USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘TV Show’
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Supernintendo Chalmers

Informant is a Facebook page that posts only memes. As the page’s primary following is teens and young adults, most of their content is humor based on early 2000’s culture.

Supernintendo Chalmers

This particular post shows a Super Nintendo gaming console (1990), with a decal of Superintendent Chalmers of the popular TV show the Simpsons. The pun here is on the words ‘superindendent’ and ‘supernintendo.’ By combining the show known for its success in the 1990’s, with a 1990’s video game console , this satirical image is aimed to evoke nostalgia for people who grew up in this era.

Digital
Musical

SONGIFY THE NEWS

ABOUT THE INFORMANT:

My informant is a senior graduating this semester from USC. He is a biomedical engineer, and is the oldest son of two immigrants from China.

EXAMPLE:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtZfW2z9dw

BACKGROUND:

“Okay so first of all I have to start this one by saying there is obviously nothing funny about rape, sexual harassment, intruders, and whatever else happened here. That all said this is hilarious.

So I guess that this started by a news, like a news report, or cast, like a newscast that went viral. I guess this guy went into this family’s house, and then she like saw him or something and ran away.

But that all doesn’t really matter. The part of the story that is important is that they interviewed the victim’s brother. And right away he comes on screen, he just stands out. It’s just really funny. He just gets into the camera, basically calling out the guy, “You are so dumb. You are really dumb, fo real.”

“Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband, because they raping everybody out here.” He’s so matter of fact. And animated. It is just perfect.

So I think that the video went viral. And then this group took it, auto tuned him, threw a beat over it and remixed it into a song. Which I actually think is kind of catchy. Like you definitely start bobbing your head to it.

But it also kind of makes it a little bit more emphatic. Like he looks less ridiculous now. It was almost always meant to be a song.

So then that went viral. Fast forward hundreds of millions of views and a few years later, and I’m watching that new show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. It’s on Netflix. Tina Fey made it. And the intro, like she basically, not Tina Fey, this other girl, Erin from The Office”. She was kidnapped as a girl. That’s the premise. So she got taken by this guy, who is like a cult leader. And so she is thrown into this cult where he brainwashes them to think that the world has ended. So the intro is them being found. Like by the police. So the beginning of the first episode is them being rescued, and then it cuts into this newscast. Where they go to interview the guy who found them, who is like just as animated as the guy from this video.

But then the video starts getting like remixed. Just like this. So then the theme for the show is actually a remixed version of the news coverage from the show. Which of course brought me back to this guy. And so I Youtubed it again. And I found their channel, and I saw that the guys who made this, actually made that video too. So I thought that was kind of cool.”

ANALYSIS:

This is unique because it is an example of how folklore actually infiltrated into the mainstream. After doing some research there was a video of the “interview” of the character from the television show who is remixed.  Meaning that the writers probably wrote the script for the interview, and then really gave it to the makers of the other songifyed videos and let them go to work, which is kind of cool.

The original of course is a mashup in that it is someone on television news being remixed. Who is the owner? Who is the genius? The man, the music, or the producer for choosing to interview him and keep him on air for that long? It really it could be argued any of them are. It is interesting then that the television show, which is on an entirely online streaming platform, Netflix, chose to tap into this internet folklore. It is savvy to attract the younger viewers, it’s catchy, and it is true to how it is that we interact with news stories like this normally.

Folk Beliefs
Folk Dance
Folk medicine
Foodways
general
Kinesthetic
Material
Musical

BATE

EXAMPLE:

“So this is something that we actually took from “Dora the Explorer” in my house. There is an episode, where, I think we were watching because it was when my brothers were younger and they would watch it. And my mom would watch with us. So we were watching one day, and I think they were making chocolate. Dora and her grandmother.

And so they sang the chocolate song.

‘Bate, bate, chocolatè

Mix that cho-co-late, chocolatè

Bate, bate, chocolatè!’

So we heard that, and I think maybe my mom had heard it before. Like I think it is a thing Mexican culture, I don’t know though. Because I remember once telling someone about it who was Mexican and he knew a version of it. But that was the first time me and my brothers heard it.

But anyways, so in the show they sang it to make chocolate. Like stir it together, or something. But for us, after that, my mom would rub our bellies when we had a stomach ache and sing it to us. She would like rub it in a circle, and after we would feel better.

So then when I would get stomach aches after I went to college, I would have my boyfriend, who is white, sing the song to me and rub my stomach. Which of course he then was mad and wanted me to do the same to him when he got stomach aches. So now whenever we’re piggies and eat too much, we rub eachother’s stomachs and sing the song. “Can you bate me?” It’s pretty gross.”

ANALYSIS:

This is like a mix of folk music and folk medicine. There seems to be some Hispanic heritage or pride peeking its way into this tradition. Since Dora the Explorer is Hispanic, and she believes her mom may have known this song prior, it does feel grounded in the Hispanic culture.

It is also folk medicine in that she uses it specifically for relieving stomach aches, not for mixing chocolate like Dora does. A stomach ache is such a weird thing to cure; there are definitely some over the counter cures, but it does not surprise me that people would think of different ways to cure it. I like that she has now passed it down to her significant other. The song has taken on a whole new meaning than it was most likely originally intended for.

It is funny that this seems to be a pretty traditional song, a Google search comes with a bunch of variants (see below) that was repurposed for Dora the Explorer. It was also kind of gringo-fied, which is to say many of the other versions were more based in Spanish, but Dora seems to strip that out and replace it with English. It is an interesting, but somewhat predictable choice.

I found this other version of the “Bate” song here.

 

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