Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pop Internet Culture: The Meme Daft Hands, Bodies and More

The original concept for the meme was introduced with Daft Hands You Tube Video in June 2007. Quite clever, it is a hand jig revealing the lyrics to the Daft Punk's song Harder Better Faster Stronger which are inked onto various places on the fingers and hands of the finger dancer. The video is ranked among the top viewed YouTube videos in the "All Time" category and appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  The music  is also a Meme in itself because it uses Auto tune (go here to learn about the Auto tune Meme). The Daft Hands Video was done in one take; there is no editing except the words at the beginning. As such it is also an illustration of the Meme One Take go here to learn about that. 
The original You Tube Video has had 37,694,354 views to date.

New versions of Daft hands arrived on You tube in the months following, but more importantly, the concept spread and lots of high school guys and gals were inking up their fingers and practicing the Daft movements. The second stage of a Meme, overexposure, had been reached.

The third and most interesting stage of a Meme is parody and remix. When the fingers of Daft Hands were replaced by bodies and the Daft Bodies Video came out in October of 2007 it had officially gone viral on the Internet. There were finger jigs created for other tunes and so the Meme progressed in more than one direction. The first video below is typical of the hundreds of Daft Body amateur productions which were featured in Videos made in living rooms and school auditoriums in 2008 and through 2009 and even on National TV on as it was performed on UK's Channel 4 on Big Brother in August of 2009. Go here as embedding has been disabled.

More typical of the You Tube productions is this one which features two ladies - the top Google hit and the earliest of the Daft Body Videos I could find.  It has 12,125,845 views.  (If you would rather watch the guys go here: If you would rather watch a bunch of High School Seniors doing a school production go here). Another point illustrated by all these Videos: You don't have to be great, you just have to have a good concept and put in a reasonable effort for it to gain wide (if short lived) attention on the internet. The Internet is not about perfection.

Some interesting parodies are also available.  The first takes the theme to the Scrabble Board published on You Tube in October of 2007.

The Daft Bodies Simpson's Version  was published in April of 2008.

Meme's follow a standard progression of Introduction, Overexposure, Remix and Parody, and then Equilibrium, when the meme falls back to its previous state of obsurity and is relegated to the back pages of the internet.

Talking about the back pages of the internet... where is that last page? Go here to see the last page of the internet and also what is called a "single serving site".

And guess what? Single serving sites are also a type of meme. Go here to learn what they are all about.

1 comment:

  1. It's always interesting how something seen on the Internet can cause such a stir.


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