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Things That Make You Go Hmm: Oppan Gangnam Style!

Yesterday, Twitter (where I get all my important news – I’m only half joking) told me South Korean singer Psy’s “Gangnam Style” finally beat Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most viewed YouTube video to date.

I’m not surprised. I’m not even surprised it took this long (“Gangham Style” was released back in July, and that it took this long to beat “Baby,” I think, only speaks to its ongoing popularity).

I am a little surprised, though, that Bill O’Reilly dedicated an entire segment to the phenomenon on The O’Reilly Factor, and even more surprised that FOX News’s psychiatrist Keith Ablow attributes the song’s popularity to the fact that it’s “without intelligible words” and mostly about “nothing”…

…as if that’s a negative thing.

2 Comments to
Things That Make You Go Hmm: Oppan Gangnam Style!

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  1. O’Reilly and Ablow’s characterization of the song as meaningless and shallow depends on a shallow interpretation of the song. The most telling bit in Ablow’s piece is:

    For Americans, at least, most of the lyrics of Gangnam Style can’t be understood, since they are in Korean. Here’s a sample: “Na je nun ta so ro un in gan jo gin yo ja . . . ”

    Oddly, though, Ablow makes no attempt to look up the meaning of “Na je nun ta so ro un in gan jo gin yo ja . . . ” His critique of the song is made in bad faith.

    I doubt that Ablow would be so dismissive of Largo al Factotum, also sung in a language “largely incomprehensible to most Americans”.

    If O’Reilly really wanted a productive conversation regarding the “PSY” phenomenon, he could have brought on a knowledgable Korean-American to discuss the subject. Here is a good overview of the satirical, subversive content of the song and video.

    It’s not “the kids” who are being “drugged” by meaningless content.

  2. @ Big B – AWESOME insight! Thanks for chiming in, & for sharing those links!

    The song came on the radio the other day while I was driving and (after writing this post) I paid more attention listening to it. Lyrics aside, it’s an upbeat song with highs and lows, a steady dance beat, and a catchy hook. Those things alone are enough to draw fans from all over the world. Those things make us happy; we feel good listening to songs like that. To me, that seems pretty simple, and I don’t know why anyone would analyze that in such a negative light.

    Thanks again!


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