Gangnam Style Minus Gangnam Style

As The Daily What put it:

It seems now that we’ve moved beyond parodies and imitation for Gangnam Style, descending into bizarre postmodern art.

Not unrelated, earlier today I saw a Klingon parody…

…and when I did, I seriously had to sit down for a moment, and just marvel at how weird, wonderful, and utterly surreal and sublime it was to be living in 2012. How could I ever have imagined that, one morning, I’d be dancing along to people dressed in Star Trek uniforms (of all things), imitating a South Korean music video, that over 320 million people had seen? Then in the same evening, staring in horrified fascination — and laughing myself silly — at another version that had no actual music?!!

Best Chuseok EVER!

(Via: My Current Insanities)

9 thoughts on “Gangnam Style Minus Gangnam Style

    1. I’m afraid not. Youtube uploaders have the choice of which statistics to make public or not, and Psy isn’t showing the breakdowns by country.

      I’d wager though, that given the unique reaction to this one, that it has a much much higher proportion of overseas viewers than your average K-pop video.


      1. Just a quick update: a friend tells me that it appears that it’s not up to the uploaders, but rather something YouTube itself has taken down for all videos. But we’d both be happy to be proved wrong.


  1. 320 million PEOPLE? James, have you read this article before?
    Youtube views ≠ actual number of viewers. I am in no way underestimating or undermining the legitimacy of Gangnam Style’s popularity and viewership, it’s just the assumption that the amount of views equals people that slightly bothers me and I felt like pointing it out… Sorry if this reply was bit of a nuisance and petty… Anyway, thank you for your blog, I have been a silent reader for a while and especially appreciate the korean gender readers. :)


    1. Well, I really mean no offense, but after blogging for 5 years I do know a little about the difference between hits and unique viewers or visitors! But thanks for pointing it out, and I’ll try to not be so casual about it when I write in future. (Although in this case I think doing so would have detracted from the point I was making; like you mentioned, it’s a popular song!)


  2. And just to complicate the matter, it’s worth noting that I suspect in very many cases Gangnam Styles was viewed by several people simultaneously, so even though there are clearly numerous people who’ve viewed it 20 times, many views would have had 4 or 5 people watching them. It’s also very clear from conversations I’ve had that a number of people who have familiarity with the song and its video have come across it via more traditional media (i.e. television) rather than YouTube per se, unlike virtually every other K-pop song, so there’s a lot to think about here.


  3. You know what, I could believe GS has been doing so well but what I cannot believe is how popular it has become now and how people have not gotten tired of it. I’ve been a fan of the music for 5 years but it’s quite annoying also that because of GS, people seem to think that all K-Pop songs are similar and a joke.

    But I am glad for his success, very unexpected compared to the other idols who were trying for the past 3 or maybe 6 years to advance into America.


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