I was convinced at age 10 that all possible dance moves had been invented. “What else could anyone possibly think up?” I asked.
But have any of these momentary amusements been as amazing as Gangnam Style?
I’d first caught glimpses of these silly dance moves on commercials for morning television programs. “Can’t be cool if it’s on the Today Show,” I thought. Out of curiosity, I clicked through YouTube in search of this supposedly hot trend. What I found was a music video that brought a Cheshire cat smile to my face.
The tune is bouncy, catchy and fun. The video is silly and disingenuous. “Is this guy kidding?” I wondered. “Is this a joke? The Korean version of LMFAO?”
What I’ve discovered is that this song is no joke. This performer, who calls himself PSY, is making a social statement that rings as true in many parts of America as it does in Korea. It’s a huge satirical gob-smack in the face of celebrity, materialism and overextended debt.
Gangnam is an affluent Korean province known for its elite lifestyles and “look-at-me” materialism. Gangnam style is putting on like you’re wealthy when in reality, your paycheck is just shy of funding your leased Mercedes. It’s all about appearances. Sound familiar?
We’ve been down this road for a while in the United States. We’ve been suffering some of the worst economic conditions in decades, due in part, to governments, financial institutions and regular folks subsisting way beyond their means. And yet, many of us would love to get back to those unaffordable lifestyles.
We lament our inability to afford expensive cars, vacations and clothes. And we resent those who can.
But for what? That is part of the beauty of PSY’s video. It illuminates the utter silliness of such materialistic obsessions. Oh, and it’s just plain fun too. So fun in fact, that a Saturday Night Live skit illustrates how the song can cheer up even the most bummed out low-wage worker. Who needs promotions and recognition when you’ve got incredibly great dance diversions?
I’m so obsessed with Gangnam Style that I’ve threatened to bribe my children to dress up as PSY and his yellow pant-suited dance partner for Halloween. Just the thought of that makes me giggle. You may smile too if you stop and envision the Gangnam style dance-offs that have been happening around our house. True story.
So, what good does this whole YouTube record-breaking phenomenon do for humanity? First, cut up all those extra credit cards and pay off your credit card balance every month. Second, remember how ridiculous it looks to over-consume for the sake of appearances.
Third, and most importantly, get out of your chair, put a smile on your face and Oppa Gangnam Style!