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Every now and then a song sweeps the world, catapulting its singer into the stratosphere of super-fame. “Gangnam Style” is that kind of phenomenon, performed by South Korea’s Park Jae-sang, better known to nearly 1.6 billion YouTube viewers (the most ever) as Psy.On Thursday the Korea Institute at Harvard University sponsored “A Conversation with Psy” for a packed audience of Harvard students, staff, and faculty and the international press at Memorial Church, in a session that was also live-streamed online.The event was introduced by Carter J. Eckert, the Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses, à la Psy’s trademark style, Eckert suggested that Harvard hasn’t been so close to cool since Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1838 speech on transcendentalism.Alexander Zahlten, assistant professor of East Asian languages and civilizations, put “Gangnam Style” into the context of the investments Asian countries are making in exporting their cultures, and their growing influence in the West.Psy then entered and shook hands, and the audience cheered as he walked to the pulpit.“Isn’t life beautiful?” he asked.Psy, of course, wasn’t always a superstar. He was born in 1977 in the well-to-do Gangnam district of Seoul. As the only son, he was expected to take over the family business, building a “semiconductor equipment thing.” To avoid that, he spent four years in the late ’90s in college in Boston. First, he studied business at Boston University, then dropped out and enrolled at the Berklee College of Music.He left Berklee without a degree (“My nickname was W-W-F: Withdrawal, Withdrawal, Fail,” he said to a chorus of sympathetic “Awws!”), went back to South Korea, started making K-pop, and danced on television. He released his first album in 2001. For the next 10 years, Psy sang, danced, and made music.In July of 2012, he released “Gangnam Style.”“When I wrote [‘Gangnam Style’] last summer, the economy was so bad,” he said.“Everyone was so poor. My only goal was to make them laugh, with the song and choreography, so I tried to be as ridiculous as possible.” He explained that he intentionally developed the now-famous “horsey dance” so that anyone could do it.Then, lightning struck. By August, “Gangnam Style” was No. 1 on iTunes, and by November it was the most viewed video ever on YouTube. In December, it became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views.“Isn’t that amazing?” Psy said. “I am so glad, because the crowd doesn’t know [the meaning of the words], but they look so happy” when listening to the song and doing the dance.“I think there is something beyond the language,” he said, trying to explain the song’s popularity. “We can assume it’s the music. But that’s the boring answer. I think it’s the word ‘fun.’”Psy has won accolades and dozens of music and video awards, but he said the moment he really knew he’d made it was when Madonna asked him to perform with her at Madison Square Garden. He said when he arrived, Madonna was lying on the stage, and she told him, “Honey, you can touch anywhere on my body on the stage.”He said his first thought was, “I’m her honey?”His actual response was, “Really?”“I’ve got to be humble,” he continued. “This doesn’t happen to everyone, especially Asian artists. I dreamed someday, some Korean artist would be recognized in the American market, but I didn’t dream that it would be me. I have a very special body shape, so I never thought it would be me.“It’s weird,” he continued. “I am facing you guys like this. But life is weird. I’m happy and so proud. It’s so unrealistic to make a speech at Harvard.”During a question-and-answer session, he advised, “Please be positive. That’s the biggest power on the planet.”And, almost echoing his cool predecessor Emerson’s words at the Divinity school so many years ago (“Thank God for these good men”), Psy said, “I thank God all the time, because what I want to do is what I can do.”He then graciously thanked the audience for their time, and treated everyone to a Korean dinner.“A Conversation with Psy” was co-sponsored by the Office for the Arts at Harvard “Learning from Performers” series and the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. read more
@UFC_CA @EliasTheodorou bullshit strategy there’s no oxygen in the air up here— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) November 5, 2016 MUST-READ STORIESResults. Tony Ferguson won a decision over Rafael dos Anjos. You can find all the UFC Fight Night 98 results here.Bellator. Phil Davis became the new 205 lb. champion at Bellator 163.Stay strapped. Conor McGregor doesn’t plan to vacate either title after UFC 205.Optics. Michael Bisping says he won’t fight Yoel Romero even if he beats Chris Weidman at UFC 205.Busy man. Donald Cerrone calls out Demian Maia for UFC 207.Featherweight. Miesha Tate doesn’t think the UFC should create a women’s featherweight division for Cris Cyborg. Lockdown duffle bag Morning Report: Ferguson eyeing multiple UFC belts Conor playing the UFC game against some YT personality. FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTSCyril Asker (7-2) vs. Dmitri Smoliakov (8-1); UFC Fight Night 103, January 15.Viktor Pesta (10-3) vs. Damian Grabowski (20-4); UFC Fight Night 103, January 15.Joachim Christensen (13-4) vs. Bojan Mihalovic (10-4); UFC Fight Night 103, January 15. Standard Ranked Rashguard Faith @jessievargas_ #LetsGoChamp #TeamChamp #BecomeALegend https://t.co/roVYeaZc5opic.twitter.com/rgkZit3MXB— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) November 6, 2016 Standard BJJ Gi Gordon Ryan Competition Kit ProMax 440 BJJ GI 6th Round. Accessories TWEETSGreat fight. @RdosAnjosMMA Thanks Champ, Respect Homie-— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) November 6, 2016 #ThatFeelingWhen you earn the biggest win of your career [email protected] #UFCMexicopic.twitter.com/GL6bQ2Klzh— #UFC205 (@ufc) November 6, 2016 And because why not, I know y’all eat this up, here’s more Conor. Friday training is always the hardest… Have a great weekend everyone! Bonne fin de semaine à tous!!! pic.twitter.com/MWIVgIACl8— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) November 4, 2016 And here’s Tito being the worst. Imagine if I missed weight by 9lbs how differently the media would reacted. Fighter safety should be important to the promoters too— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) November 5, 2016 Colby Covington rips ‘diva’ Robbie Lawler for leaving American Top Team over a photo He’s not mad. Actually, he thinks it’s funny. Morning Report: Jorge Masvidal praises Conor McGregor: ‘The dude is a f*cking G, bro’ Timeline of Israel Adesanya’s Rapid Rise to UFC Contender Not how this works. ️— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 5, 2016 Morning Report: Jorge Masvidal praises Conor McGregor: ‘The dude is a f*cking G, bro’ FINAL THOUGHTSHot take: Tony’s resume is not “clearly better” than Khabib’s if Khabib beats Michael Johnson at 205. Look over their resumes and you’ll see they are remarkably similar. Plus Khabib has a little added value in being sort of promised a title shot/being used as leverage. And Khabib is way more popular, which the UFC definitely cares about. That being said, I think we’ve got ourselves a WW situation here where Ferguson will be given preference over Nurmagomedov like Thompson over Maia. Except what will actually happen is if Conor wins he will fight Nate Diaz again and Ferguson and Khabib will fight for a title shot.It’s fight week everyone! Get hype.If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them. TODAY IN MMA HISTORY2004: Nate Marquardt became the Pancrase middleweight king for the third time when he defeated Kazuo Misaki via unanimous decision at Pancrase:Brave 10.2009: Fedor Emelianenko made his Strikeforce debut, knocking out Brett Rogers at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers. In the co-main event Jake Shield won a unanimous decision over Jason Miller to win the vacant middleweight title.2015: Vitor Belfort knocked out Dan Henderson for the second time with a head kick at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson. Sale USADA better get on that man. Hey @MikeMav22 what you got going on January 15th? https://t.co/eyTswuBhDQ— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) November 4, 2016 Yall gonna see!!!— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 5, 2016 Miesha on Jay and Dan Ugh. Has he broken anyone’s jaw? Probably has, I just don’t remember it. Thanks. King Mo vs. Phil Davis II is a great fight. On Saturday night, Tony Ferguson put on one of the best performances of his career taking a unanimous decision victory over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. It was the ninth straight victory for Ferguson – a record in the UFC for consecutive divisional wins as well as for consecutive wins without a title shot – and possibly (probably? one can never tell where Conor McGregor is involved) sets him up for the next lightweight title shot.But Ferguson isn’t only gunning for the lightweight strap, he’s got multiple divisions in mind. Speaking with MMAJunkie in a post-fight scrum, Ferguson outlined his plan to vie for three UFC titles.”I’m here to win. There are two other divisions I would love to be able to go into. I made 153 pounds at the weigh-ins. I weighed in with pants on. I can go down to 145. I can kick everyone’s butt there. I can bump back up to 155, knock everybody out and finish them and you’re damn sure I can go to 170 and do the same thing. I want to be a multi-division champ.”That may prove easier said than done though. Only two men in history have held UFC titles in multiple divisions (with McGregor having a chance to become the third – and first simultaneous champion – this weekend) and only 10 have ever challenged for world titles in multiple divisions, with none having done it at more than two weight classes. It’s a tall task to achieve and Ferguson didn’t do himself any favors in his interview with Jon Anik after the fight, saying ten words total before going off to celebrate with his team. But apparently that’s part of the plan for Ferguson.”I’m not gonna talk my way to get there. I’m gonna earn it every single step of the way, like I said from the Ultimate Fighter house.”If McGregor beats Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, that could theoretically make things much easier for Ferguson as McGregor would then be holding two of the belts. But Ferguson isn’t concerned about that, or about UFC 205 at all. Speaking with Heidi Androl after the fight, Ferguson made it clear he doesn’t care about the outcome of upcoming lightweight title fight.”I hope they knock each other out. Plain and simple. I really don’t care. I’ve got other things to worry about than watching that fight.”If that does happen, maybe at least we’ll finally get the Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov fight that has fallen through so many times. CES 39 highlights. Free agent Lorenz Larkin at Bellator on Friday. EXTRA CREDITFair weather. Kirsten Fleming of the New York Post wrote about Ronda Rousey’s hiatus and the change of public perception that came with it. TTTHS. ABC passes rule alteration to definition of grounded fighter Bellator post-fight presser. Good Night Tee MEDIA STEWFree Fight. Morning Report: UFC and MMA News, Multimedia and Hot Clicks Ouch. I break jaws and I break records and I don’t take breaks pic.twitter.com/zZ7aEuJHVF— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 5, 2016 Dude turned back the clock. Dana White addresses contender status of Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, Corey Anderson Lol pic.twitter.com/E7d8tYoSl7— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) November 6, 2016 Latest From MMA Warehouse LISTEN UPBushido Talk. Like the fight but the UFC doesn’t usually like to match guys coming off losses with guys coming off wins. Which is More Dangerous – MMA or Football? More From In this Storystream Gloves MMA Fighting More: Should Frankie Edgar finally fight at bantamweight? Coach Ricardo Almeida weighs in Greatest Highlights of Anderson Silva’s Career Apparel Video: Aalon Cruz scores ridiculous jumping knee KO on Contender Series Hate to ruin it for y’all. I know y’all wish me the worst but that was my boys ticket, I can’t stunt like that just yet . Had fun tho pic.twitter.com/uGIaVcZb2a— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) November 6, 2016 Now I have to be politically correct!! You ppl have no sense of humor!— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 5, 2016 Parting Shot. Latest From Our Partners Brock Lesnar’s WWE Future After UFC Retirement At bellator https://t.co/YKxCA8KRZM— Lorenz Larkin (@da_MONSOON) November 5, 2016 Top Contenders for Fight of the Year Morning Report: Kennedy says 205 pay is ‘a wash’ View all 1880 stories Nightmare Matchup for UFC’s Biggest Stars HUGE #UFC205 #UFCNYC #AndStill …. #joannachampion #joannajedrzejczyk #joannamma #UFC #u… https://t.co/yHBX4U6Ja7 pic.twitter.com/lhNVY1I7Wm— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) November 4, 2016 [email protected] didnt know u were gay.Looking @my crotch 2 see if my zipper was down?I dont swing that way but I have a few friends that do.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 5, 2016 King Ryan Longsleeve Shirt RDA vs El Cucuy is a gift from the MMA God of war— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) November 6, 2016 read more