Last night I saw a former co-worker post on Facebook about a video that was made by students at my former district called "Spartan Style", a parody of Korean singer Psy's "Gangnam Style" hit video. The student video, like the original, has gone viral. However, unlike it's predecessor, this work has been labeled the worst video on the Internet. Why?
I'll admit I was a bit biased when I watched the video. I have obviously seen other student created videos in the years I worked at Garden Spot and was curious to see how this group of students did. I enjoyed seeing former co-workers and students getting in on the fun and creating a video that was supposed to promote school spirit. Was it the highest quality production and the best student parody of "Gangnam Style" I have seen? No. But it was a STUDENT PRODUCTION. What I saw was creativity (original lyrics), school spirit (was not surprised at admin, faculty and staff participation), and courage (as much as I love my students you are most likely NOT going to get me on film doing that). Others have expressed different opinions.
On November 21, 2012, a user by the name of Cym4tic uploaded the video to YouTube, posting "THIS IS NOT MY VIDEO. This is from my high school. And I hate my high
school, so no shame. Feel free to hate it and share it with the world!". This warm invitation led to the video going viral and the following headlines:
What Hath Psy Wrought: PA High School’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Parody Dubbed ‘Worst Video on the Entire Internet’ (Gawker.com)
Garden Spot High School's 'Spartan Style' video goes viral on Internet (Lancaster Newspapers)
Internet Proclaims This the Worst Video Ever (Mashable.com)
And this one with the time-stamped snarky commentary. Can you really hate the video that much to spend time doing this?
I was appalled when I saw the headlines on international news outlets
screaming that this was the worst video on the Internet. And who determined this? The ANONYMOUS user who uploaded the video. I must disagree
- I have seen worse. It
appears to me that the "journalism" involved in these headlines is no
more than jumping on a bandwagon of cruelty. The investigative reporting
is further evident on the number of articles that get the name of the
high school wrong (Spartan is the mascot, not name of the school, which a
simple Google search would turn up).
This whole event appears to me to be a reflection of our current society. Rather than say, "Hey, good for them. It took a lot of work and representatives from the whole school came together to entertain and promote school spirit. "A" for effort.", many ANONYMOUS people would rather post negative comments online. Watching teachers, administrators and support staff willing to go the extra mile
for Garden Spot students - including dancing in a video - was not shocking to me because I witnessed that dedication repeatedly in my time there. In an era of budget cuts, staff reductions, a constant barrage of negative articles on public education, and high stakes standardized testing, we NEED videos like this. The fact that there is still a high school class where students can be creative and not just prepped to fill in dots on a high stakes testing is commendable. Opportunities like this are quickly disappearing as art, music, technology education, family and consumer science, and libraries are being eliminated from our schools.
I want all participants to know that I enjoyed the hard work they put into this production. And that comment isn't ANONYMOUS.