By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
Speaking with Radio-Canada—near the end of the video here—Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney demonstrates how to explain the importance of
World War II Canada’s military history to kids these days.
“We talk about Gangnam Style. There’d be no Gangnam Style if there hadn’t been sacrifices on the part of Canadians [and] members of the United Nations who united behind a resolution to repel communism.”
Perhaps this will form the basis of a chapter in the study of Canadian history that the Heritage Committee is preparing.
Update 12:18pm. Though the occasion was to mark the Battle of the Atlantic, it seems possibly (likely?) that Mr. Blaney wasn’t referring to World War II. Maybe he was referring to the Korean War. Absent the full context of the comment, it is open to interpretation.
Update 1:51pm. Mr. Blaney’s press secretary tweets.
Thanks to the sacrifices of Cdn
#Vets, S.Korea is now economically strong & democratic. Clearly it’s also a cultural superpower
By Ken MacQueen and Mika Rekai - Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:30 AM - 0 Comments
Psy and a Jay-Z’s baby topped music charts, while a blogger and Kim Jong Un also earned the world’s attention.
A career in the music Biz
What with the yachts, limos and baby bling, it’s been a sweet first year for Blue Ivy Carter—the most beautiful baby ever, according to her parents, hip hop royalty Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z. Within days of her birth, Jay-Z had mixed her cries and coos into Glory, a song he wrote celebrating her birth, making her the youngest artist to ever appear on the Billboard charts. All Dad wants for her, he says, is to “love herself . . . be respectful and be a moral person.”
Maybe it’s the baby face and his love of theme-park rides, but North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has yet to earn the level of fear enjoyed by his late dad, Kim Jong Il. He intends to change that by gaining control of the military. Some 14 senior officials have been purged this year and army vice-minister Kim Chol was allegedly blown to bits with a mortar round after Kim ordered his obliteration.
Tied up with a good book
E.L. James has been called the Julia Child of mommy porn, and with her Fifty Shades series she’s found the recipe for riches. The three volumes of her trilogy fought for domination on bestseller lists most of the year. As in most cookbooks, there’s a certain amount of whipping, kneading and heat involved in achieving the desired result, but that’s where the similarity ends. Erika Leonard, her real name, is a British mother of two. She’s coy about her own sexual proclivities but says, “I had a good time researching these books.” Continue…
By Tamsin McMahon - Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5:31 PM - 0 Comments
Stock market analysts have been buzzing lately about “Gangnam Style” internet sensation Psy’s ability to send the share prices of some Korean companies soaring.
DI Corp., which makes equipment for the semi-conductor industry and is chaired by Psy’s father, Park Won Ho, has seen its stock price soar 500 per cent since the video featuring the 34-year-old singer’s bizarrely popular horse-riding dance became a huge hit on Youtube in July. (The video now stands at more than 600 million views.) The stock of YG Entertainment, Psy’s manager, nearly doubled between July and October.
But the real financial genius may be Psy’s marketing prowess. The singer is the spokesmodel for at least a dozen different Korean companies, from hawking Internet TVs for a subsidiary of LG, to dancing in front of refrigerators for Samsung. A year contract to have the singer promote a company’s brand reportedly tops $600,000.
Psy landed a contract with Nongshim, one of Korea’s largest ramen noodle companies, after uploading a video of himself to Youtube eating the company’s Shin Ramyun noodles and begging to be their spokesperson.
Sales of Hite-Jinro, one of Korea’s biggest beverage companies, spiked after Psy downed a bottle of the company’s soju, a popular Korean drink, during a concert in Seoul that was broadcast internationally. The singer is now reportedly in talks to become a spokesperson for them. It was conspicuous timing. Psy was previously a spokesperson for Oriental Brewery, Hite-Jinro’s chief competitor, until the company dropped his contract last November.
But there are signs the Gangnam Style financial bubble might be coming to an end. Shares in DI Corp have plunged nearly 40 per cent in the past two weeks. According to the Korea Times this month, investors who poured their money into DI Corp. shares since the summer have now started posting on Psy’s personal blog, demanding he do something to reverse the company’s falling stock price. “My father put all of his retirement grant into DI and now he is drinking soju in the living room, crying,” one wrote. “Psy, please help. One word from you will do.”
By Emma Teitel - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM - 0 Comments
Despite the riches seen in the viral video, South Korea has a spending problem
Park Jae-Sang, a.k.a. Psy (short for Psycho), the moderately plump 34-year-old rapper behind the massive international hit Gangnam Style, is not your average South Korean pop star. Not only because he “isn’t very good-looking,” says 24-year-old Canadian-Korean pop fan Leslie Yun, but because “he’s the antithesis of what is popular in Korean pop music right now.” Unlike the perfectly coiffed boy and girl groups topping Korea’s charts, Psy is a master of satire. The subject at the heart of Gangnam Style—which has over 274 million views—is mass consumption in the nouveau riche Seoul neighbourhood of Gangnam where Psy grew up. The average South Korean has five credit cards; by 2010, Korean household debt had reached a staggering 155 per cent of disposable income—higher even than the U.S. just before the subprime crisis. In the music video, Psy does his famous horse dance (which he’s been doing at sports events and award shows ever since) and mocks the phony opulence of his old neighbourhood, replacing confetti with bits of garbage and partying in a parking garage. “Korean culture has always been about saving face,” says Yun, “especially in Gangnam.” Whether a man and his invisible horse will change that, remains to be seen.