Top 10 pop culture trends of 2012

(Graphic by Mitchell Cheeseman)

“Gangnam Style”
You know a phenomenon’s jumped-the-shark when it’s been adopted by your parents. That’s exactly how I felt when, upon arriving home on Thanksgiving, when my parents greeted me with Psy’s signature dance moves. Eclipsing Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most viewed video of ALL TIME, Psy’s outrageous “Gangnam Style” has spawned multiple (and equally entertaining) spin-offs including the captivating rendition by Ohio University’s marching band. ‘Oppa 2012!

“Call Me Maybe”
At first listen it sounds just like any other cookie-cutter pop song. Then you hear it again, and again and it becomes clear that “Call Me Maybe” is anything but ordinary. Its bubbly melody is nothing short of infectious, and its lyrics really speak to our generation’s latent apathy and general sense of nonchalance. A guilty pleasure of many a bro, Carly Rae Jepsen, along with J-Biebs, have secured Canada as the number-one exporter of viral pop sensations.

Red Bull Stratos
In one of the greatest marketing campaigns since sliced bread (revolutionary, I know) Red Bull successfully enabled daredevil Felix Baumgartner to skydive from the edge of outer space. Beyond the sheer awesomeness of this feat, over eight million people streamed live coverage of the event via YouTube, proving the value of social media marketing and further illustrating how Red Bull apparently does give you wings.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
If Toddlers and Tiaras wasn’t enough, 2012 saw everyone’s favourite pint-sized beauty queen make her primetime debut. Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thomson and the rest of her outrageously nicknamed family make for a new half-hour of cringe-worthy TV every week. Like a train wreck, you can’t turn away from this disaster of a show. So, you endure the toilet humour, all the while wondering if there’s any hope left for humanity.

One Direction
Harry, Niall, Louis, Zayn and Liam. You may be underage, but that’s what makes you beautiful.

Laurier Memes
One of the greatest procrastination tools of last semester, Laurier memes gave us a chance to both poke fun at and celebrate the absurdity of our school. From our terrible WIFI to our awesome (and riot-free) St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, to the inevitable line at Phil’s, Laurier memes gave us a creative, and much needed, distraction during exams.

What should we call me?
Beginning as an inside joke between two friends, this Tumblr account gained an enormous following due to its hilariously relatable content. Comprised of pop cultural GIFs (aka animated memes) “What should we call me?” and its multiplying subsequent spin-offs pretty much sum up the feelings of us overworked and perpetually hungover university students.

Shit [insert stereotype here] people say
What started out as a satirically funny YouTube video mocking the asinine things that girls say, soon provoked an annoying outbreak of copy-cats videos depicting just about every distinct group of people (and animal). Though it can be argued that these videos were never funny, except for the original, they provided us with a seemingly infinite number of distractions. Notable examples include: “Shit Vegans Say,” “Shit Cats Say,” and our very own “Shit Laurier Girls Say.”

Sophia-Grace and Rosie
After impressively covering Nicky Minaj’s “Super Bass,”,Ellen Degeneres elevated these two British kindergarteners to super stardom. Adorably hilarious, Sophia-Grace and Rosie, in their puffy princess outfits show that kids really do say the darndest things. Despite their inherent cuteness, one cannot help but be jealous that they got to hug the beautiful Zac Efron at the tender age of five.

WLU Compliments
A recent phenomenon on campus, this mysterious Facebook do-gooder has been spreading cheer throughout the semester. Criticism has included the Facebook profile acting as a further barrier between WLUSU and the rest of the student populous. However, love it or hate it, WLU Compliments has made a splash on campus, making many people smile in the process.

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