1,070,523,801 - The number of views the path-breaking, mother of all viral-videos, never-seen-in-human-or-alien-history "Oppa Gangnam Style" video had amassed at the time of writing this post. Phenomenal! Astounding! A Billion views! 100 Crores! If this is not success in these digital times, though it may sound mediocre, what is? In ancient times, success was measured by the number of heads one could fell on the battlefield. But nowadays it seems to be measured by counting the number of heads made to nod in front of pixelated display screens. And this event was celebrated with great pomp and splendor across the World. Oh, the fall of humanity from grace! And the date this cosmic event took place? Yes, On the infamous 21st of December 2012, the day when the World was supposed to end. What if what the Mayans were right? What if a part of the World has really ended? What if they didn't mean the "World" in its physical sense but more from a cultural point of view?
A Billion views on YouTube for a ridiculously plastic video of a, uh, song showing a chubby guy prancing around riding an imaginary horse at times. Leave aside that it is not really a great piece of musical awesomeness, "Social Media Experts" are ridiculously pronouncing this as a landmark of human civilization! These supposed experts are actually reincarnations of the same guys who brought about the Dotcom Burst of the 1990s, people whose profession is blowing up balloons of illusion filled with hot air which invariably burst. Some of these "experts" are excited to the high heavens for this billion-view thing because it is a "very first time in the history of humankind" occasion as if we have landed on Pluto or something. But sure, like those fancy number calendar date retards, us watching a slightly overweight guy jump up and down a billion times on our own invention is an achievement to be celebrated, of course! We are already under the command of our own inventions, and this just makes it worse. It almost seems like human kind was co-existing with YouTube and was waiting to hit that one billion viewership mark ever since the dawn of time.
All About Oppa Gangnam Style
Through his song, PSY cocks a snoot at the elite and snobby Gangnam residents and their lifestlye. Gangnam is a horrendously expensive district in Seoul, South Korea, filled with unimaginably rich people who are rich just because they are sitting on top of prime real estate and did not amass wealth through hard work as Koreans are supposed to. Apparently land rates are so high that an apartment there costs more than an entire building in Mumbai! How preposterous. Mumbai is the apparent economic engine that runs on (Mumbai) Spirit fueling India's supposed economic boom and we should not allow any place in the World to usurp its position as the World's most overhyped real estate market among overhyped everything else, where you have to pay up in kidneys to rent one bathroom. Maybe someone should come out with a video named "Oppa Bandra (West) Style!" so that property prices in Mumbai will automatically rise to match those of Gangnam.
A billion views among the World population of seven billion. Does this mean that one in every 7 people on Earth have watched this video? Google having put in place a "sophisticated system" to prevent artificial inflation of video viewer counts but still be don't know. Getting so many people to watch this thing is no mean feat, though I really don't understand what so great about this video or song. The first time I saw it, I seriously thought that this was a parody of some other song! I found it comical and juvenile, and as with all viral videos extremely annoying with cyberspace being full of it. Of course, it has a catchy tune which gets millions going crazy dancing to its tunes. But beyond that, I fail to see why it should be that out-of-the-world to get one billion views and counting on YouTube. If you look past the flashy colors and crazy dancing, one can't find any substance in the song, nothing that would make one feel happy or contented after listening to it. Beneath that glossy external veneer there one can find only resounding emptiness. Sure, you can just kickback and dance to it, not bothering about any profound shit beyond the Beats and Tempo of the music. But you will lose a bit of your soul every time you watch it... And only a privileged 2% of all viewers who have an understanding of the Korean language will comprehend what PSY is "singing/rapping". All others will just hear the same thing that I seem to hear:
Ee aacha eecha kaacha poocha paacha kacha pocha. Macha ocha locha paacha kacha oocha poocha. Oppa Gangnam Style!
— vadakkus (@vadakkus) October 16, 2012
The Death of Music as we Know it
I admire PSY because it was he who could finally upset that scourge of music, Justin Bieber, on YouTube. Though "Oppa Gangnam Style" is infinitely better than all that bubblegum pop tripe of the JB type, I never saw anything great about his song or in fact, any song that comes out today. Music has been done to death by all that soulless, auto-tuned, sugary and meaningless corporate pop tracks, zombie-noise mass-produced off the assembly lines in remote-controlled music factories, the Justin Biebers and Nicki Minaj things of the World. There is no angst or passion or spirit behind today's music, there is nothing in that can inspire anyone or even make anyone think. People are told to listen to these notes and sounds in arranged in a rhythm by marketers, "Music Channels" and RJs, as instructed by profiteering fatcats. And all this fake plastic called "music" by "artistes" and other associated people cooed and smooched up by the glitterati and other useless people makes me sick. And to think I disliked the Backstreet Boys. I am sorry, guys.
How can someone who does not know how to play an instrument, write his/her own lyrics, can not even sing without backup and sync, can not write their own song, can not do anything without autotune... be called a "musician", and how can what they produce be called "music"? Where did those glory days go when people listened to real music? When did people stop listening to stuff that actually merited listening to? Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, U2, Nirvana, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, ... I am not saying all good music used to exist in the past, there is still totally awesome stuff being produced today. Only that all that is not "allowed" to go mainstream by those who profiteer from the music industry by sidelining them through fund blockades and misinformation campaigns, all the while pushing their autotune proteges up the ladder. Well, OGS is not that bad. But I cannot digest the fact that this guy has a billion views while "Stairway to Heaven", the greatest song ever produced, has only 65 million hits!
On December 21 2012, millions of people the World over expected civilization to come to a crashing halt like one of those cars in a Russian dashcam video. But disappointing everyone, the planet nonchalantly continued to be alive and kicking ass as it was for the past 4.5 billion years. No space-time-defying event happened, no New World Order came into being and we did not get catapulted into some alien dimensional plane of existence. But as I said before, the Mayans must have meant a metaphorical "End of the World". Human civilization is made up of many elements, a large part of which is art. And since time immemorial, music has been a big part of that, with good sounds being the mainstay of civilization since times immemorial. Music has played a big part in human renaissance, even in recent times, until the 1990s. And it ended with Nirvana. The rise of the dark forces of bubblegum pop with the types of boy-bands and Britney Spears spelled the beginning of the end of the doom of human civilization. This culminated with the event we are witnessing now. It was no coincidence that the the "Oppa Gangnam Style" video hit 1,000,000,000 views on December 21, 2012! That was just what the Mayans predicted! With the viral video hitting a record number of times watched, the World of Music had ended and the dark days have begun. Humanity lost its sense to think freely and on its own once it stopped listening to real music and stuck with corporate aha-aha plastic music churned out by weird-looking semi-Humanoid robots. Maybe the Mayans expected this degradation of human culture and civilization to reach a zenith with one billion views of Oppan Gangnam Style, that the Universe would not be able take any more it and self-destruct. Or, with all their precognitive abilities, they must have just meant the end of the World of music as we know it.
P.S. The Mayans might have miscalculated a wee bit. Maybe they thought a Justin Bieber video would hit a billion. In that case, the World would have surely ended!