On My Mind: Vines & Shakes

PART I: All right. Stop what you are doing. I need you to go to this website: http://vinepeek.com

It  fascinates me. Flashes. Flashes of little worlds across the country happening instantly. My friend Derek introduced me to this, and by chance I recalled its existence this evening when a friend tweeted a vine video. I love it. It kind of almost creeps me out how I cannot stop watching, but then that feeling is replaced by appreciation. The whole vine app phenomenon is just another example of web video. It’s storytelling in it’s most basic, concise and condensed six second form. I would say these videos compare to the flashiest of flash fiction, like the writing exercises that ask you to relate a complete story in only six words. Yes, some of those stories are going to be pretty crap, but occasionally someone does something clever, something amusing, or sweet, maybe even sad (or frightening), but it’s that something that makes you feel a connection to the author and humanity. These are kind of like that. It makes me feel very human.

Also, people post SO MUCH FOOD. What is up with the phenomenon of documenting our food? I’m guilty of it  myself. It just looks so pretty on camera, especially with oodles of filters (I AM AN ARTIST. …not). The people of the future are going to think we worshiped the noms, which to an extent, don’t we? What, just me?

PART II: On a COMPLETELY different note, on Facebook They Might Be Giants posted this video:

And it made me think. First off, I had no idea the Harlem shake was an actual dance from Harlem. I’d never heard anything about it until this crazy viral video thing started happening, which I suppose is just cultural ignorance on my part. But, I can see both sides of it. I understand how people from Harlem might think the rest of the world is poking fun, but I can also  see how there are a lot of people like me that just thought it was a harmless internet phenomenon. I didn’t realize people were actually offended by it. I’m not sure exactly what the origins of the first “harlem shake” video were, but I think it was probably just some dumb kids trying to make silly videos on the internet (like we do in this day and age) and it spun out of control. I can see how people could be offended, but I don’t think that was necessarily what was intended. Maybe I’m naive.

Part III: Okay, I don’t think I really have a part III. I’ve been reading Best American Non-required Reading  2011 and there have been some essays in there about some pretty heavy stuff, documenting and discussing violence and injustice around the country and world. I was going to get into it, but I think I’ll save it for later. Needless to say, it’s making me think.

Until next time I will leave you with this project I completed last night with my friend Justin:



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