Viral meme all your friends already know about, #4: Loituma Girl

Mary
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Do not, repeat, do NOT click on this link if you actually have something even slightly, vaguely important to do today, or if you are at all worried about maintaining your sanity.

Okay, fine, click.

Loituma Girl is the most spellbinding thing I've ever seen, and the worst part is, I can't explain why. At least Wikipedia can explain what:

Loituma Girl (also known as Leekspin) is a flash cartoon set to a gibberish section of the traditional Finnish folk song "Ievan Polkka" sung by the Finnish quartet Loituma, taken from their 1995 debut album Things of Beauty. ... The cartoon consists of a 4-frame animation of the Bleach anime character Orihime Inoue twirling a leek (a type of green onion, called a negi in Japan) to a 27-second loop from the song. ...

The cartoon uses the second half of the fifth stanza (four lines) and the complete sixth stanza (eight lines) from the song. Unlike the rest of the song, these two stanzas have no meaning, consisting mostly of phonetically-inspired gibberish that vary from performance to performance and are usually made up on the spot by the singer (compare scat singing in jazz).

The origin of the cartoon is unclear. Within a few days of its appearance, tens of thousands of pages either directed to the possible origin or had the file uploaded on their own server. On 10 July 2006, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported that Loituma Girl had caused a resurgence in Loituma's popularity, and the band had received thousands of fan letters from around the world.

BBC's The World radio program even covered the animation in a segment, in which they noted the clip's trance-inducing qualities: "This is basically a joke for someone who spends all of their time staring at a computer, made by people who spend all of their time staring at a computer."

So many questions! Why the Japanese-Polish fusion? Why a leek? Is this the new Hampster Dance? Will I ever get this song out of my head?

January 24, 2007 - 3:08am
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