Monthly Archives: April 2015

Coming soon on “Show Me the Money 4”!

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THE JUDGE:

ZICO!

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THE CONTESTANTS:

ZICO’S BROTHER!

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ZICO’S FRIEND WHO USED TO BE IN BLOCK B!

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ZICO’S OTHER FRIEND WHO USED TO BE IN BLOCK B!

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ZICO’S FRIEND WHO IS STILL IN BLOCK B!

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ZICO’S FRIEND WHO WAS NEVER IN BLOCK B!

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ZICO’S PRETEND FRIEND!

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ZICO’S FORMER BOSS!

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ZICO’S MAYBE-EX-GIRLFRIEND!

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ZICO’S MOM!

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ZICO’S TATOO ARTIST!

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ZICO’S DERMOTOLOGIST!

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 ZICO’S DOG!

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ZICO’S FAMILY’S DOG!

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ZICO’S FAMILY’S DOG’S VETRINARIAN (ALSO A GOBLIN HUNTER)!

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ZICO’S DOLL!

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And many more musicians, non-musicians, animals, and inanimate objects with random connections to Zico!

GET READY!!!

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Desperately seeking sexy scandals

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Ugh, so much angst lately–time for something fun!

So Jumping Girl (which apparently has 1. shifted its premiere date from April 27 to April 30, and 2. is no longer available to watch if you live outside Korea, since apparently they didn’t pay for international rights–oops) took a shot at doing that thing Korean shows do where they try to encourage the audience to ship the actors in real life. The result was this picture

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So you’re supposed to be thinking, “Oh ho HO! There is BACK HUGGING going on in there between that B-Bomb from Block B and that Zinger from Secret! I wonder what’s REALLY going on between those two behind the scenes!!!”

And then the math you’re supposed to do in your head runs:

THIS

PLUS THIS

EQUALS . . .

SEXYTIMES!!!

And off you run to write fanfics.

But in real life? I mean, B-Bomb was bested in a dating competition by Park Kyung of all people. That’s pretty much the definition of having no game.

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I’m just find myself hoping that when Zinger rejects him, she’ll do so with kindness. Otherwise he’ll cry, Zinger! He’ll cry chicken-shit tears!

* * *

On the flip side, Ko Tae Yong has apparently decided to settle down with Zico.

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Honestly, Ko Tae Yong has been a bit of a butterfly, starting out with Zico, but then moving on to P.O and Park Kyung. I was wondering if he was going to just run his way through the entire group, but he seems to have gone back where he started.

Good for him. Not necessarily the choice I would make were I one who lived surrounded by fashion models, but you know, they can always design shirts together, so whatever makes him happy.

I feel a need to be really, really specific

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[Hi there! So, in the original version of this post, I ripped into two people for something they were saying on a forum that I felt was not founded on fact. I used to be a reporter, and the quality of K-Pop coverage is really, really terrible, and it that’s been upsetting me for a while now. So I went off about it. But the thing is, the two people involved were not professional journalists or anything of the sort–they were just two people having a talk online.

And I was vaguely aware at the time that it’s not really right to treat civilians like soldiers, so I didn’t link back, and I blotted out their names. However, other people on that forum figured out what was going on, and linked to here with a great big HOLY MOSES LOOK AT THIS LADY LOSING HER SHIT!!!

And the two people who I ripped into saw it and were upset by it, as they had every right to be.

So, I would like to apologize to them for any hurt or embarrassment I caused. It was inappropriate of me to treat your conversation as though it were something that appeared as a feature in a publication.

But what about those poor souls who came over here seeking invective? Will no one think of them?!?

Sure…here’s the rest of the angry, angry post, which is about something that did appear as a feature in a publication!]

EXAMPLE B OF HOW TO LIE LIKE YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH: KNOWING LESS THAN NOTHING FOR FUN AND (MOST IMPORTANT) PROFIT

Oh, wait, you thought this was over?

Let’s spare a very special fuck you for the eternally-deserving for-profit “news” site AllKPop, which posted a less-than worthless original opinion piece about a week ago. It contained this gem about Bastarz’ “Conduct Zero” video:

Although the teaser that they released had some touchy scenes in it, the group avoided controversy by cutting out all the parts with the half-naked Geishas.

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Haaaaaah.

One the realities of being a reporter at a newspaper is the, in most cases, the people who write what appears on the Op-Ed page of the same newspaper won’t actually bother to read what you have painstakingly reported and written for the News page. Instead, they usually pull some completely uninformed opinion out of their ass.

Which is why I, like many current and former journalists, don’t read opinion pieces–I can provide myself with my own thoughtless, knee-jerk opinions, thank you very much.

But what is so very special about this particular opinion piece is that the person obviously did read the English-language K-Pop news, and is about as well-informed as one might expect as a result.

And I’m saying this not only because HalfNakedGeishaGate was not even remotely a real scandal in Japan or Korea, but because Bastarz did not actually avoid controversy with the “Conduct Zero” video.

Having a 19+ video? YES, thoroughly uninformed AllKpop opinion piece writer, THAT DOES COUNT AS CONTROVERSY IN KOREA.

Instead focusing on the half-naked Geishas because some dumbfucks on Pann told them to, the Korean government and media focused on half-naked women and the blood and gore that appear in the final video. And they found that “touchy”! So much so that not only did the video get a 19+ rating, but there was actually some critical Korean media coverage of Bastarz that focused on Seven Seasons’ handling of the 19+ video on YouTube! (Seven Seasons: Uh, you know that the Korean law doesn’t apply to international sites? You don’t care? Uhhh . . . I guess we’ll classify it as “adults only” on YouTube. Happy now?)

So, yeah–way to have your finger on the pulse of the Korean gestalt there, opinion writer! Telling readers that Thing A was SO VERY controversial, and completely missing the fact that Thing B actually generated controversy and had consequences! You might have contemplated the question of why one must register as an adult on YouTube in order to watch the “Conduct Zero” video, but that would involve thinking, so fuck that.

Neither fish nor fowl

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So, Gaon came out yesterday, and the Bastarz album is the number 3 album in Korea, below only the two Exo albums.

The digital charts are doing pretty well, too–five of the six songs from the album are in the top 100 (the loser being the instrumental version of “Conduct Zero”). Overall, they’re charting lower than the songs from H.E.R did–the top song is #6 instead of #2, for example.

But what’s interesting is that if you look at downloads, they’re ranking quite a bit higher than if you look at digital overall. For example, “Thief” is #34 on the download chart, but #63 on the overall digital chart.

My speculation is that typically people who buy albums in Korea are pretty hard-core fans, and I’m going to guess that people who buy downloads instead of just streaming a song are also more aware of what is going on with a group. So those people know that Bastarz is a Block B sub-unit and are checking the music out. People who are super-casual about Block B aren’t recognizing the name.

At least, not yet. Bastarz is aallllllll over the Korean music shows, so it will be interesting to see if that changes the digital chart results next week.

What else? We didn’t get on the Billboard World Music chart, le sigh. YouTube views of “Conduct Zero” are at 1.3 million (both channels) 10 days after release. That’s less than “H.E.R” and will presumably be less than “Jackpot,” but of course neither of those were 19+ videos. In addition to the obvious reason why that kind of rating tends to restrict views, YouTube views of 19+ videos don’t count for music show rankings (ETA: turns out that that’s not true for all shows–God, the music show thing is so freaking confusing and pointless), so there’s no reason for fans to crank up the view count.

Even so, the “Conduct Zero” video is doing far better than any of the solo videos have done, and the song has ranked higher on the digital charts and sold more downloads in a week than any of the solo releases.

* * *

Can I just take a moment to vent about the fact that nobody seems to be able to agree on what the Bastarz album is called? I’m not talking about whether one translates a title “Conduct Zero” or “Zero for Conduct” or “No Manners,” I’m talking about whether the album itself is Bastarz (as the cover suggests), or Conduct Zero/Zero for Conduct/No Manners.

Seriously, look at the chaos that is Amazon’s search results right now:

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I think we should officially rename the album No Fucking Clue.

Anyway, following my “I go with what gets people results on searches!” rule of thumb, I went with Bastarz on BlockB.com. Once again, this should not be interpreted to mean that I believe that my judgement was right and that all other judgements are wrong.

Thank you for trivializing rape

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So the latest dumb shit by the social-justice warriors is the claim that the Bastarz song “Thief” is about rape, or pro-rape, or designed to encourage rape, or something vaguely “problematic” in a rape-y kind of way.

I realize I should just let this kind of idiotic crap go, but I was raped (many years ago). As a result I am a bit sensitive on the issue, and I am going to rant on about this like the literature major I once was.

To me, the problem with conflating sexuality with rape is that it’s a two-way street: If normal, healthy sexuality is rape, then rape is normal, healthy, and to be encouraged. (Further reading: Romance novels written in the 1950s, Pauline Kael’s review of Hud, anything by Ayn Rand.)

So, what is rape? Having sex with someone without their consent. How do you claim that “Thief” is pro-rape? The key is to cherry-pick lines from the overall context of the song. So you highlight a line in isolation like (all translations by youngha @ blockbintl):

I’ll have you even if I have to steal you

Or:

Don’t reject me saying you can’t, oh

Or maybe:

Don’t avoid me
Cuz I’mma come and take it

And viola! The song is all rape-y.

Of course, if you take a larger section of the song:

Girl, stop right there
Cuz I’mma come and take it
(I’mma come and take it)
I quietly walk over
If you blink
It’s already over
You won’t even know I’ve taken you

The moment I lightly brush by
I’ll make you anxiously restless tonight
Don’t make me think of other things, oh
I’m coming for you
I’m coming for you

I desire you more than a diamond

Gotta have it

I’m gonna steal you
In a way no one will notice
You sexy thing honey
I’m gonna hide you
So you don’t think of getting away

You sexy thing honey

Don’t avoid me
Cuz I’mma come and take it
(I’mma come and take it)
In an instant we draw near
If you blink
I’ll make you crumble
I’ll have you even if I have to steal you

The moment I entice you
I’ll make you anxious about coming
Don’t reject me saying you can’t, oh
I’m coming for you
I’m coming for you

“I’ll make you anxiously restless tonight,” “I’m gonna hide you/So you don’t think of getting away,” “If you blink/I’ll make you crumble,” “The moment I entice you/I’ll make you anxious about coming”–these lines are not about rape. They are about seduction.

Seduction is the process of making someone want to have sex with you. Being seduced is very, VERY different from being raped (it’s a lot more fun, for one thing).

Rapists don’t seduce, even if they think they do: Seduction takes too much time, and there’s always the possibility that the woman will “reject me saying you can’t.” Rape is all about removing the ability of the victim to have a meaningful say in the situation, thereby eliminating the possibility of rejection and its resulting inconveniences.

Rejection is something the narrator of “Thief” doesn’t want to have happen, but (unlike, say, the narrator of “Blurred Lines”), the narrator of “Thief” is aware that rejection is a possibility, albeit an unwelcome one. His goal is to make it so that the woman won’t want to reject him: She’ll be anxious to get with him, she won’t think of getting away, he will have stolen her will–and once he’s done that, her body will follow.

That’s how sex is supposed to work, in case you are too young or puritanical to know that–both people are supposed to be eager (very eager!) to be there. Wanting to make someone want you is pretty much the opposite of wanting to rape them, because wanting to make someone want you is an attempt to seek the consent that rapists can’t be bothered to obtain.

ETA: Ah, I should have known–there’s also a translation issue coming into play. Other translations come across as a lot more rape-y. Interesting how much of a difference a shift in nuance makes in a translation–in English the difference between “I’m gonna hide you/So you don’t think of getting away” and “I’m gonna hide you/So you can’t run away” can be the difference between, “You find me sexually irresistible!” and “I’ve chained you to my radiator!”

Bumkey got off!

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Whoo!

Ah, that makes me happy. Obviously I have no idea what he’s done, but the evidence they were putting up against him was so laughably weak, I just couldn’t see a fair conviction coming from it. I was kind of concerned they would just throw him in the clink anyway to spare the prosecutors embarrassment or something, but it looks like they’re not going to.

Hopefully Bumkey will be out of jail soon, and back to doing not drugs but….