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.
Look, I’m all for substance. I like books and movies and songs and conversation that make me think.
Yet, I also like things that give me a break. Sometimes I just want to laugh and dance and sing (even if the only lyrics I understand are “Gangnam style” and “sexy lady”).
That’s not a bad thing.
Actually, if you ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “Gangnam Style” packs power despite it’s frivolous lyrics:
There are no languages required in the musical world. That is the power of music, that is the power of the heart. Through this promotion of arts we can better understand the culture and civilisations of other people. In this era of instability and intolerance we need to promote better understanding through the power of music.
Every musical composition doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy to be, I don’t know, beneficial in some way.
What say you, readers? How do you feel about this latest cultural phenomenon?