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Internet offers global stage for ridiculous fads

Saturday, December 29, 2012 - 12:01 am

There have been some pretty dumb fads in the past half-century. Pet rocks, anyone? Mood rings? Mullets? Disco? Leg warmers? Topless bathing suits? (OK, that last one wasn't so bad.)

Unfortunately, now that this YouTube thing has turned out to be not such a fad after all, it is easier and easier for absurd, completely useless, incomprehensible videos to become worldwide sensations.

How else could you explain the popularity of the South Korean singer/dancer PSY and his ridiculous “Gangnam Style” dance? I'm sure you've seen him — or someone acting like him. Not since everyone and his grandmother were line-dancing to (speaking of mullets) Billy Ray Cyrus and his “Achy Breaky Heart” has a dance craze gotten this out of hand.

People, it's not all that funny — or novel. A guy is dancing around pretending he is on a horse. I've seen 2-year-old children do that with a broomstick. Inexplicably, this has become the most watched video of all time, passing even Justin Bieber, with more than 806 million views. Of course, by the time this column sees the light of day it will have certainly passed a billion.

Gene Kelly was a dancer. Fred Astaire was a dancer. PSY is an oddball. Have we got nothing better to do with our free time than latch onto videos of people acting outrageous or children and animals being unbearably cute?

I swear, scientists could find a cure for cancer, but if it was announced on the same day someone uploaded a video of a kitten biting a German shepherd's tail while a parakeet tweeted the theme from “The Brady Bunch” in the background, no one would hear about it!

Besides, parakeets and canaries are the only creatures that should be “tweeting.” For them it actually serves a useful purpose.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he's not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.