The year was 2013, and the world was a much more innocent place. Democrats and Republicans were friends, “Gluten” was still this mysterious trend that people didn’t really understand, and, to top it off, I had yet to experience the scary reality of living life as an adult with real responsibilities. What marked the true innocence of that year, however, was the meme that swept across the globe. Sure, some of the dance moves and outfits may have been a little risqué, but there was always a sense of incorruptibility and wonder in each Harlem Shake video.
The first 15 seconds of the song, when one person in the scene dances to the music while others around them act normally, builds the anticipation that leads into the video’s closing act. How a scene changes after the song goes “Do the Harlem Shake,” can make or break a Harlem Shake video. How different is the second half from the first? What kind of crazy costumes can the participants scrounge together? How many random people can the creators of the video manage to bring together in one place? These questions and more go through everyone’s minds as they watch a clip. No matter how many videos one watches, one can’t help but be surprised each time the beat drops.
My only regret from 2013 was not getting a group of people together to attempt a Harlem Shake video. When I think of-
Okay, I’ll have to stop myself there for a moment. I have to admit I’m stretching the truth when I say that that was my only regret. I’m sure I have a few more regrets from that year, but not producing a video is up there. In the ten seconds I’ve allotted myself to think of 2013 regrets just now, I’ve come up with maybe four right off the top of my head. I won’t go into those in great detail, but even people who have lived the greatest lives ever lived must have had some thoughts as to what could have been.
-the great idea I had that year, it’s a shame I wasn’t able to contribute to the growing library of Harlem Shake videos. I truly believe the idea I had could have been one of the greatest ever!
Picture this scene. There are two people standing in a church, clearly for a funeral ceremony. In front of them is an open coffin, but from the vantage point of the camera the viewer cannot see the body. The video starts in silence, but after five seconds the immediately recognizable Harlem Shake tune begins. As it commences, the body that had been laying dead in the coffin slowly rises up, dancing in a way only a zombie can. The duo do nothing, as if they cannot see the dancing dead person in front of them. Then, once the first half of the song ends, the second half begins with an army of the dead dancing to their heart’s delight. With so many “dead” people dancing in the church, each with their own costume and flair, we’d have put Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video to shame.
It was a simple idea, but one that would have taken the Harlem Shake world by storm. Of course there’s still time to get a bunch of pals together to make this happen, but surely the moment has passed. My last hope to bring this idea to fruition will be for a video I have designs to make in 2020. That year will be ripe for a “Decade in Review: Memes” video, which would be the optimal place to introduce people of the Internet to fresh takes of old classics they know and love, including other memes they enjoyed this past decade, such as Tebowing and the Ice Bucket Challenge. Until then, never forget the beauty that was.