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Gangnam Style - Scott Adams' Blog

Gangnam Style

Okay, I’ve been doing my best to avoid looking at the new viral video called Gangnam Style by a Korean musician named PSY. I could tell from the headlines the video would involve some Korean guy dancing in a dorky style to bad music. How good could that be, right?

But curiosity got the best of me. I had to know what makes this particular video a global phenomenon. So I clicked, and I watched, expecting to be underwhelmed. I was wrong. It’s totally awesome and thoroughly recommendable.

For me, the fascination involves figuring out what makes this video ridiculously entertaining. The music is so generic I feel as if I’ve heard it before. The dancing is literally laugh-out-loud funny. The star, PSY, is the very definition of extraordinarily uncool. The videography looks random and amateurish. When you put all of those bad elements together you get…awesome? WTF?

On some level I thought I was laughing at the star. But I couldn’t quite commit to that point of view because something about the entire video absolutely works. Is this one of those million-monkeys-with-typewriter situations applied to Internet video? Is it pure luck that the seemingly bad elements all come together to create an awesome whole? Or is there some sort of clever genius at work? I absolutely can’t tell, and that’s what makes this thing so fascinating.

Remember that genius comes in many forms. I think we’d agree there’s no musical genius happening with this video. But someone involved with this video imagined all of the pieces together, produced it, and hit it out of the park. Is the music video director the genius, or maybe a choreographer, or is PSY the brilliant one?

Or is it just dumb luck that the elements came together?

My best guess is that serendipity plus some sort of visual arts genius is involved.

What do you think? Is it luck or genius?

(If you haven’t seen the video yet, turn up the sound and get ready to have a good time. It’s a good way to start a weekend.)