Of cats and dancing

“I read a theory once that the human intellect was like peacock feathers. Just an extravagant display intended to attract a mate. All of art, literature, a bit of Mozart, William Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and the Empire State Building… Just an elaborate mating ritual.” (dr. Robert Ford in Westworld S1E6)

So, I made an experiment the other day, quite unplanned at that, though. During a (sanctioned!) walk, we saw the odd cat in the street. The cat chose to pose for us, and we took photos. Then I posted the photos on social media—where they collected more links in an hour than any other post of mine in a day. This is proof that it is literally not worth posting anything else. The human life is about photos of cats.

Cynical as the dr Ford quote may sound, I noticed I did some unexpected things to attract attention. The lockdown may have increased the sensitivity of my social-media antennae… but the – quite uncharacteristic – cat post wasn’t the first.

In the company, I’m one of those who couldn’t dance to save their lives (to quote a dear colleague). Still, I agreed to partake in a dancing act, record my part on video, and allow it to be edited into a dancing video we published on social media. Quite embarrassing.

“Do you often dance at St. James’s?”
“Never, sir.”
“Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?”
“It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can help it.”
(Sir William Lucas and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, guess who said what)

It’s hand moves, mostly, we were doing the Vietnamese handwashing dance after all. Recording it was quite hilarious. I can’t remember even simple movement sequences, I don’t have the eyes and the brains for that. So, the recording went like this:

I set up my desktop monitor as a prompting station where the original dance tutorial was put on a loop. I then tried to mimic that, and, as a result, my eyes were fixed on the monitor rather than the camera. When you watch the thing, you may notice my eyes are constantly turned slightly to the right (left on the screen). I recorded it, like, 20 times, and sent on two versions plus some fooling around.

Long story short, here you have it: https://www.facebook.com/memoQ/videos/866710940466198/

Ah well… I guess with greater exposure to social media, we will all find our best way to embarrass ourselves. Here’s to handwashing and peacock feathers and cat posts.

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