Home > Analysis, Opinion, politics > Fareed Zakaria GPS bashes China with The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos using Gangnam Style

Fareed Zakaria GPS bashes China with The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos using Gangnam Style

With Gangnam Style gone completely viral and having taken the U.S. by storm, I thought it interesting The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos would use it as an example of something China unable to produce, caused by supposed state censorship stifling Chinese culture. Few weeks ago he got some ‘expert’ to offer this view:

“In China, culture and the arts develop under the watchful eye of the government, and anything too hip or interesting gets either shut down or bought up. In Korea, by contrast, artists and entertainers thrive in a space that is highly commercialized but also pretty much free of the heavy hand of the state,” Delury told me, adding, “I kid government officials that the moment they understand why K-pop is so successful and try to replicate it, they will destroy it.”

Culture and arts flourish when society can afford them. One should ask: How are the 700 million or so Chinese farmers busy tilling their land suppose to be working on something like Gangnam Style? The last few decades of hundreds of million of Chinese being pulled out of poverty have allowed many to pursue their dreams. Look at the international art market. Chinese painters are currently the most sought after by collectors around the world.

What is even more weird is that he implicitly suggests Gangnam Style is a specimen of great culture. Koreans certainly don’t think so, and Oh Young-Jin, managing editor of The Korea Times, wrote that the dance has more to do with Americans than Koreans. The song is even shunned in Japan. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

So, what’s the criteria? When it’s popular in America? That’d be a pretty narrow (and frankly, stupid) interpretation, wouldn’t you say?

And today, on the Fareed Zakaria GPS program on CNN, he appears presumably as the China ‘expert,’ daringly proclaims, “Why China can’t do Gangnam Stle:”

In China today, the problem ultimately, culturally, for people that are involved in the arts – whether it’s music or film-making – is that if you do anything that is truly radical that is making people uncomfortable, then there are so many points when the system will intervene.

Look, the running narrative with people like Osnos (and probably Zakaria) is that Chinese government censorship stifles creativity and hence culture. And, it is the same sort of narrative that people like James Fallows peddle when he tried to argue slow access to some U.S. web sites in China is also due to censorship. See my prior post why Fallows is wrong. A simple reason is that those web sites do not have physical servers in China. He would be equally quick to judge hence Chinese creativity is handicapped.

China’s innovation and creativity have been handicapped by centuries of foreign invasion where the society has been reduced to subsistence. Now that the Chinese are being incrementally lifted out of that, and as Warren Buffett likes to point out, their potential is finally being unleashed.

China’s censorship has everything to do with actions that are destabilizing to Chinese society or anti-China politically. Outside of that realm, Chinese society is basically very free.

One thing I must point out at this point. Notice how Osnos quotes an ‘exert’ to support his narrative. Next, he becomes the ‘expert’ on Fareed Zakaria’s show who in turn peddles that narrative. What happened to balance? Couldn’t either pieces (Osnos’ article and Zakaria’s interview) offer some sort of counter-arguments?

So, what I find disappointing is that “free” media are so incestuous in parroting each other. As far as I am concerned, that lack of balance in media is cancerous culture and our world is better off with less of it! China is very much about “中庸,” as a CCTV editor not too long ago said to a Columbia School of Journalism student.

Finally, we should ask, are Osnos and Zakaria genuinely interested in more Chinese culture proliferating around the world? Let’s look at one example.

By most accounts, the world seemed genuinely impressed with the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. The Chinese were proud of it, because they saw the event as an honor and as an opportunity for China and the Chinese to be better understood. Many people around the world were genuinely impressed with the depth of Chinese history and culture, and how all that materialized at the scale of the ceremonies.

During the lead up to the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, it seemed American and British media were very insecure. They constantly wrote about the London event in terms of how it would not be like Beijing.

In another article, Osnos wrote:

Four years after China whipped itself into a lather to host the most boffo Olympics imaginable, China seems, these days, a bit startled to discover that anyone is bothering to try hosting the Games again.

So, when China puts on a good show, its “whipped itself into a lather” to do it? Why can’t the Beijing 2008 success be a success for the Olympics movement?

It would be one thing if he genuinely appreciated what Chinese culture had to offer, but it is entirely another when he seemed jaded and nitpicking on Lin Miaoke lip-syncing to another girl’s voice or the fireworks animation:

Running through much of the Chinese conversation about the Games has been a recurring question that reflects the broader debate unfolding around the strains in China’s economic boom: What kind of values does it all—the money, the pageantry, the gold medals—stand for, anyway? In 2008, the opening ceremonies were, by any measure, an astonishment. But rather than contenting themselves with a fireworks display fit for the ages, for instance, organizers digitally augmented the explosions on television screens to make them yet more resplendent (and, indeed, a fat target for criticism). When it came to the singing, designers enlisted the recorded voice of one child and the smiling face of another, a search for composite cuteness that suggested, to many in China, a kind of unhinged ambition for the appearance of success.

So, when there is genuine Chinese success, it must be “a kind of unhinged ambition for the appearance of success.” What a mouthful of crap.

Going back to Gangnam Style, I wonder if Osnos (and Zakaria) have asked if India has produced something like it. Bollywood produces the most number of movies on this planet. Is that “desperately” wanting to project culture and soft power?

I believe in due time, Bollywood will have it’s share of block-buster movies that appeal to a global audience. That has much more to do with budget and size of the Indian market and whether Indians are untied from tilling their land to pursue other things.

And, looks like Ai Weiwei is capitalizing on Gangnam Style to criticize the Chinese government too.

Perhaps if Ai Weiwei would instead enact being sodomized like how Moammar Gadhafi was and shed some light on how miserable the Libyans are today (you know, with the current government being propped into power with NATO bombing), he might actually earn some credibility with the ordinary Chinese for once.

  1. October 25th, 2012 at 23:57 | #1

    Evan Osnos is an excellent example of Western media staff in China: if they can’t say anything nasty about China, they say nothing at all.
    That worked for the USSR, which never recovered from WWII. It’s not working for China, which is infinitely better run.

  2. October 26th, 2012 at 00:02 | #2

    Gangnam Style as the gold standard of creativity … that’s a new one.

    You know something is wrong when a dance that is light, that is meant for fun, to be done in the mindset of “dress classy and dance cheesy” according to Psy himself … is being politicized.

  3. October 26th, 2012 at 01:23 | #3

    The fact is that this viral phenomenon is the first for S. Korea. It was a complete accident and it represents something quit new for the country.

    The video is actually a social critique of the economic inequalities in S. Korea. Notice that a neo liberal like Zakaria does not mention this fact.

    If China had made such a video, the social critique aspect of it would be what all commenters would be talking about.

    There’s really nothing that can predict these kinds of viral phenonmena and it’s largely a matter of capricious westrern tastes.

    I remember during the early 2000s when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon came out and the western audiences were going ape shit over that when in fact it was actually a pretty crappy movie. It was a westernization of popular Chinese wuxia soap operas and it found wide foreign acceptance almost completely by chance. It was also a part Chinese production. It was a phenomena much like Gangnam style. So Zakaria is patently wrong when he suggests that modern China never had a cultural phenomena made popular in the west.

  4. October 26th, 2012 at 01:41 | #4

    China doesn’t really seem to have a good music scene, IMO – whether classical or modern. (That applies to “greater China” as well.) I don’t think the concept has really entered their culture. I’m much more impressed with Chinese visual art (both classical, and the modern Beijing scene.) Also, ‘physical arts,’ like martial arts, and acrobatics, are very cool. The latter is probably undermarketed in their ‘soft power’ push, which as far as I can tell focuses on animation. My feeling is that they really got stung by this “Kung Fu Panda” movie, as the New Yorker article mentions, and they’re making a top-down push (literally in their five-year plan) to increase their soft power at where they perceive it as being weakest. Or perhaps imitating Japan’s anime, which might have been their first real foray into soft power. Either way, it’s a top-down initiative that seems destined to fail. Maybe in five years I will eat my words.

    Right now, FWIW, I’m listening to the Shanghai Restoration Project – another example of Chinese culture being marketed by Westerners.

  5. JJ
    October 26th, 2012 at 05:26 | #5

    maofucious :
    China doesn’t really seem to have a good music scene, IMO – whether classical or modern. (That applies to “greater China” as well.)

    I’m curious how you’re judging this?

    To me, China–and the larger Chinese-speaking areas–have amazing musical artists and bands. Just to name a few, groups like 五月天, 二手玫瑰, 小熊餅乾, Sodagreen, 龍神道, Beyond, and 龍寬九段 all have immense followings and create beautiful music.

    Even old canto-pop classics are still being sung and valued today. Heck, I feel with the amount of KTVs, we probably have a stronger personal investment in music than in the West.

    It’s just that the West (or America specifically) has been able to market their music better. Of course they have a huge head-start on us.

    So I am quite impressed with what Korea has done in such a short time.

    And while I also wish for k-pop and k-dramas to succeed worldwide (it’ll help all non-Hollywood stuff), I kinda feel one reason PSY was so easily accepted is because he falls into the stereotypical Asian male role.

    Because if he looked like Song Seung Hun I don’t know if he would’ve been as well received… (by the guys anyways, I’m sure the ladies wouldn’t mind…)

  6. October 26th, 2012 at 07:54 | #6

    @JJ That’s my totally subjective judgement, and may not be representative of anybody. I like music with a beat, or that puts me in a certain mood.

    I agree with you on the KTV comment…it makes it difficult for people to fully appreciate the music without being in the right environment. In fact, I think this environmental element is a general trend in Chinese culture, and that’s why these ‘physical arts’ are better than music.

  7. October 26th, 2012 at 09:08 | #7

    Like to make a few points:

    1. Ai Weiwei. When will these people have the emperor-has-no-clothes moment — that Ai is just a buffoon?

    2. Art is subjective. For instance, I was touched by Thousand-Hand Guan Yin more than a lot of the chart-topping pop songs, including Psy’s Gangnam Style, which is a cool song in itself.

    Ancient Chinese poems had the musical elements in them, but those elements were mostly lost in the Mongol invasion and the Yuan Dynasty. In a way, it’s very similar to Hebrew as a spoken language. If Hebrew could be re-erected as a spoken language since the founding of Israel, methinks those lost musical elements can be re-created by the bits and pieces we still have. It’ll thrill me to no end if it can be done — how exactly did 忆江南, 蝶恋花, 雨霖铃 song like? Sure the musicality isn’t exactly the same as what they were up to Song, but I will accept any sort of recreation after the best minds have been put onto it.

    3. The Gangnam Style song itself. It hasn’t topped the Billboard top single chart yet. If it does, it will become the 2nd East Asian song (in native languages) achieving that. The only one so far is a 1963 Japanese song, Kyu Sakamoto – Sukiyaki.

    4. Taste of foreign things. Just because Chinese songs/films/books aren’t necessarily popular in the West, it doesn’t mean the art themes in China aren’t thriving. It may only mean the Western world’s hearts and minds are closed to some foreign ideas. For instance, Aftershock directed by Feng Xiaogang, which in my opinion a top 5 film worldwide in the 00s, was coolly received in the West. A common criticism by the Western film reviewers is its positive portrait of the “Red Army”.

    Imagine in a world that believes flat-earth, and you are the first one being introduced the round-earth concept, what will your reaction be? A very important lesson in life — especially for me who was raised in the post-Cultural Revolution China — is that when provided something new, you ought to put aside your pre-conceived notions and judge the merits of it by solely itself. I had spent years just to catch up films I couldn’t watch and books I couldn’t read, and in the process I had grown as a person. Most of these Western commentators, bloggers, IMVHO, can use that personal growth process.

    Much like China, many things from Russia natively have faced the same reception. Far more people have heard of Pussy Riot than say Vera Brezhneva — a tall Russian blonde who is prettier than ours, sings Love Will Save the World? Oh no, we have to reject it! BTW, Brezhneva once belonged to a group name VIA Gra, and with songs such as Anti Geisha (Brezhneva was not with the band then). Take that, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Katy Perry.

  8. October 26th, 2012 at 09:36 | #8

    yinyang and All,
    This is actually a pretty stupid argument. The same question apply to the rest of the world. Why can’t the US produce the Gangnam style, Why can’t Japan, Why can’t Norway, Why can’t Argentina?

    Why nobody in the US sucessfully started an auto company like Geely or Chery in the 1990s, why do everybody just buy from the big 3 or import. The Chinese can do it why can’t the American? Why nobody start a company like Huawei, ZTE, Alibaba in the 1990s. The key point here is 1990s! Why?

    However, when you are allow to set a goal post for a game. It lost all meaning, why is golf ball so small compare to basketball etc. When you see somebody try to make sense of these comparison, you know they are the ones who are fulled of it.

  9. October 26th, 2012 at 09:55 | #9

    And we have to ask ourselves, what purpose does Gangnam style serve other than commercial pop interest?

    Anyway, this what a Chinese hit song looked like, the lyrics formed probably the most important part about the song. The literary tradition of Chinese culture pretty much decide content is more important than melody in Chinese songs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnFmi7AXeK8&feature=related

    The lyrics is more like a poetry:
    三寸天堂 – 嚴藝丹 (步步驚心 插曲) 詞曲:嚴藝丹
    停在這里不敢走下去 讓悲傷無法上演 下一頁你親手寫上的离別 由不得我拒絕 這條路我們走得太匆忙 擁抱著并不真實的欲望 來不及等不及回頭欣賞 木蘭香遮不住傷 不再看天上太陽透過云彩的光 不再找 約定了的天堂 不再嘆你說過的人間世事無常 借不到的三寸日光停在這里不敢走下去 讓悲傷無法上演 不再看天上太陽透過云彩的光 不再找 約定了的天堂 不再嘆你說過的人間世事無常 借不到的三寸日光 那天堂是 我愛過你的地方

  10. October 26th, 2012 at 10:08 | #10

    The closing song of the same series, sang by 胡歌&阿兰 if you can read traditional Chinese, the comment section gives a good insight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvP9edTB5Ho&feature=related

  11. October 26th, 2012 at 11:02 | #11

    And since I am on a rant, I might as well go on. I do believe there is limitation in expression among the various culture, Chinese, British, Indian etc included. Another fact that most casual observers don’t put into consideration is the geographical and economical aspect of supposed creativity and innovation.

    For example, post war UK has produced a string of legendary singers, there are also famous poets and writers from the ages. However, you will be hard press to find a truly great British painter. Also, the geography aspect also limit creative innovation in areas like fine cuisine. It is in this area that I will ask stupid question as “How come the French and Italian has fine wines but the British do not?”

    Jxie gave some example of non-English singers. I must say, in our current world, the English speaking world is still the biggest economical bloc. That’s why pop singer groups who made it big have to sing in English to be widely marketed. The prime examples being ABBA and Modern Talking. Gangnam style although successful, is successful more in a niche sense.

    Last but not least cultural sensibility and censorship (self-imposed or officially) does have an effect on the final product. For example, the MV of Via-Gra would definitely not pass the censorship board of the PRC but this does not mean creativity is stifled in anyway, rather they are being channel differently.

    A good example is the Han Han phenomenon in China. There is simply no such equivalent in the west!

    I think each artistic creation should be judge on its own merit, when someone try to politicize it or use it as a competitive yard stick of superiority, then it is truly a sad moment for humanity. It reflect rather badly on those who harboured these narrow thoughts.

  12. October 26th, 2012 at 14:44 | #12

    @Ray

    I must say, in our current world, the English speaking world is still the biggest economical bloc. That’s why pop singer groups who made it big have to sing in English to be widely marketed. The prime examples being ABBA and Modern Talking.

    While continue on the train of thought, a Russia girl band t.A.T.u.’s English-version All The Things She Said managed to top several charts in Europe, and Australia — but didn’t make it to even top 20 in the US. Another English-version hit, Not Gonna Get US, which in my opinion is a better song, didn’t do as well.

    The only reason why it didn’t do as well in the US that I can think of, is anything Russian must be put in a negative light to toe the party line — subconsciously. The techno-heavier versions of their songs were quite popular in the club scenes outside of the US back then… but why didn’t they become more popular in the States?

  13. colin
    October 26th, 2012 at 14:48 | #13

    Why doesnt india have a gangnam style?

    To ask is to show one’s own naivety and simple mindedness, of course. Didnt have much respect for zakaria before, even less now.

  14. vspam
    October 26th, 2012 at 15:37 | #14

    Love your site. Much needed in the anti-Chinese atmosphere that is so rampant in the media today and society. Frankly, I am so sick of it. I am not Chinese, but being a news junkies, I can see the motives of these people so clearly. It is so pervasive now-a-day, when people make snide comments about China at work, I am even afraid to voice my own opinion. I was really pissed of when they accuse Yi Shiwen of doping when their own hero Lance Armstrong have been doping for the last 7 years.

    I have no respect for Fareed or this Osno paid shills for churning out anti-China articles. If their argument is that China lacks creativity because of censorship, then what the hell is India excuse? I don’t India has made any popular except for Slum Dog Millionaire and that was produce by a white British director.

  15. idarklight
    October 26th, 2012 at 19:51 | #15

    China doesn’t have a gangnam style because the government isn’t subsidizing the pop industry and other cultural industries in an attempt to promote soft power. If China had a Gangnam Style, the first thing the media would do is talk about how it’s a secret attempt by the government to sell its propaganda.

  16. hchen
    October 26th, 2012 at 23:03 | #16

    “Perhaps if Ai Weiwei would instead enact being sodomized like how Moammar Gadhafi was and shed some light on how miserable the Libyans are today (you know, with the current government being propped into power with NATO bombing), he might actually earn some credibility with the ordinary Chinese for once.”

    As a half-Chinese/half-Libyan I find your comment above both ignorant and insulting. I can assure you that I look forward to the day that my Chinese half-brothers will be fed up enough to rise against the the lackeys of the “communist” party who rob them of their dignity much like Gaddafi did to Libyans for more than 30 years… And who knows, maybe when that day comes they will also be angry enough to sodomize the likes of Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping… That will indeed be enjoyable, albeit barbaric.

    As for the rest of your article and the comments: Wake up !! It’s not as if the chinese cleptocracy party does not spend lavishly on pop-culture and saves the money to take care of its poor farmers: the immensely boring “flowers of war” and “founding of the republic” are very recent examples, and very similar to the flops that Muamar used to commission in Libya. Zakharia’s comments are spot on: you cannot foster creativity in a repressive environment, where the paranoid ruling class is afraid of any form of expression, lest it threatens its hold on the golden goose..

    The opium wars were 150 years ago, the rape of Nanjing 60 years ago. They are done and are not likely to happen again. However what keeps happening is that Chinese “leaders” keep screwing Chinese people and keep blaming the lao-wais or Japanese devils for everything while stashing away billions in foreign bank accounts. That’s what Gaddafi did in Libya too..

  17. no-name
    October 27th, 2012 at 03:47 | #17

    hchen, (moderated)! You’re not half-this and half-that. You’ re a fascist (moderated).

    Moderator’s note: You don’t have to sink to his level. How often do you see impersonated Chinese-Libyan who hates Gadhafi and CCP?

  18. N.M.Cheung
    October 27th, 2012 at 06:01 | #18

    Despite Ai Weiwei’s attempt to sell himself by selling China short he is still in China. I suspect he knows if he leaves China his value to the western propaganda will fizzle like others. I find an interesting article in today’s NY Times (IHT Global Opinion), “China Beckons”, by Clarrissa Sebag-Montefiore, that captures the allure of China for expatriates;

    “My European friends work in architecture, nonprofits, fashion, finance and film. Bizarrely, for all its censorship, China is an environment in which creative types, from art to design, seem to thrive. Above all, China offers not only work but a chance to jump up a few career rungs in the process.”

    I think that more than answered Zakeria’s question.

  19. pug_ster
    October 27th, 2012 at 07:28 | #19

    The problem with the Western Propaganda is that the Media industry is on the decline and the publishers needs Evan Osnos to create the outrageous stories otherwise people won’t read them. Often truth is fallen to the side and people want to read what they want to believe, like fixed news. This is the reason why the New Yorker and NY times are doing well, and other news outlets like the Boston Globe going down the tubes.

    @hchen

    Gees, you don’t have any idea why the Chinese are “angry” right? It is if Angela Merkel decides tomorrow to have a memorial to honor Hitler and rewrite german textbooks whitewashing history of WWII. Maybe you are half-Chinese/half Libyan, but you’re all nitwit.

  20. pug_ster
    October 27th, 2012 at 08:08 | #20

    Too bad Evan Osnos didn’t see this version of Gangnam Style, then maybe he would take back what he said:p Too bad it got only 306 views and more than 12,000 likes, lol.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCnYtKbYusI

  21. Rhan
    October 27th, 2012 at 09:27 | #21

    Gangnam Style is “universal”, it is well received by almost various race and age including the religious and conservative. I dont know the reason.

    Ray, until and unless China can produce a song about army like “君在前哨” that don’t sound nationalism at all, i think they still have a long way to go.

    今天我把懷念送給你
    謝謝你把溫暖送給我
    我有了你在前哨保護我
    為了你 我會珍惜我
    有時我也問白雲
    有時我也托藍天
    向你問候
    今天我把懷念送給你
    謝謝你把溫暖送給我
    我有了你在前哨保護我
    為了你 我會珍惜我

    However with song like “我的歌声里”, China already close to Taiwan and HK in pop culture.

  22. October 27th, 2012 at 09:54 | #22

    @hchen
    This is the most pathetic attempt of impersonation I have ever seen. You are neither Chinese nor Libyan.

    I am leaving your post up to show how lackeys like you try to troll and derail the argument. Thanks.

  23. October 27th, 2012 at 11:07 | #23

    @hchen

    I think behind this stereotypical vitriol there are two basic arguments:
    1. Authoritarian governments are more corrupt (relative to democratic ones), so democracy must be the answer, and,
    2. Authoritarian governments stifle innovation (again, relative to democratic governments).

    I’ve written opinions to address both these myths:
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/08/three-common-myths-about-democratic-institutions/
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/09/rethinking-the-freedom-innovation-nexus/

    While we’re on the subject of Libya, I’m sure there are no shortage of ignorant Chinese (no sarcasm here) who pine for the “freedom” enjoyed by post-Qaddafi Libyans…

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/militia-rule-libya-7487
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/10/disbanding-libyas-armed-factions-easier-said-than-done.html

    I post these not for the benefit of this supposed “half Chinese, half Libyan” troll, who obviously made up his mind about clinging to western political dogma, but rather those who are willing to consider alternatives.

  24. hchen
    October 27th, 2012 at 14:08 | #24

    Ray :
    @hchen
    This is the most pathetic attempt of impersonation I have ever seen. You are neither Chinese nor Libyan.
    I am leaving your post up to show how lackeys like you try to troll and derail the argument. Thanks.

    That is the only explanation that would not challenge the house of cards that is your worldview ? Maybe your opinion would change if we met met in person ?
    I urge you to take advantage of that opportunity – I live in Fremont California and can meet you if you are close by. But I bet you will not take me up on the offer. The mere fact that you imply that a person with my background must be an impersonator shows your ignorance.. I also bet that the others that were quick to insult me with names like “fascist” and “nitwit” would be even more scared than you. They certainly would not dare to utter these insults to my face.

    To finish with all that bs: I have no interest in derailing the idiotic “arguments” on this site, nor disturbing your harmony/groupthink. I got annoyed when a friend forwarded me the comment about Libya – she was thinking I would find it amusing, since we had a similar discussion in the past. So I decided to let the author know what someone who certainly knows first hand about Libya thinks about his ramblings. But after reading a bit more on this site, I figured out what kind of crowd frequents here. I have dealt with situations like that in the past to know that you all are not worth the effort. You can freely label me “troll” and continue comforting your collective inferiority complex.
    The conspiracies about the Japanese and the “evil” western media are quite comforting, while you turn a blind eye to the “Chinese meritocracy” which keeps stealing and abusing China – the parallels to Libya are stunning. Unfortunately for you diverting attention will not work for ever.. but you here seem content burying your head in the sand and try to comfort eachother with the false choice of “it is either the current cleptocracy of the CCP or warlords and militia like in Libya”..

    Good luck.

  25. October 27th, 2012 at 14:54 | #25

    This hchen fool is the same individual as acyang, and who knows what other troll he’s impersonated in the past. Not gonna bother to dig into it.

    @godfree
    Yeah, judging by Osnos response to the 2008 Olympics success, he seemed so unhappy with it, and I would venture to guess he wants to crawl out of his own skin.

  26. October 27th, 2012 at 16:36 | #26

    yinyang :
    This hchen fool is the same individual as acyang, and who knows what other troll he’s impersonated in the past. Not gonna bother to dig into it.
    @godfree
    Yeah, judging by Osnos response to the 2008 Olympics success, he seemed so unhappy with it, and I would venture to guess he wants to crawl out of his own skin.

    Actually to be fair, I don’t think acyang & this guy are the same person. Unlike acyang – who actually tries to make a rational argument in response to real discourse – this guy appears to have no desire to know/understand what the argument is, and resorts purely to labeling.

    For example, his comment about the “false dichotomy of CCP cleptocracy or Libyan warlords” was an obvious swipe at my response to him. The only problem is, in my original arguments that I linked, I never made any mention of/comparison to post-Qaddafi Libya or the type of chaos that going on in the country. It was quite clear he never bothered to try to understand what I was saying. At least acyang makes an effort.

  27. October 27th, 2012 at 19:34 | #27

    @Mister Unknown
    He’s on identical IP addresses. hchen is also using a spam email service. I haven’t checked acyang, but I suspect is the same. Mister Unknown, these trolls will try to be rational when they want to, except when their ideology gets in the way or when they feel like derailing a thread.

  28. October 27th, 2012 at 19:54 | #28

    yinyang :
    @Mister Unknown
    He’s on identical IP addresses. hchen is also using a spam email service. I haven’t checked acyang, but I suspect is the same. Mister Unknown, these trolls will try to be rational when they want to, except when their ideology gets in the way or when they feel like derailing a thread.

    Well, I stand corrected then.

  29. aeiou
    October 28th, 2012 at 01:29 | #29

    And if China did come up with a kpop equivalent, they will spin it as just an unoriginal/uninspired copy of the west. There is always an angle they can spin it to make a case against China, hell, I’ve seen the same argument used against kpop as Koreans trying to imitate the western/japanese pop industry.

    That’s the thing with western journalist, they have a quota to fill unless they want to start collecting foodstamps. When they see something they can’t just report it, it has to be coloured by certain political or social commentary otherwise there is nothing to distinguish it from the other bland 24hr news cycle garbage, in other words it’s a business. For example, when there is crime in China: A stabbing for instance; it’s not just a crime; it’s a social catastrophe; China will collapse any minute (because unlike multiple mass shootings that occur daily in the USA, nothing compares to being stabbed in China). So, western journalist always needs something to “report”, they are constantly thinking in this mindset; it’s almost like developing a obsession since everything they see and experience (regardless of relevance) must be interpreted and measured invariably to China – and since it’s politically incorrect to praise China in anyway, unless you’re a Mao apologists – it’s usually something condescending.

  30. October 28th, 2012 at 08:47 | #30

    @aeiou

    To add on to aeiou’s last point – even when there are articles “praising” China from so-called “pro-China” authors, the majority of the time its about how China is becoming more western, or adhering/moving closer to western standards in some way.

    Genuine praise that accepts China for its own merits & flaws? I’m sure such a thing exists even in the western media, but that’s a needle in a haystack.

  31. October 29th, 2012 at 01:26 | #31

    not having a gangnam is actually a good thing. gangnam is pure sensationalism. he is hyped up, just like justin bieber. also gangnam’s notoriety in the west is a way of rewarding the south korean regime for destabilising east asia, and supporting imperialist policies. gangnam is one of many reasons why south korea is a failed regime. one being ban ki moon, the other being the south korean appointed to the world bank, and finally gang nam. none of these are anything to be proud of. the south korean regime will be looked at in history as a shameful regime, and clowns like gangnam will be ridiculed (if he isnt already).

  32. October 29th, 2012 at 01:31 | #32

    @Mister Unknown
    or in the case of america, they have managed to be “democratic”, fascist, and authoritarian, all mixed up in one ball. well, alot of other regimes fit the same profile, ie singapore. most of the regimes who claim to be democratic are just fascist, and authoritarian.

  33. Sigmar
    October 29th, 2012 at 05:49 | #33

    @BEIJING SHOTS

    “Gangnam Style” is the name of the song, the artiste named PSY or Park Jae-sang is the singer.

  34. October 30th, 2012 at 13:31 | #34

    @pug_ster

    Too bad it got only 306 views and more than 12,000 likes, lol.

    It seems that Youtube updates its “likes” instantaneously, but its view counts only once in a while. (once a day maybe?) There may not be a foul play if the likes are more than the views.

  35. Zack
    November 5th, 2012 at 15:28 | #35

    fareed zakaria is acknowledged as being a mouthpiece and supplicant of whichever party happens to be in the White House; in other words, he’s a whore. Back when Dubya was President, Zakaria would present his pieces as being pro government/Republican and now that a Democrat is in power, he’s changed his views accordingly.

  36. November 5th, 2012 at 22:25 | #36

    @Sigmar
    did i mention that gangnam’s daddy is a corporate executive? how convenient?

  37. December 19th, 2012 at 14:12 | #37

    The song Gangnam Style never claimed the #1 spot in the Billboard chart, but it really doesn’t matter any more. It’s all but certain that it will be the first song cracking 1 billion view count at Youtube (currently at 980+ million). The prior all-time #1 Youtube song was Justin Bieber’s Baby at low 800 million.

    Previously I thought Michel Telo’s Ai Se Eu Te Pego would be the best a song in a non-major language would do. Guess I was wrong…

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