By Daniel Carlston
We all heard it. We all loved it. The words tasted so delicious rolling off our tongues just a few weeks ago. Damn Daniel was a cultural phenomenon, for however brief a time. It was an exclamation of sheer exuberance that brought a reluctant smile to all our faces. We all let the infamous Twitter video circulate through the interwebs, Josh Holz’s incomparable voice showering the eponymous Daniel with enthusiastic compliments. We all chuckled at the wave of spoofs and parodies that quickly followed, and most of us probably even tried imitating the voice once or twice. But arguably even more important than young Josh and his voice was Daniel, the legend himself. We all secretly wished we could be Daniel, that dashing young man with the white Vans and the understated swagger.
And now, we’re all glad that “Damn Daniel” is buried deep, deep down in the depths of the earth, never to be uttered again by any self-respecting individual.
The guys named Daniel, like me, were among the first to speak out. After all, it was an unavoidable connection for all our friends to make, and we were subjected to the worst of it. “Wow, your name is Daniel, and there’s this video of a guy named Daniel, and his friend says ‘Damn Daniel,’ so we’re going to say ‘Damn Daniel’ too, because that’ll be funny!” Yeah, reeeally funny, guys. Keep up the good work. It wasn’t long before Daniels all around the world were falling to their knees and renouncing their religious idols at the mere utterance of the phrase. And after just a short while, the novelty of the meme wore off among the rest of the population too. “Wait, this ‘Damn Daniel’ thing is actually super dumb,” said everyone. Fortunately, that was all it took for this meme to collapse in on itself.
Now, only months from the inception of the original video, “Damn Daniel” is a universally despised pair of words. The government has banned parents from naming their newborn babies “Daniel,” fearing the serious psychological harm that could result. If you were to accidentally let the vile phrase escape your lips, the socially accepted punishment is for you to become a hermit and repent for 30 years on a deserted island before returning to society. These are the cold hard facts. Did I make them up to ensure that “Damn Daniel” never again reaches the light of day? Absolutely. But after all the verbal abuse that the Daniel population has taken over the last month, can you really blame me? You most certainly can! Fabricating statistics and intentionally misleading readership is a clear sign of my deteriorating mental health. And that, in turn, is a clear sign that “Damn Daniel” has damaged my psyche beyond repair.
But seriously, just stop saying it. Damn.