My family is an illustrious one; on my father’s side we can trace our way back to two men who died burning down their illegal brewery while my mother’s family grew up owning a bowling alley just off of 8 Mile in Detroit. The current generation has produced Ph.D. students, farmer’s market organizers, and one start-up geek who in his spare time took a moment to apply his bachelors degrees in physics and math to the song “Watch Me.”
Welcome to the state of music in 2015. By my cousin’s analysis, there are 45 unique words within all three minutes and twenty-two seconds if you are generous enough to characterize any noise generated by a human vocal box as a word. By more conservative estimates, there are 33 unique words in the song.
The one word that we do hear a bit more than others is the word “me.” Of all the words used in the entire song, the word “me” makes up 17.49% of total words used. To put this in perspective:
- Five out of eight blood types are rarer across all ethnicities than 17.49%
- According to data from the World Bank in 2010, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2011, and the CIA World Factbook in 2013 and 2014, the birth rate of the United States is less than 17.49%.
Does this say something about our generation? What about the fact that this video has 300 million views on YouTube? To put this in perspective:
- Carl Sagan once wrote a work called the Pale Blue Dot, inspired by Voyager 1’s flight in January of 1990. This video about the beauty of humanity across the ages has a little more than one million views. That’s less than 17.49% of the amount of people who have watched Silento whip it and nae nae.
- David Foster Wallace gave a speech called “This Is Water” about what it means to be at the center of all our experiences and how we can live a compassionate life despite being the center of own universes. The video of him giving this commencement speech has a little more than 900,000 views. Wallace killed himself in 2008.
If you doubt my statistics, all links have been included within this article and my cousins likely Adderal-induced penance of statistically analyzing this song is available in a Google Doc here.
Good night and good luck.