Arts Post
Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 09/26/2012

‘Gangnam Style’: Beating a dead (invisible) horse (dance)

Maybe you thought “Gangnam Style,” the funny Korean single that popularized the “invisible horse dance,” was a late-summer jam that you’d leave behind like a fond but distant memory as the days grew cooler and shorter. Nope, no one thought that: Instead, they wondered, “How can I continue to make versions of this video that are each less funny than the last, until ’Gangnam Style’ becomes a photocopy of a photocopy of something that was at one point amusing, but will now annoy everyone endlessly?”

In August, I wrote: “Prepare for the invisible horse dance takeover.” It’s here, and now I urge you: Prepare for the beating of the (invisible) dead horse (dance). Witness the evolution of a meme as it goes from funny to annoying to “UGH, NOT THAT SONG AGAIN”:

First, fans begin learning the dance, and posting their videos to YouTube:

Then, someone remixes the song with another mega-popular, meme-inspiring song:

Then, as with Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” men in uniform perform it:

Then, marching bands and cheerleaders learn the song for halftime, a la “Party Rock Anthem”:

Then the floodgates open for any bizarro parody people can think of. Like characters from the video game “Skyrim”:

or “Lord of the Rings”:

Or the eager to cash in, brand-identity-be-damned, fashion designer Jill Stuart:

Then, as with “[Expletive] People Like,” the meme splinters to include every group and subculture (interesting to note that “Party Rock Anthem” got a Jewish parody, too):

And here we are, in that awkward moment when the song is still popular, but growing staler by the minute. It’s probably going to be on “Glee” soon, which is when it will be truly over. There’s only one exception to this rule: Thanks to Cookie Monster’s excellent “Call Me Maybe” parody, “Sesame Street” can cover “Gangnam Style” whenever it pleases.

By  |  04:05 PM ET, 09/26/2012

Tags:  music, culture

 
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