7 Oct 2012

Satire, 'Gangnam Style'

As of this morning, this video has been viewed 393,590,504 times (since mid-July)... That number is nearly 90 million more than the population of the third most-populous nation in the world after China and India. It has more 'Likes' - 3,621,367 - than the population of Kuwait.

Gangnam Style by Psy

But this video is more than a hollow celebration of the glitzy 'in-crowd' of Korea's ultra-posh Gangnam District. It is actually a satire by lyricist/singer, Park Jae-sang (Psy). It parodies the vacuous lifestyle in Korea's richest 15 sq.km of real estate - and their wannabe clones elsewhere.

For instance, in the video, Psy says that he loves a "classy lady who can afford a relaxing cup of coffee" - and that he's a man who "downs the cup of boiling coffee in one go"! Korean blogger, Jea Kim explains it like this: "In Korea, there's a joke poking fun at women who eat 2,000-won (about $2) ramen for lunch and then spend 6,000 won on Starbucks coffee. They're called Doenjangnyeo, or "soybean paste women" for their propensity to crimp on essentials so they can over-spend on conspicuous luxuries".

That's the social perspective...

The economic perspective is not gung-ho either. Much of the pretentious lifestyle is fuelled by debt... And lots of it. There are nearly FIVE credit cards for every South Korean adult - and the typical credit card debt alone per household in 2010, was an astounding 155 percent of its members' disposable income!

So what if the economy is circling the drain - at least, we'll be going out 'Gangnam Style' with a Starbucks latte in hand!

Gangnam Style... with English subtitles

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