As you may have heard, there’s a bit of controversy about the guy behind the Gangham Style video (which I am proud to have still not watched).
n 2004, Psy allegedly rapped the following:
Kill those fucking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.
Kill those fucking Yankees who ordered them to torture.
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.
Kill them all slowly and painfully.
The lyrics and English translation — which we’re told by a Korean speaker is correct — were posted as a CNN iReport two months ago and picked up recently by Twitchy and Mediaite. His appearance at the concert is apparently well documented in Korean media.
Psy was no kid when he said that; he was 27 years old; old enough to understand what he was saying. This weekend, he issued an apology:
“As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song in question — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” the statement read. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.
“I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months — including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them — and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology,” the statement concluded. “While it’s important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”
I’m not amused by the “could be interpreted” things since it’s pretty clear what those lyrics meant, no interpretation required. But I can comfortably say that this apology will probably triple the number of times I’ve watched “Gangham Style”.
I’ll throw this open to the floor. Assuming you weren’t ignoring Psy to begin with, what do you think? I tend to be a bit outraged out these days. In the Information Age, stupid shit clings to you forever (says the guy with two blogs and a Twitter account). If he’d said it last week, I’d be polishing my pitchfork. But eight years ago at the height of Abu Ghraib scandal and after the Yangju Highway Incident? I just don’t have the energy to be constantly offended. I’m not willing to let Psy slide, per se. I haven’t put a dime in the man’s pocket and I’m still not planning to. But I’m not going to go the full Michael Moore either.