If you’ve been fortunate enough to have power for the last couple of days, by now you’ve probably heard the one about how, if Gangnam Style is a rain dance, we brought Hurricane Sandy upon ourselves. While the identity of the joke’s creator is disputed, its premise can’t be denied.
Gangnam Style is everywhere. Even my parents know what it is, thanks to Dancing With the Stars (sorry if you’re now struggling to scrub that image of Kirstie Alley out of your brain). It’s precisely this sort of over-exposure that makes the younger generations cringe.
Why? Because of that seemingly impulsive need triggered in the middle-aged brain to imitate whatever the kids are doing these days. I guess it was only a matter of time until politicians jumped on the Gangnam Style bandwagon. We now even have our first official campaign ad featuring the dance, courtesy of a judge in Michigan.
So, in honor of the recent Halloween holiday and all things scary, and as a much-needed break from endless hurricane coverage, I give you the following clips of supposedly respectable adults dancing to K-pop. Enjoy, if you dare….
Our most official entry in the political Gangnam Style dance-off comes from Michael Woodyard, who is running for 22nd Circuit Court Judge in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Woodyard goes all out in his latest campaign video:
I have to give Woodyard some credit here, because you can tell that he actually put some time and effort into learning the choreography. The start is a touch shaky, but he really comes into his own about 45 seconds in. Also, he just seems to be having fun. So, I’ll look past the predictable white man’s overbite and say that this isn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be.
Because, trust me – it gets worse.
Jump with me over to the West Coast, where we’re treated to a grainy amateur video of Washington State Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna dancing to the PSY hit as part of a Global Korean Day Celebration:
Even though McKenna mercifully stays off to the side for the most part and lets the people who know how to dance take center stage, this performance was enough to inspire an impassioned plea from his 12-year-old son to raise money to pay his parents to never dance in public again. Although I have to say, Connor, that plea should really be aimed just at your dad; Mrs. McKenna is looking pretty darn good in this video. Way to go, Rob.
But it’s not just the lawyer-politicians, or even the Americans, who are going all Gangnam Style. John Lewis, the Democratic Representative from Atlanta, has been seen in a Gangnam Style-inspired get out the vote ad. Pretty spry for a 72-year-old, I must say…
And those kooky Brits are joining the party as well. A few weeks ago, reports surfaced that London Mayor Boris Johnson and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron engaged in a Gangnam Style dance-off that stuffy British observers assure us was “uproarious.” Sadly, there is no video available to show just how awesome Johnson’s hair looked after all that fake horse riding. Instead we just have to settle for computer animations.
Even Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has used the song to criticize the Chinese government and challenge censorship. Man, Gangnam Style parodies are getting all serious. Top that, Call Me Maybe.
I think the moral of the story here is that the lawyers and politicians should stick to the boring stuff and leave the dancing to the artsy types. We don’t see any K-pop stars throwing their hats in the political ring. Although, now that I think about it, some flashy “PSY for President” ads would be a much-welcomed addition to the mind-numbing monotony of this election season.
And now that I’ve listened to Gangnam Style what feels like 100 times in the writing of this post, I need to go outside for some air and figure out how to get around Brooklyn without the subway.
In the meantime, I’ll give a super gold star to the first commenter to create an animation of Elie and Lat doing Gangnam Style.