Hangmu (Son of Gangnam) Style

27 Nov

Chinese netizens posted a parody of Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, to celebrate the successful launch and landing of J-15 aircraft to and from Liaoning, China’s first (reburbished) training aircraft carrier.

A video posted on Youku.com, China’s top video sharing site, on Monday took a light-hearted snub at what was supposed to be a milestone event in China’s naval modernisation efforts, quickly reaching a sizeable 20,000 plus views within an afternoon.

With Gangnam Style playing in the background, there were no flash mobs or cover artists seen doing any of Psy’s signature dance moves. Instead, the two minute clip featured a photo montage of people mimicking the hand signals of Liaoning’s flight deck crew directing fighter jets for take-off.

Pictures of people doing the “take-off” gesture – one knee on the ground, one arm behind the back and two fingers pointed forward – flooded China’s social media circles under the tag “Hangmu Style”, or “Carrier Style”.

Gangnam Style hit a new milestone over the weekend, knocking Justin Bieber’s hit song and music video “Baby” off the No 1 spot as YouTube’s most watched video of all time.

I don’t get the relevance of “Gangnam Style” to the inaugural deployment of J-15’s and the Liaoning, but I’m old. There’s no horse-dancing – gratefully – so don’t expect to see this on South Korean TV. Knocking off Justin Bieber is also welcome. It’s either the hollowest and least nationalistic, parody imaginable. Or, it’s the pettiest appropriation of a rival/competitor’s cultural icon.


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