I love these songs and the music videos. I know that cheerleaders, lacrosse players, and football players are not exclusively North American “properties.” Nonetheless, I wonder about the line that separates an effective incorporation of another’s look-and-feel from satire from shameless borrowing.*
It’s harder to avoid consciously emulating others’ visual representations of themselves because their lifestyles and fashion choices are but an app and internet connection away. The disconnect for me is that the clothes and sets signify North American culture but the people in it are not North American (geo-politically speaking). It seems real but it isn’t.
* The art direction of Shinee’s “1 of 1” mv is a fantastic nod to New Jack Swing and fashion trends of the 90s. Uncut version of Troublemaker’s “Tell Me Now” mv. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” does not satirize directly American culture but because much of American popular culture is tied to excess and luxury, I thought it a fitting example — and the blog post is excellently written.
PS. Many members of Kpop groups (and likely creative staff) were born in or group up in Canada and the US, so it makes sense why they would bring a Westerner’s visual style perspective. They still have to abide by the customs of their ethnic heritage (what is considered offensive and what isn’t), so depictions of violence, sexuality, and mind-altering landscapes would necessarily be affected.
Their bodies spin, slice, crumple, and roll like dice. Their limbs go rigid then fluid again in under a blink of the eye. No mandatory balls to catch, no pucks to pass, no bases to steal, just bodies in motion bending and rippling like water waves.
I’m not referring to football players, hockey players, baseball players or any of those ball players. I’m talking about dancers. I am utterly transfixed by the Kinjaz. Last night, I saw Wong Fu’s “Kpop” video and making-of. A few of the members of the dance crew Kinjaz were featured in it. Of course, I looked them up on YouTube and spent the next three hours watching their dances.
My favorite dancers from the group are:
I’ve watched plenty of dance crew vids on YT and sometimes they start looking the same, especially when they’re from the same crew, but so far Kinjaz has proved choreographic consistency without being self-derivative.
I have wanted to try fry bread ever since I read about it. I have wanted to go to an Indian Pow Wow* since I read about it. Stone Mountain has held one around Halloween for years and today I went for the first time. I had fry bread from Nikki’s Frybread and it was so good — moist, a little bit sweet, and reminiscent of the Taiwanese breakfast staple, you-tiao (breadstick). Specifically, I had an Indian Taco. Yummy, not gluten-free but I had to try some. I know from youtube videos that one can make it from gluten-free flour, though.
I saw the grand entry of the tribes and when the Red Boys starting drumming, my heart felt alive. I didn’t take too many photographs or videos because I wanted to be as present in the experience as possible.
And she treats you well, doesn’t call you names or blame you for not being able to read her mind. If she appreciates you and thanks you with words, gestures, or both; if she lets you be true to yourself and only expects the same, hold on to her.