America stands outraged this weekend over the fact that loveable and slightly manic South Korean rapped PSY dared insult their country in 2004. To which the rest of the world has to say: well, you know, everyone hated your country back then.
I mean, come on. America was not the world’s favourite big brother at that point. You had an idiot for a president overseeing what many considered an unjust war. Half the world hated you because you were killing them; the other half hated you because you were killing their sons and daughters by making them fight that war.
PSY has apologised for the lyrics, which included “kill those fucking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.” While the first part of the sentence is a little strong, the second part isn’t that far from the truth – and it encapsulated an anti-American spirit in South Korea in 2004 that started because a South Korean was taken hostage and killed by Iraqis during the war (and the fact that a US army vehicle ran over two Korean schoolgirls). So basically, it’s not too extreme at all, when you look at it in context.
The song, ‘Dear America’, isn’t really that good. If anything, PSY should be saying sorry for that. It lays on the vitriol early, with Arabic calls to prayer following the sounds of bombs and machine gun fire. Then it goes into some insane Slipknot-style hard rock, which is hilarious in and of itself.
Still, PSY apologised:
I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall anti-war sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words. While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so.
A lot of people are getting butt-hurt over this without remembering the context, and remembering that actually, by 2004 PSY was verbalising what a lot of the world’s population thought. It’s great that he’s apologised and clarified the situation and everything, but let’s not pretend that there was no spark behind this fiery hate or anything. If you want to be outraged, America, don’t ignore the fact that your president was doing some shitty things at the time. The rest of the world might respect your outrage a little more if you did.