This blog was inspired partly by a fascinating comment that came through my ask.fm account last week:
It’s no secret that as k-pop’s stock has risen globally, there are more young people in Korea than ever before striving to become idols, and that it’s a ridiculously competitive industry where something like 0.01% of hopefuls will ever get anywhere close to their dream. What would inspire such fierce competition, especially in the case of the male groups? Surely not ego given how much new idol groups are despised, and certainly not money given that even many of the top stars have a bank balance in the negative. So what does that leave?
“Our school system trains kids to be ignorant, with style – functional ignoramuses. They do not equip students to deal with things like logic; they don’t give them the criteria by which to judge between good and bad in any product or situation. They are groomed and launched to function as mindless buying machines for the products and concepts of a multinational military-industrial complex that needs a World Of Dumbells to survive.” – Frank Zappa, from “The Real Frank Zappa Book“.
Trufax: my first exposure to the word “netizens” was through the title to this video:
I thought “this video is pretty tame, really – what’s a ‘netizen’ anyway, is that some kind of slang for an ultra-sexually conservative Internet censorship body who should be pushed under a bus and forgotten about?”. Little did I know how close to the truth that initial thought was.
Far more importantly though (because netizens are never important), this video was also my first exposure to Rania.
You’re a young guy in high school and you’ve been a closet k-pop fanboy for a while now. Sure, you talk about it in forums while trolling under the safety of your anonymous handle “Taeyeonfap” but in your actual real life where you’re significantly more chickenshit, nobody knows yet, and you’re not sure when or even if you’re going to tell them. It’s been easy to hide from your parents – they tend to stay out of your bedroom since you’ve hit puberty, they only ever enter to change the clothing and the sheets, so they know from the stains exactly how much fapping is going on and are understandably not wanting to walk in on a “session”. Sure, they see the SNSD poster you put up but mixed in with all the Sports Illustrated bikini girls they don’t really stick out, and you’re listening to music mainly with headphones these days so you don’t have to hear “TURN IT DOOOOOWN” from your annoying brother who doesn’t even care what you listen to because he’s into some bullshit music where they have no talent and scream all the time and you can’t even hear the words – who actually listens to that shit, you wonder. So it’s not like anyone’s in danger of busting you.
All is going well in your life, with your k-pop fetish remaining nicely undercover, until one day in the middle of science class, one of these slips out of your bag.
A true story:
Last year, I was on tour with my band, driving my piece of shit Mitsubishi stationwagon down the highway in Victoria, Australia, to some tin shed that myself and my musical combo were going to spend the night. I noticed that we were nearly out of fuel, so we pulled into a country petrol station. As we were filling up petrol, a queue of cars started to form behind us. We went into the service station, paid for petrol and some dreaded “road food” and when we went back to my car, just before we were about to leave anyway, I was stopped by some guy old enough to be my grandfather (and I’m not a young guy so you know this guy was seriously old), who got out of one of the cars behind us, and walked up to me especially to say something like “can’t you get a move on? There’s about half a dozen cars waiting behind you, you know!”. My response to this person was “we’re done when we’re done, I’m sorry but you’re all just going to have to wait. We’re getting out of here in a second anyway. What’s wrong with you younger generation anyway, can’t you be a bit patient?” He then went back to his car and shut the fuck up, and we got the hell out of there when we were good and ready, and not a second before.
What a cuntbreath. Can’t he wait ten seconds for us to get in the car without running his mouth like a little bitch? Anyway, today when reading about the latest G-Dragon controversy, it occurred to me that this random petrol station fuckbrain has a lot in common with every k-pop fan ever.