Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Disturbing Trends

Marcel Marceau may be six feet (1.8m) under, but apparently his spirit lives on in a new generation of irritating French street urchins who consider their annoyance "art."

The indespensible Gridskipper is reporting on the horrific Parsian trend of Tektonik, wherein young hipsters are dancing solo - or battling it out - in the streets.

I think it's time for the Mairie de Paris to hand down a Footloose-style ban on street dancing. Or at least keep the practice confined to the hipper-than-thou nightclubs I wouldn't visit anyway.

All kidding aside, French pop culture is endlessly fascinating. It seems they always take something that originated in the States (in this case, skinny-pants hipsterism and You Got Served-style battles), add to it some unabashedly cheesy European flair for not giving a fuck, and then every kid who wants to be different starts doing the same thing.

Other trends we can scoff at include Euro-mullets, mass rollerblading, and juice bars. It's enough to make your eyes roll permanently back into your skull.

On the other hand, it's heartening to see that the French now have rhythm. I believe I've noted before that on my first trip to France so long ago, a friend had observed that the people here can't dance. It was proven to me one night at Wax, a "DJ Bar" in the Bastille (which apparently is still going strong). I was a few cocktails in, chatting with some fellow Yanks, when all of a sudden, I put a halt to the conversation. "Guys, check it out!" "What?" "No one can keep a damn rhythm!" We all agreed, and despite the fact that I dance worse than Bill Cosby in the opening credits of The Cosby Show, I was able to stay on beat, to the point that the locals were cheering me on. What... the... F...?

So despite my initial irritation, I'm proud of this new generation of French kids who can not only keep up a rhythm, but apparently enjoy themselves and turn into cult heroes on YouTube. There's got to be some serious bliss in the ignorance of the fact that Napoleon Dynamite is SO 2004.

Hmm, maybe I should whip out a "Vote for Pedro" shirt and be the hip guy in my neighborhood.

Maybe not.

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