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Matthew Jacobs

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OVER IT: Time For The Overdone 'Harlem Shake' To Bounce Its Way Out Of Here

Posted: 03/11/2013 12:58 pm

harlem shake

Like most trends, it began with quiet confusion. Then curiosity turned into amusement, which prompted a barrage of copycats, each thinking they had somehow added their own flair with every replication. Finally, we entered full-fledged inundation. It seemed like every third headline championed a new iteration, and conversations across Twitter and Facebook were flooded with mentions of this newly inescapable fad.

The matter at hand is, of course, the "Harlem Shake," and the culprit is probably you. And no hard feelings or anything, but please. Enough already. Please!

I thought the fad had faded, until this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" featured a version during Justin Timberlake's tofu-clad Veganville sketch. Just one day before JT's submission, NASA squandered an opportunity to do an inventive, space-infused rendition that instead became another notch on the cache of unoriginal entries.

I won't waste time explaining what exactly these viral "Harlem Shake" videos entail. If you don't already know, then you probably aren't reading this blog. What I will do is lambast those of you who are still contemplating how to construct your own versions -- don't lie, I know you're out there! -- and those of you who are still clicking on every incarnation of this bizarre craze. And, especially, those of you who took to iTunes to download the single, recorded in 2012 by a DJ named Baauer, thereby making it No. 1 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart for three ridiculous weeks in a row (and counting) and encouraging this viral trend to continue its proliferation.

So far, we've seen reenactments from the following entities: "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," the Miami Heat, Anderson Cooper's staff, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Ryan Seacrest, the WWE, Pepsi and a plethora of others who comprise a list that's entirely too long to finish. Some have been refreshingly irreverent, some even clever -- but decency doesn't equate necessity, and we're still left with entirely too many of these mindless 30-second blips.

As if we needed further evidence that it's time to cut the cord, consider this: People are performing the dance on the streets of Egypt as a means of political protest (huh?), and in Australia -- where the meme originated -- a group of miners lost their jobs after uploading a video of themselves Harlem Shaking while at work.

Residents of uptown Manhattan's actual Harlem neighborhood are none too impressed -- and aren't they the experts? When filmmaker Chris McGuire took to the streets, reactions were generally befuddled, with most saying 2013's adaptation of the "Harlem Shake" is an unfaithful imitation of the original dance introduced in 1981.

In addition to these telltale signs that this has got to go, just think of all the old Internet novelties that have driven you to want to bash your head against the wall: "Gangnam Style," planking, rickrolling. "Harlem Shake" is an assured entry on the list.

Please, I beg of you, end this madness. We at HuffPost Celebrity are issuing a collective "OVER IT" geared straight at all of you eyeing your own "Shake." The pulsating beat and wild costumes were interesting for all of three days, and then this rhythmic train derailed in a collision that's resulted in massive overexposure. We're over it, and you should be, too.

 

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