Monday, October 1, 2012

[Oppa-Ed] How Much Psy is Not Enough?

Today is the fortieth day in a row that the print edition of The Dokdo Times has given Psy front page treatment. Even in a newsroom driven by the kind of purist absence of ethical and professional standards that would make journalists at The Chosun Ilbo blush, some may complain about overexposure or worry about readers' reactions.

But we in the news business know that some news keeps coming, making us feel as if it has a life of its own. In fact, in his 1976 book 'The Selfish Gene' Richard Dawkins termed such phenomena 'memes', likening them to self-replicating life-forms which spread from person to person. Memes are even believed to be the cause of the so-called Kim Yu-na Virus outbreak, named after a Korean sportswoman who was apparently once famous. Of course , morally, in principle – theoretically speaking - it's wrong to murder something that has a life of its own, so at The Dokdo Times we recognize that we must not kill the Psy story, and so we continued.

In the Friday edition, for example, the decision was made to place news about the chubby singer's song rising to No. 2 on the Billboard Chart on the front page, but then just before the deadline, photos of Psy jamming Gangnam Style with Eric Schmidt - Google's Executive Chairman - became available, forcing us to print the edition with a specially widened page and drop a story about a serious radiation leak at the Gori nuclear plant which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, along with another piece about 'Gangnam Style' now becoming Korea's all-time most popular Internet search term shockingly beating the sexually-charged 'Lee Hyori naked', and 'Ahn Cheol-soo room salon".

Over the last forty days other stories have also suffered, and The Dokdo Times has featured virtually no coverage of the impending alien invasion from the planet Gootan, which will wipe out humanity in December this year. Some argue that the story is a joke, because humanity was wiped out long before the Gootan invasion fleet even left the planet Gootan decades ago. But even if the destruction of Earth isn't worth mentioning, many other serious stories have undoubtedly not received attention because of the 'Gangnam Style' coverage, and we know because we are the ones that deliberately didn't cover them.

Some have argued that it is difficult to accept that a satire of Korean society should only serve to strengthen it by so wholly becoming a part of it, and we journalists have to carefully consider our responsibility in pulling people back from the brink of this Anipang style madness rather than playing to it by trying to cheat our way to a high score in order to impress our friends and Google's search engine rankings. Therefore we think it is time to inject some quality back into Korean journalism.

Consequently the photo in today's paper lives up to the Psy spirit of defying conventional wisdom, by showing him hanging upside down above a picture of actress Jo Yeo-jeong lying naked on her back from the uncut trailer for the movie 'Royal Concubine', which depicts the dangers of having sex with Korean women (NSFW). It is suggestive of the way in which we journalists are all ultimately concubines – a polite term for cheap publicity seeking whores – to the public opinion which drives us, while playfully suggesting it is our readers who are really the whores while we bravely try to maintain some semblance of distance in the face of their relentless immorality.

In the background of the photo you clearly see our offices, suggesting that Psy has visited Dokdo to personally endorse The Dokdo Times and appear in a photo-shoot we commissioned because we covered him so much. We are neither confirming or denying the suggestion that Psy has visited The Dokdo Times to endorse us, and we leave it to our readers to decide whether they believe the clear photographic evidence in front of them, and the route he traveled marked on ancient maps of Dokdo.

Can we stop covering Psy after his endorsement of The Dokdo Times? No, because we still have not heard Psy say "Enough is enough", and until he does we have no choice but to continue despite our strong desire not to. So in these troubled times, at least until Earth is destroyed by the Gootan aliens in December, we ask our readers for their understanding and to remember the blame for any loss of integrity on our part is Psy's and Psy's alone.

Related Links
'Enough is not enough'
Jo Yeo-jeong Naked on Her Back in Uncut Trailer for 'Royal Concubine'
Animal rights group claims Anipang is animal abuse
Nuclear Workers to be Banned From Restaurants After Nuclear Accident
Korea Times Says Alien Invaders From Planet Gootan Arrive November

This piece originally appeared as part of an oppa-ed column in the print edition of The Dokdo Times. Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.