Pass the Pod (Like They Used to Say)

I’ve been working on a talk/chapter called “Skinny Jeans and Fruity Loops” and while part of that has involved tracking floggers and tecktonik across Latin America, another part has required that I dig into LA’s similarly day-glo/geeky youthtube dance scene: i.e., jerkin.

More on all of this research later. Meantime, I just want to share a video I stumbled across today (h/t davequam). It’s a jerkin battle between Zhani (reppin for local jerk crew, In Living Color) and someone solely identified as “A Girl Frm Insane Kidz” (another crew). Notably, as with a lot of TCK and floggy shufflin, as much jerkin seems to take place in public spots (malls, parking lots, or — as we see below — the Walk of Fame in Hollywood) as in bedrooms or living rooms. Lots to say about that — e.g., the blurred lines between private & public, the mixing of digital and meatspace flaneury, etc.

My favorite feature of this video, though, is not the dancing or the scene more generally but the moment at 0:30 when Zhani steps up and her competitor hands her the iPod she was wearing so that, presumably, Zhani can dance to the same track. It’s an interesting moment for lots of reasons, not least of which being the way it illustrates an improvised solution to the problem of “treble culture” (i.e., no boombox).

Here we have two girls dancing for their friends & peers, in public, to music only the dancer can hear* (I guess onlookers have to fill in the beat until it can be overdubbed for the YouTube masses) —

I’m sayin, tho: who got the bluetooth, yo? Let’s JAM!

* until the earbuds fall out, of course ;)