Monthly Archives: May 2016

Gatekeeper problems

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Apparently Hyunseung (formerly of Beast) has been getting hassled by haters, so fans of his have filed a criminal complaint. What was interesting (although not at this point surprising) to me was their explanation of how a relatively small group of people have had this outsized impact on his career, including getting negative stories written up about him in the media (which of course is easy enough to do, because K-Pop journalism is pretty much an oxymoron).

I think this underscores that, while haters don’t often represent the majority of the public or even of fans, they can have this sizable impact in K-Pop–if their target is vulnerable. Hyunseung quit Beast, and he did not take the trouble to file this complaint himself: I don’t know if he’s actually depressed or if he seriously just does not care, but he obviously has not been defending himself with any vigor (and his label has done absolutely nothing). This has left the field open for bullies to do what they do when you don’t.

In K-Pop decisions can get made by people fairly high up that encourage the bullying. For example, I feel pretty certain that the recent stupid complaints about that kid from the rookie group NCT U have been so loud because equally stupid complaints got another kid ousted from the rookie group Day6. This is what happens when you feed trolls–they just want more.

(And hey, isn’t it remarkable how, as Monsta X has gotten more popular and less vulnerable to trolling, That Jooheon Kid’s imitation of and disrespect for Zico has gotten so much less problematic? It’s really amazing, because it’s exactly like how as Block B has gotten more popular and less vulnerable to trolling, Zico’s imitation of and disrespect for G-Dragon gotten so much less problematic as well! It’s almost like those people were pulling all that dumb shit right out of their asses, and never gave a fuck about any of the entertainers involved in the first place!)

In case you are wondering just how bad (and how highly-placed) the gatekeepers can be, I will point out that I still haven’t seen anything to indicate that the KCSC had anything say about the Korean SNL skit where Jackson kissed a man. Now, I certainly don’t think that they should–if the KCSC could just fuck off with their stupid homophobia, I’d be really happy about that–but I want to emphasize that this is a government entity whose regulatory decisions are apparently being manipulated by…a passel of K-Pop haters.

Tax dollars at work!

Anyway, some people complain that Seven Seasons is constantly threatening legal action, but I think you can see why–if you don’t slap these people down, you end up in a situation like Hyunseung’s, where one or two fanatics are single-handedly crafting your public narrative.

ETA: Oooh, another case of a relatively small group of anti-fans coordinating a hate campaign. Again, it’s not that difficult to do because the Korean entertainment media will pretty much print anything.

Have another petite traduction….

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Another bitty translation! I’m just translating the French subtitles here–and because I’m taking cold medication, I am technically intoxicated, so the tag still works!

Allons-y!

Caption: A suspicious box containing something from KCON

Block B is in the room

Park Kyung: Oh! What’s that?

P.O: What’s this thing here? Oh, it’s a box! White box!

B-Bomb: KCON box!!

P.O: You know, we started our “Toy” comeback at KCON

Caption: The best performances

As intended, there is a close relationship between Block B and KCON

Peek-a-boo ♥

P.O: Ah, there, there, what’s that there? It’s an adorable bee~

Caption: KCON BOX Object No. 1

A bee plushy

B-Bomb: Super! Our fan clubs is the BBCs.

Caption: Nickname of Block B’s fan club = bees

A bee + blond hair => foreign fans?!!

P.O: It’s too cute!

U-Kwon: What’s next?

Zico: I think they’re trying to give us clues.

U-Kwon: It’s a cock?

Caption: KCON BOX Object No. 2

A cock

B-Bomb: Is it Kyung?

Caption: He who resembles a cock is too embarassed

Park Kyung: When I made a video, people said that this is what I looked like.

Does it look a lot like me?

B-Bomb: I know that it’s a symbol of a country.

Jaehyo: I think I know.

Park Kyung: Isn’t it a country in Europe?

Jaehyo: I think France is the cock….

Caption: The cock = the animal that symbolizes France

Block B’s intelligent Jaehyo

Park Kyung: Keep going! What else is in there?

KCON BOX OBJECT No. 3

The Eiffel Tower

Block B already knows everything

The puzzle was too easy….

KCON 2016 France

Park Kyung: I personally got very close to a French minister on Twitter.

All: WOW~ [Plus an untranslated “Oh, really?” from U-Kwon]

P.O: I was the only one to shake hands with the president!

Caption: He cannot hide his expression of pride

The last item, what is it?

U-Kwon: What was it?

Zico (reading card): For the first time, KCON, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary, will be in France!

Caption: Hello Hello

Park Kyung: June 2, 2016, Paris, France, KCON will be held at the Accor Hotel Arena!

B-Bomb: Everyone! That’s going to happen in 15 days!

Caption: KCON 2016 France D-15!!

Taeil: We invite you to have crazy fun with Block B in France!

[They sing the chorus of “Nalina,” which means “Crazy, crazy, go crazy.”]

P.O: Please look forward to our performance! See

All: you soon!

ETA: BeeSubs has translated the Korean!

* * *

ETA: While I’m at it, I’ll throw in a little explanation of why the V App translator repeatedly confused “BBC” with “B-Bomb” here.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.20.06 AM

So, you have to start with how they pronounce “BBC,” which is not bi-bi-si but rather bi-bi-shi. (Why? Look here.)

Then look at B-Bomb’s Korean name, which is pronounced bi-bum. 

Tack on the honorific -씨, which is pronounced –shi, and you have the translator confusing bi-bi-shi and bi-bum-shi, which is a lot more understandable than confusing the English.

Although he did seem to ignore the -들/-deul ending, which is used to indicate that you’re talking about more than one BBC. So, not a stellar job, but not a mind-blowingly awful one either.

“Inferiority Complex” on-screen translation

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I am sick as shit following my trip, so I can’t do much today, but I thought I’d take a shot at translating all the stuff that appears on-screen in “Inferiority Complex.”

Here goes!

1

Inferiority Complex TV

Question: Why do you keep talking about that oppa who has a car?

2

ZICO has logged on

U-KWON has logged on

TAEIL has logged on

JAEHYO has logged on

P.O has logged on

B-BOMB has logged on

3

from left:

Cute

Will you go out with me?

I’m your toy

Eunha is pretty

I like “Gustas Tu” swoop-do-do-loo ♥

Girlfriend???

4

from left:

Are you jealous~~

Waaaaaah

Miss Eunha let’s have a cup of coffee ♥

Inferiority complex seems right

5

from left

Inferiority complex & shopping

One million units reported sold!

2016’s newest model on live TV

More powerfully arouses jealousy

Po.wer.cy.cle.

$123.456 X 7 payments

(interest-free 7 Seasons installment plan)

(Country) Inferiority Complex/Korea  Automatic 000-1234-1234   Live operator 000-1234-5678  BA.Ra.Ba.BA.BA. Ra.pid.or.der!

Ending soon

from top right

Inferiority complex & shopping

Before it’s too late!

A summer essential

My lover’s eyes look nowhere else!

I have more confidence!

The way to overcome an inferiority complex!

ETA: I didn’t realize until later that the ad changes from this.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 1.08.38 PM

Operators are busy! Order quickly through the automatic line!

I’m enjoying this

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If you didn’t know, in addition to having Eunha feature on “Inferiority Complex,” Park Kyung is working with her on a V App show, plus they’ve put out two live performances already!

This:

And this:

There’s sort of a Traditional Idol vs…well, you know, Park Kyung thing going on in both that is pretty hilarious. It’s more scripted and overt in the second video (so there’s all this he’s too close! happening above the waist…meanwhile their bare knees kiss the entire time, and no one seems to care), but the contrast is there in the first one, too. Like, Eunha’s doing her best to get down, but her idol training is just a little too strong. Some day! Some day she will relearn how to relax her shoulders, and then there will be no stopping her!

Eunha definitely has a personality though, which makes the behind-the-scenes clip from their V App show pretty amusing. I can’t get it to embed, but I do recommend it–especially starting at the 6 minute mark when Park Kyung meets the model….

I’m back (not that it REALLY matters)

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I’m back, BlockB.com is fully updated (I think), the new laptop is on order.

And, you know, I was really happy to see that somebody else updated the sales numbers for the Wikipedia page(s)–that’s always nice. And that’s part of why redundancy is actually a good thing: Fan efforts are always volunteer efforts, and volunteers (myself included) are always kind of flaky, because they have other obligations. The competition model never really applies.

I’m not trying to run down my own or other fans’ efforts here, but the main thing I find somewhat sad and laughable about this idea that we’re all competing with each other is that none of us, separately or together, are really all that effective.

I’m not saying that what we do doesn’t have value–it does. But all the fanbases and the Block B-oriented Web and social-media sites primarily serve people who are already fans of Block B. You don’t go looking up BlockB.com unless you are already interested in the group, and you certainly don’t go about looking for English translations unless you’re already in pretty deep.

What we don’t do, and what we cannot do (unless someone is prepared to shell out for a major advertising campaign) is spark that interest.

Getting the ball rolling like that is actually something that is very hard to do. There’s a rule of thumb regarding how many times a person has to be exposed to marketing for something new before they will check it out. Actually, because it’s marketing, there are several different rules of thumb. (Marketing is really not a precise science: One running joke is that half of all marketing dollars are wasted–unfortunately, no one knows which half!) But the number of times is generally higher than five.

One of these rules of thumb is: Seven times, seven avenues. That means that the person has to be exposed to marketing seven times and that the marketing has to be different each time. So, it can’t be seven different on-line ads, because after the first one, people just tune them out: It has to be an on-line ad, a review, a television appearance, a poster, a favorable mention by a radio DJ, etc., etc., etc.

That’s just to get people to check something out–who knows if they’ll like it! All of that has to happen before they’ll come look at BlockB.com (and fingers crossed that from there they’ll buy a song or two and maybe go look up some of the other fanbases).

Getting worked up because there’s more than one group of fans doing is crazy, because, certainly in the United States, we’re missing the entire rest of the alphabet! We don’t have great mainstream media coverage of K-Pop in general, much less an individual group like Block B; we don’t have big billboards or well-advertised appearances; we don’t have Block B members on magazine covers and talk shows.

If we did–well, the U.S. market for Block B would look a lot more like the Korean one.

Woof

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I’m traveling again, and now my crappy travel notebook won’t update BlockB.com at ALL. I suppose I should be grateful for the clarity, because when I get home this time I will bite the bullet and pony up for something that actually works the way it’s supposed to, instead of dithering because the crappy laptop’s not THAT bad.