Since when did facedowns become planking? I have been reading the Facedowns blog and Twitter since 2009 when they visited Fitzroy. Now the same activity is called planking and is being performed by suburbans and is documented all over the suburban dead tree media. The Guardian has more on the history. By contemporary pop or sub cultural standards, this means the originality of the phenomenon is more or less dead and Darwinian incidents have recently been documented.

If I had created the phenomenon I would be excited to see it catch on around the country and beyond, but I would be also annoyed that, as with everything else the mainstream media gets it’s hands on, it’s initial meaning of harmless fun has been appropriated by morons whose stupidity has now become a cause for concern and social anxiety.

Blaming the internet for stupid social behaviour is the a kind of idiocy typical of suburbans who are too stupid to make their own independent rational choices. Of course commercial print media is also happy to repeatedly imply the internet is at fault because it is losing out to the internet as a form of information and communication.

rebranding memes

2 thoughts on “rebranding memes

  • 22 May 2011 at 11:41 am

    I disagree somewhat with that Guardian article about the origins of planking. I think Planking is actually an extension of the Lying Down game, which has its origins in Korea’s Playing Dead game (documented in Korea from 2003 onwards; it then spread quickly to Japan). None of the recent articles I’ve seen have acknowledged the fact that ‘lying down awkwardly in public places’ has been a massive photo-meme in Asia for at least five years—it’s as though Asia doesn’t even exist.

    Two English blokes called Gary Clarkson and Christian Langdon (who started the Lying Down game FB page in 2007, which led to the game going viral in English-speaking countries) are telling people they invented the Lying Down game in 1997, but I’m sceptical of their claims, particularly since they’re now trying to monetise the craze. It’s possible that Clackson and Langdon ‘invented’ the Lying Down game completely independently, without ever having seen the Japanese or Korean photos, but it just seems more plausible to me that the memes are linked.

    • 22 May 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks – I was not aware of the Asian origins – very interesting!


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