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.
The entire k-pop industry and culture seems to me to be very much built around the needs of the Internet generation. There’s a whole strata of information and activity around k-pop that you would completely miss if you weren’t plugged into the Internet. I’m not just talking about music downloads, or about blogs like this one – the whole promotional machine is Internet-driven. Teasers are designed specifically for Internet consumption. Videos debut on YouTube globally long before they hit TV shows. SNS is now a promotional tool. If you were to just go down to your local k-pop CD store and buy albums and merch, and had no other involvement in k-pop apart from that and maybe watching it whenever it’s on TV, you would honestly be clueless about almost everything k-pop related. Everything is interconnected, self-referential and instantaneous, and moving very quickly, something the brains behind the industry are acutely aware of, and doing their best to be at the forefront of, with varying degrees of success.
Unfortunately, this wonderful connectivity through the miracle of technology has had an unfortunate side-effect – everyone has grown accustomed to all this instantaneous access and availability, has grown to expect it, and gets shitty whenever they have to wait for anything for any length of time that would be considered normal in any other music scene. Everyone wants their new teaser/photoshoot/comeback/tour/blow-up fetish toy NAOW NAOW NAOW. For example, remember the f(x) fans whining about no f(x) comeback a few months ago? How long had it been since the Electric Shock mini-album, only about 12 months if that, in any other music scene any group who releases a mini-album in 2012 and then a full album in 2013 is considered to be fairly prolific.
It’s great for the companies to have their audience on a string like this, so they’re happy to play along, nudging fans with teasers and cryptic SNS messages, and releasing things a day or two early to satisfy the impatient masses. Where it becomes a problem is that fans pandered to and endlessly spoiled by these companies expect instant access to not just music-related content, but everything and I really do mean EVERYTHING related to it, and whining like bitches when they don’t get it.
The perfect example from last year: T-ara’s “bullying” controversy only escalated because the company didn’t respond to the concerns of fans in what fans thought was a reasonable timeframe (i.e within a few days), so with a lack of official information to work with, fans created their OWN fraudulent “information” to fill the void, and ran with it. By the time the company bothered to clarify things, people had so much emotional energy invested in their own stupid little theories that there was no way they were going to believe the words of anybody who would actually know the truth – you know, like the people actually involved.
The most recent example: G-Dragon takes a photo with his face blacked out, deliberately ambiguous, very obviously a teaser of some kind. People quite understandably wonder what it’s all about (which is of course the point of a teaser, proving that it’s fucking working a charm isn’t it), and some people with a bunch of time on their hands think that maybe G-Dragon is being racist and then the company seeing the social media outcry responds by saying that it’s a face-painting thing for something upcoming in a few weeks, implying that maybe you should hold your fucking horses for a bit and settle down with your theories about racism or whatever, at least until you see the end result of whatever the fuck it is they’re working on. Do people then settle down? Oh fuck no. Everybody has to know NAOW NAOW NAOW whether G-Dragon is a horrible racist who hates black people or at the very least a cultural ignoramus because he painted his face black, and speculate on this shit endlessly. Please. Just spare me, and chill the fuck out.
From what YG described, maybe what G-Dragon ends up doing will look and sound something like what these white performers painted in black (and red, and white, just like the YG statement said) are doing?
I certainly hope so (and if you think what THEY are doing is “blackface”, you’re an idiot – go look up what the term actually means you daft cunt). Or maybe it will be something really shit instead but IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO FUCKING WAIT TO FIND OUT ANYWAY, YOU LITTLE SHIT.
If this generation of tech-savvy entitled brats don’t have shit handed to them on a platter and neatly explained in a timely fashion with no ambiguities left over they have to get on their high horse and start pointing fingers at someone, or something, or ANYTHING, so they can feel good about themselves and morally superior, because “well, gosh, you’d never see ME painting my face black for a performance concept because that would be culturally insensitive”, or “well if it was ME in charge of YG I wouldn’t have made 2NE1 wait two years for a comeback” or “SM need to prioritise f(x) as much as SNSD” or “KKS should have held a press conference with all of T-ara”, or whatever the fuck else they think they know about how to do any of this shit despite having precisely zero experience in said field.
I’m sure people could change the world infinitely for the better if they could just stop fucking complaining about it all the time and get up off their computer chairs. Which seems like a good note to end this blog on.