It’s a music video that was made for spoofing, as Psy (who reportedly attended Boston University for one semester in 1997) comically mocks Seoul’s most exclusive neighborhood, Gangnam, with dance moves that range from innocent invisible-horse-riding to sexually charged hip-thrusting. And unlike Carly Rae Jepsen’s flirty plea for a guy to call her, “Gangnam Style” delivers a social critique about inequality in South Korea and outlandish behavior of the wealthy. (For more, here’s a fantastic explainer from the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy: “Gangnam Style’s U.S. Popularity Has Koreans Puzzled, Gratified.”)
But the “Gangnam Style” remakes — and there are hundreds — are far from being political or social statements. On college campuses, the song seems to simply be a crazy excuse for buttoned-up academic types to unleash another side.
A perfect example: U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen filmed a video in their summer whites or dress coats. I am told the video has played during at least one football game, where I am guessing it raised the eyebrows of some older alumni.
At the University of Maryland, a bespectacled librarian joins gyrating students, the marching band and a mascot in dancing through the library.
And the marching band at Ohio University recently dropped their instruments during a show to dance Gangnam-style in their old-school, traditional uniforms (skip ahead to 1:27 to see the dance).