Well, it was fun while it lasted. That brief, glorious window when web culture was all about happy, random accidents and people having fun for the hell of it is officially over; although people will need to be conned into thinking they’re still free agents or the whole edifice will fall over, probably taking what remains of consumer capitalism with it. This article identifying the people who really benefited from the Harlem Shake phenomenon is a sobering read, not because I ever gave much of a damn about the meme itself but because of the whole end-of-innocence vibe it represents; the Altamont of Web 2.0, maybe. Of course, people will still do daft, innovative things and bung them up on YouTube; but by the time most of us see them, the pimps will have got to work. “The world is divided into two categories,” said the Dadaist Francis Picabia, “failures and unknowns.” Yup.
So there’s just time to say that I rather like this most recent daft meme, makankosappo, which basically involves Japanese schoolgirls pretending to have superhuman powers. But since its arrival mysteriously coincides with the imminent release of a new movie, maybe I’m already going off it.