, people making dances still seem to want men and women to have different styles of dancing

Chris: Jerk kids can get pretty flamboyant themselves! Neon swag.

Chris: What you’re talking about kinda reminds me of something Maura Johnston wrote this week, about the gendered nature of proposal rituals: http://www.theawl.com/2010/11/why-the-ads-for-christmas-engagement-rings-make-me-uncomfortable

Amelia: man thank god someone wrote this

Amelia: “But all these ads are doing for me, a red-blooded American female, is solidifying my belief that that I never want someone in a relationship with me to feel like they have to ‘propose.'”

Chris: Maura writes really well about issues like that

Amelia: This is the second time I’ve started thinking a lot about gender while talking to you about these videos

Amelia: Maybe I just think about gender a lot, but I think it’s also pretty inescapable to have to think about gender in a form made on bodies

Amelia: Someone once said to me that you can’t make a dance on a man and a woman and not have it be about sex, a non-dancer/dance scholar – I was so irate

Amelia: Like, who are you to say what dance can and can’t be about? I still don’t agree, but I sort of see the logic behind it

Amelia: Because to an extent yes, if you are looking at work for representation, chances are you are going to try and have it represent something familiar to you…And I wouldn’t say that contemporary western theatrical dance is entirely trying to escape the fact or deny the fact that dance can be, tends to be, has a strong predisposition to be sexualized

Amelia: However I do think the form tries to work against that as much as possible – I mean, I don’t necessarily see sex when I see a man/woman pairing. But maybe I’ve been around bodies in that sense enough that I’m desensitized to it.

Amelia: Not in the same way that “all western people are now desensitized towards overt sexual imagery,” because I don’t think that changes our relationship to sex, but I do think that having to look at bodies abstractly – like, okay, what if my leg is an extended line and not the the part of my body that is attached to my crotch – leads to a certain disambiguation between bodies <-> sex.

Chris: I was going to say, why would a dance necessarily be about sex at a certain level of abstraction?

Amelia: I don’t think it would be, but I think there is a certain amount that people will take from it.

[Chris’ router stops working yet again]

Chris: If my internet connection was always about sex it would be bad, unsatisfying sex

Amelia: I would have left by now

Chris: no scrubz

Chris: Hah, that reminds me – have I told you about Pink Dollaz? http://passionweiss.com/2010/07/28/the-return-of-pink-dollaz/

Chris: all-girl jerk crew

Amelia: Is jerk something else that has a male-female version? Research I should have done

Chris: Pertinent quote: “Gets none from me so get your magic lotion / Drop you like a lost little puppy in the open”

Amelia: hahahahaha

Chris: Also, they have a song about making boys eat you out.

Chris: (at first I heard it as “lost little puppy in the ocean”)

Amelia: I mean, as great as it is to have a counter to songs basically glorifying rape, I still find this to be a bit of a Sex and the City version of feminism

Chris: Which rape-glorifying songs are you referring to?

Amelia: I can’t think of one off the top of my head – but a friend just posted lyrics the other day. I am exaggerating slightly, but I have definitely heard songs at LEAST about blow jobs

Chris: What I really like about Pink Dollaz is…how organic they are? They’re these high school friends who began recording songs about sex and Beyonce-style financial independence

Chris: And while a fair number of jerkin’ tracks are basically good-natured songs about fucking, theirs are the most aggressive I’ve heard.

Amelia: “good natured songs about fucking”

Amelia: I kind of love that

Amelia: don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with it

Chris: I actually wasn’t sure how to respond to your misgivings because I’ve never seen Sex and the City

Amelia: oh haha

Amelia: Well, I have a problem with Sex and the City-brand feminism

Amelia: I like this group – this one you just showed me – but it does seem close

Chris: There are huge racial/class differences between the two, though

Amelia: Well, of course

Amelia: But what do you mean by that? Does it make it any better to have “female rap” be about expensive bags and blow jobs if it’s a “racial/class difference”?

Amelia: What I mean is – that’s not the only thing that is “a female experience”

Amelia: and I have a problem with media/literature/etc that suggests this

Chris: I do think that saying “I pay my own bills” is more meaningful in one context, but that’s a good question

Chris: Yesterday I read this depressing New York Times trend piece about affluent, successful, ambitious women whose lower-earning male partners felt subtly emasculated or some shit

Amelia: exactly (which is bullshit)

Chris: or who couldn’t find a date at all because their male peers are interested in secretaries and nurses

Chris: though given our respective careers I doubt either of us will run into that dilemma! ha ha ha

Amelia: Have you heard of He’s Just Not That Into You?

Chris: yeah, I’ve heard of it

Amelia: It breaks women down into several categories of Women Who Don’t Get Second Dates Because Of The Following Female Problems

Amelia: one of them is a woman who is too into her career and too successful

Amelia: it suggests you tame it down if you want to get a guy to like you

Chris: “whenever a woman offers to pay for drinks my mind flashes to a primal castration scene”

Amelia: What’s that from?

Chris: a chris randle original joke, 2010

Amelia: ha ha ha

Chris: Detouring back to matters dougie-related – when you study dance in university, do they talk about how dance crazes like that can suddenly emerge from jerkin’ or another scene?

Amelia: No – “social” dance isn’t really studied in the university on that level, at least not in Toronto/Canada to my knowledge. I mean, I guess there’s some variety; this semester I had to take a course called The Canadian Dance Mosaic

Amelia: Lemme pull up the description

Amelia: “Examines dance as a human phenomenon that both reflects and shapes culture. Through readings, films, lectures, discussions and guest artists, students are introduced to a variety of dance forms from different traditions represented in Canadian society. The course examines the place of dance in its own cultural setting as well as approaching issues facing dance in Canada as a multi-ethnic society. ”

Amelia: It did that fairly successfully

Chris: That seems like a big oversight! But the emergence of new youth memes probably isn’t studied enough in general.

Amelia: It isn’t

Amelia: But what this course kind of tried to do was “level the playing field” and look at all dance forms as equal not ballet > everything else “world dance” etc.

Amelia: It makes the argument that calling other forms “folk” or “social” (vs like, formal/art dance) degrades them.

Amelia: Anyway the course kind of sucked, but I do think that kind of dialogue needs to happen, ideally before third-year university. Especially if we want to make dance relevant

Amelia: HELLO! Here it is, dance is relevant and happening in people’s lives

Amelia: Why aren’t we talking about it? Here is dance! The people are dancing, it is happening in front of you and we won’t put it in a university

Amelia: Hip hop and other arguably ACTUAL contemporary dance forms don’t go to university

Amelia: There’s a variety of reasons behind all of this, but why not start studying, at least on a theoretical level, the fact that people seem to be dancing and dancing with each other again?

Amelia: You can learn how to do this on Youtube for chrissakes, I don’t know if dance has ever BEEN more accessible.

Chris: I love that the California Swag District music video shows this diverse multitude of all races, assembled to learn the Way of the Dougie

Chris: I even love the NAME “California Swag District” – it sounds like a faction in some post-apocalyptic dystopia, or a separatist enclave. That’s a good look.

Amelia: fashion blog

Amelia: So where the hell does the name dougie come from

Amelia: and also until I watched the video I kind of assumed for some reason it was pronounced “doogie” maybe because of “teach me how to BOOgie”

Chris: I have no idea where the name originally came from

Chris: Would it be too much to dream that the Dougie is also a person?

Chris: a Swag Elemental

Amelia: Father of Swag

Chris: This appeared in Google Reader the other day:

Two memes in one!

Amelia: hahahaha!

Amelia: Okay I have to write a stupid paper for a stupid class I don’t care about

Chris: Okay

Chris: There’s one last clip I should show you

Chris: It’s…arresting, if nothing else

Amelia: ha

Chris: http://gawker.com/5689212/wolf-blitzer-taught-how-to-dougie

Chris: Maybe that’s the best way to measure when a teen dance craze has reached mass awareness: middle-aged TV anchors awkwardly doing the moves.

Amelia: Ha, hilariously I’m being made to sit through a 15-second Diane von Furstenberg sunglasses ad using knockoff SATC background music featuring a real Carrie Bradshaw type getting into a Manhattan cab

Amelia: It’s like the twist

Amelia: THIS IS THE BEST

Amelia: I think York Dance wants me to say something about the equalizing qualities of dance, universal language etc., but whatever that’s kind of not worth talking about, I mean, I can’t describe it any better than that video shows it

Amelia: Dance, it’s like so beautiful or something

Chris: I’ve never liked Wolf Blitzer more than I did watching that clip

Chris: Or liked him at all, really

Amelia: See? Beautiful.

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Filed under chris randle, dance, music