Enhancing national prestige

Interesting article from the NYT about compulsory military service in South Korea and how athletes may be exempted but K-pop stars aren’t — yet.

As South Korean Athletes Avoid the Draft, Some Ask: Why Not K-Pop Stars?

South Korean men are required to serve in the military for at least 21 months. But if they “enhance national prestige” they can

BTS is certainly enhancing national prestige.

They’re huge in the US now, gave a speech at the UN, and recently made the rounds of the late night talk shows in the US and the UK. I watched them on Jimmy Fallon and Graham Norton, and the fans in the audience were deafening.

 

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Hyper-real

Here are a couple of short videos about the 11-year-old artist from Lagos, Nigeria who’s gone viral this month. He’d be a good person to do your profile/biography task about.

And here’s his Instagram.

Mixing kawaii and grotesque

Comedian Naomi Watanabe may be “the Japanese Beyonce” (also here) and people have for years been saying that Hayao Miyazaki is “the Japanese Walt Disney” (see this and this and this for example). Now this article from the BBC asks, “Is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Japan’s Lady Gaga?” (it’s mostly an interview with the eccentric Japanese singer and fashion icon).

Some highlights:

  • Her image is called a combination of “kawaii and grotesque”. (That’s similar to Gaga.)
  • She likes Starbucks but doesn’t like coffee. (Maybe not so uncommon these days?)
  • Her private look is not as colorful as her public persona. (Makes sense.)
  • She doeesn’t mind being compared to Gaga, but they are both evolving, she says.

Summary task: Continue reading the interview and summarize your own “highlights”.