Last week, NPR ran a couple of stories on a cultural phenomenon known as “K-Pop,” so I thought I’d check it out.
It’s amazing, in a way. There are so many kids involved as dancers and performers, the productions are so slick and glitzy, it creates the impression that half the kids in South Korea must be involved, and that South Korea is so hip it certainly must make their starving Communist neighbors choke with rage.
Now I know this can’t be true. South Korea has got to have its share of ugly people and bag-ladies. You can’t have a capitalist society without some people being at the disadvantaged bottom. And just as Ralph Lauren out-Brooks-Brothers Brooks Brothers, the Korean government is trying to culturally out-US the US. The K-Pop phenomenon depends not only on massive investment by the Seoul government, but on Korean-American transplants to provide the style and swagger that is amply demonstrated in these videos.
The main problem I have is that most Korean acts are as indistinguishable from one another as are Korean cars. With a few exceptions, it all sounds pretty much the same to me. And aside from being amazed at the production values and perkiness, K-Pop is therefore sooo boring! But that’s just my opinion.
You may possibly think that my Grooves of the Day are boring, too. Your prerogative, your loss. Juxtaposed against the subject matter of the posts, some of the Grooves are downright funny. But that’s a different issue.
Here are a few examples of K-Pop that I sort of like. Maybe you’ll like them, too. Maybe not. No skin off my nose.
And anyway, tomorrow is another day and another post.
“Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism mainly associated with upscale fashion and lavish lifestyle associated with trendsetters in Seoul’s Gangnam district, which is considered the most affluent part of the metropolitan area. In colloquial usage, it is comparable to the English slang term “swag.”