Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kids react (the way Kushibo does) to K-pop

So while I'm waiting to be picked up at Honolulu's Hawaiian Air Terminal the other day, I'm checking out this video, suggested by a Yonsei alumna friend on her Facebook page, about the plight of one Russell Green, an adoptee who wasn't fully adopted and now faces deportation...

... and that's when YouTube suggested I also check out "Kids React to K-Pop," because forced deportation of a Korea-born adoptee is naturally associated with American kids making funny faces at the silliness that is K-pop.

I guess they'd have the same keywords: kids, Korean, US, freaked out.

Anyway, I was intrigued by the K-pop video just because the kids' attitude is pretty much my own when it comes to the monster that K-pop has become.

Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled that Korea is developing so much soft power with its pop culture offerings lately, primarily in the form of movies, music, and dramas, but I'm just not into pop music at all. I love Korean movies and have a whole bunch in my Netflix queue. Though I don't watch as many Korean television programs as I used to (my ex-fiancée and I used to do that as one of our things, but since we broke up it just wasn't fun anymore and I got out of the habit), I am happy that hulu has gone hallyu.

But I never got into the whole music scene, of any country. There are too many made-for-TV pop idols whose major claim to fame is that they wear hot pants and dance around looking cutesy and act aegyotistical. I'd rather find age- and behavior-appropriate women in real life, so I have about as much interest in The Wonder Girls as I do Miley Cyrus. Sure, if I have a chance to meet with them and chat them up or more, I will, but it's just not something I spend a lot of time on.

Anyway, it seems that K-pop has become a thing in the US, with people even reacting to the reaction. About five years ago, the Korea-bashing naysayers were questioning whether K-pop or hallyu could make a dent outside of Korea, but now we've seen it wash over the rest of East Asia, including Japan, and now it seems to be getting a serious foothold in the United States and Europe. I never had the confidence that this would happen, but I certainly wasn't pooh-poohing the idea, either.

Frankly, as long as it doesn't attract horny folks to Korea who think that teaching in a secondary school would be like a smorgasbord, I'm all for this expansion of South Korean soft power. Heck, I someday see the potential for the love of Girls' Generation, along with the NBA, to bring together Kim Jong-un and some current or future American POTUS or Secretary of State.

And finally, remember Russell Green. There's something fundamentally wrong when his video has barely a thousand hits and the "Kids React to K-pop" video gets a million or so.


1 comment:

  1. I saw a 30+ year old white dude in class checking out a few youtube vids of Girls' Generation. He was like, I don't understand a word they are saying but damn they are hot. He also thought they were Japanese girls. Not surprising. In songs, Korean and Japanese sound quite similar, both being non-tonal languages with a lot of Chinese loan words.


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