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Monday, October 1, 2012

GANGNAM STYLE

I normally focus on energy-environment topics on the first day of the week to preserve the integrity of this blog site.  However, as Monday is the worst day of the week:

What day of the week is the worst one?
Monday
42% (37)
42% (37)
Tuesday
22.7% (20)
22.7% (20)
Wednesday
12.5% (11)
12.5% (11)
Thursday
6.8% (6)
6.8% (6)
Friday
1.1% (1)
1.1% (1)
Saturday
1.1% (1)
1.1% (1)
Sunday
9.1% (8)
9.1% (8)


I thought I'd begin a new tradition by starting the week with a light-hearted posting to lift your spirits.

A little more than a month ago I featured the 100 Most Viewed Videos of All Time.  The lead story was on Gangnam Style.  The site had then reached 60 million hits.  It's now up to 338 million, but more, inspired the most bizarre copy-cat series of videos, ever, many of them also going viral.  For example:



  3.  Flashmobs.

  4.  Might even affect the Presidential Elections.

Gangnam Style now tops the chart in the UK and is #1 on iTunes in 31 countries and Billboard digital. The style is a "horse dance," and even Google president, Eric Schmidt does it, here to the right with the creator of the video, PSY.  Who is he?  What is the Gangnam Style?  And where is Gangnam?

PSY is 35-year old South Korean hip-hop singer and rapper Park Jae-sang.  He was born in Gangnam and went on to attend Boston University and Berklee College of Music.  He served twice in their Army because of improprieties.   He had to pay a fine on his first album, PSY..From the Psycho World!, for inappropriate content.  That was in 2001.  The following year his Ssa 2 was banned for sales to anyone under 19, and his third, 3 PSY, was released on the internet.  

Gangnam Style was on his latest 6th album.  He taught the dance to Brittany Spears (really, it's worth a click) and has appeared on Saturday Night Live in a skit featuring Gangnam Style.  This is a must see!

Gangnam-gu, with a population slightly more than half a million, is one of 25 Seoul districts.  It started late, but over the past 30 years has become the most affluent and dynamic area in South Korea.  It's compared with Beverley Hills, California.  The average apartment costs $10,000 per square meter, twice the U.S. and 3.5 times the national averages.  The people there are trendy and exude class.  However, the song actually pokes fun at this all, the act of trying to be something they're not. It's a parody.  In reality, only two of the ten dance scenes are in Gwangnam.  PSY actually waived his copyright to the music video, catalyzing all that spawning.  He found a way, to quote Washington Post's Maura Judkis, to make "stupid, cool."  The Village Voice called it "an inspired piece of silliness."  All so true, with an addictive beat, and now with the Guinness World Record of 3.2 million likes as of today.

His future?  You'll soon see him hawking Samsung refrigerators and collaborating with Justin Bieber.  Is he a one hit wonder?  According to this HuffPo, Los del Rio's Macarena in 1994 was the most memorable one hit flash, probably because VH1's list of the 100 one hit artists had this song as #1.  This is now getting too nostalgic, but my pick as the greatest one hit wonder is Joan Weber for "Let Me Go Lover."  This was in 1954, she was 18 and pregnant when she made that record.  The song stayed #1 on the charts for a month, but she almost totally disappeared.  She did appear on the Ed Sullivan Show that year, but became a librarian and generally lived a reclusive life, ending in a mental institution, passing away at the age of 45.

Well, this is no way to end my attempt at lifting your spirits, so, here, again, is PSY and Gangnam Style:


Let me end with a story about:

     Delta Flight 15 on 9/11/2001

This should bring a few tears of happiness to your eyes.

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