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Filipino Prisoners Go Viral (Again): The Daily Nooner (EST)!

Filipino Prisoners Crankin' Dat

Let me preface this post with a caveat: I don't know much about the Filipino prison system. I don't know how Filipino culture approaches corrections and rehabilitation, I don't know who these prisoners are or what crimes they committed, and I certainly don't know why there's a large crowd of spectators gathered to watch them perform. Come to think of it, I've never even heard of the Philippines. What is it? All I know about it is that they have a prison, orange jumpsuits and a high degree of familiarity with American pop music.

Anyway, when that video of Filipino prisoners performing "Thriller" hit the internet a while back (and received over 12 million views), I figured it was a weird one-off phenomenon. Little did I know that it was actually the first in a series of videos designed to, what? Teach the prisoners some discipline and rack up tons of views on YouTube in the process? I'm no marketing guru or anything, but it seems like the Filipino prison system is trying really hard to go viral, doesn't it? Does viral internet fame aid in the rehabilitation process, or are they trying to lure bloggers and web nerds to their country to see the KUH-RAZY dancing prisoners?

If that's their plan, I have bad news for them: This video is kind of boring. Things get stale fast on the internet, and at this point the sight of hundreds of Filipino prisoners in orange jumpsuits dancing in unison to Western pop music is kind of old hat. The Filipino prison system is great at keeping criminals incarcerated (I assume), but when it comes to keeping the net entertained they're kind of a one-trick pony.

If you're reading this, Filipino prison system, I have some advice for you: Don't quit your day job. You know - keeping criminals incarcerated. And in shape.

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Ross Wolinsky

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