Monthly Archives: May 2014

Reminder! Send in your jokes by May 31 for a free VIP ticket to the DC concert!

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Hey! You there! Don’t forget to send in your Block B-themed joke for a chance to win a free VIP ticket to Block B’s concert in Washington, DC!

I’ve had some submissions (thank you submitters!), but not a lot, so it’s definitely worth a shot!

Send your joke here (scroll down to the contact box); please don’t leave it in the comments.

And I’ll just clip ‘n’ paste the rest of the rules from the original post:

Of course my criteria will be completely arbitrary and subjective, but I will give preference to wholly original jokes–jokes that I’ve seen before will be discarded, and repurposing jokes that have been around forever (“He’s going to focus.” “Both of us?”) is discouraged.

So, the winner gets the ticket, plus the unbelievable honor of having your joke posted here (so tell me what name you want to be credited by). I’ll also pick some honorable mentions, who won’t get the ticket but will get their joke posted. (If you have a good joke but don’t need or can’t use the ticket, just let me know in your message–you can still get an honorable mention.)

If you’re hoping to win the ticket for a friend, I have no problem with that–just be sure to let me know so that I don’t transfer the ticket to the wrong person. Multiple jokes by the same person are fine, but if you send me 57 drafts of the same joke, it’s not going to be funny any more. If you want to send me a long sob story about how your life is an unending series of miseries that can only be alleviated by a free ticket, understand that I lived in New York City for 14 years and never gave a dime to panhandlers–put that effort into your joke!

Pull it down! Pull it down! Pull it aaallllll dooooowwwnnn!!!!

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Back when Universal had decided to make Serenity but before it was released, the marketing department got the sensible idea to tap into the Firefly fan base (which at that point had already had quite a bit of success with guerrilla marketing) to help market the movie. The studio did everything it could to encourage the fans to promote the property, including having multiple contests for fan art–banner ads, posters, you name it.

Then one day, one of the most prominent fan artists, 11th Hour (who went on to produce licensed goods for Serenity) got a nasty letter from Universal’s legal department telling her to knock off all her stinking piracy before they sued her sorry ass right into the ground.

It would have been more comical had the consequences not been so potentially dire. 11th Hour was horribly upset–she didn’t want to get sued, obviously, and she (and everyone else) felt that Universal had essentially created a trap for fan artists.

Of course Universal had meant to do no such thing: They just had the marketing department over here reaching out to fans and working hard to generate this guerrilla campaign; meanwhile, over there, they had the legal department going, “Why is all this unlicensed art being made? We have to stop this!” Eventually the two departments actually talked to each other, and lo and behold, it was decided that fan art was OK.

Unlike some people (who have most likely never tried to make a living in the arts), I totally appreciate copyright law. I have no quibble with the notion that the person who creates something can defend their profits from it.

I do, however, have some serious quibbles with the way these decisions actually get made out in the real world. In Universal’s case, it wasn’t so much that someone made an actual, meaningful decision as it was that the left hand had no freaking idea what the right hand was doing.

And I have to wonder if something like this is going on with these recent decisions to bring the hammer down on the subtitled Block B videos and the concert fan cams. I’m totally fine with pulling stuff off YouTube that’s just a free version of something that is for sale, but I honestly don’t see the point of cracking down on something if you don’t have a comparable product that people can actually buy.

Let’s take English subtitling as an example: My understanding is that if someone puts up a subbed video on YouTube, and the copyright belongs to someone else, the person who owns the copyright can get the ad revenues from it. So, at no expense to the copyright holder, volunteers do hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of work on a video, work that will greatly expand the potential audience for that video. Then, the copyright holder gets the revenues that this new, larger audience generates.

Where is the problem? If there’s not a subbed official video, I honestly do not comprehend why anyone would ask YouTube to pull down a video that has been subbed–that makes absolutely no sense to me. What is the plan here–one day, you’ll spend a bunch of money to have done what was done before for free, and then you’ll be rich!!!! Because you’ve got such a clear grasp on the relation between expenses and profits, apparently? Not to mention, once a subbed video is pulled off YouTube, it promptly crops up again on some dodgier Web site that doesn’t give the copyright holder any revenues. The copyright holder loses out, the fans are inconvenienced–nobody wins here as far as I can see (except the dodgy site owner).

Cracking down on fan vids is more of a personal annoyance, because it means I have to go update this page a lot, but it also doesn’t make any sense to me from a business perspective. Does CJ E&M really believe that anyone who sees a fan cam of the live performance of “Jackpot”–you know, one complete with mediocre sound, autofocus flubs, shots of the ceiling, and a truncated ending–won’t buy the DVD when it comes out? Do they think people will be like, “Ah, yes, that three-minute performances has completely satiated me–why would I want the entire two-hour concert now?”

Or–and I’m going to go out on a limb here–doesn’t a fan cam video serve pretty much the same purpose of a preview, enticing and exciting fans with the promise of so much more once the DVD comes out?

When they do it, it’s business. When you do it, it’s TREACHERY!!!!!

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So, one of the members of Exo apparently decided he’d rather do something else, so he’s filing suit to leave the group.

Of course, this makes him irresponsible, a liar, a traitor, and a lazy ethnic stereotype.

It would be nice if this was a case where I could say, “Oh, K-Pop! It’s so wacky!” Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not limited to K-Pop, or to Korea, or to the music industry–it’s something you will see in the arts in general in the good ole US of A as well.

In most professions, if a person switches jobs because they don’t care for their current work environment or want more money, that is typically accepted. Why do we work? To make the money we need to live while hopefully getting some enjoyment out of the job. If you’re not making enough money or enjoying your job enough, it makes perfect sense to look elsewhere for more.

But when it comes to the arts, there is this fetishization of the notion that artists are supposed to be poor. Now, it’s true that in all likelihood, if you choose a career in the arts, you will make less (but hopefully enjoy yourself more) than similarly-educated people in other professions. That’s the tradeoff. But how much less are we talking about? Making $50,000 a year instead of $60.000? Or making SFA while other people cash in your work?

There’s a very cynical exercise going on here, and to me it’s a very familiar one. This whole lining up of employees to bash the one jumping ship is something I used to read regularly in Publishers’ Weekly. Joe Writer leaves his publishing house? He’s a money-grubbing traitor and a person of no integrity! A publishing house dumps Joe Writer? That’s just business, baby–you need to grow a thicker skin.

ETA: And here’s some more of it. As IATFB notes, the whole reason there’s going to be a big legal struggle is because SM wants to keep its other (miserable) employees in line, and I’ll add that that’s also exactly why companies make their other employees tee up and off on the horrible, horrible “defector.” (Because it would have been so much better for the other members of Exo had Kris had a breakdown halfway through their world tour, apparently.) It’s using social pressure to conceal from the other members of Exo that they are getting screwed just as badly. I wonder if they realize just how little loyalty SM is going to show them if the label ever decides for any reason that one of them has become some sort of liability.

Yes, that IS “so much to ask”

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Since 5 Minutes Before Chaos is due to begin airing again at some ungodly hour of the morning where I live, the whiners are revving up their bitching and moaning about the first episode not having English subtitles yet.

I shall refer such people here, and remind them that they have three choices.

Choice #1: Learn Korean and sub it your own damned self.

Choice #2: Pay professionals thousands of dollars.

Choice #3: Shut the fuck up, you useless pains in the ass.

ETA: I’ll add that Block B in particular is apparently a HUGE pain to translate: Witness this, and it’s not the first time I’ve seen this sort of thing. Apparently they mumble, pun, and use an excitingly incomprehensible combination of slang and 50-cent words. Remember when Zico purposely spoke to foil the translator? That wasn’t particularly hard for him, was it?

At the 4:45 mark

I find this baffling and disconcerting

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So apparently someone in Korea posted some pictures of a girl who (it is claimed) used to be P.O’s girlfriend.

Now, I feel really weird about linking to this, because 1. who knows who this girl actually is, 2. who knows why the person posted her pictures on-line, and 3. who knows how she feels about having her pictures made public.

But I’m going to link anyway, because I was REALLY disturbed by some of the comments the post generated. The original post was on a Korean Web site that caters to K-Pop fans, and boy oh boy, you can see the crazy come out.

Are people going psycho because their stalkee P.O may have had a girlfriend once!!!

No. They’re going psycho because . . . Block B fans aren’t going psycho.

Apparently the poster said that the girl was pretty, which, you know, she is! But this is completely unacceptable!

(All translations by K-Pop, K-Fans.):

1. [+150, -46] Stop trying to be so cool ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Ugh fuck it’s fucking cringe-worthy. Look how the fans are acting like they’re so cool ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
4. [+58, -7] BBCs are acting like they’re cool because people are calling them cool.
6. [+47, -5] Why do I think the BBCs are acting like they’re so cool with it ㅋㅋ Honestly, she’s not that pretty, there are many female idols who are much prettier than her.
10. [+31, -3] There’s no proof that this post was written by a BBC so why are you guys calling her a BBC who’s acting cool? I’m just curious.

Why aren’t you going psycho? Look at you not going psycho! You try-hard losers–you should go psycho like a normal person! Seriously, how far down the rabbit hole do you have to go to think this way? Why aren’t you telling this complete stranger that she is a fucking ugly whore who you are going to beat to death? What’s wrong with you?

And, these aren’t even P.O fans! They don’t think he’s their future husband or anything! They don’t care about that–they care about enforcing a norm. K-Pop fans are supposed to go psycho. These K-Pop fans aren’t going psycho. How can this be?

Of course, the entire reason to enforce a demented cultural norm like this one is that on some level these “fans” must be aware that what they are doing is deeply wrong. (It doesn’t even make sense as a tactic: If she and P.O were ever dating, they’re not now! Problem solved!) You bully the girl that your idol used to date. You bully your idol. When other fans don’t bully, you try to bully them into bullying. That way, you won’t feel like maybe they’re passing some kind of judgement on you or like perhaps they are living up to a standard of behavior that you do not reach. That way, people will stop calling them cool.

DC ticket giveaway/Block B joke contest!

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As I recently mentioned, thanks to my sad lack of self control, I find myself with a spare ticket to Block B’s DC concert. It’s seat P102 in the VIP section (just slightly under the balcony).

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Since it’s an e-ticket, I can freely and easily transfer it to someone else. So, I’m gonna!

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Take it away, Bob!

You, yes, YOU! can win a fabulous VIP ticket (a $195 value!!!!) to Block B’s DC showcase June 24 at 7:30 pm! This ticket is good not only for Block B’s stellar live performance, it includes a high-touch event with the group! Whooo!!!

And this ticket will be ABSOLUTELY FREE to you (but you still gotta get yourself there on your own dime) if you win this fabulous contest!

What’s the contest? Hmmm….

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Bob is thinking

OK, recently the delightful I Have a Thing for Block B blog asked readers to come up with Block B-themed jokes, an exercise that excited me beyond all reason (I haven’t been able to write much lately). So, I’m going to make this a joke contest! Send me your best Block-B themed joke here (scroll down to the contact box) by…let’s say May 31, and I’ll pick the one I like the most! (Don’t leave it in the comments–that ruins the fun.)

Of course my criteria will be completely arbitrary and subjective, but I will give preference to wholly original jokes–jokes that I’ve seen before will be discarded, and repurposing jokes that have been around forever (“He’s going to focus.” “Both of us?”) is discouraged.

So, the winner gets the ticket, plus the unbelievable honor of having your joke posted here (so tell me what name you want to be credited by). I’ll also pick some honorable mentions, who won’t get the ticket but will get their joke posted. (If you have a good joke but don’t need or can’t use the ticket, just let me know in your message–you can still get an honorable mention.)

If you’re hoping to win the ticket for a friend, I have no problem with that–just be sure to let me know so that I don’t transfer the ticket to the wrong person. Multiple jokes by the same person are fine, but if you send me 57 drafts of the same joke, it’s not going to be funny any more. If you want to send me a long sob story about how your life is an unending series of miseries that can only be alleviated by a free ticket, understand that I lived in New York City for 14 years and never gave a dime to panhandlers–put that effort into your joke!

What do you think, Bob?

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Bob hates jokes! RUN!