KPOPALYPSE FAQ

I’ve been running this website for over a year and it’s just occurred to me that it doesn’t have a FAQ.  Gosh, that’s a bit of an oversight, especially given how many questions I get asked over at ask.fm – it seems like some of you guys could really use a collection of the most common questions and answers.

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What is this website?

It’s a blog created by me, Kpopalypse, so I can write about k-pop related stuff.

What does the name “Kpopalypse” mean?

K-pop + apocalypse.

What sort of content can I expect here?  What’s your angle?

There’s a lot of people writing about k-pop out there, so when I started blogging, I asked myself “why would anyone want to read MY blog, as opposed to any of the other hundreds of k-pop blogs out there”?  The answer I came up with is that I would have to do things in a way that was sufficiently different.  Therefore instead of speculating about rumours by reading gossip mill websites and using blind guesswork, I focus on what I actually know from personal experience working with music and in the music industry with other musicians and people behind the scenes, this is something I’m not seeing anybody else doing in k-pop writing.  I’m also not interested in taking the moral high-ground and putting either myself or k-pop stars or Korean netizens or even k-pop in general on a pedestal and I’m quite comfortable with being hated (obviously I’d prefer to be liked, but if not, that’s okay).  I’ll tackle ideas and opinions from a different angle, which might not necessarily be opposed to popular opinion, but will certainly not read much like what you’ve seen elsewhere.  Then there’s the fiction writing – any fiction that I write won’t fit into standard fan-fiction idioms that are all about idolising someone, instead I use fiction as a tool to explore both facts and possibilities, although some of it’s also just for fun.  Occasionally I also post silly stuff or pictures of hot girls, because I’m into those things too, and also sometimes stuff which is purely educational.

Do you also write for the popular k-pop blogsites Anti Kpop-Fangirl and Asian Junkie?

Yes I have, although I don’t anymore!  Articles from this website have been reposted to those sites from time to time, along with articles from all their other authors.  Anti Kpop-Fangirl received the most content, where the articles would appear pretty much the same as they are written here, with only minor formatting adjustments.  Asian Junkie sometimes published my writing too, but they edited the content more heavily to fit in with their format.  I highly recommend both websites, and I was a fan of both of them before I was an author.

I can’t believe some of your opinions.  Do you really take what you write seriously?

Obviously there’s a lot of humour in my posts, but I take what I write very seriously.  What other people think about my writing, that’s the part I don’t take seriously.  Rest assured that my opinions are genuinely my own, none of it is ‘clickbait’ or trolling for website hits.  I make no money from blogging and I don’t run ads so I have nothing to gain from more visitors (and if you’re seeing default ads from the blog host get yourself an adblocker).  If all I wanted was more visitors I’d probably just turn this into an Exo fansite or something.

What is your musical and music industry background?

I started playing piano at a very young age and switched to guitar in my teens.  I first performed onstage at 14 and by the time I left school I had my own band and was playing venues.  At 19 years of age I started my own record label, recorded and released music by myself and others.  I’ve been on several tours mainly with punk groups and have also been a radio DJ since 1997.  Later on after doing music for a few years I decided to get some qualifications so I went to University and passed a Bachelor of Music (honours), and also completed a separate audio engineering degree.  These days I make most of my music industry income from music teaching.

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Why did you start blogging?

Initially, this blog was created as a way to store bonus content for the Kpopalypse radio show.  I found that there were things that I wanted to say on-air and explore in detail, but that I couldn’t fit into the radio show format because of the time constraints of the program.  I also wanted a way to show radio listeners videos and pictures to expand the show’s context, as k-pop is a visual experience as much as it is an auditory one.  Eventually the blog took on a life of its own, especially once I started writing for Anti Kpop-Fangirl, and now the blog exists as a way for me to write more generally about k-pop, with very few posts being directly related to the radio program.

Why do you hate [insert your bias here]?

Actually I don’t hate any k-pop idol, but I also don’t “idolise” any of them.  I believe that the idolatry that fuels k-pop fandoms is a symptom of mental illness and I’m against that.  I’m also against dumb hatred of people who I don’t even know personally and have no ability to morally judge.  I’ll still make jokes though, because nothing is sacred, but none of it is “bashing” in the sense that rabid k-pop anti-fans will do in a deliberate attempt to try and influence popular opinion – that’s just dumb.  The public persona of celebrities is almost never reality, and buying into the idea that you can tell someone’s true character (good OR bad) just by their TV appearances or seeing them on a stage is ridiculous.

Is that you on Twitter/OneHallyu/ask.fm/Reddit?

Yes, I have a presence on all these sites.  The best way to get in touch with me is through Twitter or ask.fm, the others don’t get checked on a very regular basis.

Is that you on Pinterest/Foursquare/League Of Legends?

No, that’s just someone else who had the same idea for a name as me.  I do like computer games but I don’t play any of them with the handle “kpopalypse”, and I don’t use Instagram, etc.

Is that you on the YouTube channel called KPOPcalypse?

No, that’s a completely separate group of people.

Why are there pictures of T-ara’s Eunjung everywhere on this site and in your posts?

It’s not just attractiveness, although that is definitely part of it and if I thought she was ugly I probably wouldn’t use her – it’s also the fact that’s she somewhat of a pariah in certain trend-following circles.  I deliberately use her image as part of what Frank Zappa calls “conceptual continuity”, it’s a unifying factor that ties several ideas in together which inform the blogging I do as a whole, the main idea being that whatever the trendy mode of thought is for people who don’t really think about issues deeply but just want to be popular, or accepted, or “go along to get along”, or react with the most basic moral high-ground stance on every issue that comes up so they can be more trendy and more liked – I’m against that.  Eunjung is very symbolic.

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You seem to be anti-netizen.  Why?

I’m not anti netizen as such but rather I’m anti-blind popular opinion, and the idea that the majority is always right just because they’re the majority.  When Hitler was in power millions of people thought he was right, too, as did the people running the Salem Witch Trials, which bear more than a passing similarity to how netizens behave when there’s a k-pop scandal, especially ones involving females.  I fear that the Internet is actually contributing to the amount of stupidity in society globally by giving witch-hunting and trial-by-popular-opinion the possibility of going viral.  I try to motivate people to think beyond just what is trendy and popular to believe and to look at things in a different way that is more analytical.

You seem to be anti-vocalfag.  Why?

I’m not.  However, I do think that caring overly about vocal technique in a genre of music where the benchmarks for success are Madonna, Elvis and The Spice Girls and everyone either uses generous helpings of electronic pitch-correction or sings to doubled backing tracks is a little ridiculous.  K-pop is not opera.  I understand that some people do like to hear good vocals and that’s fine (I can even relate, as I like to hear good guitar playing), but where I have an issue is when those people start to infiltrate popular taste and try to make everyone else hear music the way that they hear it and judge everyone on those terms.  I come from a punk background where the drive to get up and give music a go and the strength of your idea is more important than the technicality of the end result.  Technique should never be a barrier to performance or opportunity.  I would never impose my technical guitar-playing knowledge on the general population’s taste as rule of law by saying “Kurt Cobain shouldn’t be successful because he can’t play guitar as well as Yngwie Malmsteen” because I think there’s a place for poor players with great ideas and/or a unique approach.  Likewise I don’t want to hear anyone telling me that I shouldn’t listen to Bom just because there is also Ailee.

Your k-pop bias list?

Click here. Subject to change, of course… and I may have forgotten someone.

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Are you into k-pop because you’re a creepy old man who likes young Asian girls?

All my biases are over legal age…. but if I were to list my 20 most attractive people in the world generally it would probably be dominated by my girlfriend, various AV stars both east and west, a western actress or two, a few exes and maybe Raina right down the bottom… don’t ask me to make that list by the way.

So why are you into k-pop then?

Click here.

I think your blog is really sexist because you objectify women and support an industry that exploits women.  What do you have to say for yourself?  Huh?

Firstly, you’re just a self-righteous cunt.  Also, objectification and exploitation is kind of a normal thing in any entertainment industry.  I perform on stage too, and as performers my groups are also objectified and we exploit ourselves musically, physically, sexually… any way we can get away with it!  And we enjoy it!  Entertainers ARE objects for exploitation – which of course doesn’t mean that they’re also not people, but the full depth of a person’s personality isn’t truly perceivable via popular culture media anyway, so entertainers go for what makes a memorable first impression.  Welcome to how the world really works.

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Why are you into this k-pop shit?  You should be listening to [insert genre here], that’s REAL music.

I listen to what I want to listen to.  The true spirit of punk rock is to break the rules, not to follow them. This includes the unwritten rules about what it’s “okay” for someone to like and dislike – including someone in a punk rock scene.

Can I repost your material onto another site, or translate and repost to somewhere in another language?

Yes, but please remember to credit the work as mine and to link back to the original post!  If you let me know that you’ve reposted any of my writing, I’ll put up a link to your version from the Kpopalypse article index.

I have a question but it’s not here.  Where can I ask it?

Check this post first.  If it’s not there, use my ask.fm – it is checked daily and I will answer anything sensible.  For questions that are long and complex, where you don’t mind waiting up to a month for an answer I suggest using the QRIMOLE question box on the sidebar.  A new QRIMOLE answer post is posted monthly.

This is not a question, but I like what you’re doing.

I intend to keep doing it.  Thanks for reading!

eunjung-ham

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