Hot desi action and animated Japanese disco folk

Pop culture: As global as you want it to be.

By Andrew Leonard

Published December 12, 2007 6:56PM (EST)

What do "Kokiriko Bushi," an animated video featuring a nimble hand-puppet skeleton break-dancing to a disco version of an ancient Japanese folk tune and "Tell-Me-What [KaMaL]," a south Asian club mix featuring a profane Punjabi female rapper in a cowboy hat and about as much desi come-hithering as a sex-crazed subcontinent can possibly stand, have in common? Besides thumping bass lines and being hosted on YouTube?

Not much. One is an exquisitely arty mash-up of things one would never expect to go well together, hand puppets, Shinto worship, and computer "chiptune" music. The other is a tried-and-true formula: hot women looking good singing about how they don't need no man to have a good time. But both popped up in my blogreader, courtesy of Pink Tentacle and Sepia Mutiny, within about 10 minutes of each other, and each, in their own way, demonstrate that globalization isn't just about cheap labor and capital flows and trade policy. Pop culture is as global as anyone could want it to be.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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