Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World Cup v. Korean Keg

It's World Cup time again. Which image of the nation do you want to share? These days, I've been given the choice between the worst of Korea's drinking tradition with PSY's Hangover, and the best of Korea's festive culture with a cheerful 'Daehan Minguk'.


After 'Gangnam Style' and 'Gentleman', and before 'Daddy' this Summer, PSY released 'Hangover', an abject object compared to which his previous hit almost looks like a work of art (and my take at "Gentlemanslaughter" was already not very kind).

Still not sobering up in its 3rd day, the Park Jae-sang - Snoop Dogg duo reaches 41,339,792 views, 409,066 likes, and 143,408 dislikes on YouTube. This 26.0% "dislike ratio" comes after Gentleman's 16.3% (674,716,081 views so far), and Gangnam Style's 11.1% (2,012,404,672 horse burgers served, and counting).

I don't recommend watching this pathetic video that not only lists all the possible disgraces and 'DON'Ts' in etiquette, but also drills nastily through your eardrums for 5 interminable minutes.

I forced myself to down it in one shot. Shortly after, I had to throw up this tweet:

Embarrassing, annoying, headache guaranteed... PSY's "HANGOVER" with Snoop Dogg even worse than expected
I guess @DanaDeMercurio nailed it by writing "I need those 5 minutes of my life back" in a tweet listed, along with mine and a few others, in an article aptly titled "Psy’s Hangover Gives Some Nausea" (Jeyup S. Kwaak - Korea Realtime / Wall Street Journal 20140609).

Anyway, life goes on in the Peninsula. Between graphic videos down South and colorful propaganda up North:

Hangover, the North Korea edition (feat. neither PSY nor Snoop Dogg)

Needless to say, I prefer the more positive image Korea sends to the world every four years: a cheerful community, united not against anyone or anything, but in a peaceful celebration. And particularly a few weeks after the Sewol tragedy, it was great to see Korean youth take the streets of Jeonju hanok village to perform this friendly flashmob:

At the end of the video, there's an interview of Park Je Chun*, who composed this welcoming 'daehan minguk' with festive Korean rhythms, ideal to alternate with the more 'taeguk warrior' / Western rhythm version made popular in 2002. 

I'm making two cameo apparitions in the same video: at the end for my two cents, and at the beginning, seen shooting the flashmob with my smartphone. Here's the short scene I took:


Anyway, go Korea! And please, support responsibly.

Seoul Village 2014
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* who was recently named General Commissioner of the Jeonju International Sori Festival, after 3 years as its Creative Director (see "In the zone with Miyeon and Park Je chun")

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