Monthly Archives: August 2015

Aw, thanks!

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I usually completely ignore Twitter, but BlockB.com was getting some visitors from there, so I looked it up. And people have such nice things to say about the site! So, while I know this is weeks or months late (oops), I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has expressed gratitude or appreciation for BlockB.com! And let’s all thank Block B for being funny and entertaining enough that I didn’t get bored and quit long ago….

This is making me feel very secure in my choices

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As you may have gathered, I don’t read netizen comments if I can possibly help it. They’re almost never clever or amusing, and they arguably can cause damage only if people pay attention to them, so I don’t.

But about a week ago, I thought I’d pop on over to Netizen Buzz to see if there was anything fun to read about Show Me the Money. I got through about three articles in before I quit, because it was all just Hate Here, Hate There, Hate Everywhere. (I mentioned this to someone who said that they didn’t really seem to be hating on Mino. But netizens are nothing if not thorough, and Mino was promptly hated upon!) One of the constant refrains was “[Hatee] THOUGHT this show would help them, but now their career is DESTROYED!!! ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED!!!!! MWUA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!”

Today I was updating the Gaon numbers for the Wikipedia article on Zico (because I am a dweeb), and I noticed that the Show Me the Money 4 article needed some updating with regard to song sales and charting, so I did that as well (because I am a helpful dweeb).

I shall note:

  • At this moment, 12 of Korea’s top 100 songs are from Show Me the Money.
  • Show Me the Money has so far released 13 songs. All 13 have charted.
  • All but one of those 13 songs have remained on the Gaon charts since their release.
  • Incredible, a near-complete unknown, has sold more than 200,000 downloads of “Oppa’s Car.” It is currently the #1 song in Korea. (HEE-HEE-HEE!!!)
  • Black Nut, who netizens are happy to inform you is THE MOST HORRIBLE PERSON ON THE WHOLE ENTIRE PLANET, has sold more than 100,000 downloads of each of his two singles.

Do netizens necessarily represent the views of the Korean general public? Do netizens hating something mean that it can’t be successful in Korea? Do they really have any more impact on things in Korea than some random YouTube commenter has here? Do they know something you don’t? Are they wiser or more insightful?

In other words: Are their opinions worth reading?

To me, the answer to all of the above questions is most often no.

If I want to know what people in Korea actually like, I look at what they buy. I don’t look at what random dipshits say on the Interwebs.

Why is that? Because all someone commenting means is that the person has time on their hands. Talk is cheap, and invective is easy.

Getting people to buy something? That’s hard.

Terms used to describe Hyorin’s braids that I have seen today

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HyorinPaloaltoZico

Ugly

A Damn Mess

Embarrassing

Fake

Shitty

Thuggish

But they’re not being racist because it’s Cultural Appropriation. Right.

Terms used to describe this look:

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Genuine

Good

Awesome

Cute

Pretty

Oh, but it’s not just the (FAKEFAKEFAKEFAKE) HAIR, it’s the ENTIRE LOOK!!! Because this:

YTbW456

Was TOTALLY GENUINE AND SINCERE, 100% HYORIN, and NOTHING SHE WOULD EVER GET TIRED OF DOING!!! BY CHANGING HER LOOK HYORIN IS BETRAYING HER INNER SOUL!!!!!!

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Live in authenticity!

Guess what? You don’t know Hyorin, and neither do I. Yes, it’s a big shift in image, but for all anyone knows, the first picture might be how she’d rather dress.

And thuggish? Fuck you.

So, how did an actual scandal go?

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If you’ve been on hiatus or something, P.O actually did something that was genuinely offensive outside of Pann-hater circles when he wore a shirt with Japanese writing on it to the Korean Liberation Day festival concert.

If you were unaware, the country that Korea was liberated from on Liberation Day was Japan (and the current Japanese administration hasn’t exactly been placating other Asian countries about Japan’s imperialist past), so this was regarded as quite provocative.

Netizen Buzz covered it, so of course the other English-language K-Pop outlets did stories, sometimes recycling her work wholesale. (She should really look into finding out if she can get paid for that kind of thing–if they’re going to treat Netizen Buzz like a wire service, they should compensate her like one.)

Unlike other times, the Korean press did in fact cover the story fairly extensively–it was a genuine controversy, not some fake scandal or rice-pizza bullshit. P.O and Seven Seasons got apologies out quickly, though, so the stories mainly led with that, which I think was helpful. (I have mixed feeling about public apologies because they can encourage bullying, but of course if you really screwed up, apologies are in order anyway, and it’s usually helpful to get ahead of the story as they did here.) The notion that P.O was wearing a right-wing slogan (because he was secretly hoping that Korea would be reconquered by a newly resurgent imperial Japan?) has been debunked, so the story just didn’t have a lot in the way of legs, and it petered out pretty quickly.

P.O was supposed to film Let’s Go! Dream Team later this week, but B-Bomb is replacing him, so I think he’s just going to keep a low profile for a bit until this blows over, which it already seems to be doing. I mean, fans know that P.O is pretty much the most socially-awkward guy around, and Block B certainly waves the Korean flag often enough, so I think most people who know the group are willing to dismiss it as them being their clueless selves.

And Block B is just so much busier now, which works to their advantage. Right now the Zico/Hyorin collaboration (Palo-who?) is all over Korean search engines–as long as you’ve got stuff like that coming out to generate fresh headlines, you’ve got some protection against a scandal remaining in the public mind forever and ever.

ETA: Actually, I think this tells you something about the Korean K-Pop press: There are now probably more articles out there about Zico and Hyorin (THEY MUST BE DATING!!!! Wait, who’s that old guy in the picture with them? Oh well, he’s probably nobody important) than there were about P.O’s outfit.

I tried to put “블락비” on Google alerts, and this is why I couldn’t keep doing it–it’s this flood of completely trivial crap. (ZICO AND SOME GAL PUT A PICTURE OF THEMSELVES ON TWITTER! THEY MUST BE DATING!!!! ZICO AND SOME OTHER GAL PUT A PICTURE OF THEMSELVES ON TWITTER! THEY MUST BE DATING!!!! ZICO AND SOME THIRD GAL PUT A PICTURE OF THEMSELVES ON TWITTER! THEY MUST BE DATING!!!! Like, holy shit, Zico sure gets around–I had no idea!)

Stuff like this forces me to feel a vague shred of sympathy for those bitter, angry Pann haters–if someone was forcing sugar water down my throat 24/7 I’d start favoring a diet of rue as well.

Show Me the Concert!

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I got a ticket to the Show Me the Money 4 concert in Los Angeles! Whoo!

It’s bizarre, because I was thinking of getting the Early Entry ticket, but it didn’t show up, so instead I got General Admission 2. Then later I realized that, in order to buy Early Entry tickets, there’s this “special offer” button you have to click–if you click the normal “I wanna buy a ticket” button, Early Entry doesn’t show up.

I’m actually fine with that: It saves me some money, and the concert is going to be open-floor and standing-only (…oh joy…), so I think I’ll be happier away from the crush.

I booked the hotel on Hotwire back when K-Con was going on–I figured that even if the SMTM concert didn’t come off, I could figure out fun things to do in Los Angeles. My grandparents lived there, so I visited a lot as a kid, but my memories mostly revolve around exploring their basement (we didn’t have a basement or an attic, so I tended to assume that all basements and attics held SECRET TREASURE) and reading their extensive collection of surprisingly gruesome fairy tales. (Did you know that Cinderella’s stepsisters cut their toes and heels off to fit their foot into her slipper? And that the prince didn’t notice the blood–twice–until some birds told him? Why did they all want to marry him, again?)

Anyway, I’m interested in visiting the place as an adult (although part of me worries that I’ll be bored, what with the absence of SECRET TREASURE-containing basements and Truly Grimm Fairy Tales). One thing that became obvious from Hotwire is that Los Angeles doesn’t have an overwhelming abundance of inexpensive hotels that people don’t absolutely hate. I was poking around, and poking around, and poking around, and finally Hotwire’s algorithms figured out that they’d better do something or I might bail on the whole deal, so I got offered up a special on a hotel people seem to like, and I took it.

And it turns out that I’m going to be staying in a hipster hotel in Koreatown. That’s…kind of eerie, you know?

ETA: I do find it ironic, though, that they’re holding SMTM concerts in the United States while at the same time not giving SMTM English subs AND yanking down the subs generated for free by third parties.