Grandma’s Milli Rock

Weird trends our elders did that drove their elders insane

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Grandma’s Milli Rock

A Triton student

A Triton student "dabs," a popular recent trend

Tucker photo

A Triton student "dabs," a popular recent trend

Tucker photo

Tucker photo

A Triton student "dabs," a popular recent trend

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In 2007, it was Crank That by Soulja Boy. There wasn’t a party one could go to without seeing people cranking that and doing the Superman. This was one of the first ‘viral’ songs. In 2013, it was the Harlem Shake. There wasn’t a place one could go without hearing the lyrics “Con los terroristas,” and proceeding to see people spaz and writhe around on the floor. In 2016, people were either mourning Harambe or making a Mannequin Challenge with a group of friends. In this day and age, we’d call these internet-spread trends ‘memes’. Memes, the sense of humor of most modern-day adolescence, will forever boggle the minds of those generations before us. The saying ‘Kids thes days,’ will always be said so long as youths keep starting new trends.

However, the people muttering this phrase seem to have forgotten that this was at some point muttered at them. They weren’t called memes though, people would refer to them as fads, trends, or crazes. These activities, sayings, or positions people would use seemingly came from nowhere, making no sense to anyone unless you were in on the joke. Triton Voice decided to take a deeper look of fads of the past.

One of the earliest fads on record is flagpole sitting. The name is pretty self-explanatory, the craze containing a teenager climbing atop a flagpole and sitting on it for an extended length of time. The fad started with Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly, who was either dared by his friend or attempted a publicity stunt by sitting on a flagpole. Shipwreck’s first try lasted 13 hours and 13 minutes, and when the news broke of that in 1924, it soon spread through the teenage world. “They’d sit in public areas, you know, think like Newburyport by the firehouse,” says Mr. Chad Richards, a history teacher at Triton. “Young people mostly, thought it was cool to do, as weird as it sounds. They would climb up a flag pole and sit on it for hours on end, coming down only when they needed to  go to the bathroom or wanted a sandwich.”

Following flagpole sitting, was the notorious goldfish swallowing which was all the rave in the 1930’s. Although it is not clear how the fad emerged, various people have made claims on how it became so big. Nonetheless, it wasn’t uncommon to see teenagers in the United States to try and eat live goldfish despite the horrors of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl surrounding them. The stunt went so far that Massachusetts State Senator George Krapf filed a bill to “preserve the fish from the cruel and wanton consumption,” as stated in Smithsonian Magazine.

“Old people are so annoying,” said sophomore Andrew Babine. “It’s like, they want to yell at us for doing the cinnamon challenge or the tide pod challenge, or the knife game, or whatever but then they go out and swallow live goldfish? Imagine the diseases you’d get from that!”

In the 1950’s, the hot thing to do was phone booth stuffing. Whenever teenagers saw a red phone booth in the streets, they’d run to it and try to fit as many people in as possible. By 1959, the fad had spread to the United States, Canada, Britain, South Africa, Durban, and Southern Rhodesia. According to Mortal Journey, on March 20th, 1959 in Southern Rhodesia 25 male students in the South African YMCA set a world record when they all fit in at least one body part in the booth. The tallest boy being 6 feet and 2 inches, and the shortest at 5 feet and 4 inches. When the phone rang, no one could answer it.

Like memes, fads would change to a bittersweet sign of the times. The phone booth fad became passé towards the end of the 1959, being replaced by hunkerin’. Hunkerin’ was almost like the 1950’s-version of planking, but it was going down to a squatting position.

“These are so stupid,” laughed Emily Debenedictis, a Triton junior looking at pictures of old teenagers swallowing goldfish. “This reminds me off the tide pods- oh my God! Tide pods are the Goldfish of our generation! But in all seriousness, it’s pretty cute that they’d do stuff like this. I just think it’s annoying how news stations are shaming kids these days when they were just as stupid when they were our age. I think a lot of us- and them, forget that they were kids, too.”


Popular Trends since 2010


Nyan Cat – A YouTube video of an animated flying cat, set to music

Ice Bucket Challenge – A charity-driven effort where a nominated person either donates $100 to the ALS Association, or to pour a bucket of ice-cold water on their head
Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge – Based on trying to recreate the big lips of television star Kylie Jenner, one uses a small vessel like a shotglass that covers their lips and sucks in all the air they can manage, which temporarily puffs the lips
Mannequin Challenge – A viral Internet video trend where, people remain still while a video is recorded, usually with music in the background, most commonly “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd
Running Man Challenge – A series of dance videos originally that uses the song “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s
Salt and ice challenge – Internet phenomenon wherein participants pour salt on their bodies, usually on the arm and ice is then placed on the salt

‘Dab’ – A dance move where a person drops their head into a bent, slanted arm, with the other arm out straight and parallel

Bee Movie – Sped-up or slowed-down clips of the film have become viral on YouTube – The song We are Number One from an Icelandic children’s show  became a meme in October 2016, and many videos were created. It became one of the fastest growing memes in history, with 250 videos uploaded in 5 days

The Room – Tommy Wiseau’s critically acclaimed film

“…they want to yell at us for doing the cinnamon challenge or the tide pod challenge, or the knife game, or whatever but then they go out and swallow live goldfish? ”

— Andrew Babine