YouTube Harlem Shakes its Way into Conformity

The ‘Harlem Shake,’ the ‘screaming goat,’ the ‘grumpy cat,’ the ‘condescending Wonka.’ Back in the ’50s and ’60s they’d sound like dance numbers. Today, unfortunately, they’re just monotonous memes.

If you haven’t heard of any of these, then most likely you are living a satisfied, wholesome existence uninhibited by life-sucking black holes of entertainment just a click away on the Internet.

For the online-innocents, here’s a brief description of the epidemic infecting our attention spans. The virus is known as the MEME …  don don don. Memes are pop culture images, gifs, or videos that are humorously customized by different people and then spread via word of mouth. They are also known to the trolling elite as ‘lulz.’ Memes, lulz … what ever happened to actual words? Noah Webster and George Merriam are spinning in their graves right now.

Not only is this meme pox taking over our standards for entertainment, but it’s becoming inescapable. Google implements secret ‘Easter eggs’ all over its sites, surprising us when we least expect it. (Another definition for the innocent: an Easter egg is something hidden in a website and only viewable when a certain keyword or action occurs.)

YouTube is shaking its way into meme-dom with its clever take on the Harlem Shake. Next time you’re on YouTube, search “Do the Harlem Shake” and check it out: the infamous tune will start playing as the logo begins to bounce around. After 15 seconds, the video results, their descriptions, and the site’s left hand column itself will start gettin’ jiggy with it.

(By the way, we will not be doing our own Harlem Shake. Even when it was cool 10 days ago, we decided to pass. Miami Heat be damned, we won’t be that ad agency. Ah, and you know it’s getting bad when we’re actually getting upset at LeBron, DWade & Co., for not properly cloaking their lead dancer with a mask. Dude, like, you’re totally doing it wrong… )


Google is known for placing Easter eggs including the ‘barrel roll,’ ‘Chuck Norris,’ and ‘Zerg rush’ search results, as well as the Google Reader Ninja, to name a few Google eggs. However, the Harlem Shake takeover of the YouTube search result is the first time Google has hopped aboard the meme train.


Who knows what’s next. Maybe Google will start braying at you the next time you search “screaming goat.” The millions of YouTube views ­­is further evidence of a possible quick, downward spiral of American taste and intelligence. It’s almost time to pack your bags, get on the nearest space craft, and fly to the nearest planet.


But damnit if we didn’t have fun collecting these memes for this blog post.

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