RIP, ‘Canada Is Cool’: January 16, 2016 - November 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton killed the dab, and now Justin Trudeau has robbed the grave.
Look long and hard. This is what stole our moment. Photo via Reddit
On June 19, 2016, TMZ posted a clip of Atlanta rapper Quavo making a statement that we all knew to be true (but never wanted to admit) for the first half of 2016.
"RIP the dab," Quavo said, bringing his face into the ditch of his right elbow, arm extended behind his head. "You gotta give everybody a new trend, something new to do."
The dab, as popularized by NFL player Cam Newton and carried to mainstream fame by Quavo's own rap group Migos, was the bread-and-butter filler dance move of 2015. Whether you were white or black, poor or rich, corny or somewhat bearable to talk to, you likely had the—pause, to hit one in memoriam—"dab," somewhere in your dance routine.
Yet, like everything good borne from the internet, the dab died a quick but painful death via overexposure on social media.
For many who respectfully dropped the dance move before the point of oversaturation, the real tipping point was when Hillary Clinton—a person who recently ran for the office of President of the United States and lost to the human embodiment of the internet comment section—went on the Ellen DeGeneres show and imitated what could be described as a dab, but was really just the death rattle for a flashpoint in hip-hop memeage.
And still, despite being a year of stunning upsets and embarrassing defeats for liberal-minded politicians, our legislative celebrities keep fucking torturing us.
Case in point: Justin Trudeau, our selfie-loving, dad-the-internet-wanted-to-fuck-for-his-first-six-months-in-office Prime Minister, allegedly met with the winner of something called the "eBay Canada Entrepreneur of 2016"—which I can only assume is awarded to people who sell ribbed fleshlights at discount rates—and took a photo with him while, yes, dabbing.
Of course, this was not just any photo—Trudeau had to go and corn it up.
Like, fuck's sake, Trudeau! Not only are you not actually hitting the dab correctly, but this perhaps the first time I've seen you pose for a social media photo op while maintaining the confidence of a hover-handing 15-year-old. The look on your face almost reads, "Maybe I actually shouldn't be doing this."
You should have listened.
And then there's this guy on the right— our entrepreneur of the year — who's also apparently the author of the Reddit post gloating about this awful illustration before us. I don't imagine you are even remotely aware of how behind the times this trend is. I'm assuming that, since you're on eBay's honour roll, you have some sense of what's popping online, but this photo does not tell me that. This photo says you watch stolen viral videos on Facebook that are reposted by rural white folks, and probably enjoy The Chainsmokers more than any respectable person should.
You see, what's most disheartening about all of this is not that the dab has been disrespected—that's been done many, many, many times already. Rather, it's that a social media-loving world leader—the leader of Canada (which is perhaps the last bastion of multiculturalism not yet touched by the long tentacles of Trumpism) — has failed in his mission of Making Canada Cool Again. Forty years down the line, I'm convinced this photo will be hanging off a tepid wall in the Ben Harper Museum of National History.
Underneath, the description will credit it with being a key instrument in electing Kellie Leitch as supreme ruler of the Northern United States.
May Quavo help us all.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.