Were you one of the 49 million people on the internet who watched that "Gangnam Style" video from the South Korean rapper PSY and wondered what the hell was going on? Max Fisher at The Atlantic has an excellent explainer about the "subversive message" of the video today.
The song is a satire of Seoul's tony "Gangnam" neighborhood, the epicenter of the country's maxed-out-credit-card-fueled materialism, according to Fisher. Most interesting is the interpretation of the lyrics:
This skewering of the Gangnam life can be easy to miss for non-Korean. Psy boasts that he's a real man who drinks a whole cup of coffee in one gulp, for example, insisting he wants a women who drinks coffee. "I think some of you may be wondering why he's making such a big deal out of coffee, but it's not your ordinary coffee," U.S.-based Korean blogger Jea Kim wrote at her site, My Dear Korea... "In Korea, there's a joke poking fun at women who eat 2,000-won (about $2) ramen for lunch and then spend 6,000 won on Starbucks coffee." They're called Doenjangnyeo, or "soybean paste women" for their propensity to crimp on essentials so they can over-spend on conspicuous luxuries, of which coffee is, believe it or not, one of the most common.