In the spirit of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I thought I’d take the time to write about something that I’ve tackled before: K-pop at the Olympics.
Now, of course, the thought of K-pop at the London opening ceremonies was just complete and utter idiocy (and if you don’t understand why, then please stop reading now), but our attention will soon be turned to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the idea may not be so far-fetched. Still, even in their home country, is there a place for K-pop at the Olympics in South Korea, particularly at the opening ceremony?
To put my thoughts bluntly: Fuck no.
The Olympics is a representation of peak human ability and talent. Everything from the opening ceremony, to the actual games, to the closing is a showcase of the greatness that we as human beings have, can, and will accomplish. It’s an ode to determination, passion, and, most of all, excellence.
As such, you’ll have to excuse me when I see K-pop fans clamoring for K-pop to be included at the Olympics and back slowly out of the room.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Korean pop music industry has its “diamonds in the rough”, as they say, but I refuse to ever believe that K-pop is an image of anything remotely resembling excellence from a country. In fact, it’s the opposite. With idols that can hardly carry a tune and are known more for their good looks and flashy “dance moves”, the majority of the industry is a showing of stark mediocrity and cheap showmanship.
This isn’t exclusive to Korean pop music, either. It’s rife within pretty much any pop music industry. Does that mean the music isn’t any good? No. Does that mean there isn’t any talent? No. But pop music has been and will always be expendable, and very few pop artists will ever go down in history as musical legends.
For example, and not to completely bash on the London ceremonies, but I was raising my eyebrow sky-high when British rapper Dizzee Rascal appeared and performed during the “Digital Age” segment of the Opening Ceremony. Not only did it isolate anyone not aged 12-30, but it also left out pretty much the rest of the world. I mean, really, have any of you ever heard of this guy?
This is exactly how things would play out if SNSD, 2NE1, Big Bang, or any other K-pop idol reared their sparkly heads at the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang. Sure, tweens and teens would wet their pants, but the rest of civilization is going to think, “Well, what the fuck is this shit?”
Put it in context a little more: Would you want Justin Bieber performing at one of our opening ceremonies in Canada or America? Pass.
The bottom line is, if any musical artist should be performing at an event like the Olympics, they should be a musical legend and should have an international rapport. Think for one moment here: At this point, does South Korea have an artist that even comes close to the global fame that Paul McCartney has achieved?
Unfortunately, the answer is absolutely no. The same answer I want to scream whenever I see fans discussing which K-pop groups should perform in six years. Just … no.