Slavery, Death, and Three Other Reasons You Should Never Plank Again

Categories: Culture
PlankingSmall.jpg
Nope, he's not napping.
Face down, butt up. That's the way we like to... plank? Yeah, plank. In case you live IRL (in real life, as opposed to online), planking is a recent Internet meme where folks lie down -- stiff as a board -- in random/usual places and share the photos online.

The trend (reportedly) began in England in 1997 under the much less meme-friendly name "Lying Down Game." Now the meme is at its peak, with every kind of celebrity from Katy Perry to Flava Flav tweeting planking photos. So irreverent! So fun! Right? Wrong. According to some critics, planking is not only a little distasteful but also hella dangerous. (And yes, before you say anything, we were indeed that kid on the playground warning folks not to climb on the monkey bars. But who's the fool whose elbow bone came piercing out of his flesh? Not us.)

5. Slavery. That's right. Some people believe the planking trend's roots go back to how slaves were packed in ships during the Middle Passage. On Wednesday, BET's Danielle Wright discussed how slaves were collared to planks beneath the deck of slave ships. The chained men and women assumed the same position as today's plankers -- completely flat with palms at thighs -- so that the captain could pack in more bodies. Check the below image to see if it doesn't shed new light on folks like Katy Perry planking across their yachts.

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4. Death. What's the worse that can happen? Well, you could die. A 20-year-old Aussie fell seven stories while planking on a high-rise balcony in May. The Planking Facebook page, which is credited with starting the meme and has 450,000-plus followers, explicitly promotes safe planking with rule number 5: "Your safety should always be considered. Properly thought through Planking procedures should always go to plan. Never put your self at undue risk." Which brings us to our next point.

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5 comments
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Comedian Pt
Comedian Pt

stop doing what you see other people do like saggin your pants and now this plankin FOOLS

Ddabello
Ddabello

who cares flash mobs, planking, its better then politics and drugs! i say let the people plank!!

Daniel Reskin
Daniel Reskin

1. 2. 3. 2. 1. ... palindromic point listing! I'll plank to that.

Amanda_McC
Amanda_McC

That was some tricky dick number work I did there. Decided to go with a countdown for simplicity... 

Orlando
Orlando

Planking needs to die already. I feel the only way to do so is to start Captain Morganing.

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