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Korea... in Blog Format

Tag: Gangnam Style

Life of Psy

I take it Kimmel is not a huge Psy fan:

(HT to reader)

PSY: What would have happened if a foreign singer had sung anti-Korean songs?

Perhaps that apology PSY game last month was more sincere than some thought. Or so the Chosun Ilbo would suggest.

Participating in a New Year’s event at Korea’s UN delegation, PSY reflected on the kerfuffle (see here). When work of his anti-American rap lyrics first broke, he thought about packing his bags. Imagining what would happen if it were belatedly learned that a foreign singer had made sung an anti-Korean song, he thought Americans would never forgive him.

He was surprised by the American response. At first, he took a lot of abuse, but after a few days, comments of support began to appear. He was most surprised by how the White House handled a petition calling for PSY to be dis-invited to a year-end event with President Obama… by deleting the petition and inviting him anyway. He’d expected his invitation to be cancelled. He asked, “If this were Korea, what would have happened?”

And finally, for all those folk who think Gangnam Style is satire—and you know who you are—PSY said it wasn’t. He just did the song to make people laugh in a bad economy.

PS: Anderson Cooper’s weirdest New Year’s moment was, oddly enough, not Kathy Griffin trying to play with his sack, but PSY and MC Hammer. Kathy Griffin apparently had some off-color comments for PSY, too.

Man drops dead after doing Gangnam Style horse dance

Take that, Glenn Greenwald—PSY might not have droned some kid in Yemen, but he’s killed someone dead all the same:

The death of a father-of-three who collapsed while dancing to Gangnam Style has prompted a warning to middle-aged men not to attempt the vigorous dance from the hit video.

Eamonn Kilbride, 46, collapsed with chest pains at his office party in Blackburn last weekend after performing the dance moves made famous by the South Korean rapper Psy, who mimics riding a horse.

Professor Bernard Keavney, a consultant cardiologist at Newcastle University, has warned older men not to “stray outside your comfort zone” while dancing at their Christmas parties this year.

You’ve been warned.

Sen. Alan Simpson does ‘Gangnam Style’

(HT to Far and Away)

Speaking of Australia…

I’ve always wondered how people in Perth amuse themselves.

Read more here.

(HT to Hamel)

Gangnam Style: Americans just late to the party

In Foreign Policy, Mark Russell notes what while Americans might be learning about K-pop for the first time, Korean pop culture has been a big deal in Asia and elsewhere for quite a while:

Korean pop culture may not (yet) turn heads in Los Angeles or London, but its impact — economic as well as cultural — across the developing world is startling. First taking off in China and Southeast Asia in the late 1990s, but really spiking after 2002, Korean TV dramas and pop music have since moved to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and now even parts of South America. “Gangnam Style,” a music video by the rapper/satirist PSY, has been viewed 292 million times since it was released in July. Since then he’s been welcomed with open arms, and has been spotted teaching several celebrities his iconic “horsey dance.”

Indeed, the rise of K-Pop is the bellwether of a variety of trends that are changing the global economy (and emerging markets in particular) in fundamental ways. Its success as a product – but, more importantly, as a cultural brand promoting Korean exports ranging from soft drinks to cosmetics to consumer electronics — suggests that Western countries aren’t likely to have a lock on the hearts and wallets of developing countries for long. More generally, it illustrates the new reality that the North-South pattern of trade and cultural exchange that has dominated the world since the ascendance of European colonialism is giving way and making room for unexpected soft power.

Read the rest on your own.

Psy reaches No. 2 on US Billboard Chart

Psy’s manager is claiming in the most recent US Billboard singles chart, “Gangnam Style” has hit No. 2, just behind Maroon 5′s “One More Night.

Oh, the humanity.

The site doesn’t reflect it yet, but I guess it soon will.

When will the Gangnam Style madness stop?

Gangnam Style leads to gang shootout in Thailand (HT to reader):

The dance has inspired a host of parodies, the song has hit the top of the charts in South Korea, Malaysia, Finland and Latvia, and the YouTube video has accumulated more than 227m views. Now, according to Thai media, Gangnam Style, by the K-pop star Psy, has inspired a West Side Story-esque show of rivalry between two Bangkok gangs who are said to have had a dance-off before engaging in a gun battle.

The INN website reported that the two gangs were dining in the same restaurant when “the younger members of both groups danced provocatively at each other in the manner of top hit Gangnam Style”. The dance-off escalated into an argument and, eventually, a gun attack in the upmarket Ekkamai neighbourhood, in which one of the gangs fired at least 50 bullets from a carbine and an 11mm gun.

And in El Monte, California, a group of lifeguards were canned after posting this parody video of Gangnam Style:

Several speakers suggested the city had missed a golden opportunity for a town of 115,000 residents and should have capitalized on the attention the video has drawn. The video has been watched more than 1.5 million times on YouTube.

But Mayor Andre Quintero said the video spoof of “Gangnam Style” by Korean musician Psy had been hurtful to the city. “Our brand as a city has taken a big hit,” he said.

The guard-made video—“Lifeguard Style”—quickly went viral after the lifeguards and their supervisor were fired for unauthorized filming on city premises and appearing in the video in the city’s fire-engine-red swimsuits.

I’ll let you process that.

In the UK, Gangnam Style almost hit No. 1 in the singles’ chart. It placed a very respectable No. 3.

Forbes, incidentally, ran a very good piece (IMHO) on what makes Gangnam Style so damned popular. This might grab your attention:

That PSY is from South Korea is a viral benefit, as well. As we have seen from many of the big recent pop hits, having a local fan base abroad (Adele in the UK, Gotye in Australia and Jepsen in Canada) is a social media magnet when a song or video hits here. That Korean Pop (or K-Pop) is huge in Asia but almost unknown in the US outside of Asian communities means that there is more where PSY came from, as well. PSY s only #4 on the Billboard K-Pop chart, but he is the only K-Pop artist on the mainstream charts (like, ever): #11 on the Hot 100, #28 on Pop Songs, #68 on Radio Songs, #4 on Digital Songs and #43 on On-Demand Songs.

Finally, if this doesn’t make you mourn the death of Western civilization, I don’t know what will.

So, I take it you’re not a fan of Psy, then?

Oh my…

And in case you haven’t seen US Naval Academy cadets doing “Gangnam Style” yet

‘No Gangnam Style,’ Neon Bunny, 1970s Mongolian rock & Yang Hyeon-gyeong

OK, I thought this was pretty funny.

Andrew Sullivan posts a video by Korean singer Neon Bunny. The post also includes a email slamming Max Fisher’s piece in The Atlantic on Gangnam Style (HT to reader).

From Gangnam Style we go to Ulan Bator Style. This blogger looks at Soyol Erdene (HT to reader), Mongolia’s first rock band. Just judging from the two songs linked, they don’t suck, either. Winners of a gold medal at the 1973 World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin. “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship,” yo.

The female vocals of Soyol Erdene reminded me of singer Yang Hyeon-gyeong, whose cover of Kim Gwang-seok’s “너무 아픈 사랑은 아니었음을” is absolutely beautiful:

Psy goes Gangnam-style at Dodgers Stadium

Boy, that horse dance is catchy.

PS: The WSJ has the video footage to prove it.

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