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One on One | Everyday I’m Shuffling

by Andy Davis / Illustration by Laugh It Off / 09.12.2011

Don’t you hate it when you pick the wrong meme for summer? I’m pretty sure that’s the feeling over at Vodacom this week after airing their big budget summer “Mo Faya” campaign TV spot, featuring the LMFAO’s catchy but ultimately noxious “Party Anthem” (for which, you can be sure, they paid big boy money). And then being gazumped by KIA’s even bigger budget CGI hamsters-dancing, on the set of what looks like Gears of War, to the same damn tune, in the very next ad slot. D’oh!

You could almost hear the pins drop over there at Vodaworld, moments before the angry client/agency phonecalls. But hey that’s what happens when you try to pick the “sound of summer” and ride those “feel good” vibes all the way to the bank. Sure Vodacom would’ve done their research, realising that LMFAO’s June 2011 release of the “Party Anthem” blew up all over the developed world’s Northern Summer, so it was “sure fire” to replicate those globo-summer-hit vibes in the far flung colony. They then tacked this song onto the “Mo Faya” campaign, which is basically just their “interpretation” of MTN’s more successful Ayoba! But eish man, the whole thing is so damn derivative. There are literally hundreds of kif local songs to choose from that would have had the same, if not better effect. Hell HHP or Shane, from Desmond and the Tutus, who feature in the ad, could’ve come up with something bespoke for a small bump in their appearance fees.

Alas, long gone are the days when Vodacom ads used to surprise and entertain. Uh uh gogo.

Anyway, let’s now shift our attentions away from the marketing mis-steps of South Africa’s cellular network giants and focus on the unparalleled levels of kak embodied in the “Party Anthem” and the scourge of modern dance styles known as “the shuffle”.

LMFAO basically found their way to your ears thanks to none other than uber-douche global superstar DJ, David Guetta. Thanks Dave! Before that they were the one hit wonders who brought us the awesome, albeit slightly misog, “I’m In Miami Bitch”. Since the breakthrough of “Party Anthem” their following two singles, “Champagne Showers” and “Sexy and I know It” have all gone to number one on various pop charts from Canada to Australia… expect the same from 5FM after the usual two month delay.

Perhaps the coolest thing LMFAO have ever done is get into a scuffle with Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at the Vancouver Winter Olympics back in 2010. Rapper SkyBlu (one half of LMFAO) bizarrely claimed that Romney attacked him from behind and had tried to give him the “Vulcan Nerve Pinch”. F’realz. Which is cool, but also kind of apt because that’s almost exactly the same effect LMFAO’s music has on us.

But if you were looking for a silver lining, abandon hope now, SkyBlu aka Skylar Gordy, is the son of Berry Gordy jr. the American music producer who founded the incredible Motown label! Talk about selling out (y)our heritage. Brings to mind the Marley lyric: “Sometimes it seems like total destruction, the only solution.”

The shuffle, or more accurately, the Melbourne Shuffle, is possibly the most recognised contemporary dance style for suburban first world whiteys, beyond rave standards: the sprinkler, packing the boxes and parking the plane. At the risk of raising the ire of Mahala’s oversensitive commentboard trolls, as a dance style, shuffling is unassailable evidence of how lame white people really are. Dancefloors will testify! While blacks get to invent shit like hip hop, b-boying and isbujwa, whiteys, who can dance, shuffle. Oh the ignominy. The shuffle has been floating around Jozi’s South and East Rand for a few years now. And is pretty big in Lenasia too. You can catch a variety of demonstrations tonight, busting out on dancefloors at clubs in Rivonia. Earlier this year, Tiger Wheel and Tyre rode the shuffle meme… badly. On the strength of that ad, I suspect everyone at TW&T got an iPod Shuffle for xmas.

And that good people of Mahala is your One On One this Friday, a summer dance meme for douches that gestures towards the decline of human civilization. Next week we’ll write about something that we like.

Opening image © Laugh it Off. You can buy it on a t-shirt here.

*Fridays are One on One day at Mahala. One scene, one song, one image, product or design that’s made a real difference to you with its power, originality, brilliance or emotion. Tell us why it matters. Convince us it changed your life. Show us why we need to experience it for ourselves. Send yours in and we’ll publish the best. Up to 500 words. The best one each month gets R500 bucks. There are no rules. Write it how you want us to read it. Get involved.

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