Psy Sighs

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.

Comments are closed.

  1. pfluffy

    Never heard of him. It would be next to impossible for me to get even slightly worked up over this. I have listened to and loved far worse.

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  2. grady

    I’ve heard of him, but never checked his stuff out.

    You can still have people on the internet or within songs or “poetry” state stupid things similar to what is above. Rap and punk are not without plenty of examples.

    If you’re offended in the slightest, feel free to turn the other way. This guy will lose some earning potential. The public apology is for commercial reasons. Maybe he actually feels that way. Who knows?

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  3. InsipiD

    I have to say that video caught me like a carelessly placed coathook catches the eye. It’s an earworm, and I can get sucked in easily.

    That said, I don’t place any more fear or anxiety with what he said than the Dixie Chicks. This is a big yawn-we don’t have to import political liberalism from Korea. We’ve got a strong industry of that here.

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  4. Section8

    Fuck him, he sold out. He starts getting some American coin and he apologizes? I hope we stays true and when he performs during the WH Christmas party (that’s right he’s going and that should be the real story but who cares) I hope this class act tells America to fuck off. Then we can all talk about how the best thing to do is spread our cheeks, because that’s the dignified and intelligent American these days. Although I bet if he said something like fucking kill the fags we’d all be in an uproar. Oh how our disgust is purely driven by what is fashionable these days.

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  5. CM

    I have to say that video caught me like a carelessly placed coathook catches the eye. It’s an earworm, and I can get sucked in easily.

    Yep, it’s sucked us in at home. My kids love it and love dancing to it, even though it makes no sense to them on any level.

    But…but…but Abu Ghraib,


    I think that’s kinda his point. That was then, this is now.

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  6. Mississippi Yankee

    I think that’s kinda his point. That was then, this is now.

    CM, is your memory as short as your dick? Hal might have written those lyrics back then. Now he has splinters on his t’aint from straddling the fence.

    Lots of similarities between the Iwon and Psy too:
    Profound hatred of the United States – Check
    Flash in the pan pop-culture celebrities everyone will try to forget in a few years – Check
    Have eaten dogs – Check

    Obama overheard before the concert “If your performance goes over good, I can have a few families of Amerikkkan soldiers killed off for you!”

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  7. mrblume

    Disrespect is the minimum of what the torturers deserve (putting them in one of Norways’s 3-room prison cells would be preferable). Sure, we should probably leave their daughters alone, but considering some of the not-literally-understood Rap lyrics out there that are being celebrated as high art, I don’t see why the same consideration should not be given to this artist.

    These lyrics don’t denigrate the United States per se. They specially address the torture policies. I don’t understand how anyone could have an adverse emotional response to them, unless of course they think the torture business is all dandy, or worse, morally right. Which makes it a pretty revealing test.

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  8. CM

    What’s the big deal? American rappers threaten to kill Americans all the time.

    Ah, but they don’t often threaten them while pretending to ride a horse.

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  9. Mississippi Yankee

    Your ability to twist your mind into that disingenuous pretzel which is Progressive theology is truly amazing. Toss a few actual truths into a line of propaganda, then defend the truths — trite and tawdry but useful when dealing with a certain kind of mind. If you don’t really believe the crap you spout, you insult us by treating us as idiots.

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