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In defense of the whip and the nae nae

Let me go ahead and start this defense with a quick “watch me whip” immediately followed up by a drawn-out “... and watch me nae nae.”

Do you feel that excitement in your stomach? 

Do your gums tingle? 

Me, too — and that is a direct result of the genius of the famed cultural innovator Silentó. There is something magical about when a whip transitions smoothly into the nae nae, only to be overtaken by two more, fiercer whips. 

It’s a  cosmic puzzle coming together. It’s the sole reason I remember 2015.

The whip (and the nae nae) are connected to our youth culturally as well. The art of the whip is entombed with one of the most cherished texts in the socio-cultural realm: Vine. 

It was a platform so influential and loved that it has infiltrated other, larger platforms such as YouTube by way of nostalgic compilation videos. The whip is branded into our cultural history as a people. But, like the app that gave it life, the whip and the nae nae burned bright and died young. 

The ripples of the whip can even be seen in newer cultural imitations that have emerged throughout the past few years. 

Dabbing, flossing, Fortnite dances and other performance-based memes all stem from the soul of the great Silentó. There have been other, weaker attempts to create these memetic trends (The Stanky Leg comes to mind) but none turned the tide quite like the whip and the nae nae. And the fact that these newer memetic performances continue to grow speaks to the luck, skill and concentrated power of will of Silentó’s legacy. 

We had to learn to whip before we could floss. 

The Whip is a cultural lightning rod, which has electrocuted the world of performance-based memes and, for this, we owe it an immense debt. 

My proposed plan to honor one of the most prominent creations in American culture is to supplant the whip and the nae nae in our public schools, in lieu of the antiquated, politically charged “Pledge of Allegiance.” 

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I will not rest until this goal is met. 

I pledge allegiance to one thing, and one thing only: that motherfucking whip, baby. 

bertrant@miamioh.edu 



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