The 'Harlem Shake' is becoming a new form of protest in the Middle East

Earlier this week, we reported on the controversy in Tunisia and Egypt over some "Harlem Shake" videos, which have provoked arrests and an investigation by the Tunisian Ministry of Education, and the follow-up Harlem Shake protests Egyptians and Tunisians were planning.

Well, they happened.

The video above is from Cairo, outside the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. Another protest took place outside the Ministry of Education in Tunis, though rain deterred some dancers.

The videos are spreading (here's one from another school, Tunisia's Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology), as is the backlash. Salafist groups have tried to intimidate students making Harlem Shake videos, and, at one school, a protest broke out that was dispersed by police with tear gas.

The videos are clearly becoming more political. In the video from Egypt, for example, a protester is wearing a large fake beard to mock conservative critics. And in the videos from Tunisia there are a number of protesters wearing the Guy Fawkes and gas masks that were popular during the Arab Spring protests of 2011. Unlike so many other flash-in-the-pan memes, the Harlem Shake might be around for a while -- especially if politicians in Egypt and Tunisia keep trying to get rid of it.



North Korean TV releases image of Dennis Rodman bowing to Kim Jong Un

As if Dennis Rodman calling Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" whose people "love him" wasn't enough to stoke outrage about the former NBA star's utterly bizarre visit to North Korea this week, North Korean television is now running images of Rodman bowing to North Korea's new leader. Here's a still, which appears at 6:16 in this report:

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Rodman's visit included not only a basketball game and an "amicable" dinner with Kim Jong Un, but also a stop at "the halls which house cars, an electric car, a boat and train coaches used by [Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il] during their field guidance and foreign trips till the last moments of their lives," and a visit to the Rungna Dolphinarium, where Rodman and his entourage "spent a good time watching dolphins dancing to the tune of cheerful music, jumping in group, spinning rings, jumping into the air and shaking hands with people." (The photo below shows Rodman and some Harlem Globetrotters touring another monument in the capital.)

As he was leaving North Korea on Friday, Rodman told reporters that "Kim Jong Un is like his grandfather and his father, who are greater leaders." Kim "is an awesome kid," he added, "very honest and loves his wife so much." Here's footage of Rodman's impromptu press conference:

For those people worrying that Rodman's visit has only emboldened North Korea's repressive leader, consider this: Yes, the NBA star bowed to Kim Jong Un. But he also referred to the head of a nuclear power as an "awesome kid."

(h/t: Adam Cathcart)