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Why Is This A Thing? | Joe Altaffer

Why Is This A Thing?

by Joe Altaffer

From Clown Sightings to Harambe memes (which many or may not still be a thing) to Pokémon Go (which also may or may not still be a thing), there has been a new “activity/trend” that has emerged. Its origins don’t necessarily make very much sense, but ladies and gentlemen, the Mannequin Challenge has finally arrived. Large groups of people, playing to the start of Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd, will pose completely still in an array of different positions, acting as if they time has stopped while a phone records them; and that’s basically all to it. From the Penn State Football team to Hillary Clinton, the Mannequin Challenge has taken the country by storm.

If you had paid any attention to the title and are expecting me to answer the question that I posed, then you might be a bit upset to hear that I am on the same boat as you. I do not have the slightest idea to why the Mannequin Challenge went viral, I do not understand why someone chose to have Black Beatles playing in the background, and I do not understand why I am making such a big deal about it. Maybe the fact that the challenge requires people to actually work together and cooperate makes it so “appealing.” Maybe Black Beatles is just a good song that people want to hear over and over again. Maybe I am just allowing my pop culture OCD get the best of me. I still have no idea and more than likely you don’t either.

The Mannequin Challenge, as noted before, is being added to the list of trends that we cannot get enough of for the time being. “Damn Daniel” and The Harlem Shake were once in the same position as the Mannequin Challenge, and soon it will disappear as they did. We will never completely understand why something just clicks within our society and becomes irresistible, like the way Gangnam Style and Flappybird did. I get that Gangnam style had a funny dance and a catchy beat and Flappybird was a somewhat entertaining game. However, there are so many funny dances, catchy beats, and somewhat entertaining games that never get any attention or recognition.

What I’m trying to say is that things just happen to catch fire within our society because that’s just what happens. There really aren’t any clear cut formulas that will make someone into a meme or attract others to partake in their dances. I guess that’s the beauty of it. The unpredictability of pop culture makes everyday a little bit more interesting and little bit more funny. Thus, the Mannequin Challenge is another extra piece of the puzzle that doesn’t need to be solved but merely admired for its complexity.

To check out the Mannequin Challenge click this link:

Mannequin Challenge


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