Thank You, PSY

8 Dec

,A Gift Horse's MouthShould Psy Be TIME’s Person of the Year 2012 (via Seoulpodast #136), when he is not only the performer behind the surprise wedding reception and high school reunion standard, but this terse anti-Iraq War diatribe?

Yes, he might just be the best thing for ROK-US relations.

GI Korea disagrees.

…I think PSY should be asked about his involvement in the anti-US movement by someone in the news media. I think he should answer to his fans in the US if he still believes in the lies that were spread by the leftist anti-US groups after the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident that led to mass anti-American protests in South Korea. If he gives an answer that he just got swept up in the emotions of 2002 and realizes in hindsight that he was duped by the anti-US groups I really would not have a problem with him or any other entertainers that tried to make a name for themselves back then. There were a lot of people in Korea duped by the anti-US groups so I would have a hard time holding that against him. However, if he stands by his past anti-US remarks than his fans in America should know this before going out and purchasing any more music from him.

Let me be clear: I find “Gangnam Style” insipid, and the 2004 “Dear American” gratuitously sophomoric. But, this is private speech. The Harm Principle, in which “…the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” is arguably applicable here, and it’s debatable if the Social Authority Principle is in question. PSY did advocate violence.

Yet, like John Stuart Mill, I would err on the side of the angels, and take the 2004 episode as an opportunity for dialogue, about diplomatic relations, the role of the military in society, and the efficacy of art to politics in general. I could hope that Americans and South Koreans would debate conscription, North Korea, the defense budget, etc. in their respective legislatures and in popular media. People who write or say shit like this, “That’s up to you.” – and your credit card account – are cowards. But, I’ll settle for a pathetic video produced by an entirely forgettable performer as the catalyst. My deeper fear is, that the value of this opportunity will be squandered by the same propensity that called it forth: ephemeral faddishness and mediocrity

I hope TIME makes PSY a household name, one that incites vituperative debate and really convinces Americans and South Koreans to rant, and, I know I’m idealistic (and, usually sadly proven wrong), debate the issues. Let a thousand angry opinions bloom!


One Response to “Thank You, PSY”


  1. Saturday Linkage » Duck of Minerva - 9 December 2012

    […] Bastard discusses PSY’s profanity-laden anti-Iraq War stylings. More from Juan Cole. Apparently this is a big […]

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