Martha Thomases Goes Gangnam Style

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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4 Responses

  1. The Other Frank Miller says:

    I think the little kid at the beginning is adorable.

  2. Watching, reading, or listening to something, and blindly assuming it’s representative of the culture of said people at the time is not automatically knee-jerk racist. It’s likely short-sighted, simplistic, and untrue, but it doesn’t make you a bad person.

    I am fairly sure, for example, that screaming at the hindquarters of a woman doing Pilates is not common practice in Korea, in or outside of the Gangam district.

    But here’s something interesting – it doesn’t seem like he ever mentioned racism. He discussed the editing of the video, its production, and discussed that it wasn’t representative of K-pop in general. And that may be so. Quite often the songs that break through (or “crossover” to use the marketing term) from a genre to the mainstream are not often most representative of the genre. Most early rap songs needed a lot of the sharp edges filed off before it could be made acceptable for network television. It’s usually the silliest stuff that gets widely popular, and fans of the genre are left rending their garments as they rail and moan that there’s so many BETTER songs that deserve the exposure. (Let me tell you stories about the Zappa fans who can’t even LISTEN to Dancin’ Fool or Valley Girl anymore)

    The fact that you turned that INTO the sensation of being racist is, I think, telling of the culture today. We’re taught to second-guess everything we do and say. That you enjoy a goofy pop song with a wry sense of humor, and not take a moment to think or mention that there are certainly more varied examples of Korean culture out there, does not make you a racist; borderline, inadvertent or otherwise.

    If you go to Korea and ask where the nearest Pilates class is, we may have a problem…