Tag: K-pop

‘Kangnam Style’s Irony is Missed b/c of the Publicity Wave

I try to avoid K-pop on my website, because I find far too many foreigner websites in Korea focus on the silliest, shallowest elements of what is around us – probably because the language is so hard, Korean pop culture is the easiest for us to understand. But I keep getting asked, and it is huge hit, so here a few thoughts:

1. Thank god ‘Kangnam Style’ shows a level of irony, self-awareness, humor, and creativity that K-pop normally lacks. That alone is enough to value it, given how shallow, idiotic, and pre-packaged almost all Korean pop is otherwise. K-pop is wasteland IMO. (Try it yourself; tell me how long before you cringe.) None of these carbon-copy bands like the Wonder Girls or Girls Generation or whatever would even get considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (I’m from Cleveland, so I thought I’d add that little plug). K-pop slavishly copies from the boy-band/girl-band model that began in the US 20 years ago and crossed-over to Japan. The hair, the synched dance-moves, the gratingly cutesy presentations, the insipid teen love-story lyrics – it’s awful. None of them can play an instrument; they are recruited solely because they’re hot, and the music-machine does the rest. Continue reading

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Gangnam Style and IR

So North Korea has issued a “Gangnam Style” video to mock a South Korean presidential candidate, Park Guen Hye, from the ruling conservative party. According to Malaysia’s The Sun Daily:

“The parody, posted on the official government website Uriminzokkiri, shows a crudely photo-shopped image of Park doing the “horse-riding dance” created by South Korean rapper Psy on the original “Gangnam Style” video.

The North Korean version mocks Park as a devoted admirer of the “Yushin” system of autocratic rule set up by her father, Park Chung-Hee, after he seized power in South Korea in a 1961 military coup.

“I’m Yushin style!,” read a subtitle under the image of the dancing Park, South Korea’s first female presidential candidate.”

Who says, the North Koreans have no sense of humor?  Whether this will lead to a violent dance-off between the arch-rivals is still unclear.  The US Navy is apparently ready and all too willing to intervene in any dance-off:

We await further updates from our Duck Correspondent in Korea, Robert E. Kelly…

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