The Cultural Geography of a Viral Sensation
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original. This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well over 200 million views on YouTube and shows no signs of slowing down. PSY is a legitimate star, appearing on the Today Show, with Ellen DeGeneres and Saturday Night Live to name a few.
This video is flashy, arrogant and decadent, but in a self-referential style. The goofiness isn’t just unintentional comedy, but part of the intended critique of the song. Still, the playful absurdity has made this a perfect target for parodies (including Saturday Night Live), and it’s infectiousness is difficult to explain or quantify still Korean rap has never had such an impact on the global scene (who ever never of ANY Korean rapper before this?). My cultural geography class has been discussing the meaning behind this. Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated? This first parody from the SNL crew highlights the inexplicable, highly-infectious nature of a viral pop culture sensation. The University of Oregon parody put in their own impressive performance.
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