The Sign of The Dancing Stormtrooper
UGA Men's Swim and Dive Team. Harlem Shake. Posted Feb 11, 2013. Currently at over 4 million hits
In the beginning, there was Stormhumper...
No one knew where he came from, or what his purpose was. That was in 2004.
In March of 2007, YouTube user, lazermatt
, added his own special touch to Stromhumper. His video currently has just shy of 51 million (!) hits
and is the 56th most discussed video ever on YouTube.
Then, hot on the heels of lazermatt's stunning display of creativity, Danny Choo
took it to the streets...
As you can see, people were catching on, Dancing Stormtrooper seemed to be finding an international home in people's hearts. Many variations have
followed from Choo and others...
2007, over 5 million hits
2012 and nearly 1 million hits, and very funny at times
Dancing Stormtrooper is consdiered to be a sort of meme
A meme can be thought of as a nugget (packet) of cultural information that is wrapped up in a saying, or a gesture, or a silly imitation. Dancing
Stormtrooper is also a sign
, in the sense that he, as a symbol, contains much more
content and flexibility of cultural context, than is superficially apparent. The key is that a meme can be mimicked by others and so passed along,
usually as a sign of some sort.
Memes are likened to viruses, and are thought to be subject to all of the same hazards faced by any living thing competeing to survive: they grow,
change, and can die, and especially they evolve. They cross cultural boundaries. We have an excellent example of a meme in Dancing Stormtrooper. When
I stop to consider the combined cultural content that must be contained within the DS meme, my mind reels, but I do it with a silly grin on my
I believe in signs and wonders, ATS, and I think that Dancing Stormtrooper is a sign that is trying to tell us something. A cultural signal, from us
to ourselves. Dancing Stormtrooper makes you smile, and makes a connection with you, which seems to me was the simple intent of the original .gif. Is
Dancing Stormtrooper, and are stormtroopers in general, like the new Mickey Mouse? Disney seems to think so, I have seen kids hug stormtroopers, I
think I did, when I was little.
Maybe, it's because the world is shrinking and we are finding that we are all very much alike and trapped in very similar circumstances. Maybe it's
because Dancing Stormtrooper says, “Hey, look at me, I'm a clone trapped in an automated world with no other fate or future than to fulfill my
programming, but hey, I can dance!” “And you can dance with me”.
And maybe it's because it seems like Dancing Stormtrooper, is pulling a fast one on Darth Vader.
What do you think, ATS?
Do you dance with The Stormtrooper?