2012 Man of the Year

By Piper Bayard

Once in a while, amidst all the news of terror, tragedies, lies, and deceit, someone comes along who makes the world stop and have a moment of collective fun. This year, I thank Psy and Gangnam Style for that moment and for his video that got the whole planet smiling and dancing.

PSY Eva Rinaldi wikimedia

image by Eva Rinaldi, wikimedia commons

This is the original Psy video that rocketed him to worldwide meme with over one BILLION YouTube views, crossing the most unlikely cultural boundaries and earning him his place in pop culture’s collective memory.

Gangnam is the Beverly Hills-type district of South Korea. One source says that “Oppan Gangnam style” means basically that the brother is Gangnam style, or high class. Psy is known in South Korea for being something of a “badass” and a rebel. Anything but Gangnam style.

With something this silly and random, there had to be parodies. These are some of the best.

For the LOTR fans, we have Gandalf Style.

A bit of geek heaven in the form of Minecraft Style.

And for the Comic Con crowd, we have Deadpool vs. Gangnam Style. Great example of how many smiles this video has brought to the world.

Well, maybe not always smiles. These lifeguards lost their jobs when they filmed this parody. Apparently, the city wasn’t keen on them using the facilities after hours. Many of them were reinstated after a national outcry on their behalf.

No collection would be complete without the Gunman Style – Gangnam Style Asian Western Parody.

Even the Saudis got in on the fun.

And my personal favorite, NASA Johnson Style.

So many smiles for so many people from so many places and cultures. That’s where solutions start. So this year, I choose Psy as the 2012 Man of the Year. Thank you for making the world a better place.

Happy New Year, Everyone! May 2013 bring you lots of fun moments and smiles.