[FoRK] We are living in William Gibson's world

Ken Meltsner meltsner at gmail.com
Thu Feb 3 17:58:44 PST 2005

Of multinational fads and cross-cultural blends.  I figured we had the
multinational corporation part down, of course, but I wasn't sure we
were going to end up with his blender's eye view of popular culture.

I am now.

How else can you explain the success of a Moldavian disco boy group
from Romania, with a hit song throughout Europe, getting international
fame and infamy because of an unauthorized cover from an Italian girl
band, dancing Neko Flash animations from Japan, and random parodies
from elsewhere?  And all for a catchy, but mind-numbingly repetitive
disco/technohit?  Even the video, filled with American comic book
icons, and shots of the three sensitive, pretty boys in the group
hopping about and lounging around, purees images together into a mix
almost as smooth as the song's artificial accompaniment.


describes O-Zone and their unspellable hit.

I'm probably unthinkably unhip to have missed this phenom until now,
but thank goodness I saw it before the whole thing became as dead as a
macarena repeat on VH1.  And thank goodness that the Web's reach means
that someone that can translate the lyrics might contact you to
explain, just a bit, what the song actually means.

Ken "I remember when MTV ran videos" Meltsner

Excerpt from the blog, slightly edited:

here is a song called Dragostea Din Tei on the Disco-Zone CD by
O-Zone. O-Zone was a little known Euro-dance act from Romania... until
someone in Japan syched some flash to it. Then someone else. Here is
the original music video. Then someone made a video. Suddenly, this CD
is a hit and many of my friends are ordering it from Amazon. I bet
they don't know what hit them.

This reminds me of the badger badger/potter potter meme and the Yatta
meme. There is some peculiar element of certain songs that gets
people's creative juices going. I think they have to be 1) silly, 2)
in a foreign language, 3) have that "can't get it out of my head"
element. It's the tip of the long tail wagging. Maybe artists should
make synching rights available to encourage more of this creative
behavior in a mainstream way... or maybe not. ;-P

UPDATE: Seth was just infected by email...

UPDATE 2: More on O-Zone from Stefan. "The funny-looking name Numanuma
is actually a repetition of two Romanian words, 'nu ma' (or, to be
correct, 'nu mă') that are part of the lyrics of O-Zone's smash hit
'Dragostea din tei' ('Love in the lime-tree'). More precisely, they're
part of 'nu mă iei', which translates into 'you don't take me [away
with you]'... Think of all the paraphernalia you can, from ubiquitous
(and annoying) ringtones onwards... The raw matter (that is, the
original O-Zone music) is renown for its supremely dimwitted
lyrics..." I want the ringtone... ;-P

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