Ha! Way to throw down there, but I don't think a Korean has ever done anything remotely deserving of street cred. Um, well, except that one time.
Okay, so by now we know all about singer Crown J and his "A" bullshit. He's considered one of the hottest acts in show business now because he's sort of involved with the classy Suh In-young of "Jewelry." You know, it was bad enough when I couldn't say "tell me the answer" in class, or "try it one more time." But now when I say or allude to the first letter of the alphabet I get a class full of teenagers throwing down gang signs and going "A" like the Fonz. The singer Crown J pushed the letter and the gesture into pop culture by claiming it represents Atlanta. But he's from Los Angeles. And he's Korean. But he's throwing down A. Because it means Atlanta. But he's from Los Angeles. And getting my students to do it. why why why why why why why why why why why why why j098f2uwfejaksjlejrl2awsjdvzx. Some of them have started tagging their notebooks, their hands, and my desks with this letter. They didn't find anything particularly cool about it two weeks ago when it was just another thing they decided to sleep through.
Yes, I know kids all over the world imitate their pop idols. I guess I find it just a little more obnoxious because it's my native culture they're cheapening for a laugh or a buck. I tried to talk about the idiocy of all this and the ridiculous use of English in pop culture during one of my recent teachers' workshops and hahahahahaha you can guess how effective that was. All of the scholarly journals will talk about how natural it is for a culture to adapt a foreign language to its own purposes, and when an article even mentions Korean and Konglish at all it talks about how English---they dare not say "Engrish" because there's no such thing as incorrect English everybodyknowsthatyouimperialistpig---is a linguistic escape from the rigidity of the Korean language and from the daily grind of Korean young people's lives. So yeah, nothing at all unusual with pop stars going "A" for no fucking reason or t-shirts with all kinds of gibberish on it or with kids walking around saying "terr me terr me" having no god damn idea what they're talking about and no idea how to pronounce the shit in the first place. I guess the problem is that this linguistc escape comes in the form of my native language and culture, and that cheapening one while preserving the sanctity of the other falls neatly in line with how English education itself is handled around here and how native speakers are written into the equation. Sure, I guess I can't call gibberish "wrong" any more than I could call any regional accent in the States "wrong" or my low, informal register on this blog "wrong"---because you can't. But I really want to.
Atlanta Braves baseball caps are insanely popular these days because they're what Crown J wears. If you type in "A모" into Naver, the search engine will finish your thought and suggest the 자. Not sure why you'd do be searching for that, though. I was in an MLB store in the basement of an E-Mart last week and two guys were there looking for Atlanta merchandise. There were only two Braves hats left, and they were tucked behind a row of hats from some other team. The saleswoman said they were the most popular items now. Lol, Oakland Athletics hats are also big sellers, too.
Interesting that loads of other sites I browsed don't even advertise Atlanta hats. That leads me to believe---and I know this will shock you---that customers here have no idea what they're actually buying, and that they are unaware that the hats with goofy letters actually, like represent actual teams in real life. I wonder if they're classified as fashion items rather than baseball caps.
In Crown J's latest single "Too much" he's teamed up with his love Suh In-young of the group "Jewelry," a girl band whose name its fans and their parents aren't even able to pronounce. You can find the lyrics here with subtitles, and I'm sure a video will turn up eventually. Here's a taste for you:
come on girl do u like it? i like it i like it
i luv you i luv you A~ what u gonna do about that
I love you 너 하나만 I need-e- you 널 바라보는 눈빛과 내 말투도
조금씩 그댈 닮아가네요 I love you make this love to me
kevin I`m so in to you I love you
우리 함께 라면 난 기분이 함께 하루 하루라면 매일이
Baby 24/7 all day, i`m clean, so clean
Cool, I'm so proud of my language and what it's come to represent to allow for such creative freedom and such eloquence that would be impossible in these singers' native language.
Ugh, I actually listened to that song (in shifts.) Lol @ "heavy weight every day" and "And your privy," but I think we're the only ones laughing since everyone else is too busy throwing down. Fuck you Crown J, and fuck you to all you half-gyopos cashing in on the quite-unquote toughness you acquired by your years cloistered in LA's Koreatown. Just think, if the Bulldozer's plan goes into effect, these are the kids we'll have over here teaching students English. Wonder how long it will take before the public figures out who the real drug runners are.
The issue of rendering English ridiculous is something I've been working on in my head for quite some time, but it's still too difficult for me to properly get into on this 'umble blog. But as I was putting this little entry together I caught myself laughably trying to defend the quote-unquote purity of hip-hop culture, even as its spent the past two decades glorifying drugs, violence, poverty, and idleness. Can't get too bent out of shape about rendering gangbanging ridiculous when the dude from "Pimp My Ride" has a song called "Get your walk on."