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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Numa Numa Regrets

   
Author Topic: Numa Numa Regrets
Lyrhawn
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Numa Numa Gone Wrong
Poor Guy.

[ February 26, 2005, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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ketchupqueen
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What is that, for those of us who don't have the AOL virus on our computers?
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newfoundlogic
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Just search for "numa numa dance" and watch the video. Your life will never be the same.
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ketchupqueen
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You need to check out that thread, nfl; I'm one of the ones who was completely taken over by that song...

But I'd like to know which one this is. Just for my own peace of mind.

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newfoundlogic
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quote:
(Feb. 26) - There was a time when embarrassing talents were a purely private matter. If you could sing "The Star Spangled Banner" in the voice of Daffy Duck, no one but your friends and family would ever have to know.

But with the Internet, humiliation - like everything else - has now gone public. Upload a video of yourself playing flute with your nose or dancing in your underwear, and people from Toledo to Turkmenistan can watch.

Here, then, is the cautionary tale of Gary Brolsma, 19, amateur videographer and guy from New Jersey, who made the grave mistake of placing on the Internet a brief clip of himself dancing along to a Romanian pop song. Even in the bathroom mirror, Mr. Brolsma's performance could only be described as earnest but painful.

His story suggests that the quaint days when cultural trinkets, like celebrity sex tapes, were passed around like novels in Soviet Russia are over. It says a little something of the lightning speed at which fame is made these days.

To begin at the beginning:

Mr. Brolsma, a pudgy guy from Saddle Brook, made a video of himself this fall performing a lip-synced version of "Dragostea Din Tei," a Romanian pop tune, which roughly translates to "Love From the Linden Trees." He not only mouthed the words, he bounced along in what he called the "Numa Numa Dance" - an arm-flailing, eyebrow-cocked performance executed without ever once leaving the chair.

In December, the Web site newgrounds.com, a clearinghouse for online videos and animation, placed a link to Mr. Brolsma on its home page and, soon, there was a river of attention. "Good Morning America" came calling and he appeared. CNN and VH1 broadcast the clip. Parodists tried their own Numa Numa dances online. By yesterday, the Brolsma rendition of "Love From the Linden Trees" had attracted nearly two million hits on the original Web site alone.

It was just as Diane Sawyer said on her television program: "Who knows where this will lead?"

Nowhere, apparently. For, in Mr. Brolsma's case, the river became a flood.

He has now sought refuge from his fame in his family's small house on a gritty street in Saddle Brook. He has stopped taking phone calls from the news media, including The New York Times. He canceled an appearance on NBC's "Today." According to his relatives, he mopes around the house.

What's worse is that no one seems to understand.

"I said, 'Gary this is your one chance to be famous - embrace it,' " said Corey Dzielinski, who has known Mr. Brolsma since the fifth grade. Gary Brolsma is not the first guy to rocket out of anonymity on a starship of embarrassment. There was William Hung, the Hong Kong-born "American Idol" reject, who sang and danced so poorly he became a household name. There was Ghyslain Raza, the teenage Québécois, who taped himself in a mock light-saber duel and is now known as the Star Wars Kid.

In July 2003, Mr. Raza's parents went so far as to sue four of his classmates, claiming they had placed the clip of him online without permission. "Ghyslain had to endure and still endures today, harassment and derision," according to the lawsuit, first reported in The Globe and Mail of Toronto.

Mr. Brolsma has no plans to sue, his family said - mainly because he would have to sue himself. In fact, they wish he would bask a little in his celebrity.

"I don't know what's wrong with him," his grandfather, Kalman Telkes, a Hungarian immigrant, said the other day while taking out the trash.

The question remains why two million people would want to watch a doughy guy in glasses wave his arms around online to a Romanian pop song.

"It definitely has to be something different," said Tom Fulp, president and Webmaster of newgrounds.com.

"It's really time and place."

"The Numa Numa dance," he said, sounding impressed. "You see it and you kind of impulsively have to send it to your friends."

There is no way to pinpoint the fancy of the Internet, but in an effort to gauge Mr. Brolsma's allure, the Numa Numa dance was shown to a classroom of eighth graders at Saddle Brook Middle School - the same middle school that he attended, in fact.

The students' reactions ranged from envious to unimpressed. "That's stupid," one of them said. "What else does he do?" a second asked. A third was a bit more generous: "I should make a video and become famous."

The teacher, Susan Sommer, remembered Mr. Brolsma. He was a quiet kid, she said, with a good sense of humor and a flair for technology.


"Whenever there were computer problems, Gary and Corey would fix them for the school," she said.

His friends say Mr. Brolsma has always had a creative side. He used to make satirical Prozac commercials on cassette tapes, for instance. He used to publish a newspaper with print so small you couldn't read it with the naked eye.

"He was always very out there - he's always been ambitious," said Frank Gallo, a former classmate. "And he's a big guy, but he's never been ashamed."

Another friend, Randal Reiman, said: "I've heard a lot of people say it's not that impressive - it doesn't have talent. But I say, Who cares?"

These days, Mr. Brolsma shuttles between the house and his job at Staples, his family said. He is distraught, embarrassed. His grandmother, Margaret Telkes, quoted him as saying, just the other day, "I want this to end."

And yet the work lives on. Mr. Fulp, the Webmaster, continues to receive online homages to the Numa Numa dance. The most recent showed what seemed to be a class of computer students singing in Romanian and, in unison, waving their hands.

Mr. Reiman figures the larger world has finally caught on to Gary Brolsma.

"He's been entertaining us for years," he said, "so it's kind of like the rest of the world is realizing that Gary can make you smile."



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Icarus
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Embarrasing talent?! I thought the kid was freaking brilliant. Too bad he's unhappy with the publicity.:-\
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TomDavidson
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Same here. But I suppose if most of the mainstream media is putting this sort of spin on it -- chubby, weird kid can't impress an eighth-grade classroom, but is popular for unknown reasons on the Internet -- I suppose it's not surprising.
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Theca
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I agree. A lot of the comments on the internet almost sound like people are laughing AT him, not because of him. Back when I first saw this on hatrack I saw a lot of comments on other internet sites about how despite his size, he's still funny. Like that's some sort of surprise. It reminded me of the nasty, subtle backstabbing comments people write in the less popular kids' yearbooks in junior high.

I just felt happy, watching his video. That's what most people felt, I hope. But I can see why Gary doesn't see it that way right now.

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foundling
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That is so sad. The kid should be deluged with calls from cute nerd girls who want to date him. He's got a great sense of humor, good taste in music, and can dance like a... well, maybe not the dancing. But he's cute and funny. Hell, I'd date him if I didnt have a SO and live halfway across the country. People suck if they are making fun of him because of this.
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ketchupqueen
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He has impressive seat-dancing skills! That eyebrow raising is especially impressive.
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Icarus
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*nod*

[Big Grin]
[Frown]
[Smile]
[Cool]

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Icarus
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Smilie totems ain't what they used to be since the last time they changed the UBB version.

*wist*

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Telperion the Silver
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Poor Numa Numa guy! [Frown]

That video made me happy. The song made me happy. Those jerks who say "he has no talent"...well it's not about talent. It's about being silly and spreading some fun.

I wonder if it's just the attention that is getting to him. The article said he went on several shows to do interviews...so he wasn't agaisnt it at first. Hmmm.... *ponders*

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rivka
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Poor guy. I love the video! Especially the eyebrow. It's sad that so many people are pushing the notion that he should be embarrassed. And sadder that he believes them. Articles like this surely don't help.
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Icarus
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I agree. The author is so pathetically desperate to demonstrate that he (?) is cooler than this.
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AntiCool
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This burns me up. I loved that video, and he deserves to be pleased about it.
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Lyrhawn
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Fame can be torture.
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Ryuko
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You know, I'm proud of Brolsma, he's gone and entertained countless people. This is the first time I've seen anything that portrays him negatively, everyone else has nothing but good to say about him.

I can imagine how tough it would be to have to go through that, though. With people coming up to you on the street like they know you... Poor guy.

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Architraz Warden
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I want a flash video made about me...

But, this just revives the hilarity that was the original.

Feyd Baron, DoC

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Boris
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Actually, that was funny than the original.
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Verily the Younger
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quote:
But, this just revives the hilarity that was the original.
Okay, now I feel bad for the guy.
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Dagonee
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The American Idol spoof was great, and in no way makes me think less of the guy. The original was great - he has a very expressive face and used well to comic effect. Plus, it's such a happy, bouncy song that it just makes me smile.

Half of what is wrong with this country is "cool kids." Not cool kids, but "cool kids" who figure status is relative, so putting people down is a good as actually doing something worthy of praise.

Dagonee

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whiskysunrise
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That's too bad. I enjoyed it.
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ketchupqueen
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I wish he could read this thread. And the other one. We all like him so much, he deserves to hear that, too.

Okay, who has impressive e-mail stalking skills and can send them to him? [Wink]

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rivka
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He has an online shrine!
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Tater
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Someone should bring him here to read this to cheer him up.
He's definately got my support!
Three cheers for Gary!
[Party]

Edit: Someone already said that. Well, the "let him read this" part. I can still give him 3 cheers. [Smile]

quote:
Ghyslain Raza, the teenage Québécois, who taped himself in a mock light-saber duel and is now known as the Star Wars Kid.
Why haven't I seen this? [Frown]

[ April 17, 2005, 01:17 AM: Message edited by: Tater ]

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Tater
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From rivka's site:

quote:
From Gary's now-closed Xanga site, Feb. 2005:
"It seems I'm famous. I really don't know how it happened, the internet is a mighty place, obviously nothing too interesting must be happening because my stupid video debuted on CNN during a financial talk about money and finance and money and stuff... not to mention, the ONLY place I uploaded it was Newgrounds, and now (3 months later) it's everywhere."

That sounds so.. sad. Like he's miserable. Or, maybe I'm just thinking he is. [Dont Know]

Edit: just to stop posting so many things, I'll just add this.

Maybe he doesn't need US to cheer him up

[ April 17, 2005, 01:23 AM: Message edited by: Tater ]

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CaySedai
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Bumping up this thread because my daughter just informed me that Dragostea din tei (the numa numa song) is now a ringtone!
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IdemosthenesI
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Did anybody watch the travesty that was the Oprah version (the story is that Oprah commissioned it, then scrapped it.) This just goes to show how much they didn't get it.

http://www.oxygen.com/video/fullpage_new.aspx?clip=/new/numa_oh

This should not be remade with beautiful people. The original was a triumph of the common man over the media's ideals of self image.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Absolutely. The original was so cool because he felt no need to be cool. But the people in the Oprah look cool enough that the whole thing is incredibly lame.
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rivka
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Very! In fact, the only bit I remotely liked was the parrot.

And if it weren't bad enough, turning all the "ai"s into "oh"s was AWFUL! So kitchy, and completely messed with the rhyming bits. >_<

[Razz]

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Kwea
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I didn't like it at all, I love the original.

Not as much as some of you, obviously, but still... [Wink]

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ketchupqueen
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The OHs do suck.

And they seem to have done their video somewhat in the style of the video from that non-O Zone group (you know, the one with the man-girl Androgynous One.) Even though it doesn't match the music they used.

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