Everything O’Reilly Got Wrong about “Gangnam Style”
After months of Psy taking the Internet, and then the world, by storm, you might think we’ve heard from all the pundits, music critics, pop-cultural commentators, and Korean-culture bloggers out there about the cultural, musical, and social significance of “Gangnam Style.”
But you’d be wrong. Because we hadn’t yet heard from Bill O’Reilly.
Now that “Gangnam Style” has broken all records for the most number of YouTube views, with 800 million watches and counting, the Fox pundit has deemed it worthy of his attention. But despite all the readily available resources to help him understand the song’s critique of modern South Korean culture, O’Reilly claims to be deeply confused.
In their five-minute assessment of the video, he and psychiatrist Keith Ablow come to the conclusion that the viral hit is just a lot of jumping up and down over a catchy beat. Both O’Reilly and Ablow roundly denounce the song as having no depth or emotion. Claiming that the song is devoid of “reality, feeling, and meaning,” they imply that “Gangnam Style” represents a need for “pure escapism.” Psy is “just doing the Pony … jumping up and down,” O’Reilly says.
O’Reilly states that the song is “without intelligible words,” and that it “doesn’t try to convince you of anything”—ignoring both the obvious fact that the words are unintelligible to himbecause they are in Korean, and the easily obtained fact that the music video is an intentional critique of South Korean materialism epitomized in the wealthy urban district of Gangnam.
The masses of listeners, O’Reilly claims, simply want to be “pushed towards a good beat that buries them in music.”
The climax of his litany of misunderstandings comes when he contrasts Psy with a handful of British and American singers:
Elvis Presley could sing. His songs had words. He put on a show. This is a little fat guy from Yongyang [sic], and he’s jumping up and down. … You could understand Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, even Justin Bieber. … There’s no comparison.
Psy, who studied at the renowned Berklee Conservatory of Music in Boston before returning to Seoul (that’s in South Korea; Pyongyang is North Korea) to pursue his career, might disagree.
Read the rest at the Daily Dot, for all your ragefroth needs!
Keep on keepin’ on, Bill.