A iron Franz Liszt tickles imaginary ivories in Budapest, his hair aflutter. Freddie Mercury stands tall in Montreux. Bon Scott is immortalized in Western Australia somewhere. And now, soon, Psy’s hands will remain forever crossed in a town square in Seoul, in his home district of Gangnam — at night, they will be lit by appropriately garish, multicolored lights. If you happen to walk near the statue, the K-pop king’s runaway viral hit “Gangnam Style” will play, so that you, too, can do the horsey-simulating dance that changed 2012’s cultural landscape.
You can grimace or chuckle. How absurd, this concept — South Korea throwing a bunch of money down the drain on one of the silliest cultural phenomenons of the past decade. But also — shut the hell up. This statue makes not only a lot more sense than your average expensive shrine to a musician, but actually seems nothing but deserved. I’m surprised it’s not there already.
Did you even know there was a Gangnam district in Seoul? Almost definitely not. As Gangnam tourism director Park Hee-Soo put it to Agence France-Presse, Psy made his neighborhood a major cultural landmark.
Also, believe it or not, Psy changed the music industry, and the world. The runaway success of viral videos and “Gangnam Style,” specifically — as the most watched video on YouTube to date, with over 2.4 billion views — made it necessary for the Billboard charts to incorporate streams from the site into their chart calculations. This is how “Gangnam Style” got to be not only a #1 Hot 100 hit, but controversially, a #1 Rap song.
Outside of that, look — Obama did the moves, and sung Psy’s praises. Gangnam Style flash mobs brought joy in all different parts of the world. The song was called “a force for world peace.” And your parents loved it.
One time he got an ice sculpture, so this is simply the next logical step.
So don’t fucking stare over your nose at this futuristic monument to fun. Go snap some selfies and Oppan Gangnam Style next time you’re in Seoul, like a good world citizen. You’ll be in the presence of a monument that will outlast all of us.
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