Sunday, December 09, 2012

Music / Politics interface: Psy: Explains famous anti-American fury, apologizes before singing at White House

The fury that Psy experienced because of the accidental deaths of two schoolgirls in South Korea goes with the territory of American Empire.  These sad events do and will happen, and the furies will come again and again, against my belovèd land of origin, for real and imagined sins.  As to Psy, is he able now to put out a more disciplined response to such infuriating events when they occur, because the precious lives of the two schoolgirls are lost to us on earth until the Great Resurrection and so the lives of precious persons who will experience similar dark deeds of Empire, but in our passion we must nevertheless weigh out the realities for good and ill of the Empire in question.

But larger than the matter of Psy's lyrics as such, is the timing of his apology.  He is easing the his path to the White House to sing before the Emperor, a very great honour.  The White House, after the exposure of Psy's past by the new media, needed Psy's abject apology and here it is.  It is also a clarifying document, because now we see nakedly the circumstances under which Psy let his anger reach unbounded limits.  The USA is not all bad, indeed it is the source of much good in the world, and those who want to cut it down to size, shoud really tell us what empire it preferes in the place of the USA to police for the world comunity (shoud I put that in scare-quotes?).  Because with the USA out of the leading role, what country will fill the vacuum?  These are not pleasant choices, but they are real.

-- Policarp, refWrite Frontpage politics newspotter, analyst, columnist

Hat Tip to Tesseract Morbey, most informative version of this story that I've seen yet

The Guardian London, UK (Dec9,2k12)

Psy apologises for anti-American tirade

Gangnam style singer says he will 'forever be sorry' after calling for American soldiers to be killed at a 2004 concert

Psy, South Korean hip-hop artist
Psy, South Korean hip-hop artist, has apologised for past anti-American lyrics Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
The South Korean rapper Psy, whose Gangnam Style video became a viral sensation, has apologised for past anti-American tirades ahead of a charity concert in which he will perform in front of Barack Obama and his family.
The 34-year-old rapper, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, was forced to apologise after reports emerged that he had rapped lyrics calling for American soldiers to be killed at a 2004 concert held to oppose the US-led invasion of Iraq.
In a statement, the singer said he regretted using such violent language, but said the comments were made at a time when emotions were running high over the Iraq war and the deaths of the two South Korean schoolgirls who were run over by a US military vehicle.

"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," he said.
"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 by those words."
In Dear American, a song written by the South Korean rock band N.EX.T, he sang about "slowly and painfully" killing US soldiers and their families.
The lyrics reportedly included the lines: "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."
In another outburst the same year, he protested the deaths of the teenage girls; in 2002, he reportedly smashed a model of a US tank on stage.
About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, which sent about 3,600 soldiers to Iraq in 2004 but later scaled down the deployment amid strong public opposition at home.
Gangnam Style is the most-watched video ever on YouTube, attracting more than 900 million hits so far. The song is expected to earn Psy as much as $8 million this year alone.
It remains to be seen whether the revelations will affect the his popularity in the US, where he has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Today and Ellen, and inspired Gangnam Style parodies by, among others, US military cadets .
US media reported that an online petition to ban the rapper from the Christmas in Washington concert on 21 December had quickly fizzled out.
Concert organisers said Psy's appearance would go ahed as scheduled. The White House confirmed that Obama would be attending the fund-raising event with his family, as is customary for sitting US presidents.


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