When a Random Conversation Turns Productive

During our most recent team meeting, we got a bit distracted. While our conversation normally spans many different (and often times odd) topics, today’s distraction was special.  We were talking about voice recognition software, thinking about the actual language and phonetics (apparently me saying “Siri what song is this?” sounds like “FaceTime Sam”). I asked someone to put on a song, and Victoria brings out this gem:

This is just the video of the music video from  “Dancing in the Street”; someone decided to then add in their own audio. We thought this was hysterical—I’m sure you will, too. It’s so weird without the normal sound, and it looks pretty ridiculous too, right?

Taking out something that seems so simple changes it all! The music and the words add so much context; without them it becomes awkward. And funny. It’s not something we expect. Those who know the song or know Mic Jagger and David Bowie or know music videos in general don’t expect this. Normally a deviation from the genre’s conventions and expectations of its audience would fail. But this one’s pretty funny.

Anyway, this got us talking and thinking about all the weird videos that we, at one point or another (usually in our younger teen years), loved. But then in my old man way, I asked “What’s the point of most of these videos? Like why do so many people watch them?” This took us into a very interesting conversation about the culture of these videos. There’s so much to think about: is it related to age, location, interest and hobbies, language? So again we got to talking about how this could connect to a Conversation and Culture or some kind of workshop.

And now we’re thinking of something like this for next quarter: exploring the culture behind these internet hits–the Buzzfeed quizzes and the weird videos and memes. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I know something will. It’s one of my favorite things about our team: seeing how these odd and seemingly way off topic conversations can not only build our sense of community but also turn into something.