Friday, March 28, 2008

Beware The JabbaWockeeZ

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

My son asked me to watch some MTV last night. Normally he is nowhere near the home of sudsy teen drama like The Hills, so I decided to see what became appointment television for him. It was the final episode of the unwieldily named Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew, a blatant American Idol rip-off showcasing hip-hop dance teams, or “crews” instead of bad pop singers. My son’s loyalties were with the dorkily named JabbaWockeeZ. My son had never even heard of "Jabberwocky", so I called it up in the Googles and read it out loud to him.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

Every crew seems to have a gimmick and the Jabbas do all their numbers wearing gloves and plastic masks that make them look like kabuki thugz. As if the odd garb and Lewis Carrol/Monty Python inspired name weren’t enough, their final routine was called “The Red Pill” as in The Matrix down the rabbit hole. You can watch their routine here.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

To get into the finals, the all-guy pan-ethnic JabbaWockeeZ had to defeat the all-Asian co-ed group Kaba Modern, which has its roots in a UC-Irvine talent show entry. This group is really good and was the favorite of many. Nevertheless, JabbaWockeeZ went on to defeat the Boston-based Status Quo.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Who knew that geek culture touchstone like Jabberwocky could burrow so deep into the zeitgeist of the latest MTV Generation. Or maybe is just a cool name that lets them go snicker snack on the competition.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

1 comment:

Impetua said...

I googled variations to find a version of Jabberwocky from my misspent youth. Thanks for bringing it to mind! :)