USMMA midshipmen film 'Gangnam Style' parody
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is Gangnam Style -- and the brass at the military school is just fine with it.
More than 100 midshipmen at the academy in Kings Point have filmed an elaborate parody of "Gangnam Style," the catchy video by South Korean rapper Psy that itself is a parody of the yuppified Gangnam section of Seoul.
In the midshipmen's video, posted Monday on YouTube, Midshipman Lt. JG Hyun Ho Lim, 21, performs Psy's signature invisible-horse-riding dance and mouths the refrain "Oppa is Gangnam Style" as he sits on the deck of the academy ship Mariner, perches on a dorm toilet, and leads 150 uniformed students in a synchronized dance on the campus's Barney Square.
"Oppa" roughly translates to "big brother," and is used by women to refer to men older than themselves in Korea.
Psy's original "Gangnam Style" video has launched parodies from lifeguards, marching bands and the U.S. Naval Academy and West Point since it was released in July.
The video, shot on the academy's Kings Point campus, has garnered accolades from fellow midshipmen and even the academy's administration.
"As the video shows, midshipmen at the Merchant Marine Academy are among the most talented college students in the country -- in academics, sports, and now music videos, too," Marcie Katcher, director of external affairs for the academy, said in a statement.
Lim, a senior from South Korea, said the final result took several weeks of planning, practicing, filming and editing -- not to mention the 10,000 times he and his friends had to watch Psy's original video, to ensure the parody matched the real thing.
"I got really sick of the song at the end," Lim said.
By Thursday the video, which has attracted more than 28,100 views, received more than 560 "likes" and 15 negative votes on YouTube.
"I think they're from the Army or Navy [and] are jealous of us," Lim said. "We did a much better job."