I was talking to my walking partner a couple of days ago and she was telling me about a trend that is popping up around the Dallas area. People are dressing up like animals as a social meetup kind of thing. She said that some of the people at her work were talking about it and they can hardly wait to leave work so they can run home and get their costumes on. (fun?)
As luck would have it, the very next day, I was having coffee here in Kansas City at my local Panera Bread Company, and low and behold the guy in front of me has a sheep "hoodie" on. I am calling it a hoodie because I haven't a clue as to what else to call it. The lamb's wool (hopefully faux) hood came over the guys head and shoulders and had ears. This isn't to be confused with those cute little hats like Crabby Pants wears. This is more like a guy wearing a dead ewe on his head. It times like this I need Google glasses because I, frankly, don't have the lady balls to pull out my Iphone and take a picture. To appreciate it you would of had to of seen it. What made this even more fun was the fact my 76 year old coffee buddy said "Oh, look it's one of those people that dress like animals." See, even my older lady friends are more in the "know" than I am.
In order not to be totally devoid of knowing about any current (albeit bizarre and useless), trends, I do a little searching on Google and come up somewhat empty handed. There are numerous articles about a subculture called Furry fandom where people dress up as and anthropomorphize animals, but that has been around since 1980. So why now...why am I hearing about this twice within a couple of days? Well, maybe it's because:
A. I've been living under a rock.
B. I am the least trendy person on the planet.
C. I couldn't give a rat's patoot about dressing up as an animal.
D. The human race's collective IQ is dropping faster than a rock pushed over by a Boy Scout Leader...oops that's a whole other post.
E. A very odd song from Norway is stuck in everyone's brain and is causing some rather bizarre behavior.
BUT before I meander back to the idiotic song that may or may not be prompting people to look like this guy at the mall, let's talk a bit about earworms.
Thought Number One: Haven't We Been Here Before?
According to Wikipedia
Every so often some music becomes the "song you just can't get out of your head". This isn't news. What is interesting is that there have been a few recent studies about WHY music lends itself to get stuck in our brain and who is more susceptible to having tunes repeat over and over in our brains.
James Kellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration, has done research on earworms and he's found that as many as 99 percent of us have fallen prey to them at one time or another Kellaris says women and people who are neurotic, tired or stressed are most prone to earworm attacks. (EXCUSE ME??? Did he just insinuate that women are neurotic? Or am I just being neurotic?)
Researchers also aren't sure why some songs are more likely to get stuck in our heads than others, but everyone has their own tunes that drive them crazy. Often the songs have a simple, upbeat melody; catchy, repetitive lyrics; and a surprise such as an extra beat or unusual rhythm -- the same factors that made the songs or jingles popular in the first place (like the Chili's, "I want my baby back baby back baby back ribs" jingle, which made Kellaris' list of the most insidiously "stuck" songs).
There are a number of lists that have picked out what songs are the most likely to cause earworms. Just a few of those that appeared on some of the lists:
- YMCA, (Village People)
- Who Let the Dogs Out, (Baha Men),
- We Will Rock You (Queen)
- It's a Small World After All (Sherman Bros./Disney Studios)
- Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepson)
Thought Number Two: The Quickest Way to Commercial Success is to Create an Earworm
|Crabby Pants does love to be in the spotlight...even if it's with a psycho.|
Park Jaesang, a rather unorthodox South Korean that is considered more of a comedian in his own country, brought to us a catchy little number called Gangnam Style. Park, who performs as Psy (short for psycho) had limited success in South Korea as by Korean standards, is considered too old at 34 to be a commercial success, plus he had been busted for marijuana and had avoided serving in his country's mandatory military service. His first album got him fined for "inappropriate content" and the second was banned.
Never fear...if all else fails..take it to America.
Park might of missed the money train in Korea but he managed to catch it in America when You Tube started running Gangnam Style which has earned a whopping 1,799,129,117 hits since it's release. Along with it's Internet success came a lot of exposure and a lot of record sales. Not bad considering the fact that no one has a clue what the song is about.
But it seems that a lot of Americans couldn't get enough of Psy. The American rapper T-Pain was retweeted 2,400 times when he wrote "Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is.
Which brings me to the "whole animal costume" thing. The latest version of a earworm taking hold and not letting go is the newest import from Norway What Does the Fox Say.
The brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, members of the Norwegian comedy group Ylvis, produced the song and music video "The Fox" to promote the upcoming third season of their television talk show Tonight with YLVIS on TVNorge. It was meant as a comedic gag. I guess the joke is on them that Americans will latch onto anything.
WARNING: PLAY THIS VIDEO AT YOUR OWN RISK! USE EXTREME CAUTION AS IT MOST LIKELY WILL DESTROY ANY AND ALL OF YOUR GOOD BRAIN CELLS. ADDITIONALLY, IT MAY LEAD TO THE NEED TO POKE OUT YOUR EAR DRUMS AND SCRATCH OUT YOUR EYES. BE WARNED: YOU CAN'T UNSEE OR UNHEAR IT.
YOU WILL NEVER GET THOSE 3 MINUTES AND 45 SECONDS BACK.
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