June 4, 2020

Demonstrations revive late 2000s dance fever, as restless phase undoes mopey low-energy protests of pussy-hat vulnerable phase

The 15-year excitement cycle turns up yet again, this time in a spontaneous and widespread revival of the "Cupid Shuffle" song-and-dance among those demonstrating against police violence. In addition to this clip from Minneapolis, see others from Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Lincoln, NE (just the ones I could immediately find clips for).

The song first came out in 2007, as part of the dance fever that characterizes the restless warm-up phase of the excitement cycle. Like other dance crazes, it has simple steps that are called out in the lyrics, so that anybody can join in and come out of their vulnerable-phase shell already.

Dance club regulars from the late 2000s will certainly remember this one. But like the "YMCA" or the "Macarena," the "Cupid Shuffle" went mainstream and is now a staple at summertime cook-outs. All-American body-moving fun for the whole family.

Why was this kind of dance fever absent during the protests of the past 5 years, most notably the pussy-hat Women's March? Because that was the vulnerable phase of the cycle, when energy levels crash into a refractory phase. Dancing with others in public would have been way too much social-emotional stimulation, and they would've collapsed in pain.

Now that the restless warm-up phase has begun in 2020, lasting through 2024, dance fever can break out at what would have previously been solemn, mopey protests.

(Related post: the topless protesters against Bernie earlier this year showed the end of Me Too and of the vulnerable phase, and the return of exhibitionistic protests that are closer to the previous manic phase of the early 2010s, e.g. Slutwalk, Femen, etc.)

The current dance craze revival also underscores how normie these recent protests are -- both at the surface-level of culture, and therefore at the underlying political level. These are not substantively radical. But then neither was Occupy Wall Street, which was however aesthetically radical. Now, in addition to not being substantively radical, these protests are becoming less aesthetically radical as well.

None of the awkward cerebral lamewads in Antifa or the extended leftoid podcast universe would be caught dead doing the "Cupid Shuffle" in public, let alone during a supposedly radical happening like an anti-police demonstration. They prefer cringey drum-circle stuff like this display from the professional-class transplants in New York City.

The "Cupid Shuffle" would only remind them of the normie black kids who beat them up in high school, or their Trump-voting family members back in the Midwest having fun at a Fourth of July BBQ, while they sulked alone scrolling through stale takes on their phone.

Notice also the presence of cuties who smile while dancing in the "Cupid Shuffle" clips, vs. the off-putting ones in the pure-Antifa clip. Cuties will not join Antifa, but they will join a normie event.

And these dance fever events are not lasting into the late-night rioting / looting stage, which would create more of a nightlife atmosphere. They're during the daytime, when you would be having a cook-out with your family and neighbors. Even more normie-friendly.

So, these demonstrations are just the left half of the status quo who are restless to get out in public space and start mixing it up again with other people, after both the 5-year voluntary quarantine of the vulnerable phase, as well as the imposed quarantine of the past few months during the pandemic. They are not a springboard for a political insurrection, and only the emotionally addled zealots on either side are too blind to see that.


  1. I wonder if Alison Balsam is getting her groove on in that Minneapolis clip somewhere. We're looking for a 5'10 brunette whose ass is under mass surveillance...

  2. The protests are becoming less like the "Red Summer of 1919" or "Days of Rage" in the early 1970s and more like the upbeat protests of the 1960s or early 1980s:


  3. More late 2000s revival, Demi Lovato's "I Love Me" emo version w/ MySpace video. RETVRN TO TRADITION


    I only wish instead of a guy, it was a petite skinny girl with Big Scene Hair. Sounds a lot better than the original of a few months ago, which has sparse instrumentation.

    MySpace, blogs, pre-stratified YouTube... the late 2000s were the coolest time to be online.

    I had a MySpace when I was around 25 to get back in touch w/ high school friends, and we must have been the oldest people on there. MySpace could never have been taken over by Boomers like Facebook, it was too freewheeling and fun-loving.

    No constant stream of farting out your takes in search of likes. Actually communicating back-and-forth with specific other individuals, who felt validated because you weren't just impersonally addressing the entirety of your friends list.

    It was not like emails, AIM, or DMs, which are private. Posting on someone's MySpace or on their Facebook wall (before the take-feed), was public -- like a conversation you're having in a public place, where others can "hear" you. Cafeteria, dining hall, street corner, etc. It created a public social-emotional atmosphere, which cannot exist when person-to-person communication is private.

    Social media all went downhill after 2009, but who knows -- maybe the return of the restless phase will prompt people to adopt a carefree MySpace-like platform -- and return to blogs for impersonal addresses, where there are no likes, faves, upvotes, etc. -- and dump the takes-and-likes platforms that emotional cripples have become addicted to.

  4. Now the Macarena! 'Agnostic predicted this'. Vulnerable phase is over, dance fever is sweeping the nation again since the restless phase began this year.


    Somewhat of a 15-year cycle, as the original song came out in 1993 (restless phase) and charted in Spain and the Netherlands, although the popular remixes came out in '95 and '96 (manic phase).

    I'm not sure when the dance originated. At least by '95 (the Los del Mar video shows it), and probably earlier with the original release. It was a hit in dance clubs, so you figure the basic steps were already there.

  5. LA protest tonight https://twitter.com/Julio_Rosas11/status/1269121245380927488

    These protest seem to be mostly white and black events with few Asians or Hispanics even in a place LA where only a third of the 20 something population is white or black.

  6. This might be the weirdest most niche take on the protests I've seen. Incidentally did you know there wss weird dance crazes during the 14th century black death plague? Barbara tuchman writes about it in A Distant Mirror

  7. My pov is original since I'm not parasitic on the news cycle or its media ecosystem. Everyone on social media depends on an agreement about what the topic of discussion will be for any given day, week, month, or year.

    Their goal is just doing battle -- owning the libs / cons -- and you can't argue unless you agree what to argue over.

    I've been writing about whatever strikes my curiosity for over a decade, possibly the last person on the internet to be doing so.


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