Roughly a week ago, a Bay Area TV station reported in outrage on a teen night at a local nightclub. Kids were simulating sex while dancing. Clutch your fucking pearls, it’s the end of days. The reporter was “shocked” to find a club full of 16 year olds, trying to fuck each other through their clothes, because logic is dead. The offensive dancing was identified as “twerkin,” or more accurately “twerking”—the reporter used the hard “g” sound that signifies never directly interacting with black culture outside of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode. This moment is significant, because now that your mother’s mother knows about twerkin, pussy poppin’ has officially become mainstream. Congrats to Ass in America; for making that come up. Doing it big in Black History Month.
Ole “mom and pop” motherfuckers who still get information from local news see twerkin’ as a new phenomenon, a Footloose-style corruption of the innocent that’ll turn every man, woman and child into some kind of depraved sexual vampire. Young heads that have always existed in a world where you can watch infinite asses shake in perpetuity on the internet may think dancing like a stripper in public was popularized by The Twerk Team, or invented by Diplo on Twitter. Nah. Both are only the tail end of a 25-year long process that brought ass clapping, bootyquakes and wobbling to the mainstream of American culture. A little research shows it’s a fairly straight line of cultural appropriation that leads from the proto-twerkers of the late 80s to Rebecca and Susan bussin’ it wide open in the middle of Iowa.
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