Beyond funny horse-riding dance, PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ is sharp commentary on South Korean society

South Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” video has more than 200 million YouTube views and counting, and it’s easy to see why. No Korean language skills are needed to enjoy the chubby, massively entertaining performer’s crazy horse-riding dance, the song’s addictive chorus and the video’s exquisitely odd series of misadventures.

PSY’s Gangnam Style’s U.S. Popularity Has Koreans Puzzled, Gratified

“People are surprised — bewildered, really — at PSY’s popularity abroad,” says Susan Kang, chief evangelist for Soompi.com, the mammoth online site dedicated to Korean pop music. “You have people saying, ‘We have all these beautiful guys and girls that have tried to break through to the U.S. market with little success. So why PSY?’ But of course they are embracing it to the fullest, and it’s causing a renewed interest in and respect for his music.”

With Jeremy Lin Exit, Some Asian-American Fans Feel Betrayed By Knicks

“People who say Lin is an opportunist expected him to be a meek, quiet Asian man who wouldn’t cause waves,” says Jae-Ha Kim, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. “This discussion about what he’s worth is insulting. Clearly these teams aren’t offering him this money out of the goodness of their hearts. And for what it’s worth, I’m a Bulls fan — I’ll just miss seeing Spike Lee go nuts over Lin.”

Jeremy Lin Matters to Kyle: Comments

When my Op-Ed piece on Jeremy Lin ran in the Chicago Tribune, a lot of people wrote in to comment about their own experiences growing up. More than a few questioned the veracity of my experiences. Here are just some of the comments that the Tribune published.

Jeremy Lin Matters to Kyle

Jeremy Lin is riding a well-deserved wave of goodwill and adulation. After being undrafted and waived by not one, but two, NBA teams last year–the 23-year-old point guard for the New York Knicks has become the sport’s latest sensation. And Asian Americans are loving it. Each time Lin shows off his skills on the basketball court or does an on-air interview where—surprise!–he has no accent, he helps Asian Americans get one step closer to being accepted as “real” Americans.

Grand scheme of adopting: Getting in front of the adoption line

A couple years ago, actress Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh Kelley adopted an adorable little baby girl from South Korea. No one would deny that they didn’t deserve to be parents. But what some folks—myself included—found curious was that they had been married for less than two years when they were matched with their child.

`Geisha’ raises fears of stereotypical movie roles

In both the book “Memoirs of a Geisha” and its film adaptation, women fall into two categories: sexy geisha and conniving dragon ladies, two stereotypes about Asian women that linger today. Already some members of the Asian-American community are worried that the film, which opens locally Friday, may reinforce unflattering images of Asian women as being submissive, sexual objects.

‘Laguna Beach’s’ love lessons

Every woman in a relationship should watch at least one episode of “Laguna Beach,” MTV’s reality series about a group of young, beautiful and rich kids from Orange County, Calif. This suggestion isn’t being made for the eye candy elements of the show — though there’s plenty. Rather, the male-female dynamics are something familiar to most women in their 20s, 30s and, yes, even 40s. And sometimes just turning on the TV can give you the dating pointers that your friends aren’t.

Asian stars are rising — Latest TV breakthroughs look like the real deal

Once relegated to playing houseboys, prostitutes and extras on “M*A*S*H,” Asian-American actors are now appearing on prime-time television not as exoticized versions of reality, but as real people. Sandra Oh, superb in “Sideways,” is a star in the new medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” which has kicked “Boston Legal” to the curb and taken the prime slot after “Desperate Housewives” on Sunday nights at ABC. Or turn on ABC’s other hit drama, “Lost,” and you’ll notice not one, but two Asian regulars. Korean-American actors Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (no relation to each other — or me) portray a married Korean couple stranded on the creepy island with a crew of folks including a pregnant woman, an Iraqi hottie, a fat dude, an African-American father and his son, a dog and a hobbit (or at least a guy who played a hobbit in “Lord of the Rings”).

Stalkers

“I am your No. 1 fan.” And so began Paul Sheldon’s terrifying encounter with Annie Wilkes, the obsessed character in Stephen King’s Misery who chopped off her idol’s feet so he couldn’t escape. (In the film version, she merely broke his ankles.) In real life, celebrities such as Sheryl Crow, Mel Gibson and Catherine Zeta-Jones are dealing with their own slew of “No. 1 fans.” Some go to prison for their obsessive behavior. But others don’t.

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