The power of parody

Gangnam Style has, to spout some cliches, “gone viral” and “taken the world by storm.”
If you haven’t come across it already…(where have you been hiding?)

PSY – Gangnam Style

And then of course there was the brilliant PSY and MC Hammer performance last week.

PSY and MC Hammer close the American Music Awards 2012

But apart from being catchy and making you want to get up and jump around like you just don’t care, what I also love about things like this are the parodies they spawn. I often think you can measure a piece of work’s success and popularity by its parodies. And there are plenty of Gangnam ones to choose from.

There are the classic “Original song + New video” ones

London style

And also “Original song + Video clip mashup”

Spongebob style

Simpsons style

There’s also plenty of “Live performances”

Barcelona Gangnam flashmob

Wedding style

A horse doing horse dancing

But by far my favourites are the ‘true’ parodies, which take the recognisable, characteristic parts of the original, and add their own elements to it. It’s such a celebration of creativity and the love of both the original song as well as the added themes.

Super Kampung Style (Big up Malaysians 😉 )

Punjabi Style

Gandalf Style

And in a whole other league, parodies of parodies

The Downfall parody, Gangnam style

A further parody about a previous Downfall Gangnam parody

As if that wasn’t enough, Ai Weiwei did his own Gangnam video too, which includes subtle references to China’s human rights controversies (described towards the end of the article).

But after that video quickly got taken down by the Chinese government, Anish Kapoor, with the support of Amnesty International and other human rights, art, and media organisations, made another video, Gangnam for Freedom, in support of Ai Weiwei.

Never underestimate the power of oddball horse-dancing with catchy beats, and the power of a whole lot of people just wanting to express themselves and have fun.

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