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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:10am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 2:39am

Media old and new must live together

Journalists are supposed to spot new trends and report on them before anyone else does. But I find I can't hold a candle to my 12-year-old son. He is just closer to the zeitgeist than I am. I may have to use him as a source from now on to keep my job.

More than a month ago, he started calling attention to this funny video made by a then-obscure Korean rapper called Psy - as in Psycho - and Psy's style of dancing, called "Gangnam style", which involves simulating horse-riding and rope-throwing motions. I told my son off, saying who would care about some two-bit Korean rapper. Well, the rest is history; I wish I had listened.

Last week, The New York Times ran a feature on the latest Korean pop sensation after Britney Spears tweeted that she wanted to learn the dance from Psy. Ellen DeGeneres, the US comedienne, invited him onto her talk show not once but twice. Even an opinion piece in the Financial Times referred to Psy in analysing the state of the South Korean psyche.

I started to take notice of my son's cyber adventures when, out of the blue, earlier this year, he suddenly told me about Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. Back then, a 27-minute film about the Ugandan guerilla leader and his child soldiers, made by the US advocacy group Invisible Children and first distributed on YouTube, was just starting to attract worldwide attention. Never mind that it was manipulative, inaccurate and out of date. My kid was outraged and asked why the Ugandan government had not tried to get rid of Kony. Actually they did, more than six years ago, and Kony's army now probably numbers in the hundreds, not tens of thousands.

The new media throws up these viral products almost at random. This leaves old media in the dust, leading to warnings about its impending demise. The thing is, no one has figured out how to reliably produce viral products.

And, however viral they may be, ideas, acts and products gain traction only in old media. Psy still has to appear on television and perform in concerts. The Kony film was subjected to much-needed criticism in the old media, which provided the context and analysis that was sorely missing.

Eventually, the two media will become one - because the one needs the other.


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This article is now closed to comments

I know PHY and his blockbuster rap song, named as '漢南Style', Kanmanu area is Seol's fabulously fashionable, with lots of high-fashion houses and toweing condominiums, and, I knew high school students, though studiying earnestly.(They now facing severe recession I do not know at this moment.)
But, the idea of his way of dancing and creating clip is so unique and original, enough to make beauty queen like models or actresses or so handsome male singers or actors gladly joing his project. Maybe some Korean people release days hunger and stresfullness and may someday such frank funny way they can enjoy life and they know he earns lots of money pouring as South Korean fortune and raised Korean status among internationally.
And, though I cannot understand all of his lyrics, seems no drug or bing drinking alcoholic or chemical substance not related as so ubiqutous among US or Euro rappers songs, not all of them, though.
Japanese free-of-charge BS channel taught me things like that. (My mentioning to friends in Seol is not fictious,.)
When Jyuninchiro Koizumi reffering to Korean traditional vegetable pickles like one, Kimuchi, he flatly said, 'I cannnot eat Kimuchi, cause they smells so disgustfully.'
What do you think?


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