Those Hovercrafts

Floating with intention

Posts Tagged ‘Diplomats

Dennis Rodman And Kim Jong-un Are Friends And That Is All

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Dennis Rodman Kim Jong un

This week former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman went to North Korea. Why? It’s kind of unclear. He went along with a few of the Harlem Globetrotters and a video crew from Vice magazine for a feature to be shown on HBO later this year. So that’s part of the reason. Also because Kim Jong-un, the baby faced autocrat who has been ruling the country since his father died in late 2011, really loves basketball.

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Written by thosehovercrafts

February 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Art And International Organizations And The Internet Are Weird Things

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Earlier this summer the Korean pop star Psy released a video for his song “Gangnam Style,” which has since become  a global internet phenomenon and meme. The original video has over 531 million views on YouTube.  It’s a guy doing a funny dance in funny clothes and, except for “Hey sexy lady,” speaking in a foreign language just non-English enough to be fun and charming and bizarre and non-threatening. So it’s not much of a surprise that sports mascots and other musicians soon got in on the joke.

But then so did Ai Weiwei, the renowned Chinese artist previously confined to prison and then house arrest. That’s his video at the top there. His is dubbed the “Grass Mud Horse-style” version, which refers to a pun on the absurdity government censorship that Ai has used before. His video also prominently features handcuffs, though I kind of understand that one without translation. Ai told the AP that he made the video as a reminder that, though everything is awful and the government is repressive, “every morning we have the opportunity to give others something to laugh about. Laughter is important.”

And when Psy made a stop at the United Nations to pose for a photo op with Secretary General (and fellow Korean) Ban Ki-moon this week, he taught his dance to the world’s most famous diplomat. Ban asked the pop star to bring “U.N. style” to help unify the world around global warming, since “you are so cool.”

These are strange times, guys.

Written by thosehovercrafts

October 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm