Viral Things Become Obsolete

A friend recently reposted that old video of Beyonce dancing to The Chicken Dance Song — an incredible mashup that works well on so many levels, I could probably expound upon that for the remainder of this blog post. That video, once viral (viewed over 1 million times on YouTube alone, which doesn’t include all the clicks generated from Facebook or other social media (it’s probably been viewed a billion times on Instagram if for no other reason than videos automatically load as you’re scrolling, and then of course you have to watch that video six times in a row).

[As a completely unrelated side note: I’m watching a movie that just used the phrase “jot and tittle,” and I think we all need to use that more frequently in our everyday conversations.]

Anyhow, I got to thinking about this funny Beyonce Chicken Dance video and how I only think about it when I’ve recently viewed it or discussed it (which is usually only prompted by my viewing it). How this once very viral video became — sort of — obsolete. In fact, this could be said about nearly every viral video that’s hit social media in the last few years; I’m sure we’re not thinking about them particularly often, although our memories are jogged when they’re reposted and we’re reminded of their existence.

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Image from YouTube.com

And that got me thinking about He Who Shall Not Be Named (no, not the actual one — the other one who’s running for president, whose name will never be uttered on my blog because I do not want to give him the satisfaction that I’ve assisted in his notoriety). In the past several months, I’ve seen nothing but bad press about him, and nearly every single one of my Facebook friends has uttered his name in the same breath as “is terrible” “is racist/sexist/too conservative/evil” “shouldn’t be president”, etc. And his name becomes more and more viral by the second — every single time someone mentions his name, even in passing, his notoriety soars. He’s the virus we didn’t see coming.

I’m going to go ahead and say it right now: if he does, in fact, become president,Β (which I do not believe is statistically possible because the assumption is that literally every voter who does not vote for, say, Rubio or Cruz will vote for him and that literally every voter who does not vote for, I’m going to say Clinton because Sanders doesn’t stand a chance after the Primaries, will vote for him as well. Because of write-ins and the Independent party, I don’t see that happening. I mean, maybe it might, but it seems highly improbable.) Β well,Β I BLAME YOU ALL. At this point, the people who vehemently spew forth his name with the same vitriol as they do towards Hitler or other evil dictators will be entirely to blame for his rise to success. I suppose I associate myself with only others with the same level of intellect as myself (or similar), but these large factions of supporters do not exist in my world, and I imagine Super Tuesday’s wins were primarily due to his name trending so much. I mean, there’s entirely the possibility that people voted for him because they just wanted to troll us.

We’re treating this presidential election like a reality TV show. We’re watching it, with bated breath, waiting to phone in or for someone to get their rose, and we’ve forgotten the chief purpose of a presidential election is to actually elect an electable official and place him/her in a rather important office. He’s bigger than the Kardashians (which I am certain irritates Kris Jenner to no end because no one should be bigger than them). (And again, might I remind all of you who despise the Kardashians’ rise to incredible fame, that is also your fault because you were talking about them more than, say, Jersey Shore or Lindsay Lohan, just enough to help them become a household name so even our grandparents somehow know who these people are, despite their not actually doing anything significant for society.)

We love to complain. It’s a lot more fun than talking about stuff we love (for a lot of people. Certainly not my mother.) because we get to whine and say awful things and know that our friends all agree with us entirely, and it’s great because we all hate it. Being more vulnerable and having real talk moments make us uncomfortable, so we head right back into the world of E! and TMZ because it’s safe. The problem with enough people complaining about the same thing is that it almost always does NOT lead to the end result of said thing disappearing. Because, you know, we’re talking about it. It can’t disappear if it’s still relevant.

And I think we also find immense fear in negative press — heaven forbid other people say they don’t like us for whatever reason (and seriously, it’s ok if other people don’t like you — admit it, you don’t like everyone with whom you’ve come in contact either). That’s the worst thing that could ever happen, right?

Wrong.

The worst thing that could happen is that we leave no legacy. That at the end of the day, no one actually cares about us at all. I don’t need a lot of friends — less than 10 suits me fine — but if I hit a point in my life when no one cared for me (that would take both of my parents and my husband being dead, but let’s pretend for the time being that it wouldn’t because of course that would be awful in its own right), I’d be steeped in some pretty intense depression. We want to be loved and valued, of course, but mostly we want to be heard. We need a witness.

Of course, I could say this over and over again till my face turned blue, and it wouldn’t stop anyone from assisting in his continuous rise to becoming the most powerful man on earth (and I don’t just mean that in a presidential way — seriously, he’s consumed our lives, so he honestly IS the most powerful human I can think of right now. I can’t think of anyone else because my brain is simply filled with his name and stupid face.). I wish it would. I wish we could declare tomorrow an indefinite holiday to never speak of him again, and I assure you it wouldn’t take very long before he got cataloged away with “BEST REACTION EVER!”, “Cat Gets Caught Stealing!”, and “Johanna Channeling Arethra Franklin!” Did you know there are kids these days who have no clue who N Sync is? Didn’t even know it ever existed, that Justin Timberlake’s origins are more embarrassing than they could ever know? Imagine a world where those same kids also didn’t know about … well, you know. That guy.

I’ve posted about him twice on Facebook, both times fraught with embarrassment and shame and in one, attempting to avoid name usage so he wouldn’t know I was one of the millions who talk about him more than Jesus. It was two times too many, but in my defense, the second was about this whole issue right here.

We have, as a collective worldwide group of individuals, all of the power to make someone or something disappear. We just do (sorry, Andrew Keegan). So why aren’t we using that power yet?

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