pop culture

On April 7, Bruce Gregory published the 69th and most recent edition of his periodic public diplomacy reading list. "Bruce's List" is a compilation of books, journal articles, papers, and blogs on a wide variety of PD topics, and features a number of CPD scholars. Highlights include:

The Blue Samurai, Japan’s national soccer team, will be fighting their way through this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament with the help of one of the world’s most recognizable characters. Adidas announced on Saturday that Pikachu, everyone’s favorite electrifying mouse-like creature, will be joined by 10 other Pokemon to cheer on the boys in blue.

Ravi Shankar has passed away. He will of course be best remembered as one of the first and longest lasting global rock stars of Indian classical music – if the world knows what a sitar is, if the strains of the sitar are used in pop culture to suggest eastern mysticism, it is likely due to Ravi Shankar.

Even as Korean tech giant Samsung turns Sony into a has-been, Japan’s erstwhile colony is also beating it in the pop culture sphere: A decade after journalist Douglas McGray famously calculated “Japan’s Gross National Cool” and awoke the country to the potential of capitalizing on the global infatuation with its anime, games, J-pop, and manga, the concept of “Cool Japan” is under assault.

The recent success of Psy and K-pop groups has boosted talk that Korea has gained the benefits of “soft power” in raising its international stature. But is hallyu, or the Korean wave, the best way to achieve this goal and does Korea want to be identified overseas mainly by its pop culture?

...western media have taken Hu’s remarks as a sign China’s rulers are principally concerned with the corrosive influence of western soft power, Pirates of the Caribbean outshining the state-backed Founding of a Republic.

Voice of America rolled out a series of new programs at a briefing here this morning, highlighting “OMG!”, a new youth-oriented program aimed at China, where, according to its host, it is sometimes called “OMG: Oh My Lady Gaga.”

India’s regional literature offers plenty of potential to appeal to a world audience in a big way through appealing stories, poetries, novels, folk tales and also by its children’s literature.