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Sat, Dec. 8th, 2012, 08:42 am
My RANT: Psy apologizes for anti-American performances

Here's the article this refers to:

Psy apologizes for anti-American performances.

Here's my take:

First off, these performances were in the midst of a wave of anti-American, anti-Iraq war sentiment. He was riding the on the emotional crest of his country, and he'd probably not had much exposure to Americans. Right about the same time we were bloodthirstily shouting to blow Iraq right off the map, many other parts of the world viewed this as another invasion by American forces trying to subvert more countries to our way of thinking. If he, at that time, would have said, well hey, maybe America is justified, that would have been analogous to someone here saying, but wait, all those civilians didn't do anything to us.

To those who argue he's a sellout because he didn't apologize before he was famous and it was drawn into the public eye I have to say 1) Would you come out to apologize for some wrongdoing of yours that you thought might be overlooked? Of course not, it would save the embarrassment if it could be swept under the rug, and 2) before he was famous, he'd probably not encountered many Americans, and if he had they probably were a far cry from the adoring populace that he found after fame. Having a bunch of American fans is certainly going to change one's viewpoint of Americans in some way.

Also, so what if he is just saying it to save face? Lots of celebrities in other countries save face by pretending to HATE Americans; it could really go either way depending on what country you are in. What's wrong with giving him the benefit of the doubt? Even if it isn't true, maybe with enough time, and him having publicly stating his mistake and having to live as if it were a mistake, maybe a falsehood will become a truth. Either way, we gain another supporter who has a bit of the public's attention.

Part of what is wrong in our society is this terribly rigid attitude toward mistakes and this notion that people can't change. We've believed it so long it becomes the truth. This is why murderers become useful, rehabilitated citizens in places like India but continue to be hard-core criminals here in the United States. Our recidivism rate is so high because we set out to punish rather than rehabilitate. That attitude doesn't make me soft, it makes me practical. If punishment is necessary to rehabilitation, then I'm not squeamish in the slightest. But what if it hinders change instead of helping it? What do you really want when you are the victim of a crime? Are you really "walking your talk"? Do you really want it when you say you don't want the same thing to happen to another human being (because people do say that all the time) or do you just want to lash out and hurt the person who hurt you? What if you couldn't do both? If choice "A" was to punish the person in the same way you were hurt, but they came out of jail the same way they went in (only older), and choice "B" was to not punish them at all, but to rehabilitate them in such a way that they would never even want to do that crime again, which choice do you naturally gravitate to? It's a hard thing to admit just how angry and bloodthirsty we really are.

So he expressed some anti-Americanism, so what? He's not American, and it doesn't influence whether or not I like his music (except I wouldn't knowingly buy music that was laced with anti-American slurs, in much the same way I don't buy music that calls women 'hos', cops 'pigs', or refers to niggas in any context. Part of the reason I love America is because I don't have to, so why am I going to try to force a non-American to do so? He's one person, and a pop star at that, not the voice of South Korea in it's entirety. If his music is good and not anti-American, I'll still buy it no matter what his personal views are, unless he became some sort of crazed anti-American crusader.

Doesn't anyone realize how childish 'saber-rattling' is? Saying things like, "if that's how South Koreans feel, we should leave them to be finished off by the North Koreans" is the mark of someone who has failed to grasp the complexity of the situation. That's like saying, "if you don't agree with everything I say, I'm taking my toys and going home." Not only is it childish, it is the behavior of bullies. To hold something another person needs, whether it be food, water, medicine, or security, contingent on their complete and total agreement with you and everything you say/stand for/do, is to be no better than an abusive husband who tells his wife what clothes she is allowed to wear and what company she may keep just because he is supporting her financially. It's also incredibly naive. American is in South Korea, not for any altruistic motives, but because we have political interests which lead us to believe that protecting them is a good option for us. If we were a solely altruistic nation, atrocities like Darfur would simply not be allowed to occur.

I'm trying, trying so hard to be kind, to understand the viewpoints of bullies, but all I see is childishness, vitriol, and hate. I'm sorry Tommy (Psy) hurt your little feelings, little boys and girls. Now Tommy already said he was sorry, so why don't you shake hands and make up. What, you still think he's a doodie-head? Well, I guess you can't play on the swingset together today. Maybe tomorrow you can learn how to be nice. The idiocy surrounding me sometimes makes my head hurt.

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