I sometimes wonder about the people who were not Macarena enthusiasts when the dance craze first premiered.
Historical accounts—by which I mean VH1 Remember Specials—often depict the Macarena as this unstoppable and unavoidable phenom that had everybody doing the simple arm motions, safe hip-shaking and vocal conclusions of “Heeyyyy Macarena, Alright!”
But this isn’t the whole picture.
Not everyone was joining in the trend. We never really hear much about opposing or indifferent souls because the ones who recorded this slice of pop culture history were the ones who performed the dance in the high school gyms, churches, and wedding receptions across America.
Who cares if Janet was a wallflower during this moment in her Prom? What perspective could she really offer? She might have watched others, but did she really live it?
Last Thursday at work, I cared about Janet because I realized I was becoming her. As everyone of my coworkers rushed into my workspace, excitedly clamoring at the thought of a Pikachu in their midst, I looked at my busted Windows Phone with such disgusted disdain. People of different ages, race, gender, religions, and political followings were yelling and hollering in chaotic unison like a bunch of third graders entering the playground for recess. Folks who had probably said no more than five words to each other in the years they’d work together were comparing their levels and battles in novel detail. Here was pop culture history being written right in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t become a co-author because of my decision to buy the cheapest phone on my plan years ago. History is for those that can afford it.
If I were able to contribute a piece on this, I’d say that work has taught me more about Pokemon GO’s mainstream cultural invasion than the host of news stories, Twitter Posts, and Hillary Clinton. I’ve learned essentially, that Pokemon GO is like carrots. It can be good for you in numerous ways, but too much of it can turn your skin orange.
On the positive side, I can’t deny its place as a type of person unifier. My manager was joking and laughing with one of my colleagues over their collection and treks to catalog these virtual pocket monsters.
But not even two days before that, my colleague was venting to the rest of the team over my manager, and calling him things like “Whiny punk ass jerk,” “Baby-Carrot Penis” and other lovely insulting combos probably not fit to type.
Who knows if this employment peace treaty will last more than a week? Still, it was nice to see them get along for a spell.
On the other side of the coin, Pokemon GO can be way too distracting, especially for a place of work. I mean while I was trying to focus and get my job done, dozens of people were crowding around, neglecting their own duties just for a chance at capturing a Pidgey. Look, I’m all for having fun, but when Payroll is stopped to catch Pokemon instead of fix my paycheck, I got concerned. I can’t pay off my crushing debt on them leveling up.
Still, maybe I’d be more relaxed about all this if I had an android instead of a Windows phone.