Currently in contention for viral Halloween costume of the moment, we have Antoine Dodson, whose Bed Intruder Song, with the help of the Gregory Brothers, is now at 85 (down from 35!) on the iTunes chart, and whose Halloween “costume” is going to be all over the street this coming weekend (prepare to hide your eyes, wife, etc.)…
Following in the hallowed tradition of accidentally famous people like Yonni Barrios, the cheatin’ Chilean miner; Anna Chapman, the sexy spy; and Jimmy McMillan, the anti-gubernatorial candidate; Dodson has, it seems, had his share of endorsement possibilities. Including his very own sex offender app, downloadable to your iPhone or Android for a mere $1.99, where it will show you registered sex offenders (i.e., “people who have done bad who are in your path”) via a network of red dots.
Why we like these accidental heroes, and the weird way in which fame is both given to and taken away from them (see also Steven Slater) circa 2010 is fodder for another post, but let us just say that the life of a viral celebrity is something like the life of a man in a Hemingway story. I.e., short, happy, and deeply tragic.
So it’s not surprising that the ad for Dodson’s sex offender app is more sad and schlocky by way of Green Eggs and Ham than it is actually funny. We are talking about sex offenders here, and while we were able to get past that, maybe, during Dodson’s rise to “fame,” it’s hard to get past it here. Cause, for one thing, sex offenders aren’t funny — nor is this ad. Packed full of as many once deliciously quirky/now sluggish and clunky Dodsonisms — “Are you still hiding your wives, hiding your kids, and hiding your husband?” — it reminds us that the life of a meme can be fleeting, and that viral fame is a harsh mistress, particularly once wrought mainstream.
While we’re happy Dodson has capitalized on the instance of his sister’s near-rape so proactively (and we’re hoping all their lives are better for it) we can’t help but also hope he gets a new shtick soon, cause this one is gettin’ tired, and we can feel the inevitable backlash rumbling. This meme is not longed for in this world. Dodson, you seem like a creative guy…what else do you have under that bandana?
For a while, at least, there is yet life in the viral-celebrity-as-dog meme, and, maybe, in the sexy Antoine Dodson meme. After all, the best way to out-meme a meme is to meme it further! (We may have just blown our own minds just there.)
Or, you could go as Antoine Dodson’s sister…remember her?