Category Archives: media

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.

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Business-y bits

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This article (via zicogram) is pretty darned interesting–apparently Hack Zico has a total of more than 10 million views (for all episodes, on all platforms). The article says that this is especially remarkable given that it’s an Internet-only show that was never aired on television.

If you’ve been paying attention, partnering with online platforms has been an explicit strategy of KQ Entertainment, and they’ve definitely been experimenting a lot with that. One major advantage would presumably be that you’re not expected to engage in the payola and ass-kissing that is standard operating procedure with Korean music shows.

So, it’s really gratifying for me to see that strategy working so well for them. I’ve been in an industry where you’re treated like a peon–it’s no fun, and watching those sorts of bullshit industry practices wither away (as those who had engaged in them screamed in agony over the horrible new order) was one of the great delights of going indie.

* * *

Of course this is going to piss off Those Who Get Pissed Off about things like Block B not appearing on music shows. (So important…if you’re arguing with some Exo fan about which group sucks.) At the moment, though, Those Who Get Pissed Off are busy being pissed off because Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ.

Except they don’t know that’s what they’re angry about. These are the same people who apparently thought Block B Japan was run by magical fairies. They don’t realize that Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ. They think his video isn’t on the Seven Seasons YouTube channel (and the company hasn’t changed its all-important social-media headers! OMFG!!!) because the company is lazy and cheap and loves only Zico. I guess they think that’s why there hasn’t really been any coverage of the upcoming song in the Korean media, either. (I don’t know why they think it’s on a different distributor’s channel. Do they even know what a distributor is?)

I mean, the explanation was translated into English, but…no. Can’t understand it. Must be Seven Seasons/KQ’s fault somehow.

For the record: The song is a special project for another company that is not Seven Seasons/KQ. This is like when the members do soundtrack songs for dramas, or cover songs for variety shows, or songs for Show Me the Money, or songs for Block B Japan. There’s another company in charge, and whether or not there’s a video, or marketing, or international distribution is not Seven Seasons/KQ’s decision. (Why agree to sing a song for another company that may or may not do a good job promoting and distributing the song? Usually because said company offers an up-front payment.)

So, the people who hope the members would go to another company? They already have! They’ve done it many times! Park Kyung is doing it right now! Seven Seasons/KQ actually seems pretty relaxed about that kind of thing.

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).

“Does he even have a lot of haters?”

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Oh, thank you, DKDKTV.

They start discussing the existence or nonexistence of Zico’s haters again at the 5:30 mark, and it’s pretty funny given how hard these haters try to be relevant. I mean, here are two younger Korean men, living in Korea, who are sufficiently into K-Pop that it’s a big focus of their YouTube channel, and they’re forced to conclude in the absence of any other evidence that, since even they have haters, Zico must have them, too.

So, yeah. Keep that in mind if what you see in the English-language K-Pop press starts to worry you.

Just some highlights of Zico’s history with the Korean K-Pop media

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There’s been a lot of traffic to these two posts. And I realize that there are some people who are working very hard to convince themselves that Zico’s media relations are some kind of real problem (imposed on him, of course, by his evil, evil label–run away with me, Zico!!!!), and I don’t expect this post to have any impact at all on those folks. But if you are kind of new to this (because for some strange reason you haven’t been spending the last four years obsessively following this issue), you might wonder why I and apparently every Korean on Nate find the notion that Zico owes the Korean K-Pop media anything at all to be genuinely hilarious.

If you’re not familiar with how the K-Pop press operates in Korea, Zico might seem to be acting unfairly. I mean, yeah, he wasn’t too happy about having his relationship with Seolhyun exposed, but…it’s not like that wasn’t true, right? (Mostly, anyway.) Why is he so closed off?

But the Korean media has also reported many things about Zico and Block B that are not remotely true. This happens all the time and is actually a big part of why NetizenBuzz exists–the “professional” media in Korea will print just about anything, including utterly stupid netizen comments, whether or not it’s true or of any significance. The only thing that matters is getting clicks.

Example #1 of the shit work the Korean media has done for Zico and Block B is, of course, the Thailand scandal.

If you click through that link, you will see that that post was inspired by an extremely sensible question: Why was the scandal such a big deal in Korea if Koreans had the capability of understanding that Zico’s remark in Korean was mistranslated into Thai? And the answer is: The media in Korea sucks ass.

Example #2: The rice-pizza scandal was reported, as a scandal, in the Korean media.

Actually, that one’s unusual because it was true–the members of Block B did indeed say they didn’t care for rice pizza. Of course, the whole bit where that makes them terrible people….

Example #3: They cropped Paloalto out of a publicity photograph taken for “Dark Panda” to create the impression that Zico and Hyolyn were dating.

Example #4: They cropped Henry Lau out of a picture of Zico and Lee Sung Kyung to create the impression that those two were dating.

That particular cropped photo was run in the Korean media–no lie–for months. Lee went on television and said they weren’t dating, and then Zico went on television, said they weren’t dating, showed the original photo, and showed how it had been altered. Even after all that the Korean media reported that Zico and Lee were dating using the doctored photo as “evidence.”

Whatever gets the clicks, baby!

So, yeah. This is not some one-time problem–the Korean K-Pop media is consistently terrible. Zico quite sensibly is not going to trust the media in his country, and his label is not, by any means, going to encourage any such trust.

And, honestly, why should he? I used to be a reporter, and all I can say is, you get what you give–if you want people to trust and respect you as a journalist, you need to behave ethically and be worthy of that trust and respect.

A cranky observation about the media & the management

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The latest “controversy” about Seven Seasons/KQ’s handling of the media just emphasizes something that bugs the hell out of me: The assumption that Seven Seasons is never helpful and always wrong.

Let’s look at that account of what happened in 2013.  (The people who think that reporter was Block B’s very best friend were sure to look up his and his outlet’s coverage of the Thailand scandal beforehand, right? I mean, no fan would ever blindly side with media outlets that have quite the history of trying to fist-fuck the group or anything, right?)

Enough questions! Presumably everyone remembers how careful Block B was with their “Very Good” promotions. If you don’t, they were super-duper careful, and it worked! For once Block B didn’t have a comeback ruined by scandal or lawsuits!

Yes, they! were! careful! They were such good boys, trying so hard to be proper idols, and always being careful about what they said and who they said it to, carefully, in order to avoid scandal.

Boy, did the fans sing praises about how careful Block B was. Such careful people.

And I’m sure they were careful, but–whaddaya know: They had help being careful. They (like most entertainers, who are typically people-pleasers and have a very hard time saying no) had a big mean scary high-ranking executive (sometimes it’s a manager, sometimes it’s a lawyer, sometimes it’s a family member–but it’s always someone) who ran around being the bad guy and saying “No way! Get the fuck out!” to people and situations they thought were probably trouble. (Added bonus: Whenever some reporter was disappointed, it wasn’t Block B’s fault. It was the fault of mean old Seven Seasons!)

It’s almost like–stay with me–things are set up this way on purpose in order to protect celebrities’ images!

Oh, but we didn’t see the sausage factory, so it must not exist–such is always the case with management. Instead, the boys–seven completely perfect humans–naturally handled everything with aplomb, and because God invariably rewards the virtuous with material success, they pulled off that vital return to the industry without a hitch!!

Like the divine beings they are.

“The essence of a press conference” is a combination of unflattering lights, boredom, and unfortunate smells, by the bye

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Zico gave a press conference where he didn’t answer reporters’ questions!!!

Wow, yeah. I think “This article wasn’t written in an attempt to brandish unfair power. It’s an attempt to find the essence of a press conference” is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time, especially coming right after Eric & Na Hyemi’s “controversy.”

Reporters get pissed off about shit just like anyone else does. Of course, you usually keep it to yourself so that you don’t come across as an entitled, unprofessional, biased pussy. But I guess when you’re not accustomed to actually leaving the office for any reason, it makes it soooo hurtful when you do attempt the most basic level of reporting, and that canned event doesn’t work out exactly like you expected!

Since I am a former reporter, I of course have sneaky, back-door access to all other reporters’ questions, including the ones they weren’t allowed to ask Zico! Here they are!

  1. Why don’t you take responsibility for Block B?
  2. Is the line, “Why did she date such an unrefined delinquent?” about Seolhyun?
  3. How did she feel about it?
  4. So you’re still in touch/no longer in touch with her?
  5. Why don’t you take responsibility for Seolhyun?
  6. Why don’t you take responsibility for AOA?
  7. Why don’t you take responsibility for your antis?
  8. What is your ideal type?

Aren’t you all torn up inside that Zico and his mean, horrible label didn’t respect “the essence of a press conference”?

(Of course this “controversy” is having the same kind of impact they always do.)

ETA: And this too–I’m speechless as well, but probably for very different reasons than the original poster. I mean, this so-called journalist is carrying a grudge from 2013, and he can’t seem to understand why Seven Seasons would have been very careful about Block B’s media exposure after the Thailand scandal. Not like that’s their job or anything. Unprofessional and entitled as fuck–he’s openly carrying the hatchet for Seven Seasons because of something that happened four years ago.

EATA: Oh, God, I’m finding myself COMPLETELY agreeing with the people on Netizen Buzz! This is always so disconcerting when it happens….