America's number 1 dying magazine Newsweek came out with an "America's Dying Cities" list in January and chose New Orleans as the most dyingest city of them all. Fellow zombietown Grand Rapids, MI, which appeared at number 10 on the list, recently created a gargantuan lip dub to let Newsweek know they're not dead yet.
Lip dubs, single-take videos of people lip-syncing to a song, are a YouTube trend that has become far too ubiquitous (good examples here and in this clip from an episode of The Office). But unlike most lip-dubs which are set in relatively confined spaces like office buildings and college student centers, Grand Rapids' video elevates the genre in the quest to prove its alive-ness. The YouTube video's description says the lip dub involved 5,000 people and "a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs." The end result — with brigades of firetrucks, cheerleaders, men strumming guitars, kids waving sparklers — is a poignant portrait of an American city that's "alive" simply because, hey, people live there.
Gawker reported that Newsweek responded to the video and the Dying Cities list on Facebook, expressing their love for the video:
... We're big fans (of the video), and are inspired by your love of the city you call home.
But so you know what was up with the list you're responding to, we want you to know it was done by a website called mainstreet.com—not by Newsweek (it was unfortunately picked up on the Newsweek web site as part of a content sharing deal)—and it uses a methodology that our current editorial team doesn't endorse and wouldn't have employed. It certainly doesn't reflect our view of Grand Rapids.
New Orleans, meanwhile, has yet to create a lip dub. Instead, residents prove Newsweek — or a content provider that like, Newsweek totally doesn't even know — wrong by continuing to be awesome and very much alive.