Scrolling Headlines:

Amherst residents rally against Dakota pipeline in water ceremony outside TD Bank -

December 6, 2016

Laura Reed discusses nuclear disarmament under Obama Administration -

December 6, 2016

SGA President announces opening of vice president position -

December 6, 2016

Four UMass divers qualify for NCAA Tournament at Bucknell Invitational this weekend -

December 6, 2016

Top 25 Basketball Notebook: UCLA pulls off major upset over Kentucky -

December 6, 2016

College football playoff seeds came out Sunday; Alabama gets top seed -

December 6, 2016

UMass club hockey comes out of travel weekend 1-1-1 -

December 6, 2016

Notebook: UMass men’s basketball guard Luwane Pipkins among nation’s best in steals -

December 6, 2016

Listen when you argue to truly understand -

December 6, 2016

Letter to the Editor: local veterans on Hampshire flag burning -

December 6, 2016

Standing Rock’s message could save America -

December 6, 2016

What people’s email signoffs say about them -

December 6, 2016

Union Square Holiday Market adds to festivities in NYC -

December 6, 2016

Veterans Advocacy Services cancels event celebrating Hampshire College flag victory -

December 5, 2016

UMass women’s basketball team can’t recover from sluggish start in 65-55 loss to George Mason -

December 5, 2016

‘Loving’ is simple, honest and a rare beauty -

December 5, 2016

Trump’s victory is unsurprising in racist America -

December 5, 2016

Capitalism must be fixed, not replaced -

December 5, 2016

Three-point shooting sinks UMass women’s basketball in loss to George Mason -

December 5, 2016

Use words to describe, not diminish -

December 5, 2016

Are you not entertained?

This could be old news, but I just found out that the brainchild of “Gangnam Style,” Park Jae-sang (who goes by the stage name of PSY), rapped out some lyrics about killing American soldiers and their families slowly, painfully, etc. about eight years ago—source, http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/07/showbiz/psy-apology-irpt/index.html?hpt=hp_t3.  Obviously, my patriotic, all-American Facebook friends couldn’t stand for such filth directed at our most celebrated and respected heroes and heroines, and a few posted about it to express their contempt.  Hey, don’t look at me; I’m not supporting it either.  Have I seen the “Gangnam Style” video?  Of course. But neither I, nor the 912,772,943 others who have viewed it as of 12/8/12, had to hand over any cash to do that (maybe we had to sit through an ad, but thirty seconds of my time is eight cents before state and federal taxes—source: Microsoft calculator and bad modeling based on pay per hour and not pay per week).

But: here I am, writing about what could be (or not, does anyone care?) the hottest new moral crisis of the season, and somebody may want background as to when the, clearly not clairvoyant, PSY said these things.  Also, PSY is (still) performing at “Christmas in Washington” which President and First Lady Obama will (still) attend according to CNN. The U.N. Security Council’s head Ban Ki-moon praised PSY in October saying, “In this era of instability and intolerance we need to promote better understanding through the power of music” (http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/gangnam-style-gets-un-stamp-of-approval-20121010-27cbq.html).

I don’t care what PSY does or who takes a photo with him—I don’t buy his stuff and I have a hunch that the world’s premiere fighting force can handle trash talk.  If you don’t believe that, then actually, it’s you who “don’t support the troops,” because you think their courage is weak.  Some might have mental health problems or PTSD, and that’s an issue, and they like having your general support unlike, say, after the Vietnam War. In general however, they probably don’t need you protecting them from the “Gangnam Style” guy’s eight-year-old Korean diatribes.

The South Korean pop megastar said these things in 2004 after two Korean teenagers had been run over by two U.S. soldiers in South Korea in 2002. They were acquitted of negligent manslaughter by a U.S. military court.  He was performing as one of three rappers at “an anti-American” rock concert, and he specifically mentions soldiers torturing Iraqi captives, probably in reference to the Abu Ghraib scandal that broke that year.

So, we mad?  Anti-Americanism? After all the U.S. has done for the world?!  (Forced an end to WWII, held the line in Korea against the commies, rebuilding Japan after nuking it, Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, Berlin Airlift, Moon, not starting the fire, Irsaeli-Egyptian peace accords, Furbies…)

Sure, we mad.  We don’t need to buy PSY’s music, but that doesn’t go far enough.  Obviously the world is full of ingrates, not understanding the need for our armed forces.  Let’s make these ungrateful places sweat it out on their own and conserve our beloved police force for a more important occasion. Like say, Syria, where the government has (evidently) lost its legitimacy (importantly, unlike in 1953 Iran) and where our time and effort would be better spent.  Let’s seek new ideas, new people, new markets, and quit bumpin’ “Gangnam style.”

Tom Lynch can be reached at tjlynch@student.umass.edu.

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