Much like the fatal imitations following the popularization of such stunt-based media hits as "Jackass" and professional wrestling, the bay area hip-hop community has added a new act to the bill: "Ghostridin’ the Whip."
This is just another step in the somewhat inexplicable trend of people imitating other people who are only on television because they are willing to do the stupidest things they can think of. Can you think of a better activity for the youth of America to imitate than putting their car in gear and dancing on top? Unfortunately, some people can’t.
In the last six months there has been a sharp rise in "ghostridin’" accidents and even deaths, since bay area rapper Mistah F.A.B. released a music video documenting the process.
While common sense should dictate the actions of the masses, there are actually occasions when it simply does not.
The thrill of risk-taking and the influence of peer pressure are leading more and more seemingly rational people to perform outrageous actions. And in times like these the stakes are high, for we’re living in an era when individuals not only take cues on cool from widespread television broadcasts, but also from other individuals on such Internet marvels as YouTube.com. The ability for irresponsible media to spread rapidly has increased dramatically.
For the most part, our collective consciousness overlooks the stupidity of such actions. In a way, how could you not ghostride the whip once you know how to do it? The song is catchy, and they’re having so much fun in the video. Sadly, this mimicking mindset has caused at least two deaths failed attempts at ghostridin’ the whip.
In some respect, these deaths are absolutely the result of an irresponsible media. The group of corporate institutions that hand-select images and ideas to proliferate to the masses, is not only responsible for the media it sends out to the world, but also for the effects of that media. Why is there not a presence of music videos where rappers and rock stars plant trees? Rather media corporations and the clients they cater to (us) choose to promote violence and sex as well as stunts which appeal to the ephemeral part of the mind to such a level that we forget that they disgust the rational side. Television stations as well as record labels should consider the effects when they promote trends.
However, individuals’ irrational decisions ultimately boil down to personal responsibility. While it may be appealing to imitate the stars inside that flashing box of colors in the living room, caution must be implemented. It is astonishing that ghostridin’ has led to so many deaths and injuries. It attests to the power of a worldwide peer-pressure and the impact of a narrowly controlled media conglomerate that popularizes foolishness.