Category Archives: K Pop

And I thought “Freeze” was bad

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This came out today from Babylon (fun!):

And someone mentioned in the comments that he used to be in an idol group.

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Oh my God–I mean, I wasn’t expecting it to be good, but….

Seriously, if they’d made him clench any harder, he would have broken himself right into two!

Poor Babylon. I have a sudden understanding of his preference for 1. choosing himself which producer to work with, and 2. baggy layers of clothing….

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A look at both sides of the duck

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No, not that duck!

In the United States, we sometimes use the analogy of a duck to describe a situation where someone appears to be moving along effortlessly (like the part of the duck you easily see above the water), but in truth they are “paddling like hell” (like the feet of the duck below the water, which you don’t see).

Obviously, the entertainment industry is always very much like a duck: What you see is the glamorous stars stepping out of their limousines; what you don’t see is all the work that got them there.

Last night P.O appeared on The Show dressed as a vampire, and I wanted to examine one fun, yet duck-like, thing that came from that–namely, the roughly 10,000 fan photos of P.O looking alternately handsome and adorkable.

That’s the top part of the duck–such fun!

Now let’s go beneath the waves.

ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ

Obviously a lot of work went into getting P.O all gussied up, not to mention getting him on the show in the first place. But I want to look at just one small piece of the picture: How did P.O and the fan cammers wind up in the same place at the same time?

As you can see by watching the above video, this was no chance meeting. There are a group of fans, clearly following set rules (stay seated, don’t approach him), who are in a particular place and time where they know P.O is going to show up, and where he knows the fans will be.

How do the fans know where to go? They follow this Twitter account (there is usually information on the fan cafe site as well), which is filled with photographs of near-abandoned cityscapes that can, at times, be oddly haunting and beautiful.

These are the places the fans are supposed to wait. Sometimes the waiting is just something you have to do to, say, be part of the audience for a music show, but often it’s what you do because one or more members of Block B is going to come out to say hello, pose for pictures, and maybe even answer questions (more or less seriously depending on their mood, of course).

This is a very common practice in K-Pop–at least with idol groups. And it’s part of why sometimes you get complaints that seem really odd. For example, Zico might be on the docket for a hip-hop show. The night of the show, he arrives in time for his scheduled appearance on stage, he does a good job performing the setlist he was expected to perform, and then he leaves.

And the fans complain bitterly.

That might seem really unreasonable–and, to a certain extent, it is. But it’s not quite as outrageous as, say, the fan of a Western artist getting mad about the same thing, because in some situations Zico absolutely is expected to come out and greet the fans in addition to performing.

But it also gives you an idea of why the notion that fans in Korea “don’t get anything” from Block B is such a risible one. What is considered minimal fan service in Korean K-Pop circles is well beyond what is expected almost anywhere else. There were a lot of photos this time around because of the costume, but P.O does this kind of mini-meeting with fans (which are, of course, set up by the Seven Seasons staff) pretty much every time he appears on The Show–and he’s a regular!

Cognitive…dissonance…overload….

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From Netizenbuzz:

Also from Netizenbuzz:

Be sure to read those comments–no misogyny there, no way!

From Asian Junkie:

Also from Asian Junkie (no link, because it’s EVERYWHERE):

What I can see as a legitimate complaint about iKon’s behavior is that the audience probably included many young people, so stuff like grinding was not really appropriate. I’m still not sure why men in drag lifting each other’s skirts constitutes harassment of women, unless one of the members of iKon has a REAL surprise in store. And Asian Junkie saying stuff like “[iKon’s behavior] does kinda put everything in a less joking tone and more just disrespectful manner”–honestly, the only way to top that is going to be if Anti KPop-Fangirl stops drawing dicks on women’s pictures long enough to condemn iKon as well.

ETA: And the concert was from last year–hahahahaha. Yeah, everyone there was so upset that it took a year for some hater to dig up the clips.

New pointless scare!

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Remember how I wrote that post about the pointless scares about Zico leaving Block B and noted that, oddly enough, there never seem to be any scares about any of the other members leaving Block B?

Well, we seem to have reached a milestone.

Apparently some people finally managed to get it through their skulls that “Wiped” is not being put out by Seven Seasons/KQ. Because they are willfully ignorant and addicted to drama, they apparently have now decided that this is HUGELY SIGNIFICANT and a sign that Park Kyung is about to leave Seven Seasons/KQ, which would presumably also involve leaving Block B.

Here is a visual representation of this thought process:

2 + 2 = I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION!!

I mean, I do try not to be bitchy, but this is kind of a breathtaking combination of absurdity and malice. It’s something where, if you know anything at all about the group and how they have done things in the past, and if you have the most basic understanding of the K-Pop industry–and by that I mean, if you can comprehend that there is more than one company within that industry–then it’s obvious that this is histrionic bullshit.

Why am I saying this?

Remember this?

This song was not put out by Seven Seasons/KQ.

Remember this?

This song was not put out by Seven Seasons/KQ.

Remember this? (I hope so–it came out in June!)

This song was not put out by Seven Seasons/KQ.

I realize that this:

looks more like a comeback video, but that’s not what it is–it’s a cereal commercial. Like the other songs (and there are more) this song was not put out by Seven Seasons/KQ.

When a company that is not Seven Seasons/KQ puts out a song, Seven Seasons/KQ tends to adopt a very relaxed attitude toward marketing. Typically all they do is repost or link to whatever the other company puts out there.

This is a sensible approach for a couple of reasons. First, the other company likely wants to control the marketing (that’s pretty typical, especially given that this is an endorsement), so Seven Seasons/KQ actually has to be careful not to stick their oar in. If it’s a normal song for commercial release, another reason to back off is financial: If there’s another company involved, then Seven Seasons/KQ is presumably not going to get a big share of the revenues. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and money pushing a song to be a hit if you’re never going to see a dime from it.

What happened this time around is that the other company involved, the agency Space Oddity, didn’t give Seven Seasons/KQ anything to work with. Before the teaser release, there were no stories to link to and nothing coming out of Space Oddity for Seven Seasons/KQ to repost. Space Oddity released the teaser an hour before they were supposed to, so Seven Seasons/KQ couldn’t announce the release before it happened.

So it was kind of a debacle, sure. Again, I’m not sure why people seem to think that’s Seven Seasons/KQ’s fault. More comically, they seem to think that Park Kyung would be soooooooo impressed by Space Oddity’s handling of this release that he would drop Seven Seasons/KQ like a hot potato, break his contract, and run on over there. Especially given that they’re not actually a music label.

I mean, of course it is possible that he’ll do that–anything’s possible. But I don’t think that’s the most likely scenario.

P.S. You know what annoys me? Park Kyung just got a television show and an endorsement, and these “fans” are running around trying to convince everyone that the sky is falling. What a waste.

ETA: And now Park Kyung is thanking Seven Seasons/KQ for how they handled this, and these people are…telling everyone to shut up about the panic THEY FUCKING STARTED. Oh, and they still think Seven Seasons/KQ sucks, and they’re obviously not sorry or ashamed or anything, so definitely look forward to them doing their best to start yet another panic with the next release.

OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I mean, how many times do you have to do this before you finally admit to yourself that you have for all practical purposes become a troll?

An introduction to Block B’s fansign culture/Block B fansign greatest hits LOL!

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Netizen Buzz translated a piece about U-Kwon writing rude things at fansigns, and then of course other craptacular English-language media outlets decided to treat this as though it were actual news, which it really, really is not.

Like the vast majority of Block B fans, I believe that the people “upset” about this issue are super-obviously full of shit. But it occurred to me that there might be people who legitimately don’t understand 1. why Block B would act this way, and 2. why Block B fans would react so negatively to criticism of what, on the surface, certainly looks like very rude behavior.

Hm, I thought, Maybe I should do a serious educational post about Block B’s fansign culture for non-fans.

Then I thought, Why am I letting the killjoys set the agenda?! I should write a fun post about Block B’s fansigns for the fans, who would enjoy it!

Then I realized: I could do both!

So, in this post:

If the text is blue, it is aimed at people unfamiliar with Block B.

If the text is maroon, it is aimed at Block B fans.

If it’s black, it’s for everyone.

Here we go!

If you don’t know much about Block B, a very important concept to understand is that the group is, in many ways, a parody of a normal K-Pop idol group. They take music seriously, but they often do the more fan-servicey elements “wrong” in order to be funny.

This extends to fansigns, where the members often do things “wrong” in order to amuse fans. One of the “wrong” things they do is reply quite rudely to fans–something that is actually much beloved by fans.

This has been true since the group’s debut, and fans who ask questions like “What do you think I look like?” or “Will we be together some day?” know full well the kind of answer that they’re going to get.

Remember these, guys? Ah, I’m dying!!!

Have some pervy B-Bomb!

The “abuse” Block B gives fans is such a tradition that fans used to routinely ask the members of Block B to curse at them.

Remember how they used to cuss at the fans?

In this classic video, Zico awesomely says shibal (a VERY VERY bad word in Korean) to a fan who asked him to curse at her–witness Jaehyo’s hilarious reaction.

That video is from the year Block B debuted. This is from three days ago.

Look at Zico drag everyone!

This is why no Block B fan actually believes it when someone says, “I used to be a fan but they were just too rude at that fansign!” That’s a bit like someone saying that they used to be a fan of Block B but then they figured out that the lead vocalist was short–maybe they’re telling the truth, but they obviously weren’t much of a fan, because they didn’t know the first thing about the group.

The other issue is that U-Kwon gets targeted by haters because he has a girlfriend–the idea that he is “mean” to fans stems from the fact that he’s open about being in a serious relationship. In truth, as you can see, he’s no “meaner” than anyone else in the group; 99% of the time this criticism is coming from people who are trying to make an example out of U-Kwon so that their favorite idol doesn’t get any ideas about dating.

There are certain things U-Kwon won’t do as fan service, though, because he feels they’re disrespectful to his girlfriend. One of these things is drawing hearts. This, of course, has become its own joke.

This woman cracks me up (she’s not a crazy person, don’t worry).

More top-quality Korean K-Pop journalism

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Not for the first time, the Korean media is demonstrating that it is completely unreliable even when reporting on issue of great seriousness: A woman claimed that she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed idol, and then retracted the claim that the idol was involved, so a Korean media outlet posted a picture of a particular idol–you know, just some guy they picked out of a hat or something–along with the story. Because why wouldn’t you?

Fucking Christ.

Again, remember that, with K-Pop news, the best case scenario is that you are reading an accurate English translation of some incredibly shitty journalism.

ETA: Oh, nice, a Japanese K-Pop news Twitter account put a Block B hashtag on a Tweet about the story (it’s been deleted, and they’ve apologized). Good to know that shitty, irresponsible K-Pop news reporting is truly a global phenomenon! The best bit is that Block B was IN FUCKING JAPAN when the assault happened!