Maybe you’ve seen this one already. It’s one of the red-hottest clips on YouTube. We’re talking 1,000,000 views in seven days.
It’s a massive group of prison inmates in the Philippines performing the dance routine from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
(No, you’re not dreaming, it’s real! This exists!)
My deepest thanks to UBMFAN1 for pointing me to that.
The guy who originally uploaded this instant classic of video virology is Byron F. Garcia. And his YouTube page includes other videos of these inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) doing dance numbers and/or precision marching.
(This one, set to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga,” was posted in April, and it’s also pretty trippy.)
Turns out Byron Garcia is a security consultant to the government of Cebu, one of the Philippines’ 81 provinces.
I found an article that Mr. Garcia wrote a year ago for a Filipino newspaper, in which he explains the method behind this musical madness. He calls it “responsive rehabilitation.”
“While padlocks and sophisticated gadgetry may physically shut off and isolate inmates from the world, it does not assure security,” Garcia wrote. “Security must be approached not only physically but also from the cultural and behavioral context.”
So then, CPDRC inmates “are required to go through a workout regimen. While the goal is to keep the body fit in order to keep the mind fit, such may not actually happen if it is not done in a manner deemed pleasurable,” he continued. “Music, being the language of the soul, is added to that regimen.”
Okay, I buy that. Now, Mr. Garcia, do you take requests? Because I would love to see 1,500 Filipino prisoners rocking these moves to “Walk It Out.”