You might have missed this, but Gangnam Style is pretty popular worldwide, including China. It is also unpopular worldwide, including China. That makes it an online sensation, and as such, it has spawned countless parodies, and at least one incredibly epic rant. Some parodies are better than others — and some are parodies of themselves. Here are two of the worse.
Published more than three weeks ago, China Style is bad in all the worst ways. Here are the lyrics to start:
Oppa China style. China style. // To the whole world via K-Pop comes this dance, // from New York, London and Tokyo to Shanghai they’re all dancing this dance, // and Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong all dancing this dance, // if you understand, just dance this dance.
Everyone join in the fun, // ABC BBC CBC all join in the fun, // CNN BBC NHK report joining the fun.
Simple. Lame. Cinge inducing. Not only are the creators ignorant about the original song’s meaning, they insult us by trying to explain Gangnam Style’s popularity. Where they lack in originality, they also lack in self-awareness. These are the type who, at a party, stand stone-faced through your jokes and then say, “So what you’re saying is…”
On YouTube, the video has been viewed more than 150,000 times, and has six times more dislikes than likes. That’s way worse than Justin Bieber’s videos. Here’s the original on Youku, where it’s been viewed 13 million times (several pirated copies also have view counts in the quintuple digits):
Possessing about a fourth of the production quality as China Style, Laowai Style nonetheless wins some points because it features foreigners doing things in Chinese.
Wait for it…
Sorry, foreigners doing things in Chinese actually is cliched, and not just because of Dashan and Mike Sui. Okay, mostly because of Dashan and Mike Sui. We give these foreign-language students credit where it’s due, for the effort, but at this point in the Gangnam Style lifespan, if you’re not pushing the conversation and conventions, you’re just that glum dude at the arcade endlessly feeding quarters into the whack-a-mole machine. The most disappointing aspect about Laowai Style is that it lives down its potential: how easy would it have been to parody foreigner lifestyle in Beijing? Instead, we get:
This guy is Laowai Style. // I’m the type of Laowai who sucks at basketball, // The type of Laowai who buys stuff at Silk Street but doesn’t get ripped off, // The type of Laowai who doesn’t drive a BMW and instead drives a secondhand electric bike, // A regular guy who’s a Laowai.
Um… good for you?
Here’s how one BJC contributor assessed it:
Plus there’s the creepy guy with the MIB villain sunglasses – hard not to imagine him vigorously banging his Chinese teacher.
Maybe he meant that as a compliment. I don’t know.
Here it is on Youku, where it’s been watched 298,000 times vs. YouTube’s 18,000.
Of course, reasonable people can differ. Maybe you have poor taste. Maybe you’re a kindergarten teacher who has the compulsive need to find the good in everything. Maybe you would like to take this opportunity to tell us to fuck ourselves. Whatever the case, get to voting. The poll is up top.
UPDATE, 7:52 pm: Just saw the Beijinger’s post from last night that features the newest Beijing-related Gangnam Style parody, called — wait for it — Beijing Style. Sigh.