And this is why I don’t see the point of judging musicians on things other than music

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Asian Junkie did an article on the BTS remake of “Come Back Home” by Seo Taiji & The Boys, in which he states that he likes the remake better than the original…because he doesn’t like the way the members of Seo Taiji & The Boys have conducted their dating lives.

I’m an “old” K-pop fan, but the whole group is creepy as fuck. From YG grooming his wife to Lee Juno sexually assaulting women to Seo Taiji cutting (a teenaged) Lee Ji Ah off from the world and doing the same to Lee Eun Sung (her work before & after meeting him), getting defensive for them is pointless anyway.

In general I like Asian Junkie, because it tends to be relatively less delusional than most K-Pop sites, but COME ON.

What do we know about how the members of BTS treat the women they date? Absolutely NOTHING!!! I mean, there’s this rumor and that rumor that maybe someone dated someone at some point…but as for the details, it’s all pretty much cloaked in secrecy.

Why is it cloaked in secrecy? Why is this the norm for the industry? Precisely so that the public will have a nice, convenient blank slate on which to project their own desires.

Do you want the members of BTS to not date, because they just love their fans so much they couldn’t possibly? DONE.

Do you want the members of BTS to all be secretly engaged in massive gay orgies with each other? DONE.

Do you want the members of BTS to all be ultra-pure virgins, like the man your parents tell you you’re sure to marry one day, as long as you stay pure yourself? DONE.

Do you want the members of BTS to be automatically boning every attractive girl group or actress or groupie that passes them by, without any consequences? DONE.

Do you want the members of BTS to be noble and enlightened men, who would never abuse a woman, emotionally or otherwise? DONE.

Just like magic!!! Wow, it’s almost unbelievable how perfect they are, and that to every observer….

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12 responses »

  1. This is one of the aspects of K-pop that galls me,the whole “idol/boyfriend”/illusion of perfection thing seems like a sure fire set up for a fall from grace.Then again,I suppose that’s what was being sold here in the US all those years ago in TigerBeat..I just never bought into it,bless my cynical heart…I don’t hold entertainers of any sort up to being paragons of virtue,I can like music/tv/movies/sports & still think a particular person is a complete asshole.I can also like the ones kicked to the curb because of their hairstyle/concepts/personal choices w/out feeling guilty.Do I sometimes wish they had thought/spoken/behaved differently?Yes,but it’s going to take some seriously heinous behavior for me to say I’m never listening to/watching this person again.BTS has managed to skate over their controversies so far & maybe they’ll stay lucky but people tend to be messy as a rule so I’d say the odds are against them.It’s a damned shame because they’ll end up being dragged for being mere human beings just like the rest of us.

    • I mean, I certainly HOPE they’re not sexually assaulting people or anything like that, but it is pretty ridiculous to think that, just because you’re not being shown something, it doesn’t exist–or that it won’t exist. In 20 years’ time, when someone is interviewing the ex-spouse of some BTS member, do people honestly think it’s going to be like, “Our marriage fell apart because HE WAS JUST TOO PERFECT!!! I WAS NOT WORTHY!!!!!”

      I never had the money to read Tiger Beat regularly when I was a kid, but I do remember reading the articles about Duran Duran in my friends’ copies, and I remember them just being kid-appropriate (and not all that different from the interviews in Ranger Rick, honestly). What fan letters stand out to you? Tell us about your song. What was filming that video like? What’s your favorite city? VERY much softball questions, and of course no mention of the massive cocaine use or the long-form “Girls on Film” video or anything like that. You did get, What do you look for in a girl? and lots of questions about fans, but no pretense that they weren’t dating. I definitely didn’t come away from those thinking I really knew them or anything. Mainly I remember that the traveling-the-world bit seemed very glamorous, but it would, wouldn’t it?

      • Yes & the idol life probably looks exciting & glamorous to the youngsters now too.I hope they’re all decent people also but there are so very many things that can go sideways,including fans perceptions of things,i.e. It’s not really scandalous but somehow everyone thinks it is.I don’t follow them too closely so I don’t know if any of them have moved out on their own or not,I always suspect that dorm living is a companies efforts to put them all in one place so they can keep an eye on them & what they’re up to.The older the members get the more likely their fan girls are to get a rude awakening-and not just BTS,any of these groups the young girls go for-it only stands to reason.I think 20 yrs sounds optimistic,probably more like 10 yrs tops,if that,before something major happens & it gets splashed all over the net.

        • Right. Plus, there’s just the burn-out factor–when you’re young, the idea of being an idol is very exciting, and you’re willing to make all the sacrifices for that kind of career. But fast-forward several years, and you’re just going to be like, “I want to have a fucking life.”

    • I’m hoping that the various fantasy factions will be too busy fighting each other to bother with me. “BUT HE IS A VIRGIN!” “NO, HE’S HAVING SEX WITH SOME OTHER MEMBER!!!” “NO!!! HE’S BONING SOME GIRL GROUP MEMBER!!!!” “FUCK YOU!” “DIE!!!!” “AAAAAIIIIIGGGGHHH!!!!”

  2. I’m disgusted enough by the artist, I wouldn’t support them (buying songs, promoting on social media, etc.) even if I love the music. Of course, that’s different from going out and saying their music sucks based on that alone. After reading the AJ article, I think he actually did find the remake musically superior? That particular ad hominem quip seemed like the inevitable pushback against “oppar can do no wrong” delulu stans. It’s out of place when assessing the merit of the work itself, but possibly relevant when determining whether one wants to identify as a “fan.”

    For better or worse, idols are selling a package beyond just the music, and I’m not sure if it’s even possible to do full coverage that separates the music from the public persona. Some stuff about how ST&boys treat theirs is public knowledge; thus, it’s arguably relevant when comparing their merits as idols. If dirt later comes out on BTS, that too will arguably be relevant to their merit as idols. At the end of the day, everyone will just have to decide for themselves what standards they want to judge with. My guess is AJ’s quip won’t affect the delulu core (I mean, look who’s president now despite the bad publicity v_v)

    • Yeah, eventually he got around to talking about the song….

      I would argue that AJ himself is generally critical of the whole K-Pop idol thing where everything is about the moral virtue of the artist, and therefore the moral virtue of the fan. Or at least he is when talking about artists he likes. I mean, “HOW CAN YOU LIKE THE BTS VERSION RAP MONSTER MADE COLORIST COMMENTS!!! THEY DID PHOTO SHOOT IN A HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL!!!! AIIIIIGGGGGHH!!!!” is every bit as valid as AJ’s initial argument, but one group bothers him more than the other, so none of that comes up. Not that I think it should, mind you, but whenever people trot out questions of character to justify their musical opinions, you get these little oversights….

      (I guess I’ll point out here that I’ve never bought the original, despite liking the song, and I bought the BTS version. But that’s because I thought the production quality of the remake was much better than that of the original, which is pretty bad, not because I think one group is morally superior to the other.)

      • I actually think AJ is pretty squarely embedded in the obsession over the moral virtue of the artist… it just mercifully has a more palatable idea of a “moral norm” than, say, NB. At least it blatantly presents itself as a IATFB’s tabloid blog rather than a “real” news site XD

        • I always feel obligated to point out that NB doesn’t present itself as a real news site either–people treat it as one, but it explicitly isn’t one.

        • I guess my disappointment stems from my perception that AJ usually appears to recognize that a lot of what passes for morality in K-Pop, like virginal innocent concepts for girl groups, is in fact marketing. And yet, the beautiful blank slate that is BTS’s dating life gets taken at face value, when it is the most basic K-Pop marketing tactic–not to mention the reason Seo Taiji had a secret marriage in the first place.

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