So there you were this morning, wondering what the State Department was doing with your tax money. They were making a “Gangnam Style” parody video!
Have a look at this clip from a continuing series of “social media” produced by the American Embassy in Seoul:
Now, in the words of Psy, let’s “break it down”:
– State’s weird attempt at humanizing America abroad comes off instead as a lame attempt at creating a cult of personality around its ambassador. Truly, do Korean people care about his clothing (as featured in the video, hung in a messy closet)? Was the last “question” praising the embassy’s wonderful social media really a question that needed featuring here? And honestly, did US government employees on US government time really need to be forced to dance Gangnam style while the ambassador stood by watching like some playground pedophile?
– What is the point? I get “social media” as a concept but I am unsure what the national policy goal here is, and there damn well better be one since taxpayer money is paying for this garbage. Are Koreans supposed to see the cartoon caricature of the Ambassador and “like” America? Are they supposed to see the Gangnam dancers and feel America is “with it”? Are we “groovy” yet?
– Is this simply a silly shot at linking Psy’s 15 minutes of fame to the U.S.’ hope for another 15 minutes of fame?
– Is the U.S. the only hip and cool country representing in South Korea? Because I checked the web sites of countries like the UK, Japan and China for Korea, and none of them feature silly poo stuff like this. I also checked the South Korean government’s web site in the U.S., and there are no YouTube videos of the South Korean ambassador lip syncing to Beyonce. Is America just that far ahead of the public diplomacy curve?
– Why is State trapped in this loop of idolatry? The ambassador is the lead guy in these videos because he is the ambassador, and thus his entire staff is devoted to sucking up to him. If real communication was the goal, perhaps they could have found almost anyone else in the embassy with a teeny dollop more of charisma? Maybe someone who didn’t look deeply embarrassed alternating with deeply bored throughout the entire project?
Anyway, hopefully State will show videos like this to Congress at the next budget hearings to help justify their requests for more money. I am sure Congress will be impressed.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!