Monthly Archives: July 2016

A friendly reminder that “personal reasons” are indeed personal


So, Park Kyung was not at K-Con LA.

The reason given was, you know, personal reasons.

And that’s that. Really, folks, speaking from experience: Just let that kind of thing lie. Personal reasons = none of your business.

I know people mean well when they say things like, “I hope he’s OK!!” But I doubt very much that Park Kyung missed a well-publicized event that he was scheduled to appear at just because he doesn’t like traveling much. Zico wound up in charge of the English, for God’s sake.

At times like this, having well-meaning people telling you that they hope EVERYTHING IS OK THINGS ARE OK YOU’RE OK RIGHT? I NEED FOR YOU TO BE OK can be a real burden when everything is NOT fucking OK. When my father broke his hip, and then had a heart attack, and then died, hearing that kind of thing from people made me want to throw up and punch them in the face, all at the same time.

(And because he lived in California, everyone up here in the Seattle area assumed I must be going down there to drink margaritas and surf in the beautiful sunshine. California is a Magic Fairy Kingdom where nothing bad ever happens!!!)

Last time stuff like this was happening, it turned out that Park Kyung’s grandfather died. Whatever is going on this time around, it’s not about you and your needsYou have to be really sensitive and think twice (or maybe three or four times) before you go posting on his social media or anything, all right?

ETA: I got a query over at from someone pointing out that Park Kyung has actually missed several events. While technically this is true, typically these absences have been announced in advance and have been due to the shooting schedule for Problematic Men.


Another cool “Collaboration”


Stuff is getting yanked from YouTube again (the third episode is here for as long as that will last), but you can watch Zico & Hu Xia on the third episode of The Collaboration here. And it’s reeeeally cool.

ETA: It’s on their Facebook, too. And here you can see more of the shared dorkitude that allow Zico and Hu Xia to work so well together despite barriers of language and culture. It’s so touching….

EATA: I’m finally getting a chance to watch the other performances, and once again I’m really liking the Seungyoon/Yu Tian combination. They just really seem to jibe together. (Subs are up!)

ETA: Oh, and I can get the Live Line broadcast of yesterday’s Block B concert to play here! Kewl!

A little explanation for the slow about how “Hit the Stage” voting works


OK, I know I should ignore The K-Pop Stupid out there, but here’s a little primer on the way Hit the Stage voting works for the benefit of some of the dumber NCT fans.

You may be looking at two YouTube videos and deciding that you really, really want to fuck Ten that Ten’s solo dance was technically more challenging than U-Kwon’s.

I’m not sure why we’re not judging the choreography or performance as a whole (other than some people really, really want to fuck Ten), but you know, let’s pretend that this is a some kind of solo flexibility competition, which is why absolutely no one used backup dancers, costumes, music, or stage effects.

Anyway: The point is, you have to look at the way the voting operates in Hit the Stage, which, by the way, is exactly how it operates in Immortal Song 2. These two performances were not judged head-to-head–that simply didn’t happen.

What happened is that Ten performed, and received a score. Then Bora performed, and received a score. Then Momo performed, and received a score. Then U-Kwon performed, and received a score.

Again, this is exactly how Immortal Song 2 operates. You want to know something about that show?

The person who goes first never wins! 

And everybody knows it! That’s why no one wanted to go first, and why Bora apologized to Ten for putting him first.

Why doesn’t the first person ever win? Because people are not being given a ballot where they have to pick one performer to vote for–they’re just voting away at each performance using their little clickers. It’s basically a quieter version of the Clap-o-meter.

Maybe the audience thinks in a comparative fashion at the outset: Hm, Bora was pretty good but not as good as that Ten fellow! I won’t click for her. But very quickly they forget how much they voted for the first act, and they clickclickclick their little voting devices whenever something exciting–like a human motorcycle or a falling tower of people–happens.

Acting like a show that uses a Clap-o-meter should be held to the same standards as a presidential election or something, and crying voter fraud! because your precious, precious Ten (who is never, ever going to fuck you, you need to come to terms with that now) lost by four votes is just incredibly stupid and pathetic.

And I won’t even get into the people who are calling [pick one! Bora or Momo] a whore, because [Bora/Momo’s] dance was slutty and awful, while in contrast, [Bora/Momo’s] dance was a work of high art, unsullied by filthy female sexuality.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that people managed to be assholes about a freakin’ 1-minute-and-48-second previewBut honestly: Hit the Stage is a fun show, and everyone on it is very talented! Try not to ruin it for those of us who aren’t bitter and crazy, OK?

Things I don’t get: The role of fans edition


I was reading Asian Junkie’s latest article on the whole GOT7 debacle (background here, and I should note that BamBam did apologize), and there was a debate down in the comments, where some people essentially suggested that international fans shouldn’t have complained, because that got the group into trouble, and others were really upset by that.

I’ve seen the idea that fans should basically hide it whenever an idol does something wrong a lot in K-Pop–it even has a name, “shielding.” It’s so common that that’s what everyone is assuming GOT7’s label, JYP Entertainment, is relying on as it keeps the group off social media: Fans everywhere of course would notice something like that, but presumably the K-Pop press in Korea will not, and hopefully after enough time the international fans will have quieted down–and of course the Korean fans will “shield” GOT7 by keeping quiet the whole time.

I don’t get this. Yes, I do think people sometimes REALLY overreact, but I don’t understand why fans should be expected to keep quiet when they see something they don’t like–I certainly don’t. I don’t get why GOT7 fans should have kept quiet about the use of a racial slur, I don’t see why they should pretend a member’s stupid friends aren’t acting in an inappropriate manner toward his fans–I just don’t understand the purpose. In fact, I think that if someone had read the riot act to that member’s stupid friends earlier on, this entire clusterfuck could have been avoided, because the stupid friends probably wouldn’t have stupidly done the stupid things they did, they wouldn’t have stupidly filmed them, and they certainly wouldn’t have stupidly put them online for all the world to see. (Or maybe they’re just that stupid, but at least everyone involved would have had fair warning.)

Whenever I’ve seen fans “shield,” it’s been just laughably pathetic as a method of persuasion. So-and-so said one thing but meant another. The video showing X does not really show X. It’s all Photoshop and a conspiracy!

This kind of thing might make the “shielding” fan feel better. (Because oppar will see how loyal they are and MARRY THEM!!!!–and then beat them, and the other “shielding” fans will blame the bruises on Photoshop.) But any non-fan reading it just thinks, Dear God, what a whack job.

Obviously I think a big part of it is fans having trouble letting go of the fantasy that a particular idol is, you know, like, so totally perfect and not a human being. The other part of it is that I think it makes fans feel important–like they can really have an influence on things.

That I think was a contributing factor to this massively crazy rant, which also appeared on Asian Junkie, where some nut job said that people should (all caps in the original, of course) “QUIT BUTTING INTO OTHER FANDOMS. WE WILL DEAL WITH OUR OWN ISSUES.”

“OUR OWN ISSUES” (which are “FOR US TO DECIDE NOT YOU”) was the fact that a member of JYJ was accused of being a serial rapist.

How the fuck is that a fandom issue? Fandoms can decide that, I dunno, it’s OK or not OK for a K-Pop idol to date or adopt a new hairstyle or sing a different genre of music. Actual crimes do not get handled by a fucking fandom–they get handled by the criminal-justice system, all right?

Now obviously, that person is a loon and their attitude is extreme–but not that extreme. I’ve seen “the fandom will handle it” offered up as a response to drunk driving and the like. I honestly don’t know how you get to the point where you say something like that and even remotely believe it–if Western pop stars have proven anything, it’s that fandoms will gaily enable misbehavior until someone (or more than one someone) winds up dead.

But this is one of the myths sold by K-Pop: The fans have the power!!! I’m sorry, but you don’t. You can shut your wallet and walk away, but that’s about it. Even if you do that, you can’t ensure that five more fans won’t step up to replace you.

When you’re a fan, you’re just a fan–you don’t make the music, you don’t make the business decisions, and (for fuck’s sake) you certainly don’t make the legal decisions. Yes, performers appreciate their fans, but that doesn’t make fans omnipotent or anything.

I Am You, You Are Many Songs


This is cool: First Zico played with “I Am You, You Are Me” for The Collaboration to make it a jazzy/rock kind of thing with Hu Xia:

Then he did something similar but a bit different with Babylon at the Jisan Rock Festival:

It’s cool–I like that he can play with his songs and mix them up for different occasions, it keeps things fresh.

I guess we should celebrate the moment


This kind of thing is only “quite unexpected” if you’ve been keeping your head where the sun doesn’t shine, but:

“Toy” is the top digital song by a male group in Korea for the first six months of 2016.

The Blooming Period album sold the most digital songs of any a male group in Korea for the first six months of 2016.

“Boys and Girls” did SUPER well, and “Inferiority Complex” did quite well

…but they aren’t really popular.

I’m kidding. Whoo! Yeah for Block B!

To put stuff in perspective and avoid annoying triumphalism here, though, I’m going to point out that BTOB, which came in sixth on the Korean male-group digital sales front, handily whips Block B’s ass on Oricon. So, you know, don’t get too focused on the horse race.