Its official. The K-phenomenon has landed on the shores of the United Kingdom. The land of Robin Hood and his merry men (were they THAT merry?) and the stiff upper lip and of the ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ fame has finally been invaded.
And it wasn’t even Atilla The Hun or Genghis Khan who did it nor was it any one they knew from the days of Elizabeth I. Instead, the modern-day invader is a pudgy nerdy looking rapper who hails from Korea (yes, you heard right!), does not use make up (Thank God!), is not a member of any pretty boy group and who’s idea of dancing is to ride an imaginary horse and, wait for it, is best known as PSY (short for Psycho), a name that would have even Norman Bates questioning the Korean’s sanity.
I got tweeted recently from one of the accounts that I follow, namely the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC, for short), which got me excited and anxious, in equal measure, for the sanity of the Brits.
The tweet reported that THAT song has reached No.1 on the United Kingdom music charts, THAT song being ‘Gangnam Style’.
By all accounts, he’s trying to invade BOTH the UK and the United States (US) at the same time. With BBC having confirmed that PSY has successfully secured for himself a place in history by topping the UK music charts at No.1 with his wildly catchy but hopelessly mindless tune, it remains to be seen whether he can make it in the US as well. Industry sources reports that as far as the US is concerned, he’s getting there.
Anybody who has lived in the UK for any number of years can and will tell you that songs of parody or just plain wacky or silly hitting the No.1 spot is not a new phenomenon and is therefore does not shock nor surprise the Brits.
Rather, the Brits have always shown their recognition of the absurd, the whacky as well as what would be otherwise be termed as the hopeless silly, and all in the name of ‘eccentricity’. Thats what makes the Brits what they are – Brits.
The Brits may not do the Gangnam Dance with as much fervour or finesse as PSY and his cohorts but to do the ‘Gangnam’ dance would be a cinch for the Brits.
But I wonder, will they ever watch the horse dressage tournaments the same again after this? And will they ever play the song at horse dressage tournaments, for that matter? And what do the horses think about all this?
As for the US, if PSY lands the prize of topping the US music charts with that song of his, what would it do the balance of payments between the US and Korea? Will he on behalf of Korea take back for Samsung what the US courts have given to Apple?
Or will the US for that matter ever recover from seeing people, young and old (and maybe even politicians), riding imaginary horses in tune with the Gangnam Style playing on and on in their heads?
And what will those tough cowboys say to all this? Will they choke on their tobacco or manage to spit it out in time? Will they give up and do the Gangnam dance or will they fight back and introduce the ‘The Duke’?
It must be pointed out that ‘Gangnam Style’ must be watched to understand all the brouhaha behind the popularity of the song. The song on its own is catchy enough but what really grabs you is the music video accompanying the song (a music video is a must if you want your song to get anywhere nowadays).
With more than 375million views (and counting!) on YouTube alone (and not to mention MTV), it seems that quite a number of people DO get it, the Korean humour and sense of irony that is.
The question that begs an answer now is, what’s next? A follow-up invasion of Korean humour? Are we going to have dubbed versions of the ‘My Wife is a Gangster’ trilogy, or even the ‘Married to the Mafia’ series of films in cinemas in the UK and the US soon? Or maybe ‘My Girlfriend is An Agent’ even? Or even Korean dramas for that matter? There are already doing well in this part of the world anyway.
And will the next Miss World or Miss Universe be Korean? And will the Koreans push for Hangul as an official language at the United Nations? Is this why the current Secretary General of the UN a Korean? Only time will tell.
But whether ‘Gangnam Style’ will go the way of the Macarena or the Lambada, it is certain that the strains of PSY’s masterpiece will be a must at parties all over. Thanks to PSY, Christmas and New Year parties everywhere will never be the same again. Altogether now, giddyup y’all and do the ‘Gangnam Style”.