A shortage of creativity

February 21, 2013



News Editor


We have finally done it. Apparently, there is no more room for genuine creativity. Someone else has already thought of everything and sucked up all creativity.


There is no way we will ever be able to come up with something and call ourselves creative or clever.


It seems originality is extinct.


The fads started by “Gangnam Style,” “Call Me Maybe,” the latest “Harlem Shake” and every viral video and meme in between have only confirmed my conclusion that today’s society lacks originality.


It all starts with one video. Take the Harvard baseball team’s “Call Me Maybe” parody, for example. I am not going to lie, it was hilarious — I even started to pump and cross my arms every time I heard the song after watching the video — but within a few weeks there were parodies for that song for almost anything you could think of. From horrible referee calls in the NFL to Sesame Street’s lessons on sharing, every event, organization and stereotypical group had its own

rendition of the song.


Eventually, everyone got bored of “Call Me Maybe” and that chapter of obnoxiousness was closed.


Enter galloping South Korean pop star PSY with “Gangnam Style.” The video was a worldwide sensation — everybody was busting out the pendulum gallop no matter where they were.


University mascots and student bodies lunged at the opportunity to copy the video, and clever political junkies created altered lyrics and content of the video to make stabs at the 2012 presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. The list of parodies goes on for pages and pages.


To this day it has not been thrown into the filing cabinet with “Call Me Maybe.” Every now and then a new parody hits the web and the song is still very popular, but now there’s a new bandwagon hundreds of people are jumping on — the “Harlem Shake.”


Of all of the memes and viral videos to fall under the cyber spotlight, this dance video has to be the one that baffles me the most.


Somebody please explain to me how a 30-second video of a group of people gyrating their bodies and thrusting their hips can be so amusing that it inspires others to do exactly the same thing.


“I don’t know, Becca. It’s just funny.”


“It’s not all the same — some of them dress up in funny



Sorry guys, it’s really not that funny. It’s not clever. More importantly, it’s already been done 500 times.


I can put aside the lack of originality and overkill with “Gangnam Style” and “Call Me Maybe” parodies because at least there is enough change in the stock of the video to draw a good chuckle. But the “Harlem Shake” never changes.


Is there really nothing else that can make a good video?


Every time I get on Facebook, my friends who attend different universities always seem to be posting about that pointless video. Many university student bodies have already made their own “Harlem Shake” video. For a short time I was proud because I thought no organization or group of students here at Tech had posted a video yet, only to be told it had already been done by Union Board and that there were other organizations ready to post “Shake” videos, too. Well, there goes my pride.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought this was the age of the “hipster”? That’s another discussion for another column, but you would think originality would be a bigger deal with how big this “hipster” is.


Rebecca Alvarez is a junior journalism major from El Paso who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to rha014@latech.edu.


One Response to A shortage of creativity

  1. Tim Burga Reply

    February 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I bet you’re a riot at parties.

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