The Post Where I Use the Word “Gangnam”

To be fair, they asked me, so it’s not like I went fishing for reasons to drop one-billion-click words into this humble blog… When the Asia Society had me up to their NYC headquarters for an on-camera chat, the talk turned to Psy, the Korean mega-star, and his and “Gangnam”‘s implications for yaogun. So I try to yaogunify things.

Video, below the jump.

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Revisiting Cui Jian

When I found, on my various internetty feeds, sources and whatnots, references to an interview conducted by VICE magazine of Chinese rocker number one, Cui Jian, my attention, like many other China-watchers and -blatherers, was piqued. After all, who isn’t constantly on the lookout for Western media mentions of Chinese rock and roll?

From a Shanghaiist link, the video made its way to newsgathering blog Beijing Cream, China Digital Times and to this post at the Washington Post‘s WorldViews blog. The Post‘s post includes my statement – which I’ve also trumpeted in the pages of Red Rock as well as over WNYC’s radio waves and at as many other platforms as is humanly possible – that Cui deserves to be considered for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(“We shall consider,” quoth the Rock Hall website’s induction process page, “factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.” It’s not that, say, Heart, or any of the other 2013 inductees don’t deserve admission, it’s just that, well: Raise your hand if you’ve taught a billion people to rock? Anyone…?)

But I digress.

In addition to being piqued by the video interview making rounds, my attention also experienced deja vu, if one might be able to attribute the experience of deja vu to one’s attention. That was because I’d seen this video before, back in 2008, when VICE first posted it.

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Kungfu-ing the Censors

The legacy of the 18th Party Congress, the massive governmental meeting whose most famous act saw the unveiling of the next generation of China’s leadership, lives on. Around Christmas-time, a good month-plus after the Party’s Party comes a video that ends the year with a bang.

An anti-censorship video riffing off of Cantopop (and international-pop) superstar Jay Chou‘s “Nunchucks” has been making the rounds. Fans of Chou, (and, perhaps, fans of Seth Rogan) may recognize the song from the film The Green Hornet, in which Chou co-starred; it is one of two of his contributions to the soundtrack. In the hands of photographer Gao Yuan, though, the tune takes a very different tack, beginning with its subtle title, “Censorship You Motherfucker Bitch.”

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