Welcome to another Comments of the Week!
This week in idol and music related news, we gave our thoughts on the latest happenings related to CN Blue, B.A.P, Cross Gene’s J.G., Infinite H, Double Yoon, Sori, Airplane, and VIXX.
In terms of film, fashion and tv, we looked at the best of last week’s music shows, January fashion magazine photoshoots, Codename: Jackal, and Cha Tae-hyun.
As for socio-cultural topics, our writers tackled K-pop and hip-hop, idol-isms, charitable fan gifts, international fan elitism, and problems with Kang Min-kyung‘s Gillette CF.
As a final reminder, for those of you that think you might want to dip your toe into writing about the intricacies of K-pop through our site (or know someone who would like to do so), we’re still currently accepting applications for our first hiring round of the new year.
The deadline to submit an application is this Sunday, January 27, so get those writing samples in!
Here are three comments that caught my eye this week:
Ming Xi Woo on Codename: Jackal has Arrived:
In all honestly, this wasn’t a good movie at all. It alternated between being funny and downright depressing at times, and the scenes where Jaejoong talked about “shedding his image”; well he certainly shed it, but not in a good way. Even though I’m a huge fan of Jaejoong and his music, his acting needs a lot of work. Shedding an image does not just mean doing obvious, over the top things such as urinating in front of a female, having your hair burnt and being hit by a wine bottle. That merely shred an outside image of a handsome and good looking young man. I think Jaejoong should be thinking about shredding an image of a (desperate) idol actor to someone who is truly immersed in acting. Maybe shredding an image of an idol in total? (Even though he is still an idol, but only musically.) If he wants his acting to be taken seriously, he needs to focus more on simple and subtle technical things, such as voice and conveying of emotion, not just destroying his image of a good looking young man.
To act convincingly and to have viewers connect to the character, one must at least have the basics down. I think he even did his role as Kim Kyung Tak in Dr. Jin better than he did his role as a superstar here, despite Dr. Jin not having been a very good drama in general. At least in that role, although his sageuk was off, he seemed more devoted and immersed in it, and I, as a viewer, felt connected to his character.
I hope he takes more time off to work on his acting (not yet though, I’m loving his solo album right now and I can’t wait for good music either) and I hope he improves! He isn’t as bad as other idol actors in acting (ahem, Minho, Sulli, Jessica.) and I really wish the best for him, since things haven’t been going well for him since the lawsuit began. I’m half glad the lawsuit began, because it gave a chance for Jaejoong to use and show his full potential, albeit revealing his flaws on the way. But that’s all for the best, as one can only get better with time and practice.
animasaurus on Roundtable: Idol-isms:
I think that there is a difference between doing something awful and being an awful person. I sometimes feel idols have to take too much crap for their mistakes even when it doesn’t accurately reflect them as a person. Not to say that there aren’t idols who are genuinely awful because I can think of a good few or that there aren’t idols who keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I just feel that slipping up once in a while only makes idols human and shows that they are a little more real than they are given credit for.
Ami-ah on “The Solution to EXO’s Airport Problems” is Not International Fan Elitism:
This is truly a great article and the subject has been weighing heavily on my fangirl conscience the minute I started reading fan-accounts from foreign fans that went to visit Korea and attended an event that their biases were holding. Just about every fan-account I’ve read from the perspective of a foreign fan held this “us vs. them” mentality. They would repeatedly emphasize on the idea that Korean fans looked at them with hostility or that they’d get a lot of stares.
One foreign fan-account of a Block B event in Japan repeatedly focused on how they– the handful of foreign fans that were there–were the object of intense scrutiny from other fans and how Block B somehow responded differently to them compared to native fans. There was a part in the event where a cameraman would take photos of fans so the foreign fans ended up making derp faces and supposedly they were the “only” ones who made derp faces and Block B thoroughly enjoyed their photos more than that of any other group, but another fan-account refuted the first one’s claims and mentioned that pretty much everyone at the event made derp faces at the camera.
To think that many foreign fans have this negative perception of Korean fans is both presumptuous and hypocritical. They criticize Korean fans for being “in too deep” while they enjoy perusing Tumblr and Youtube for fancams and fantaken pictures, not even considering the fact that those were KOREAN fans that spent hours setting up equipment, often waiting in freezing temperatures or unfavorable weather conditions, and spending the entire time filming their biases or taking hundreds of photos instead of fully enjoying the experience. They’re impressed by the loud fanchants that their biases receive when they perform on music shows, not even stopping to think that those are KOREAN fans who spent time creating fanchants and also standing in lines in front of broadcasting stations to support their biases. They love the sea of glowing lightsticks that move to the rhythm of their idols’ songs, not even attempting to consider that those may be Korean fans who spent hundreds on tickets and merchandise.
So many international fans just take, take, take, and then turn around and bite the hand that feeds them, not even realizing that without Korean fans, their relationship to their biases would be lacking. They can only rely on the contributions that Korean fans make to the online community–raw snippets of shows, fancams, fantaken pictures, accounts to be translated, etc. But then they criticize those same fans that unselfishly uploaded their hard work on the Internet. It makes no sense to me at all.
Granted, I’ve heard that Korean fans don’t look at their international concepts with anymore respect that international fans, some even going as far as saying that they’re “cockroaches” but I do understand where they’re coming from. A lot of so-called foreign “fans” make no attempt to support their biases and just illegally download the songs, under the excuse that they don’t have the means to buy the physical album or the songs on iTunes, when a good portion of them probably do have the means. Then there are those that shamelessly take pictures, remove the watermarks, edit them, and post them for fans to see, completely disregarding the rules of the fans that spent their time and resources to provide the fruits of their labor.
I feel like Korean fans don’t get the respect that they deserve from the international fandom as a whole and that’s upsetting to me because if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t we do the same things that they do–stand in line for long hours waiting for tickets to be distributed, stand in the cold before entering the broadcasting station or the venue where their biases will be performing, etc.? I admire them for the love that they give to idols when we’re limited to do the same. They provide the support where we can’t–what’s not to respect in that?
Thanks for being awesome readers, and as always, feel free to leave additional comments below!
(Images via Arena Homme, Yesse, CCM, Ivy Club, SM Entertainment)