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Introduction : New York subways and street dancing
New York city has a long history of people street showing either to have a public or to earn money from on-lookers. With the popularization of breakdancing in the 1970s as a way of expression for street artists and dancers, these kind of prepared gatherings often occurs throughout the city, but also underneath the pavement, inside subway stations:
One of the most well-known spot where breakdancers groups seem to like gathering is the 42nd Street in Times Square’s station
The event: Breakdancing mishap
It’s a 18 seconds long video featuring a breakdancer showing off his moves until he accidentally kicks a toddler (presumably a baby girl) who appears out of nowhere, and makes her flip into the air.
Up to these days, the video has gathered more than 4 000 000 views on Youtube.
There is no clear indications on when exactly this event took place and whether or not that baby girl got hurt, even if, according to some of the video’s comments and also on Yahoo answer, one would assume that she ended up alright.
Unexpected baby violence = Instant appeal
Due to the complete, upsetting and sudden unexpectingness of a baby girl being kicked in an accidental manner, this peculiar video will be featured on many other video streaming websites, including Break.com, Buzzfeed through a 2009 Imwiddstupidd.com article, TheDailyTube and even Ebaumsworld.
By November 2009, the video has been ranked 57th out of the 100 most iconic Internet videos by Urlesque
On the 16th of may 2007, the first remix has been made by youtube user jarts on Youtube:
The same day, he has also released another remix, adding a video game style to it:
the 21st of May, youtube user JuniKazama has also added his draw, remixing the video with dramatic music in the background:
Due to the acrobatic moves, many remixes related to popular fighting video games, like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, were then going to be made:
Other remixes are also including compilations:
And various other games/shows:
On Y.T.M.N.D as well
Although it hasn’t really started a fad on YTMND, some derivatives can be seen there as well. Many of them will simply mix the original video with different soundtracks, the first being posted in May the 15th 2007 with Epic Dance Move
- Kick the BabY!!! which will reach more than 18 000 views.
- Breakdancing Is A Myth-The Child Is Still In One Piec…
- Breakdance Baby Kick C-c-c-combo breaker!
- Don’t kick the baby! Refresh
- Baby Got KICKED
- Epic Baby Kicking Move
- Kick-A-Baby Dance-Off
Unsuspecting violence as a source of easy laughter ?
In popular culture, since the silent film era in the late 19th century, which could only rely on gestures, phisical comedy and even slapstick comedy to amuse the spectators, violence as a comedy tool was anything but uncommon.
The humor was based on the situation and, because of the absence of dialogues, it had to be understandable by everyone, whatever their native language was.
Because of this, many actors of the late 19th – early 20th century will remain the most popular icons in American culture: Among them can be quoted Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton or even Harold Llyod.
The same way, on internet, a similar kind of easy appeal on the subject seems to emerge from the pop-culture references, for there is no need to fully understand the situation but mainly to enjoy the guilty pleasure of watching someone getting hurt, whether it is on purpose or not.
For that matter, many internet memes, from many different countries, are simply based upon that sole working factor : sudden violence.
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