Archive of Past ArticlesAn Internet
phenomenon takes the real world by storm.
By Sabrina Dent, Forum Manager
As babies go, the Dancing Baby is
quite old. It first appeared in Internet mailboxes in October of 1996, dancing to the
"ooga-chaka" melody in Blue Swedes "Hooked On a Feeling." Since
its birth, the Dancing Baby has been an Internet celebrity, customised by animators
and graphics artists everywhere to create almost 50 versions of the original baby,
including Rasta Baby, Military Baby and Baby Macarena. Its such an established icon
of Internet culture that Yahoo!
has a "Dancing Baby" category under Humor/Bizarre. (It lists 62 sites)
||The Dancing Baby is
perhaps the Internets strangest example of how life imitates art. What, you may ask,
is the Dancing Baby? Its an 8 second video file of an animated baby, dancing.
Not content to conquer the virtual world,
Dancing Baby has now taken the real world by storm. Following an appearance on the hit TV
show Ally McBeal (where the Baby danced through Allys dreams to remind her of her
ticking biological clock), the Dancing Baby has also featured on GMTV and on various radio
programmes as well. When babys second appearance Ally McBeal is broadcast in
Britain, interest should increase even more.
Whats interesting about this is not
only the Baby (which is fascinating in its own bizarre way), but the main stream
attention to it. Traditionally, the net has taken its cue from the rest of the
world, using the informality of the web to showcase parody and humour or house debate. In
this instance, however, popular culture and main-steam media have taken their cue from the
Internet, giving Dancing Baby a whole new world to play in.
Thus, there is evidence that the Internet
is entering a new age of maturity, finding the broad-based acceptance and stature it
previously lacked. How this unfolds in the future will be interesting to watch, but
undoubtedly some of the creative and ingenious ideas floating around in todays
cyberspace will find homes in the popular culture of tomorrow.