Friday, August 4th: National Macarena Remembrance Day
This Friday, we will honor The Macarena, the dance craze that brought our nation to embarassing highs and terrible, terrible new lows. In baseball and football stadiums, dance clubs, and living rooms across our nation, 1996 was a banner year for a few simple, awkward movements that anyone with two arms, a torso, hips, and a short-term memory could do and call "dancing" (the Macarena's rise was tragic for the guy who lost his arms and his memory in 'nam).
The Macarena evened the dance playing field from coast to coast. The Macarena made us all dancers... very, very bad dancers.
The Macarena shamed us as a nation, but it also changed us as a nation. Thanks to The Macarena, America will never again embrace a song that comes with its own dance. But for that brief moment in 1996, America experienced a dance sensation unmatched by The Hustle, The Electric Slide, or even The Twist. While those dances were cast off by older generations as statements of youthful indiscretions, The Macarena was enjoyed by those both young and old. My little brother, barely a year old at the time, and my grandmother, eight decades his elder, were both capable of doing The Macarena, and both did it shamelessly. Or shamefully, depending on how you look at it.
Across generations, from coast to coast, The Macarena brought us together as a nation. People say that this nation is more divided than it ever has been. We need to remember the moments that united us. So this Friday, we will remember The Macarena.
On National Macarena Remembrance Day, let us remember the song itself, but let us not forget the spawn of the Macarena that came in its wake. Let us remember "The Packarena," the Green Bay Packers' attempt to shame the Patriots the same way the Bears shamed them with "The Super Bowl Shuffle" (who's laughing now, Wisconsin?). Let us rediscover our love for the adorable "Hey Macaroni" screen saver (never has macaroni been both so appetizing and hyponotizing!). Let us recall those sweet images of Al Gore doing the Macarena at the 1996 Democratic National Convention (wait, was that The Macarena or The Robot?). Let us remember the lovable Dot of Animaniacs doing the Macadamia Nut!
Mark your calendars, America. Friday, let us open our hearts to the dance craze that proved that white men can dance, grandma's still got soul, and nobody can understand a damn word of Spanish. If we can get even one minor league baseball stadium to encourage its fans to get up between innings and do The Macarena this Friday, then I believe that we will have kept the spirit of The Macarena alive!
Finally, to those who think this is a horrible idea (namely, those who curl up into the fetal position at the simple thought of The Macarena), remember this: The Macarena is invariably a part of our nation's history, and those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Over and over again. To the rhythm of a song. Sung in a foreign language.
Heeeey, Macarena! Ay!