Being president can be a real drag. Too much work, too many people who want something from you, and having to be nice to people who hate you. I’m sure President Obama is tempted at times to just chuck it all for a few hours and go shoot some hoops, or hit the links. Oh, wait…
But what really sucks is having to shake hands with some truly slimy, despicable people. Nixon shook hands with mass murderer Mao Zedong. Carter was embraced by Brezhnev following the signing of the SALT II treaty. Clinton pumped the paw of baby killer Yasser Arafat. And George Bush did the grip and grin with neo-Communist Vladmir Putin.
So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for President Obama to ascend the stage at the annual “Christmas in Washington” charity event and shake hands with the Korean rapper known as PSY who apparently has two notable achievements: the most popular YouTube video of all time and making the most spiteful, the most glorious, and the most notorious anti-American statements since Jane Fonda sat in the saddle of an anti-aircraft gun in Hanoi and pretended to shoot at American planes while yukking it up with the torturers of our POWs.
PSY, who dresses like a game-show host and dances like a nerdy MC Hammer, rapped up a storm at an anti-war concert in Korea back in 2004, sing-songing that someone should “kill all those f**king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.” He also suggested they should be killed “slowly and painfully” and that their families should die for good measure.
Now, I haven’t listened to pop music since I wanted to grow a beard just like those really hip guys in ZZ Top, so I hope I’m forgiven when I confess I thought that “Gangnam Style” was just more mindless anti-police gangsta rap. Instead, it is mindless Korean knock-off American dance pop — a combination of kimchi and apple pie that’s as boringly repetitive as it is garishly inoffensive. The quick cuts and effects in the video made my eyes hurt after watching all 4 minutes and 13 seconds of the clip. And I swear that by the end of PSY’s performance, I thought he was looking more and more like Kim Jong-un, the North Korean strongman. Same frappy build. Same sunglasses. Except PSY dresses better and Kim doesn’t have super hot women in any of his videos.
PSY has had an interesting start to his 15 minutes. Once his rancid anti-American statements became known, his retinue went into damage control, issuing a “What? Anti-American? Who me?” statement that almost makes it seem that an imposter had made those damning comments about killing American soldiers:
While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.
“How these lyrics could be interpreted…”? One way to interpret them is that PSY is a flaming, anti-American kook. Another way to interpret them is that he is a North Korean spy and should be hanged. No doubt PSY prefers the former interpretation to the latter.
PSY’s problem is that he’s not an American liberal. Speaking truth to power like that in America would get him a book deal, a guest spot on The View, and an open invitation to all the best cocktail parties with the trendy folk from New York to Hollywood. He would be praised for his “candor” and “courage” while raking in cash and notoriety. They would make a movie of his life story, and Obama would probably award him the Congressional Gold Medal. Being anti-American in America is a lucrative pastime for many.
Speaking of Obama, the president did indeed shake hands with the Korean devil. But then, he’s used to shaking hands with anti-Americans. I imagine that the president and the fellow who’s “a guy who lives in the neighborhood,” Bill Ayers, exchanged a handshake or two over the years, if they chanced to meet while walking their dogs or something. And we’re pretty sure he shook hands with his black liberation theology preacher, the Reverend Mr. Wright, on occasion. Then there’s anti-gun nut and social justice champion Father Pfleger, the racist Reverend Meeks, PLO mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi — yes, our president is quite at home shaking hands with anti-Americans. That’s why it’s a mystery why so many are up in arms over what some are calling an “outrage” that the president shook the hand of the portly Korean rapper.
Recognizing and empowering anti-Americans at home and abroad is the president’s way of acknowledging that their grievances are legitimate. He may not totally agree with them, but he obviously believes it important that they have a voice and a spotlight.
Next year, President Obama will have the opportunity to embrace another anti-American. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will make a trip to Washington sometime in 2013, at which time Obama will get a twofer: an anti-American Islamist and genocidal anti-Semite. Morsi’s eliminationist rhetoric directed against the west and Israel makes PSY’s anti-American rants seem almost like love sonnets. As bad as he is, at least PSY doesn’t have a modern army backing up his nauseating statements.
So the kerfuffle over Obama shaking hands with PSY is, at bottom, just one more internet blow-up — a lot of sound and fury that is much ado about nothing. Perhaps it would have been more surprising if the president had avoided PSY altogether. But I’m wondering what kind of example the president has set for his two young children, who stood close by while Obama thanked PSY for his appearance. PSY has suffered nothing for his callous comments and, in fact, has been rewarded for them by earning a handshake from the leader of the free world. Is this the lesson the president wishes to impart to his offspring?
Being anti-American is hip again.