To Twerk or Not to Twerk

It’s time to look at the Internet.

That means drawing the curtains, locking the front door, and putting tape over the webcam. The ultimate amount of care is put into hiding this activity. Well, that is until I write it here for my vast flock of followers and readers (aka: my mom and her sister’s neighbor).

Just when I get the cat out of the room – she doesn’t need to share in my shame either – I sit in front of the computer box and type into a search engine: twerk

I recently read a story about the Lykov family in Siberia. This family has been so far removed from civilization for so long that they have completely missed all of world history’s recent fun times. So while the Lykovs have been tending their farm in sunny and pleasant Siberia, they have missed pretty much everything that has happened in the world. They have never heard of minor events like World War II, Sputnik, or 9/11. They know nothing of Vladimir Putin, The Beatles, John F. Kennedy, or Damien Galeone.


When it comes to trending news, I often feel like the Lykovs. I don’t love pop culture or trending topics, so I largely avoid them. The advantages of this include not getting into a froth over ridiculously stupid things, a general sense of (albeit false) superiority, and a Mad Libs approach to pop culture events. That is, I am free to see a picture of some young lady ‘twerking’ and attach a rather fun zombie story to it instead of whatever the hell she might actually be doing.

The downside is that I am often so removed from these pop culture tidbits and the seven-headed reference system that comes along with them that I am lost in a lot of conversation, both online and face to face. Even though this removal is largely willful, it’s rather unpleasant being on the outside. Sort of like a Baptist at a comedy club or a Trekkie, well, anywhere.

And so, I fake a lot of my understanding of cultural commentary, memes, and pop culture references. I laugh and make some nondescript comment like, “Oh man, how ridiculous is that?” or “That’s crazy, isn’t it?” and then I jot notes. These accumulate throughout the week and then I check them out on the Internet under lockdown conditions. Research is my friend. Recent terms have included Juggalo, Heisenberg, Bridezilla, and Reddit.

I have been surprised by my research. I thought Bridezilla was something written by Mary Shelley and that Reddit was an amphibious character on South Park. I thought a juggalo was a gigolo who juggled a day job and some kids.

And then there’s twerking, which I honestly thought was a breakfast pastry of some sort. You really do learn something new everyday. Or at least when you lock down the flat and do some research.

I find a basic description of ‘twerking’ and then read about the recent hoopla (don’t judge my terminology, for I am old) surrounding it. I may or may not twerk my way to the bathroom before the cat bows her head in shame. Ultimately I decide that I could care less about this trendy phenomenon. Maybe I’ll visit the Lykovs and help them learn about the frightening new world. Or maybe I’ll just visit the Lykovs and work on their farm. Maybe I’ll teach them how to twerk.

Alas, my research time comes to a close. But before rescinding lockdown, I need to look up one more esoteric term. And so I type into a search engine:

Miley Cyrus

  1. #1 by Andy on September 19, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    The funny thing is that “twerking” became a “thing” almost a decade ago. It’s amusing that it is suddenly making the rounds now that a topless, redneck, former Mickey Mouse Club star has adopted it as her method of announcing to the world that she is a grown-up.

    I’m glad camera-phones were not ubiquitous during my awkward childhood phases (that I just grew out of last month).

  2. #2 by Damien Galeone on September 19, 2013 - 10:06 pm

    Holy crap. I thank deity for no camera phones when I was in college…or the first 5 years in Prague. Can you imagine, Andy? Our senatorial careers ruined!

    • #3 by Andy on September 19, 2013 - 11:21 pm

      D, you and I are what is commonly referred to as “memorable” people. Some would use the word “unique.” Others “hilarious.” More than a few would use “jackass.” I’m pretty sure we could both close our eyes and throw a rock that hit someone who remembers a moment when we were, um, less than “impressive.” Especially if that person ever served us Becherovka.

      Keep an eye out for your message in a bottle…

  3. #4 by julia on September 19, 2013 - 11:02 pm

    Since I still embarrass myself on an unfortunately frequent basis,I’m not happy that both cameras and the internet are available on phones. What’s hilarious, though, is that to an older person I seem like a technology wizard, but to somebody ten years younger than me , I seem like an ancient technophobe

    • #5 by Damien Galeone on September 20, 2013 - 12:19 pm

      We are surely luddites, but I do feel better whenever Dad instructs me on how to put in a CD or how to use Google.

  4. #6 by Lee on September 20, 2013 - 6:49 am

    Twerking is great. Leads to such awesomeness as this:

    D, Andy: remember that I have always been a little ahead of the tech curve, and I did have a camera phone – when you’re both senators I expect to be rewarded handsomely for my ‘amnesia’ and lack of backups. Plus PJ will have to be eliminated.

    • #7 by Damien Galeone on September 20, 2013 - 12:17 pm

      Ah yes, I remember the first time I burst into flames trying to dance. Sadly, I am not joking.

    • #8 by Andy on September 21, 2013 - 12:37 am

      Haha, Lee, very true. Luckily, most of those pictures would also include you so it may be moot. PJ should still watch his back, though.

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