April in GlenwoodApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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March 13, 2013
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Nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned fad

Sometimes I imagine there really are only two kinds of people in the world. We all know that saying. I'm fairly certain there are more than two kinds of people in the world. Just by visiting Doc Holliday's saloon on a Friday night.I suggest heading straight back to the pool tables.We may tend to look, dress and act alike as humans. But we are quite individualistic in our physical and mental attributes. My mannerisms are distinct to my personality. I have a voice all my own. No one else has my fingerprints. Unless they actually do.Then life is just one big scary movie.Mark Twain often made that observation. He once said, "There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."Imagine if he could see the world today.In the spirit of Mr. Twain, I've noticed there are two kinds of people in the world. People who love fads, and people who hate them.I at least know where I fall.By definition, a fad is a "short-lived fashion: something that is embraced very enthusiastically for a short time, especially by many people." Look at the toga. What was once the popular dress robe for the Romans, worn quite fashionably, remains a spirited fad for themed college parties.So versatile and comfortable, day or night.Over the thousands of years of fashion's history, fads stand out like bird feathers on a hat at a British royal wedding. Fads are what people remember. Think Twiggy, who put the Twig in her famous name. Or, beatnik. An off-center black beret immediately comes to mind.That can also be said of Monica Lewinsky and hipsters.When Michael Jackson's name is brought up, I think red leather jacket and a sequined glove. If there were a fad to sum up the '80s, that does it. Thinking back to high school, my hair was a fad based purely on size alone.I consider my once voluptuous, hot curler-rolled hair an art.In the '90s, the "Macarena" was the biggest dance fad to hit the cruise ship dance floors since "The Electric Slide." That's really saying something considering the dance crossed over from R&B to country as easy as a boot can scoot.And boogie.I'm not shy when it comes to dances of this faddish nature. Just ask my college roommate Lynne. She was forced to reluctantly perform "The Electric Slide" more than my mom has made my dad slow dance at weddings. It's almost unethical how many times I dragged the poor girl on to the T.A. Tom's dance floor at Purdue to do that silly dance after a couple of penny beers. And to think, that was way before YouTube.I'm OK with that.Now there's video cameras, and uploading, on cell phones. That means fads become international sensations much faster than when rock 'n' roll, music videos, and break dancing were invented. Thank God for Elvis beach movies, MTV and "Breakin."And "Breakin 2." Today, fads come and go like reality TV shows. Digital video pretty much killed the radio star and anyone or thing that has come in its devouring, attention-sucking path. Love kittens? Video has taken that devotion to felines and melted the faces off anyone who doesn't.Google "grumpy cat" and see what I mean.Don't think babies are cute? Watch a toddler in diapers dance to Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" or contagiously laugh at a potato and I'll counter that with the cutest imagery ever seen.Never underestimate the power of a baby.Since I'm one of those people in this world who love fads, this spring's "Harlem Shake" viral wonder has me a little giddy. Others may scoff at its absurdity. I think it's hilarious. I embrace the creativity people are using to produce their own versions of the Shake. Mostly it's the people who can't dance. And I, for one, applaud that approach to accepting people just the way they are, whether they can dance or not.I especially love when a person dressed as a banana attempts to dance.Since I'm a fadder, I elected the help of my friend Jesse and some willing - and extremely brave - Carbondale Green is the New Black fashion show models to make our own "Harlem Shake." It may be the best "Harlem Shake" video out there. We have a message to ours - save Thompson Divide - I think will help it gain popularity. Go viral, or go home.As the Harlem Shakers say.I know a lot of people might not get the "Harlem Shake" fad. They might consider it just as silly as the solo sequined glove in the '80s. They might not like dance music. They could consider such a form of artistic expression a complete waste of time. Or they might just be in the group of people who don't like fads.And I'm OK with that. April E. Clark thanks the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) for setting the stage for creativity. Carbondale, do the "Harlem Shake." She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 13, 2013 01:37AM Published Mar 13, 2013 01:35AM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.