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Steven Blaney’s Korea Gaffe refers to an incident in which Steven Blaney, the Canadian minister of Veteran Affairs, spoke about Canada’s international military contributions, stating that without the Canadian armed forces fighting in the Korean War, PSY’s famous song Gangnam Style would never have existed.
On May 5th 2013, after the anniversary ceremony for the Battle of the Atlantic (part of World War II) was held in Quebec City, the Canadian Minister of Veteran Affairs Steven Blaney tried to explain why the Conservative Government decided to celebrate it. His answer was:
“La Corée, c’est une autre démonstration éclatante de l’importance de connaître la contribution des Canadiens dans les grands conflits internationaux. On entend beaucoup le Gangnam Style et il n’y aurait jamais eu de Gangnam Style si ce n’était pas des Canadiens qui sont allés là-bas pour combattre le communisme.”
Translated to English:
“Korea [i.e. the Korean War] is another perfect example of the importance of knowing about Canadian military contributions to international conflicts. You hear Gangnam Style all the time, but there wouldn’t have been any Gangnam Style if it weren’t for the Canadians who went [to Korea] to fight Communism.”
After this statement, Mr. Blaney was ridiculed by the leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons, the leader of the New Democratic Party, Thomas Mulcair. The latter told the minister of Veteran Affairs that “[There’s] a chance that ridicule won’t kill [Blaney] because there really is a limit to stupidity.”
Some Canadian columnists and journalists were surprised about Blaney’s statements, and tweeted about the stupidity of what he said. Aaron Wherry, a reporter for Maclean’s (a widely-read Canadian news magazine), was one of them. Wherry tweeted:
Imagine a world without Gangnam Style: Steven Blaney on the significance of World War II bit.ly/15rdVED— aaronwherry (@aaronwherry) May 6, 2013
Later, Blaney’s press secretary Jean-Christophe de La Rue replied to Wherry’s tweet:
— Jean-Christophe (@JCDLR) may 6, 2013
A lot of people on Twitter (particularly from Quebec) tweeted jokes about Blaney’s comments. (Translations provided below tweets)
Sans guerre de Corée, pas de Gangnam Style (Steven Blaney). Sans victoire sur le nazisme, pas de… youtube.com/watch?v=WIEtNo…— Matthieu Dugal (@MatthieuDugal) 10 mai 2013
Without the Korean War, there’d be no Gangnam Style (Steven Blaney). Without victory over nazism, there’d be no… youtube.com/watch?v=WIEtNo…
“It’s really thanks to Star Wars that Chris Hadfield [a prominent Canadian astronaut] was able to travel to space.” -Steven Blaney
“Without the War of 1812, we would not be in the middle of watching this game.” – Steven Blaney
Le Min. Steven Blaney milite pour l’indépendance du Québec. – “Il n’y aurait pas de Gangman Style si ça n’avait pas été du Canada” #lol— Max B. (@MaxBouchardQc) 6 mai 2013
Minister Steven Blaney campaigning for Quebec’s independence. – “Gangnam Style wouldn’t exist without Canada”
À ne pas manquer demain: Steven Blaney expliquera comment la 2e guerre mondiale a rendu possible 99 Luftballoons et Du Hast #polcan— Christopher Young (@ChristoYoung) 6 mai 2013
Coming up tomorrow, don’t miss Steven Blaney explaining how World War II made 99 Luftbaloons and Du Hast possible
The quite has gained such infamy that the clothing company Mercerie Roger has begun to manufacture a t-shirt with the quote:
Additionally, the Tumblr page Histoire du Québec Memes has made some advice animal-style images featuring Blaney. On their Facebook page, they invite the fans to contribute some Blaney memes.
If Canadians hadn’t help storm Normandy Beach, the Americans would never have saved Private Ryan.
You know, if there hadn’t been any brave Canadians to fight off the Americans during the War of 1812, there’d be no Nickelback today.
Note: Most links are in French.
Journal de Montréal – Un ministre conservateur moqué au sujet de la Guerre de Corée