Monthly Archives: November 2016

What is it they say about two wrongs?

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Oh dear God. I just discovered that the ever-responsible Koreaboo (which I do not normally read, because they’re fucking worthless) covered the Block B/SNL incident using this picture:

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The problem? Just a few seconds before, you can see what Lee Se Young is actually grabbing. (Here, watch it in slo-mo with cheesy music!):

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Zico’s shoulder. Jesus fucking Christ, there’s actual footage of Lee grabbing people by the genitals–but no, no, Koreaboo has to make shit up as well. And people just parrot what they say, because it’s not like Koreaboo has a history of knowingly lying about everything.

This drives me crazy. I understand that even vaguely responsible people (a category in which I most certainly do not include Koreaboo) sometimes think it’s OK to lie when the issue is really important, but the fact is, the more serious something is, the accurate you have to be. People will look at the Block B video and wonder why the fuck the police are investigating Lee and why she had to leave SNL and why fans are nonetheless still upset at the show. It must be because we’re all jealous that Lee got to touch Zico, right? Because we’re all insane and are like, “Hands off my future husband!” right?

Fuck you, Koreaboo.

ETA: I know some people were a little perplexed that Seven Seasons released a statement following the news that Block B was going to be questioned by police clarifying that they were being questioned as witnesses and victims, not as suspects.

That might seem strange or unnecessary, but apparently the headline of the original Korean article was quite sloppily written. It reads along the lines of, “SNL/B1A4 sexual harassment scandal continues: Police interrogate Block B and Infinite,” and its exact meaning was . . . open to interpretation, let’s say, especially given that most people only ever read headlines and not the full article. Hence the clarification.

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This is really kind of brilliant

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So Bastarz is going to appear at a Christmas Eve party in Hong Kong, at a place called apm.

What’s apm?

According to Hong Kong’s tourism office:

Nighthawks have had a mall to call their own since apm opened its doors and kept them open into the wee hours (the name is a combination of am and pm). This after-dark shopping hub houses 170 retail outlets which close at midnight, while restaurants stay open until 2am and entertainment spots carry on until dawn.

That just sounds awesome. If a place like this had been around when I was a teenager, I never ever would have left it.

Wading through apologies

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Yeah, this Korean SNL thing isn’t getting any better. The show and one of the comedians have issued apologies, and then more apologies, to B1A4. In return, B1A4 has issued apologies, and then more apologies (more on that in a minute).

And I think it says something about how topsy-turvy this situation is that I find myself agreeing the most with the K-netz translated by Netizenbuzz. In particular:

11. [+265, -15] Reflecting doesn’t exempt you from punishment

14. [+198, -17] So that’s it? A man ends up in jail but a woman can get away with a letter apology? Talk about double standards ㅋ

This is why I think it’s important for people to know what sexual assault actually is and to be able to identify it with some accuracy.

Remember this:

YOU DO NOT FIX SEXUAL ASSAULT BY APOLOGIZING FOR IT.

Sexual assault is not simply rudeness, it’s not just poor judgement, and it’s not sexual harassment (at least not the way Americans use the term). Sexual assault is a statutory crime that, in the United States at least, is typically punished with jail time. If someone sexually assaults you, and then apologizes for it, the state does not consider the matter settled (and neither should you).

But it’s K-Pop, so everything is all about the fucking apologies!

There seems to be a lot of focus by people on the fact that SNL has not yet apologized to Infinite. Why people give a fuck, I don’t know–it doesn’t fucking matter that they apologized to B1A4 no matter how many times they do it, and it certainly won’t matter if they apologize to Infinite. Nor does it matter if they apologize to the various celebrities whose dicks they didn’t touch. None of that makes what they did any better.

Again: Apologies do not fix sexual assault.

But hey, SNL isn’t the only one making fucked-up apologies–B1A4 keeps apologizing for having been sexually assaulted!

Netizenbuzz again!

2. [+529, -26] A weird situation where the victim is made to apologize. . . .

1. [+638, -57] You guys are the victims, why are you apologizing? Don’t be sorry at all. . . .

It is weird that B1A4 is apologizing . . . and it is also weird how Infinite is just totally laying low.

And isn’t it interesting that Koreans are writing stuff like, “B1A4 should go to court!!” when supposedly the entire reason K-Pop groups are docile and obedient is because of the larger Korean culture and its emphasis on hierarchy.

Hm, I wonder where I could find some insight into this . . . oh, Jesus! Netizenbuzz!

3. [+474, -27] You have to consider from B1A4’s perspective that it’s actually detrimental to their image to drag this scandal out. They just made their comeback, they can’t start it off with something so dirty like this. It’s better for the agency to wrap it up as fast as possible.

Yup. Once again the “It’s Korean culture!” explanations are just bullshit culturalism: It’s in the business interests of B1A4 and Infinite’s labels to have this go away as quickly and as quietly as possible. Taking people to court because you were sexually assaulted backstage doesn’t exactly fit into the Here’s Your Happy, Sparkly Oppa Prince Who Has No Problems! fantasy.

We’ll see what happens. As of 2013, most victims of sex crimes in Korea no longer have to agree to press charges (and men can be victims, too!), so given how clear the evidence is and the fact that it happened more than once, a prosecutor might go ahead with charges whether or not the groups or their management want it.

On the other hand: Yes, it took until 2013 for Korean law to recognize that adult men can be the victims of sexual assault. So we’ll see.

Fuck these apologies, either way.

ETA: Ah, this is more like it. It’s not like I thrill to see someone get into serious trouble, but I think it sends a terrible message to have something so illegal happen in such a blatant and public manner, and then have law enforcement do absolutely nothing.

Happy puppies!

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Some days, you just need to take a break from the upsetting things in life and spend some time focusing on happy puppies.

우리 천방이 지축이가 애기를 낳았어요!

A post shared by 안재효 (@bbjhyo) on

Happy puppies!

이쁜 우리 별이 뚱이 너무 보고싶다 ㅠ #시츄 #별 #뚱

A post shared by U.K (@uk_530) on

Happy puppies!

Happy puppies!

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Hey, that’s not a puppy! Still makes me happy, though.

Well, this is skeevy

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If you haven’t heard, the Korean SNL is under fire by having female cast members greet B1A4 and Infinite by grabbing their crotches. If you’re wondering exactly how out of touch SNL staff have apparently become from reality, this became public because the show made it public–yeah, they apparently posted the molesting of B1A4 on their Facebook, and then someone else released the video with Infinite (who were on the show about a month ago).

And Korean netizens are claiming that this also happened when Block B was there last spring. From NetizenBuzz:

3. [+3,718, -143] It’s not just B1A4 that had this happen to them. INFINITE, Block B, Kim Min Suk, etc have all been sexually harassed but swept under the rug with an apology.

As bad as this all was before, if this is true (and of course that’s a big if) it makes things even worse, because while it looked like B1A4 and Infinite both kind of laughed it off (Idols must always be friendly and kind!!!!), I cannot imagine that Block B was just like, “Oh, gee, OK–I guess I’ll act like everything is fine to prove that I’m a good sport.” That just has not been their modus operandi–I’ve seen them kind of flip out after concerts when fans came on to them in ways that were much tamer than what the SNL staff did.

So if in fact this happened before to Block B, the SNL cast was most likely vigorously clued in to the fact that it was not acceptable behavior. And if these incidents were “swept under the rug with an apology”–well, those obviously weren’t public apologies. You know, generally speaking, when you apologize to someone for doing something like that, the expectation is not that you will turn right around and do it to a whole bunch of other people.

There is a public apology out now–to B1A4, along with a note that the show will make sure that this sort of thing never, ever happens again. This after the show insisted that the cast members hadn’t really touched B1A4 in the first place. Plus the apology would have more credibility in my eyes if it didn’t ignore the existence of a video proving that this happened at least once before.

Ugh.

This kind of reminds me of the whole Dani Mathers situation: I can sort of see how, if you’re in an environment where physical attractiveness is given so much importance, you might lose sight of what normal people consider basic decency. But on the other hand: It’s still basic decency. And what they did is still against the law.

ETA: Yup, it’s true! Doesn’t look like there was a lot in the way of dick-grabbing, though–that probably was a later modification.

EATA: So, now there’s a lot of “Block B went through the exact same thing as B1A4 and Infinite!” and I wanted to point out that, judging from what is visible in the videos, they did not.

For reasons I hope are obvious, I’m a fan of bright lines when it comes to defining sexual assault, and I think it’s really dangerous to call what happened to B1A4 or Infinite a prank or a hazing ritual, or to suggest that you can see all that was wrong with these incidents by watching what happened to Block B (because it’s all harassment).

Obviously calling something a prank or hazing doesn’t magically turn it into some kind of commendable activity–like, maybe don’t pretend to be a crazy mob around people who often have to cope with actual crazy mobs?–but what happened to Block B was just not on the same level of wrongness as what happened to the other groups.

This is from the Infinite clip.

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That’s not hazing, and that’s not a prank: that’s sexual assault. If that happened to Block B, I sure couldn’t see it–and yes, where the hands go does make a difference, and rather a large one.

Block B may not have enjoyed what happened to them, but Infinite and B1A4 could press charges very easily.

I just really hate this shit

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OK,  I guess we’ll start with the neutral bit: Mwave reported that Wiz Khalifa will perform with Zico, Crush, and Dean at the MAMAs. You would think that that would be reliable, considering that Mwave and the MAMAs are both run by Mnet, but there doesn’t seem to be anything out there in the Korean news saying who, specifically, Khalifa will be performing with. So . . . maybe not.

Then we’ll jump to something unrelated but funny, because we’re all going to need a laugh in a minute here.

And then back to our depressing subject matter: So, the reason that the Khalifa story came up is that hip-hop and R&B has become more popular in Korea, and as a result, you’re seeing a bevy of Korean/American musical collaborations where many of the American musicians are African American. There’s Khalifa and Timbaland at the MAMAs, there’s Tablo and Eric Nam doing a song with Gallant, and there’s the potential collaboration between Rap Monster and Wale.

And, as night follows day, you’re seeing stuff like this:

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I have a very hard time reading this kind of thing and not feeling like it fits quite nicely into the “keep Black people out of K-Pop” category.

Before you ask, yes, I did see all the “Get that white bitch out of that Bastarz video!” bullshit (and of course a lot of nastiness gets aimed at non-Korean Asians as well). But to me, that kind of thing is sooo painfully transparent and pathetic (“I AM AN INSECURE ASSHOLE!!! WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE OTHER GIRLS AND NOT ME!?!”) that it’s not usually worth remarking on.

What bothers me about the “keep Blacks out!” crap is how much misdirection there is–it’s always about laying the racism on somebody else. I mean, if you can’t distinguish between Wale and the hundreds of millions of other Black people on this planet, and because of Wale’s race, you can’t understand why he might be well-placed to help BTS, then it’s not exactly the fans who are the racist ones, right?

But the hypocritical finger-pointing just goes on. Are you a Korean musician? Do you pay African Americans to be in your hip-hop video? You’re racist! Do you take photos with Black fans? You’re racist! Do you braid your hair? You’re racist! Do you admire certain musicians who happen to be African American? FETISHIST!!!

Of course, if you’re an African American musician, you’re also racist! You have no respect for Korean musicians! You’re just going to Korea for money and/or sex. Plus you take drugs. (People who aren’t Black, in contrast, are never motivated by money, sex, or controlled substances. Especially not if they are celebrities.)

Gee, wouldn’t there be so much less racism–wouldn’t it all just be so much less problematicif all those pesky Black people just . . . stayed out of K-Pop? Went away? Evaporated altogether?

Or you know, maybe you could get that stick out of your ass and try to enjoy the music? Just a thought. . . .

ETA: OK, given the botched collaboration between Taeyeon and Khalifa, and the appalling response of some Taeyeon fans, I have to point out how stupid and counterproductive the racist shit is. African Americans are a more than $1 trillion market, plus they are younger than the average American and therefore have a disproportionate impact on U.S. popular culture.

If you think you are doing a K-Pop idol a favor by locking them out of a $1 trillion market, plus making it far less likely that they will be able to access the even larger mass American market, please please PLEASE wake up.