Saturday, 4 May 2013

Maybe They're Called GENTLEmen For a Reason

Once upon a time, the "gentle" in "gentleman" meant that a man came from the upper classes. Later, especially in more democratic America, "gentleman" came to mean a man who was friendly, obliging, thoughtful and polite.

As I don't understand Korean, I have no idea what the pop star Psy means by "gentleman." His video for "Gentleman" illustrates a goodly number of pranks no gentleman should ever do. The stunt with the treadmill was particularly mean and dangerous.

However, the appearance of the portly pop star on MTV is my big treat when I am on the treadmill at the gym, so here is his silly video. As there is much clothed-yet-lewd behaviour with telephone poles, it is not safe for little brothers. (Actually, nothing in this video is safe for little brothers, since Psy acts like the world's naughtiest 10-year-old.) The Korean dancing girls are less trampily dressed than the usual women who wiggle across the TV screen, though.

Update: I had a look and although the lyrics--I have a hard time hearing lyrics without having read them-- are not entirely innocent, he is singing "I'm a mother-father-gentleman."


Anonymous said...

Alas, I read that mother-father has become a euphemism in Korea after a quick-witted comedian substituted the word "father" for another f-word on a television show. (As you hear in the song, random English words have crept into Korean vocabulary, in large part thanks to pop songs).

I agree, though, that there is a big difference in the women's clothes. Have you seen videos by Girl Generation? the cute factor is usually emphasized over the sexy factor.


amlovesmusic said...

Seraphic, I didn't think it was possible to like and respect you any more than I did. But now that I know that you also appreciate the awesomeness and silliness that is Psy, I like you even more. My first viewing of this video did not impress me, because it is nothing like Gangnam Style, but upon further viewings I have come to like it.

Sheila said...

Have you read the lyrics to Gangnam Style? I was quite startled to find they were about modesty! Funny, considering the pole-dancing lady on the subway, but he's saying he's attracted to a girl who doesn't let it all hang out. Who knew.

Bernadette said...

His songs (well, all two of them now) are all about mocking something by claiming to embody it while demonstrating that he does not. So in Gangnam Style he mocked the snooty people who live in the Gangnam District, which is the very expensive, supposedly very classy area, by doing things like singing while he's on the toilet, etc. I think this song is just more of the same - mocking the concept of being a gentleman by going around acting the complete opposite.

Amused and Bemused said...

I must admit--I'm puzzled by the popularity of Korean music among certain trad (and other) friends. Could anyone explain its appeal besides the fact that it maybe recalls retro/80's rock? :-)

Seraphic said...

Ha! I don't know anything about Korean music. I just seem to enjoy Psy's stuff. And I think he is very funny. There's something cool about a fat Korean guy who dances so well. Most Korean guys I have met have been slim, studious Presbyterian ministers or Catholic priests, so, er, they don't act much like Psy.

Well, maybe one of them, after drinking a lot of soju.