Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’








 The South Korean pop video taking  the internet by storm does little to overturn tired stereotypes of east Asian men

The world is currently in thrall to a fat Korean Psycho who is spouting anti-capitalist messages and blowing things up. Ordinarily America would be up in arms, but its defence forces are too busy learning the horse-dance and chorusing “Heeey sexy lady” to properly react. Shots have been fired, lifeguards have been fired, but Gangnam Style fever continues unabated: the music video has had more than 262m views on YouTube and made history as the most liked video ever.

If you’re Googling “What’s Kim Jong-Un done now?”, you’ve got your Koreas confused – which, as any Olympics official knows, is an easy mistake to make. The Psycho in question is actually the nom-du-rap of South Korean Park Jae-sang (“Psy” for short) who is quickly becoming South Korea’s most successful export ever. Since the song was released in July, Psy’s been signed by Justin Bieber‘s management, performed on Ellen, and collaborated with Jill Stuart on a Gangnam-inspired fashion line. Even Samsung is trying to cash in on Psy’s success, making him the new endorsement model for its range of kimchi refrigerators.

That Psy is promoting upmarket frocks and luxury fridges is somewhat ironic, considering Gangnam Style’s lampooning of the rampant consumerism that pervades what has been described as South Korea’s Beverly Hills. The song’s lyrics, for example, poke fun at soybean-paste girls who eat cheaply in private so that they can afford to drink mocha frappe lattes in public. Of course, this social commentary is largely lost on non-Korean speakers who don’t know their kimchi from their Kim Lee; it’s hardly Gangnam Style’s political message that is behind its success in the west. So what is? How on Earth has the song become so popular, when, as one CNN anchor blithely notes, no one has any idea what Psy is rapping about?

Well, there’s the fact that Gangnam Style is ridiculously catchy, but that alone doesn’t explain the song’s meteoric rise. Essentially, it is just an over-the-top video where a fat man does a comical dance and sings repetitive lyrics that don’t make sense to most of us. Which basically describes every Flo Rida song ever. This is partly the point of the video, which parodies not just cultural mores specific to South Korea, but cultural excesses easily recognisable to western viewers. Gangnam Style’s lyrics may be in Korean, but its visuals are in clear American. It is a pastiche of pop video cliches so familiar you almost feel you know what Psy is singing.

The video also contains the seeds of its own reconstruction – which goes a long way to explain its success. The dance moves are simple enough to mimic and easily copied scenarios – such as the elevator scene – call out to be aped. Psy has produced a video that is born to spawn and has further facilitated this by waiving his copyright. This stands in high contrast to many western hip-hop stars who have been slow to relinquish control of their “intellectual” property in the same way (take Jay-Z‘s Empire State of Mind, for example, which quickly generated a host of YouTube tributes that were quickly removed by EMI).

Psy’s relaxed attitude to his tributes has meant that Gangnam Style has already enjoyed a prolific after-life. Everyone has made their own version, which only adds to the success of the original. Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking that there is a slightly odd dynamic at work in this mimicry. For one thing, Gangnam Style is itself a parody. If a spoof spoofs a spoof then what’s that spoof spoofing? What, exactly, is the source of all that hilarity?

The last time the west laughed so uproariously at a Korean singer was when an animated Kim Jong-il bewailed how “ronery” he was in the film Team America, and how nobody took him “serirousry”. The puppet had a point: popular western media doesn’t tend to take east Asian men seriously – even when they’re brutal dictators. The stereotype of a portly, non-threatening Charlie Chan-type who speaks “comical” English is still very much alive, apparent in everything from hungry Kim Jong-un memes to Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts. And it’s hard to escape the uncomfortable feeling that this stereotype is contributing something to the laughter around Gangnam Style.

The most liked video ever on youtube – well we could all use cheering up !


Item taken from

Every year the CoolBrands survey compiles a list of, you guessed it, super cool brands in the UK and this year tech dominates and Apple knocks Aston Martin off the top spot.

The CoolBrands survey asks a number of key influencers and 3,000 regular people to rate a list of top brands based on a range of interesting (yet rather subjective) criteria, like innovation, originality, desirability and uniqueness.

This year the list features a record number of online brands and Twitter, Skype and Nikon entered the top 20 for the first time. YouTube has moved up eight places from last year, but we can’t help but notice Facebook hasn’t made an appearance this time round, does that mean it’s just not cool anymore? It’s also worth noting tech companies like BlackBerry and Nintendo have dropped out of the top 20 too, but that’s less surprising….

The official top 20 CoolBrands are:

1. Apple
2. YouTube
3. Aston Martin
4. Twitter
5. Google
6. BBC iPlayer
7. Glastonbury
8. Virgin Atlantic
9. Bang & Olufsen
10. Liberty
11. Sony
12. Bose
13. Häagen-Dazs
14. Selfridges
15. Ben & Jerry’s
16. Mercedes-Benz
17. Vogue
18. Skype
19. Nike
20. Nikon

Check out the CoolBrands website for a full list of the brands that made the cut.

Just a quick scan thru the list – and I can’t believe Youtube is cooler than Aston Martin!And no top spot for Samsung ?And I’m amazed to see how many of these brands I’ve never heard of – so it’s official – I must be about as far from cool as it gets !

Having said that click here

For a list of the alleged experts who were consulted !