Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Which I Curse General Larry Platt and Bemoan the Awesome Corruptive Powers of the Internet

Curse you, “General” Larry Platt. Curse you and your song.

You’ve heard about Pants On The Ground, right?

Of course you have. You’re on the interweb right now. If you have been on the interweb within the last what? six days, then it has been unavoidable. You can’t throw an electronic stone around this joint without hitting a Pants On The Ground reference. Hell, the song is probably stuck in your head right now, isn’t it?

If you haven’t heard of it then it might be best to shut off the your computer right now and head to your tin foil reinforced isolation cave before it infects your mind. But if you absolutely have to know, if you must open Pandora’s box, well… I’m loathe to do it but fine, I’ll link it. Here.

You have just witnessed the birth of the new decade’s “Where’s the beef?” Actually, it’s more like if “Where’s the beef?” and the Macarena made drunken tequila love one night after meeting at a Chumbawamba reunion concert (for which they paid full price) and then, nine months later, birthed their child out of wedlock.

And now we have Pants On The Ground.

You say, “Come on, Nat Topping. Stop being such a curmudgeon. Didn’t you see the video? It’s funny. Give The General his dues.”

Fine. Let me make this clear: I understand. We have a video of a 60-year old man calling himself “General” Larry dancing to and singing a song, which he penned himself, that does not rhyme but that satirized both modern hip hop and the aesthetic that accompanies that musical genre: namely, wearing your pants so low that people can see your asscrack. Besides, the word Pants is funny. This is an undeniable fact.

I get it. It’s like watching a hilarious train wreck.


I have a soul, people.

If this instance could remain a simple viral video for all time, then this would be fine. The hyperlink would just pop up from time to time and we would all take a quick look back and enjoy the strangeness of it all.

No, my problem was with the nefarious aftershock that was born immediately – immediately! – after the General started his song. You could see it on Simon Cowell’s face: the realization that what this is an objectively awful performance AND we’re going to make a lot of money off of this.

As of the writing of this post, there are 7,710 videos on Youtube and counting, 27 million results on Google and counting, Facebook fan pages with 1.5 million fans and counting. Ring tones, T-shirts, not one but two covers done by Jimmy Fallon ALONE. Countless local news stations nationwide with their anchors delivering versions of the same patronizing lead-ins to the exact same "feel good / weird news" story.

I can’t wait for the SNL show where every sketch has a Pants On The Ground joke. You know it's coming and guess who the musical guest will be.

General Larry Platt has created a monster, my friends. It’s a monster so powerful that it’s permeated even this simple little blog, stuck all the way in this remote corner far from the cultural epicenters of the interwebs. And Pop Culture will not rest until we can have no conversations without a Pants On The Ground reference.

Curse you, General Platt. Curse you and the media firestorm you unwittingly ignited.

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