Left Shark

In the enormous list of things I don’t understand, you can put dancing at or near the top.

The Superbowl was yesterday, and of course there are a million things to write about the sport, the play calling, blah blah blah, if you actually care about football, you shouldn’t be reading a blog whose official stance is that football is an objectively bad sport. (Ok, I will mention that the fight started by Seattle at the end of the game was an absolute disgrace).

Instead, I want to talk about the half time show. It began with Katy Perry riding a giant lion; this marked the first time that the Superbowl has ever had any lions in it. (for my non-American readers, this was a joke at the expense of Michigan).

The second act (maybe third), saw Katy wear a colorful beach outfit and dance alongside anthropomorphic beach balls trees and, in what seems to be what everyone is talking about, sharks. Specifically, the “left shark,” who, according to everyone on the internet, had his (or her) timing (or choreography as they call it in the choreography business) off. You can watch a clip of this here.

Now, what I don’t understand is how do we know which one was off? I can tell that they aren’t dancing together. If there were three of them and one wasn’t doing his moves right, then it’d be obvious which one was off. But with only two; I can’t be sure. Furthermore, what does everyone mean by left? Is it our left (from the position of the TV camera) or Kay Perry’s left (Katy Perry was generally dancing/singing towards the camera)? While all of this speaks not only to my lack of understanding of dancing, and my unwillingness to do even a basic amount of research on a topic, I think I can use it to speak about something important.

There’s plenty of people who understand left shark, and can speak to why the whole thing is funny. But theres other people, in this case me, who don’t really get it but can pick up on the fact that everyone is talking about it and join the fray, gladly heaping onto left shark (hell, I’m writing a whole blog post about left shark, and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHICH ONE HE WAS!).

Now all this is fine in this instance, because its all in good fun, because people are generally supporting left shark, and because it will be forgotten in a week anyway. But this is endemic to life, especially to politics. People who don’t understand (in the case of dancing, that would be me) take our cues on who left shark was based on what everyone else says, suddenly we’ve got people who don’t understand the first thing about dance having strong opinions on left shark, while being totally unable to evaluate or even understand those opinions.

(this post was about politics)

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