Lost in Remixing

I first came across PSY's Gangnam Style video on 8/30 via Naked Capitalism, of all places, when they linked to Open City's commentary on it: Viral vid ‘Gangnam Style’ critiques Korea’s extreme inequality.  I confess that I read the article and never watched the video. 

That is until someone shared this video:

Once shared, watching the original was required:

The thing that struck me about the parody Klingon Style video is how much of the commentary of the original (read the article Viral vid ‘Gangnam Style’ critiques Korea’s extreme inequality to understand) was lost.  It follows the original faithfully, but by changing the context from present day South Korea to Star Trek, it loses the original video's meaning.

However, this remix with North Korean government video shifts the context, but doesn't change the meaning as much:

For me, the closest remix that comes close to the meaning of PSY's original is this one:

Of course, ultimately, the objective of any of these videos is to entertain, and remixing does not require that the meaning of the original be retained. The whole series of parody clips of Hitler reacting to various current events from the movie Downfall is one of the best cases. So of course it should come as no surprise there is a Hitler Style remix using clips from the Downfall movie with the Gangnam Style sound track.

The fact that the Gangnam Style parodies exist and aren't being removed by DMCA takedown orders, seems to be because PSY realizes that the parodies get people to watch the original (or its many variations) and that gets people to buy the song. After all it is #2 on the Billboard charts.  Perhaps the recording companies and the RIAA will finally clue into this and stop trying to get Congress to pass censorship and spying laws like SOPA.

All in all, it does make me want to reread Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle.

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