This Kid Dabbing Behind Corbyn Playing Violin Is a Renaissance Painting for the Digital Age


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This Kid Dabbing Behind Corbyn Playing Violin Is a Renaissance Painting for the Digital Age

Sirs, place this in the Louvre immediately.
Emma Garland
London, GB

​This year has been a shitshow. Everyone good is dead, America is in danger of being gifted to a leather handbag with a list of reasonable policies even shorter than his fingers​, and our only shred of common happiness, Stranger Things​, has been ruined by an exhausting run of public appearances that feels physically and grotesquely forced upon me, like too much ice cream. But something important happened a few days ago that has rejuvenated my faith in the universe.


Earlier this week, re-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid a visit to a primary school in Liverpool where he was, among other things, given a violin lesson by a 10-year-old. She told him off for playing five strokes instead of four, like an idiot! Classic FM were equally unimpressed (apparently he holds the bow "like a wooden spoon over a pan of soup")​ and wrote a whole blog post​ analysing Corbyn's violin technique​​ – which is such an aggressively 2016 sentence the Times should give it the 'Person of the Year' award. Anyway, it's a shame neither of them were really paying attention. For if they were, they would have known that the individual whose technique actually requires analysis is the kid who hit the dab in the background.

In a moment of beauty captured in a Snapchat story​ (and then immortalised on Twitter​), filmed from a slightly different angle to the rest of the day's footage, a boy stands behind Jeremy Corbyn. He is, like the rest of the 10-year-olds in the room, wearing a school uniform of concrete grey trousers and a blue polo shirt with his orchestra tee pulled over the top. He looks like the kind of kid who just sits in class and fucking gets on with it – like a junior Mastermind contestant just waiting for his turn to demolish the competition, or that kid from August Rush – quietly excelling​ while everybody else scribbles rudimentary illustrations of dicks on each other's notebooks and sets their pencil cases on fire. This kid is barely into double digits and he is part of a primary school orchestra linked to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic​.​ He has no time, he would have you think, for shenanigans. For all intents and purposes, he is perfectly camouflaged; perfectly poised.


And yet, while everyone was preoccupied watching a 67-year-old man botch "Amazing Grace" on one of the world's most unforgiving instruments, the kid – who we shall, from here on in, refer to as Yung Wokeness – saw an opportunity. The dab is dead, he read on notable music website Noisey dot com​ back in January after navigating through several parental control locks. Now is my chance, he thinks. Everyone is here: girls, cameras, Jeremy Corbyn. This is my time to arrive.

Yung Wokeness recalls all the headlines – Tom Hanks does the dab dance; Prince Harry dabs for children; Watch Hillary Clinton learn how to dab on Ellen. Even the Telegraph blogged it in an effort to explain what it is exactly that loads of Premier League footballers keep doing with their body when they do a good bit of sports – putting inverted commas around the word 'dab' like it's some sort of subjective concept. Yung Wokeness shivers at the audacious misuse of youth culture as a tool for likability.

Enough is enough, he thinks​.

He extends his right arm outwards like a beautiful swan preening itself. At the same time, he bends and raises his left arm towards his head in a gesture that has been noted to resemble sneezing.​ With grace, dignity and humility, he lowers his head and hits that shit – he hits that shit hard as fuck. For Quavo from Migos, for Atlanta, for the art of violin playing, for Britain, for us all.


The moment is frozen in time, like a beautiful memory or a Renaissance​ painting or some poor university student's sperm. Years from now, it will hang in The Louvre next to the Mona Lisa as the most culturally significant portrait of our time. Stained glass windows detailing the 'Stations of the Cross' will eventually be shattered and replaced by 14 images of this kid gradually, bravely, hitting the dab behind Jeremy Corbyn failing to play the violin.

Thank you, Yung Wokeness, for reviving the dab and also shedding a slither of light on the Labour Party as it continues to destroy itself from the inside.

You can follow Emma on Twitter​.

(Image via Jeremy Corbyn's Snapchat)​