Antoine Dodson’s fifteen minutes are not over yet. Last week, I learned (via Twitter, duh), that Dodson, who became (internet) famous when his rant to the local news was remixed by The Gregory Brothers into “The Bed Intruder Song,” has already begun filming a reality show based upon his move from the Alabama projects to West Hollywood (of course). This should make for good television, as Dodson is charming (in both the southern and gay sense), has enough (gay) slang to keep the allegedly hetero masses tuning in weekly for lessons, and looks fierce in a pair of women’s jeans.
The evolution, the etymology of Dodson’s fame is impressive. Not nearly Bieber-esque, but fantastic enough for me furrow my brow in confused amazement. Dodson’s local news interview not only spawned the aforementioned song, but a slew of covers and remixes (including one posted below), an iTunes version, a ring tone, an appearance on the BET Awards, a Halloween costume–including a certificate that one can roll and use as the bus schedule Dodson was flinging around like a light saber during his interview, Comedy Central show for The Gregory brothers, and a T-Mobile commercial starring fellow Alabaman Charles Barkley (love him!) that could have only been inspired by Dodson’s performance. Last Friday night while watching a basketball game, I was unintentionally serenaded with “The Bed Intruder” song by a group of hormonal middle school boys sitting in the bleachers. They used a cell phone on speaker to blast the track.
The alacrity with which Dodson became an internet superstar can only be rivaled by the Dougie or perhaps spread of athlete’s foot in a gym locker room. Dodson claims that agents and managers started calling him (he initially had his number posted on his Facebook page) within two days–less than 24 hours, probably. A gazillion downloads and television (cable and local shows) interviews later, Dodson could be the next reality television star. And I’m happy for Antoine Dodson. He’s (reality) star material. Seems to have his heart in the right place, as they say. Whenever he’s asked what his goal is, he states he wants to help people similar to his sister, who had crimes committed against them, but the perpetrators were not caught.
Still, I can’t help but grimace when I realize how quickly this trauma was commodified. What started all of this was that his sister, better known as “victim’s brother” was assaulted and nearly raped by someone who, from what I can tell, has yet to be caught. Despite what the song says, I don’t think Dodson is looking for him. He’s busy and all with this new reality show. Yet, that’s not his job. It’s the police department’s. Despite the alleged criminal’s fingerprints, they’ve yet to find him. Perhaps if he had a Facebook page, it would be easier.
I just want us to be mindful of the wellspring of some of our entertainment, the source of our annoying ring tones. Yes, we remember the lyrics to “The Bed Intruder Song,” but how many of us know his sister’s name? If you’ve forgotten, here’s a friendly reminder: It’s Kelly.
I wonder if those middle school boys know.