Saturday, October 02, 2004

Yo, Lemme Break it Down For Y'all

During a lapse in my normally sound judgment, I found myself watching a show at 12:30 AM a few nights ago called Dance 360°, wherein participants drawn "at random" from the crowd are put in the middle of a "dance circle" and are told to "dance" to some "music" being "played" at a DJ table.

I ended up watching probably a grand total of 20 minutes of it before I couldn't possibly stand it any longer. From those particularly grueling 20 minutes, I have learned a few things about not just the show, but about what our culture has degenerated into lately.

Apparently, in order to get on the show, you have to meet the following requirements:
  1. You must be egotistical, self-centered, loud, obnoxious, and you must have a firm grasp on all of the current cool slang words and phrases. Actual skill or talent in the art of dancing is not required.
  2. When one of the hosts invites you to come dance, you must act tough and cocky in order to convince everyone that you really have no fear of breaking your 10 o' clock curfew and losing your TV privileges for a week.
  3. When you introduce yourself, you must:
  • Say what your name is (not the name you were born with, but a name that says that you are cool, like T-Bone or X-Ray or PB n' J or Tidycat or Alpo or Meow Mix)
  • Don't just tell people where you are from. Tell them where you are "representing" from. I guess the reasoning behind this is that anyone who comes on this show probably doesn't possess the cerebral fortitude to find the address to the House of Representatives in the phone book, so it's not like they will ever actually represent something worthwhile in their lifetime.
  • Talk in incomplete sentences using improper grammar, slang, double negatives (triple negatives earn big bonus points), and slur your words together - it's cool to slur your words together because it makes people think that you use drugs, and all of your favorite celebrities do drugs (Martha Stewart, Britney Spears, Bugs Bunny, Frankenstein, Homer Simpson, and that annoying "Get Smart" kid in the Smart and Final commercials), so it must be cool.


Host: "Yo wassup homie G dawg masta funk, whatcha name n' whereya representin?"
Audience Member: Yo, mah name's P-Dripple and I represent da Wet Side Slacks."
Host: "Yo man, I ain't sure I didn't hear you wrong. Ya mean da West Side Slacks?"
Audience Member: "Y'all didn't not not hear me wrong. Oh yeeeah, I be bustin da triple negatives."

Now that you are on the dance floor, it's time for you to show everyone your moves.

Dancing has drastically changed over the last decade or so. Nowadays, as long as there is music playing (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), pretty much any rapid movement of the body is classified as dancing, as infantile as it may seem.

Such moves as the "Spin on your head until you puke" and the "Flail your arms around like you're having a seizure" are gaining in popularity, along with the obligatory "Twirl around on your hands while spinning your legs in the air and kicking nearby people in the mouth" which seems to be a staple in the world of "break" (Gee, I wonder where they got the name?) dancing.

And the whole point of the show is to gain audience approval, and you advance in the rounds depending on how loud the crowd cheers for you. And the winner receives some joke prize like a piece of string or an Xbox or some equally dull and uninspired gift. So there really is no point to it at all, other than being able to make up an amazingly cool persona for yourself like P-Dripple of the Wet Side Slacks. REPRESENT!!

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