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An In-Depth Look At The Picture That Killed The Dab
Cam Newton’s dab has been slowly diluted for a while now, but one moment, in particular, was the final dagger.
How do you do, fellow kids? Have you heard of the dab? Remember when Carolina Panthers quarterback/gleeful Kryptonian Cam Newton did the dab after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans, but apparently lingered in the end zone just a bit too long.
Some people took offense to that, mainly the kind of people wh0 constantly ask, “Has this [fun/joy/dancing] gone too far?”
Those people tend to exist only on screens and comment sections and not in real life, but it’s fun to imagine what they’d be like to meet. Think of them in the cereal aisle at Harris Teeter, picking up a box of Dulce de Leche Cheerios, loudly exclaiming, “HAS GENERAL MILLS GONE TOO FAR?” They’d turn to people trying to squeeze by with their carts, and go on to extol the virtues of, you know, good ole regular Cheerios.
Anyway, the contrived controversy led to an equally lopsided outpouring of pride for Cam Newton and the dance in question, which mostly consists of snapping your head downward into the bend of your elbow. It is not a hard thing to do, but a very easy thing to do badly. Cam Newton can do it, because he has just scored a touchdown in the National Football League. Even if he dabbed badly, he’s the one responsible for making it what it is today. To say Cam’s dab isn’t the true dab is like saying your Christopher Walken impression sounds more like Christopher Walken than Christopher Walken does. No, it does not.
So Cam dabs. And then other people started doing the dab. High school and college players. Teammates. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Even — gasp — the owner himself, Jerry Richardson. That’s right. The Big Cat dabbed on ‘em.
The dab has been slowly diluted for weeks now, but something had to come along and kill it for good. Thankfully, December 8 was the first day of the new term for Charlotte’s City Council and newly elected mayor Jennifer Roberts.
So, you know, while we’re all here for the group photo, someone thought, we should… we should… dab on ‘em?
Why did you do that!? Why did you all try to be Cool Dad? In unison? The only dance that should be done in unison is the Thriller! And even then, carefully.
Let’s take a closer look, then, at each person in that picture, and how they’re all, in some small way, committing dabicide:
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D)
Roberts is an athlete — a volleyball player, to be specific. So if anyone is qualified to do this, it’s probably her. Her angles are pretty solid. The fundamentals are good. Problem is, again, she’s the mayor, and as soon as some piece of culture has been watered down to the point that the damn mayor of your city is doing it, it’s time to move on. We all know the mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska killed the Harlem Shake.
Al Austin (D), District 2
Come on. Don’t mug for the camera, Al. You’re better than that. Dab like nobody’s watching. Hit ‘dem folk like you’ll never be hurt.
James “Smuggie” Mitchell (D), At Large
I always feel the need to mention this when I mention Smuggie Mitchell: HE IS MARRIED TO AN ASTRONAUT. Still, he doesn’t appear to know the difference between dabbing and Kaepernicking.
Julie Eiselt (D), At Large
Julie’s new here, so you’ll forgive her for being posed by a Lifetouch photographer. She’s not quite sure what to do with her hands.
John Autry (D), District 5
Bless you. Hold on, I think I’ve got some Kleenex in my purse.
LaWana Mayfield (D), District 3
LaWana’s the only one here prominently wearing a watch, and it looks like a nice watch. Watches are funny, aren’t they? In an era of smartphones, we don’t really need them to tell time. Yet, when someone asks you what time it is, don’t you still, instinctively, glance at your wrist? Regardless of whether you’re wearing a watch? Man, times have changed. Say, do you know what time it is? No? Well, I’ll tell you: It is time for District 3's representative to practice the dab. You’re so close to nailing it, LaWana.
Greg Phipps (D), District 4
There’s nothing technically wrong with what Greg is doing here. It’s really just the context. If you didn’t know what the dab was, would this even look remotely cool? Is he exuding confidence? Does he look comfortable? On all counts, I’d say no, because if there’s one thing that’s worse than bad dancing, it’s bad dancing that someone is trying way too hard to get right. Looking at you here, Grandma. Just ’cause everyone else at this wedding is doing the Electric Slide doesn’t mean you should too.
Claire Fallon (D), At Large
“The dib? It’s called the dib?”
Kenny Smith (R), District 6
Guys, you’ve done it. You’ve embarrassed Kenny so badly that he’s afraid to show his face and obviously wants no credit for any of this. We shall refer to him, henceforth, as Alan Smithee.
Ed Driggs (R), District 7
As one of only two Republicans on the city council, Ed Driggs represents a certain constituency in Charlotte. That constituency, largely, thinks the dab is a word they’ve seen in their grandmother’s old recipe book.
Patsy Kinsey (D), District 1 — (Not Pictured)
Patsy’s the only politician smart enough to know that you should never be photographed dancing if you don’t want to grease the skids on your opponent’s next attack ad.
Vi Lyles (D), Mayor Pro Tem
That’s… actually pretty good.