If you have not seen the YouTube sensation “Gangnam Style” by now, then maybe you should check the top 100 songs on iTunes. PSY’s hit song is number one. The music video, a South Korean pop sensation, went viral a few months ago and currently has over 350 million hits on YouTube. Many a courageous BC student has attempted to pull off PSY’s famed dance moves at a late-night Mod party with varying degrees of success. We can surely expect some great Halloween costumes based on the popularity of the song.
But enough time has passed that people are beginning to wonder just what the lyrics are. I think we can all admit we sort of mumble the whole way and then shout, “Ayyyy sexy ladies!” Actually, the lyrics are not profane or sexual. They are directed toward the consumer lifestyle currently taking hold of South Korea.
Gangnam is a very wealthy neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea. So rich and flashy, in fact, that there is no real equivalent in the U.S. The closest analogy is to combine every wealthy U.S. neighborhood (Silicon Valley, Beverly Hills, the Upper East Side). No wonder PSY came up with the motto, “Dress classy, dance cheesy."
In the video, PSY attempts but fails to fit into that “Gangnam style.” He is being fanned on a beach which turns out to be a playground. Later, he plays chess with two homeless men. Best of all, instead of owning an expensive horse, his dance mirrors the riding style.
PSY himself was born and raised in Gangnam, and so gently ridicules the lifestyle. This is not some lower class artist who rose to the top making a social commentary. This is a wealthy man (who went to BU and Berklee) making fun of his neighbors, himself and their warped sense of reality. He takes pains to dance on a bus and find the girl of his dreams on public transportation, perhaps at least suggesting that money is not everything.
Many people have tried to figure out this “Gangnam Style” frenzy, from “CollegeHumor” to The Wall Street Journal. But let’s all follow the wise words of Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory: “No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative.” Just leave it at that.
And if you still haven't seen the video for this song, please catch up to modern times.
School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
HometownRancho Cucamonga, California
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? We keep it fresh. It’s drippin with swagger and is home to some of the coolest cats on campus. The Gavel is always fun and I’ve met nothing short of amazing people and writers here.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I’d start by getting some coffee and a personalized omelet at Mac. Then we’d go lose our voices at a football game and wear our super awesome Superfan shirts. We would then go see one of the amazing Acapella groups perform. We’d get some Mac N Cheese from the Rat for lunch. We would go see My Mother’s Fleabag for an awesome good time. Then we’d take a break and visit the dorms (i.e. sit in my room and watch Mean Girls…because Mean Girls.). We would then go to a hockey game, then to the Mods, and end the night at Late Night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? Eat your vegetables and take a lot of pictures.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? The Rat
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? That delicious Simply Orange juice the dining halls always have stocked. This and a personal pizza topped with ketchup. Judge all you want, but ketchup on pizza is the best thing to happen since Game of Thrones.
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? I was Minnie Mouse as a kid. Not trying to brag, but I rocked the ears off that costume.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Del Taco
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? Easy. Harry Potter. (I’m assuming) I’d get to go to Hogwarts, be a wizard AND be friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s a win win, for me anyway. If I can’t be a wizard then i’d be friends with the main characters from This Is The End.