The world is currently in thrall to a fat Korean Psycho who is spouting anti-capitalist messages and blowing things up. Ordinarily America would be up in arms, but its defence forces are too busy learning the horse-dance and chorusing “Heeey sexy lady” to properly react. Shots have been fired, lifeguards have been fired, but Gangnam Style fever continues unabated: the music video has had more than 262m views on YouTube and made history as the most liked video ever…

The last time the west laughed so uproariously at a Korean singer was when an animated Kim Jong-il bewailed how “ronery” he was in the film Team America, and how nobody took him “serirousry”. The puppet had a point: popular western media doesn’t tend to take east Asian men seriously – even when they’re brutal dictators. The stereotype of a portly, non-threatening Charlie Chan-type who speaks “comical” English is still very much alive, apparent in everything from hungry Kim Jong-un memes to Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts. And it’s hard to escape the uncomfortable feeling that this stereotype is contributing something to the laughter around Gangnam Style.