The Harlem Shake viral meme has hit the mainstream.
YouTube Trends says there were about 40,000 videos of the dance uploaded as of Feb. 14 and those videos were viewed more than 175 million times. Suffice to say some are wishing the meme would Harlem Shake itself into the tired realm of Call Me Maybe and Gangnam Style.
Now that middle-aged, British-accented news anchors are describing the mechanics of this gyrating dance, is the Harlem Shake finally on its way out?
Only time will tell, goes the cliched ending of a bad news report. But if mentions on Twitter are any indication, this thing is as big as it ever was, like it or not. Still, the annoyance is becoming evident.
"@kkalthani: Just when I thought the human race hit rock bottom with Gangnam Style, you guys come up with The Harlem Shake. Good job." «hehe
— Sheilla Masasabi (@sheillamasasabi) February 19, 2013
One of TechCrunch's writers tried to break down the reliable, simplistic formula that makes the Harlem Shake so popular.
Josh Constine says the key is that a 30-second video doesn't take much time to make or watch. Impatient Internet surfers are willing to sit through half a minute, especially when the rules for viral success are defined precisely.
One person dances passively, jump cut to everyone flailing wildly, then a slow motion ending for effect, with room for people to add their own variations. If capturing the Internet's attention is so easy, it doesn't matter if the Harlem Shake soon fades away.
The real question is, what's next?
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