QRIMOLE – Christmas 2018

Christmas presents from Kpopalypse come early, with the last Qrimole for 2018!  It’s time to take a look at reader questions for Kpopalypse!

 

do you think this a true represents how idols sing in the recording room? before adding autotune

No.  A better representation is VAV’s “Under The Moonlight” which is probably one of the only k-pop songs post-Golden Age that actually doesn’t have Autotune.

Autotune is in all commercial music now, just like Photoshop is in all commercial photography now.  You may not be able to hear it, but it’s always in there, VAV’s case here is exceptionally rare.

I don’t think this is much of song, but I am really digging the Girl’s Generation Genie style outfits. Maybe worth helping get them a few extra views? (current count 13,977)

Thanks for your submission, it will feature in the final Kpopalypse Nugu Alert for 2018 – coming soon!

Hi G–Kpopalypse oppar. I finally found your name, caonima ? I wish you have a great day today! Yeah uhm have a great time answering QRIMOLE too.

I don’t know what the fucking big deal is.  As I’ve said in almost every QRIMOLE over the last six months, I don’t have a secret identity and my name, appearance and personal details are right there on the radio show’s Facebook page.  If you took that long to find it, you should reflect on your ability to use Google.

Hate to perpetuate this Loona thing, but to put everyone’s mind at ease, which Loona songs (that you liked more than “Kiss Later”) were not in your Top 30 of 2017?

None.  There were other songs of theirs that I liked (most of them, really) but “Kiss Later” was the best of the ones that didn’t make any lists.

Hello. Have you heard of Jessica Lee? I just found her vlogs on youtube and apparently she was an idol trainee and almost debuted. She also appeared on idol school. She had a series of vlogs where she shared about her kpop experiences and many of the things she said about the inner workings of kpop really confirmed many of the things you have been saying all along. What’s remarkable is that she presents them in a positive way. Really in contrast to your sarcastic style. I was also surprised to learn that that she was probably 16 or 17 when she made those blogs. Her view of kpop is so mature that I thought “Kpopalypse would be proud of her.” Maybe you could interview her? Or maybe at least link her to some of your readers who still want to be kpop idols. Thanks. P.S. just search “Jessica Lee Kpop” in youtube.

I hadn’t, so I searched and found her videos:

I suppose that she could talk to me but she probably wouldn’t be revealing anything that she hadn’t already spoken about here, and a lot of that stuff is now quite well known anyway.  I would still be interested in talking to her but she’d have to approach me about it.  I don’t really like approaching people unsolicited – I still do it anyway, but the response rate is appalling, to the point where I often feel like I may as well not bother.  In my experience the interviews go ten times better when my readers ask the idols to approach me instead of asking me to approach the idols.  So sure, I’m keen, and she seems pretty switched on and honest, but in my opinion you’re asking the wrong person if you really want to make an interview happen!

The best way to approach anyone in the idol industry for an interview is to share with them two things:

1. My interview with Chocolat’s Melanie Lee or Tahiti’s Sarah Wolfgang
2. My email address, which is in my “about” page on this site

Sure, those two interviews are pretty raw, but that’s what I’m about – there’s no point them coming into the interview with any illusions about it being a fluff piece.  They’ll read those interviews and either be really interested, or really really not interested.  Both outcomes are good because I want my interview subjects to know exactly what my focus is before deciding if it’s something that they want.

For someone who isn’t in the Korean idol scene but is more independent, a good example to show them instead might be my interview with UZA.

OK so I’m a lesbian and my ex-girlfriend just recently tried to get back together. I said no because I didn’t want any drama or to be bound to someone, but now she’s dating someone else and I’m weirdly jealous and heartbroken. I know I have no right to be, but our relationship is slowly deteriorating because she only spends time with him now. What is your take on this situation

Why do you care about your relationship with this person now that you’re broken up.  You had your chance and you declined.  Maybe your reasons were good or maybe they weren’t, that’s not for me to know or judge, but in any event you’ve chosen your path so you should stay on it!  When people say “let’s just be friends” what they really mean is “let’s be friendly“, i.e “let’s not give each other a hard time over what was once a thing but now is not”.  It doesn’t mean “let’s continue as we were in a relationship with the same emotional bond but just without the sexual element”.  Move on, I say!

Ever since I checked out your website from that video which showed the top 30 songs that came out last year, I felt like I’m starting to get the message on lots of things:

1. Found new music to like and appreciate what you like as well
2. Seen ‘The Great Satan’ as a bad website to check into and be diverse at, since I see their bias with BTS on a lot of their articles
3. Disregard scandals as nothing to worry about, unless it’s major stuff, and
4. Changed my view on music forever

That last one, however, was starting to get into me. I can’t listen to ballads without hearing your hate about it. I can’t tolerate tropical songs anymore. I just had to find out every Monday on what’s the dude/woman/group on that header every new round-up, and most importantly, my brother couldn’t stand you anymore (he’s a fan of hiphop and Hillsong).

Is it me, or am I getting too attached to this website? Am I just finding just good songs to really enjoy from you?

Glad you’re here and that you’re getting a lot out of the site, however you may be misunderstanding my reviews.  Part of the reason why I review songs so crappily and sometimes even very offensively is because even though my opinions are what they are, I’m trying to drill it into people’s heads that they shouldn’t care what some asshole blogger thinks about a song.  Songs are subjective and therefore it’s your opinion that’s the important one, not mine.  The people who are consuming the lists just for laughs, or who are consuming the lists just to find out what came out that week/year and are completely disregarding/ignoring my text (because they don’t like it/don’t care for it/whatever), both of those groups of people are engaging with the list posts in the way that it’s intended.  The ones who are missing the point are the ones who are thinking “gosh I hope he likes song x” and I routinely insert plenty of content into all of my list posts to mock the expectations present in kind of thinking and also hopefully get people to snap themselves out of caring so much about the opinion of a stranger.  Don’t let other people (including me) dictate your subjective music experience, it’s one of the few things that you DO always get a choice in during your life, so make the most of it!

I know that you talk about chord progression a tiny bit, but why does the “Roly-Poly” chord progression work so well, in terms of breaking it down, and are their other chord progressions that traditionally function just as well.

Also, I’ve been wondering if Yuri’s “Into You” uses that same progression as well. Does it?

You are correct that Yuri uses the same chords (transposed).  I plan to expand on this topic in a future “things that Kpopalypse likes in music”.  Expect it fondly!

Oppar I’m having a hard time right now… please can you show me your cat

A very rare picture of her as a kitten.  You’re welcome.

You’ve just trashed Haseul’s video singing opera (for good reason) so I know you’re not a stan..
.. why is she the no reason sidebar girl?
thanks cao ni ma!

Imagine asking the reason for the “no reason” sidebar girl.

I was going to make it Momoland’s JooE, but then I thought that since Momoland have been doing quite well lately, and being a sidebar girl is always indicative of great fortune, Loona’s Haseul probably needed the help more.

What’s your cat’s name and how old is it?

My cat’s name is Stiglitz.  Named after Hugo Stiglitz from Inglorious Basterds.  They seem to have similar personalities.

I can’t quite remember her birthday but she’s probably about 4 years old.

What do you think of Jennie getting a solo so soon? And Do you agree with the rumour that Jennie is the “HyunA” of Blackpink? That the whole group was actually created to launch her? I know that YG always had a thing for keeping and pushing favourites (CL, G-dragon, Bobby etc.) But Jennie’s case seems the most extreme. She’s always the best dressed, even on stage. Is almost always the only one invited to high end brand launch events and sometimes the only one doing photoshoots and interviews for magazines. I’ve observed that usually the first person to get a solo from a kpop group is either the most popular member or the one who can sing or perform the best. Jennie is neither and people are pissed at her getting a solo first and believe that Lisa or Rosé “deserve” a solo more because they are more “talented” and because Lisa is the most popular in Korea, I believe.

In a group there’s always going to be that one person who stands out more, and really it’s marketing madness for the agency to not then push that person.  In Blackpink it was obviously going to be either Jennie or Lisa (just because they look a bit more visually distinctive than Rose and Jisoo) and YG has clearly chosen Jennie for whatever reason.  It could be because he likes Jennie more and is a creep, but it’s actually much more likely to be something mundane like the influence of advertisers and sponsors.  If you’ve got a dozen people behind the scenes saying “I really want Girl A for my promotional thing, here’s a bunch of money” and maybe only one or two other people wanting Girl B/C/D then there’s your guide to who to push out there more.  The ultimate goal of any k-pop group, as far as an agency is concerned, is not to sell the group – it’s to sell the individuals in the group, not to fans, but to the real clients who are the companies who purchase advertising and fund the k-pop industry.  Talent doesn’t matter – it never has in k-pop and never will.  Popularity with the fans doesn’t matter either – not once you have the real popularity that does matter, which is popularity from sponsors.  Further reading here.

Do you agree that the sole reason Kpop is getting big in the States is that western pop is at an all time low right now? I know that western pop has always been shit but it must be really bad now if people are preferring to listen to a bunch of “uncanny valley” level of gorgeous people dancing and jumping around on stage while singing about god knows what because they cannot even understand the language.

Well it certainly doesn’t hurt that the west doesn’t have any real equivalent to BTS right now.  That group definitely are filling a void, the timing for them is very fortuitous.  Western pop music has been gradually on the skids since the 1990s if you ask me, but I’m not sure that k-pop will ever dominate in the way that it’s constantly being hyped as.  I think the “takeover” will be more modest than that, we’ll see a continuation of what we’re currently seeing, which is a gradual increasing in general interest, to the point where k-pop is seen as just another fairly common popular sub-genre for people to be into, in the same way that heavy metal, rap and country music all are.

For random video: this might be just the thing for someone who likes kpop girls and latex. Mmm hmm…

I don’t accept “random video” submissions through Qrimole (because I only look at Qrimole questions when it’s time to answer them, not every week) but I put this video up here anyway.  Sori really isn’t my type whatsoever but I’m sure somebody out there will get something out of this.

Hi Oppar!
Seoul fashion week was a little while ago. I was binge-reading your kpopalypse fashion class posts and noticed that you always published them around the time of Seoul fashion week. In your polka dots post, you said and I quote,
“…Qri looks great here and even busty but it’s actually the frills that are providing the busty effect (frills may be covered in a future edition of Kpopalypse Fashion Class).”
So I’m just hinting at this but. Can we get another edition?

Thanks,
A Faithful Cao Ni Ma.

P.S please do it. It’s my favourite series.

Yes it will happen!  Seoul Fashion Week happens twice a year but my posts are usually just once a year because each Fashion Class article requires extensive research.  I nearly did do exactly that post you wanted but they are actually some of the hardest articles to write because the research has to be trufaxual and this takes time and lots of important fact-checking, due to this I missed the Seoul Fashion Week schedule.  Rather than put the post out late I decided to try and make it extra-awesome and put it out in the first half of next year.

Is kpop the most successful non English pop music currently?

I don’t know, or care.

Is this gamification?

I don’t know, or care. pt 2

Doesn’t this give you a Bona? Even if it doesn’t, can you applaud the camera man for his excellent camera work?

The questions that I constantly get around “do you like girl X here” are mostly really dull, and they’re almost never of anyone with whom I have even the slightest interest.  Not sure why anyone would even want my opinion to align with theirs anyway, sexual tastes are always an area where your quality of life will improve drastically if your tastes are as different to your peers as possible.  If you’re smart, you’ll steer both me and my readers as far away from your biases as possible.  Further reading here.

Here’s another song for your year-end last-minute review round-up.

This song did actually make it into one of the regular roundups.  Anyone wanting to make submissions for the year-end last-minute review list, you can do so for the next few weeks here.

Can you make a post about the songs you initially dismissed but ended up liking later, and vice versa? I notice that this happens to me quite often, and not only with kpop but all music I listen to.

This is exceptionally rare for me, however the honourable mentions list will feature a song like this.

Opinions on semicolons?

It’s more medically healthy to have a complete colon.

How is QRIMOLE pronounced? I’ve been saying 큐리몰, but I don’t know if that’s right.

I think you’ve got it.  The Qri in Qrimole is Qri from T-ara (obviously) and that’s officially 큐리, so that part is definitely correct.  Not sure of 몰 is the most optimal pronunciation of “mole” but the characters look cool, like one of those droids in Activision’s Night Stalker, so it’ll do.

Say something about jazz.

You could do a positive post on Coco Lee from CocoSori, she has pretty high determination levels for making money and a dedication to upsetting people online.
A while ago her company did a kickstarter for both members, which coco says wasn’t her decision in her reddit ama, but spent all the money on sori as coco wouldn’t play ball with the concept.
Her company wanted them to do Sori’s ‘touch’ as a group, but coco flat out refused, got no company support and produced her own song with help from her friends.
She produces, edits and films her own youtube channel and now twitch streams herself playing pubg, getting twitch donations as a form of revenue. It’s just wonderful to see someone giving fuck yous to their company in the vein of sulli going awol, shannon/IU calling people out and to a degree, yua mikami financing her own career.
I figured you’d enjoy seeing her anger netizens. Seeing people say ‘she shouldn’t be calling out her company like this or dragging her bandmate under the bus’, they have a point, but the drama is too juicy.

I don’t really care about supposed “drama” or “mess”.  I don’t have the same type of fixations as Asian Junkie, he seems to really get into all that, but I just find it tedious – probably because having been behind the scenes in the music business, I know a lot of the mundane reality behind a lot of the supposed “drama” that goes on.  For instance he’ll post about “person x maybe groped person y” and I’m just like “meh, people in the music business actually grope each other all the time” (see further down).  Most of my “drama” posts are really more or less just poking fun at the idea of why people who are not personally involved in any way feel the need to give a crap.  As for Coco specifically, I’m actually way more interested in doing a 100% serious interview with Coco, not to pry into her relationship with Sori specifically, but more to talk about some of the deeper issues around what it’s actually like to be in her kind of situation.  I think she’d be a great interviewee and it’s just a matter of whether she really wants to do it as well as waiting until when she’s allowed to talk freely (and yes I’ve already approached her about this, along with pretty much everybody else who you’re probably thinking might be a good Kpopalypse interview candidate).

I think I’ve seen you mention Azis a few times. How do you know about Bulgarian pop folk music?

I’m very culturally aware of music from all over the world!  I don’t know everything, but I know a lot, plus I do a lot of research into music.  I also formally studied ethnomusicology, which was actually when I first found about about k-pop, in 2000.

Hey kpopalypse, I wanted to ask about your opinion on the term right-wing being used by knetz, even over some small things sometimes. I ask this because of what happened to IZ*ONE on idol room. One of the members promoted attack on titan, because it’s her favorite anime. The group was then accused of being right-wingers, which isn’t a new (did I mention there was a full blown petition started to ban them from tv). They were also told go back to Japan, even though this member was Korean. I know you don’t care for IZ*ONE at all but I want to ask you for your opinion on this in general. Thank you for reading.

I wasn’t following this situation, and I’m glad I wasn’t.  It just seems like the usual idol “controversy” where people make mountains out of molehills.  I don’t care about this and neither should you, or anybody, including the people who are in it.

You’ve said time and time again that you don’t have any favorite artists, and they are simply mediums for the song. If the song is good you don’t care who it’s coming from. Yet, I’ve noticed from your yearly favorites list that some artists make repeat appearances (Nine Muses, April, Lovelyz, GFriend for example). So if those groups were to suddenly disappear do you really think their sound will be found in other artists? You wouldn’t be the least bit disappointed that you can never hear from them again?

It wouldn’t matter, the same songs would just come out with different people fronting the groups.  The most obvious example is that Blackpink are currently being given songs that would very obviously have gone to 2NE1 had they still been around.  Therefore it doesn’t matter to me as a music fan that 2NE1 disbanded – I still got to hear the same songs anyway.  Nothing to be sad about.  Maybe the individuals of 2NE1 might be sad or have their own issues with their agency or whatever, but those are their issues and they don’t affect my listening experience.

Any tips for someone entering the industry? (Not really in music, but I feel theres not much difference in the acting scene)

Yes.

Do you think Tempo is the most catchiest song EXO has released?

No.

Hello Oppar. How are you? I’m fine, thanks for not asking. I have two questions.
Firstly, why do people whine so much about BlackPink doing a lot of endorsements? They keep on saying that they are a bunch of entitled bitches who only know how to model. Aren’t cf deals the way to earn some actual money? I say let the girlies earn them coins instead of the chump change % out of album sales.
Also, if you were suddenly made the ceo of the following kpop companies, what would be the first thing you’d do and why?
1. JYP 2. SM 3. YG 4. BigHit 5. Cube 6. Starship 7. Jellyfish
Love to Stiglitz(am I spelling that correctly?) and strength and patience to your gf(she needs it as she lives with such a cunt).

First question – because fans are stupid.

Second question:

  1. pay my mortgage
  2. pay my mortgage
  3. pay my mortgage
  4. pay my mortgage
  5. pay my mortgage quickly before the company tanks
  6. pay my mortgage
  7. pay my mortgage

What do you do usually when either, the internet is down or cut off (maybe because you haven’t payed it yet)? Not a personal thing, just asking.

Practice guitar.

I know it’s not K-pop related but, I’m just really overwhelmed.

Oppar, my close friends are dating each other. It didn’t bother me because I thought they’d be really great together, I’m actually quite happy. But, why do I feel like I’m not supposed to be around them anymore? I asked if I was annoying them (her specifically) but she told me not to think about that. Ofcourse I felt reassured but, I just can’t shake off the feeling I’m not wanted here and there… All I want is to just spend the little time I have with her because she’s leaving… As for the guy, I did liked him but he still scares me and he can be very possesive of her but like I said it doesn’t bother me… but it adds up to the uneasiness of being around them… should I keep a distance? Would you be annoyed if you were in their shoes? I’m aware of being a clingy guy but, I’m willing to change if it means I’m being a nuisance ?

If it were me in that couple I’d probably want you to stop cramping my style, yeah.  Imagine if you were in the guy’s shoes.  Spend some time with them while they’re apart for sure, but when they’re together, just let them be together, which after all is the point of them being together.  They probably don’t want to come right out and say “fuck off and give us some room” to you because they’re both your close friends and they are probably not cunts like I am, but deep down they’ll thank you even if they say “don’t go!” on the surface.

The exception might be if they’re not actually getting along, and one may want you to “save” them from the other’s company.  Enjoy that personal/political minefield.

can i give you some uhhh, sims 4 creations
would you accept these 6 trainees to be a part of SPUNKMOP?

thanks

No, these trainees have had far too much surgery.  Also, terrible clothes.

Hello oppar!

As someone still fairly new to Kpop, I’ve observed that the “stan talent” international fans are somehow even more cancerous than i-fans of other groups.

I came to this conclusion after seeing f(x) fans spam the shit out of any and all social posts on SM’s accounts begging for a comeback. I wasn’t around when f(x) was a full group, but their fans just seem more obnoxious to me somehow? Like they keep accusing Red Velvet of “stealing songs and concepts meant for fx”, as if songs getting passed around various artists isn’t a common thing in music.

They seem to think that their group’s members are more talented overall because their concept is different from SNSD’s, and this “talent” somehow entitles them to bullying other SM groups getting comebacks (especially Red Velvet). Maybe it’s because I wasn’t around when SNSD was at its peak, but I haven’t seen that many SNSD fans attack Red Velvet or NCT or EXO for getting attention from SM.

And it’s not just f(x), I’ve seen a massive number of Mamamoo stans act downright nasty to other groups too.

My question to you is, has it always been like this? And is Kpop fandom always this crazy anyway, regardless of whichever group you stan?

Yes it has always been like this and if anything I think fans have mellowed a bit.  Read up on some of the early history of k-pop fans, it’s pretty eye-opening.

I don’t think the individual group is what matters, other than that a group with a bigger fandom will obviously have a greater number of crazies in it so their misbehaviour is more empowered by numbers and therefore more noticeable.  However it’s the same psychological tricks that are used by all the big agencies for all their groups, so fan behaviour is fairly similar across the board.

Big Will of KPOP4LIFE posted a video where a Patreon got him to react to a Kpop Christmas song video, and in one of my comments below, I mentioned your blog.
TOP 50 KPOP CHRISTMAS SONGS REACTION (2018) BAAAAAA HUMBUG!!!
Tom Hannah39 minutes ago (edited)
If this video just shows clips but doesn’t even tell us who it is, it’s just Christmas Mush! (or fruitcake!) I don’t know or follow boy groups, and I ESPECIALLY don’t care about their Xmas releases! Jesus Christ! I interrupt this show to say there were only a few Christmas songs I liked, Taeyeon had one, and Wendy slayed me (sleigh’d?) with her awesome rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little” with that amazing pianist!
Just to mention, kpopalypse’s blog has a long and entrenched tradition of absolutely hating kpop Christmas music, it’s really entertaining how much he despises it! I love reading the invective he pours on the whole genre! 🙂 🙂

Thanks for that, and thanks to all the caonimas who are out there mentioning my stuff on other sites!  As readers will know, I don’t really promote my shit at all (except on Asian Junkie, because he loves it when I do that), I just sort of let it find its audience which it seems quite capable of doing on its own these days without me putting in any effort to push it anywhere, which is great because I actually hate pushing my own stuff, I’m not a very good self-promoter.  So I definitely appreciate it when others do it, especially on communities where doing so draws a lot of hate, because I understand that it’s difficult for some people to go against the grain when there’s lots of pressure not to.  Thank you!

Did you know that Day6 is a Christian Rock band in an alternate universe?

The theory of alternate universes states that there is an infinite amount of universes, each one where reality is changed sometimes in small ways, sometimes in larger ways, and some where everything is exactly the same except for just one small decision made by one person.  So why not make this universe the one where you make the decision to ask a better Qrimole question?

Which is the worst song you have EVER heard? Like not just limited to K-pop (I have your end of the year round-ups for that).

I’m not sure if there’s a song I’ve found that is worse than Hwang Minwoo’s “Show Time” but if there is, it’s probably something by Bob Dylan.

twice jihyo boobs

Looks like someone confused the Qrimole question box for the Google search bar.  Here, let me help.

Would you please update the Kpopalypse lexicon to include

“+udontsendrabbitstokillatiger+”

and

stuck using free mcdonalds wifi during your shifts“?  Thanks, dad.

No.  This is not relevant to Kpopalypse.

Hey there, future Orbit.

I am starting to feel like my brother is a walking, talking bad luck charm, but in one day everyday, his birthday.

I noticed that in the past five years (including this year) that we celebrated my bro’s birthday, Murphy’s Law comes along and does something wrong to either us or someone else.

A few years back, while I was outside wandering on the night finishing my bro’s celebration, an earthquake rumbled our city, caused our lights to go black for a minute or two, and I thought that was weird.

It didn’t stop there, two years ago, a storm rumbled through his birthday, and the sky turned black in terror. I was scared.

This year was somehow the final puzzle piece. Nothing happened to us after finishing the feast of food that my friends brought for my bro and our family, but seeing the news, I noticed that SPECTRUM’s Kim Dongyoon died at the same day my bro had another on his life.

Is this a coincidence, or is fate bringing Myron (my brother’s name) to harm anyone of us soon as the candles of a cake light up?

If you continue to expect it, it will continue to happen.  This is how confirmation bias works.  Further reading here.

Hi Kpopalypse!

I’m thinking of visiting Korea next summer and, like most of your readers, I’d be sad if I didn’t see some k-pop while I was there. However, I have no idea how to go about doing this!* I get the impression that lots of the groups do lots of appearances, but I haven’t the slightest clue how one figures anything about such a thing out. I’m not picky about who I see; if anything I think seeing a nugu group might be more fun just because it would be a more intimate space. I was hoping you or your readers might have some advice on how to see some k-pop when visiting Korea as an English speaker. Anyone?

Thank you for all the music you bring into my life!

*Well, I have read a few things about getting into the music shows.

I think that the best person to ask about this is probably AustralianSana as she has plenty of first-hand experience in this area.  I’ll re-ask this question when we get together to chat next!

So despite keeping up with your blog and basically agreeing with how the kpop industry is awful, I still want to audition and to become an idol. Is it the brainwashing that’s completely gotten to me? I’ve always been a casual fan of kpop, and am completely conscious of how like 90% of what goes on is behind the scenes. I don’t want to be too descriptive, but I’ll say that my features are in tune with that of an asian celebrity’s, I’m not bad at singing or dancing, and still fairly young. Would you recommend just going for it, because what the hell does it matter, even if I come through with my minuscule chance of being noticed I can always reject the offer, or to just not bother??

If you’re young and that’s your dream you might as well go for it.  My posts aren’t about trying to prevent people from doing it, but more about educating people about what they’re actually potentially in for.  Relevant posts are linked above and I’ll probably do more posts about this too.

What is “musicality” and how does it differ from musical talent?

Musical talent = how technically good you are at singing or playing a musical instrument.

Musicality = how smart you are about knowing when and what to sing/play (and equally importantly, when to NOT sing/play) at the most appropriate time to enhance a song and make it sound the most effective.

Someone like Kurt Cobain has a lot of musicality but not much musical talent.

Someone like Herman Li has a lot of musical talent but not much musicality.

Have you heard this song?

Thoughts?

No, I have not heard this song.  Therefore I cannot provide you with my thoughts.  But if you put it in the year-end survey, I’ll get to it if I forget to put it in a roundup before then.

Hi oppar! I finally thought of a few decent questions this month!!

(1)

BTS don’t sound very good here. I really don’t care whether they’re “good at singing” or not, my question is how does something like actually end up happening? Sure BTS, as their fans say, probably don’t have their voices in tip-top condition, but can that not be compensated for?

Similarly, just for any kind of situation in which a performance sounds terrible from pretty much any singer, what is usually (or most often – I am sure there are many mundane things that could go wrong) the problem behind the scenes?

(2) I am a bi girl that goes to an all-girls high school. There is a very cute girl in my physics and math classes, and I high-key have a crush on her. I can’t tell how gay she is, however, and I don’t want to accidentally ask out a straight girl because I certainly won’t be able to avoid her if it were to wrong and then it would be awkward until I graduate. We also don’t talk much except for about decidedly unsexy topics like Newtonian mechanics, although she always laughs at my jokes. How do I work up the courage to properly talk to her? No one I know seems to know her %gay, and while “gay until proven straight” is a solid standard in theory, I’m quite shy and un-confident. I’ve also never really gone out with anyone (I don’t interact with very many boys because I don’t go to co-ed events like sports games – disgusting – and parties – also disgusting + openly gay girls are in short supply in the southern united states). Help me oppar! We touched hands once and I think I cried. How do I be confident – or at least talk to her about something other than physics?!

  1. I don’t know, it sounded alright to me?  Without knowing what you’re hearing that you don’t like the sound of, it’s hard to even comment about this.  All I can say is that it does actually sound “live” like he’s really singing it, and that’s unusual for k-pop performers generally, to not half-mime a live stage or sing live over their own pre-recorded voice.  Maybe you’re just not used to hearing truly live vocals?  The most common live music vocal issue is feedback (that high squeal) which is a result of the audio from microphones creating a “loop” of sound.  Further reading here.
  2. You think sports games are disgusting – I like you.  Anyway, if she’s laughing at your jokes that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily into you but it does mean that if you approach any other topic with the same sort of sense of humour, you’re likely to get a good reaction.  If you wanted to test the gaydar I suppose you could try talking about boys and girls and see how she reacts… but I wouldn’t go straight there.  Just start with basic stuff.  If she’s wearing something cool, comment on it (and in my experience crushes are always wearing something cool).  Then you could talk more about it, i.e where did you get it, how much was it, etc etc and go from there.  Or if she has a phone comment on that.  Just find random stuff.  You don’t need to be super-confident to do this, if you’re already talking physics shit, this isn’t a radical shift of gears.  Get to know her gradually like this each time and you’ll find things progressing.  Of course with any same-sex guesswork the odds are not in your favour but it’s worth a shot and you’ll never know if you don’t start edging the conversations over to what you want…

I’m quite surprised at the amount of gravure style photos she already has. Her boobs are cute I guess, she’s not flat chested anyway. I guess having these types of photos comes with being an idol in Japan. I’m guessing she won’t take any more whilst she’s in Iz*One?

No idea.  Not my type anyway, so no great loss as far as I’m concerned.

San E’s “Feminist” is a mess.

I agree, however not for the reasons you might think.  I think the below video sums up quite accurately what San E was trying to do.

Summary – he’s playing a character of a dim-witted contradictory “oh I’m a feminist” macho dickhead dude to bait out humourless feminist rappers like Jerry K. who wouldn’t understand the joking context to parade their feminist credentials so he can then take a follow-up crack at them right in the face and accuse them of secretly being more akin to that macho dickhead character than San E himself underneath the surface.  Which is actually quite clever – after all, it worked on that level by getting the desired response.  Where it didn’t work quite so well is as an actual rap song.  San E deploys his characterisation with weak lines and delivery that blur the space a little too much between his own voice and the voice he’s trying to criticise, which is partly the point of course, because it guarantees the result he intended, but a better rapper could have done it just as effectively while making his true position clearer without confusing the shit out of the audience in the process and making it backfire in his face.  I understand why people don’t like the song however, but ultimately it fails for me not because of any hypocrisy on San E’s end (although there definitely is some) but just because he isn’t good enough of a rapper to pull off this kind of material convincingly.  It’s not the men’s rights mission statement that people think it’s trying to be, it’s just a shit rap song that failed because it was written by someone who wasn’t very bright.  Also where is the fucking beat, if you’re going to write a diss rap I don’t give a fuck what the politics are (like I’m going to take my political cues in life from a rapper in 2018, I don’t think so) at least go hard with the music, that’s the only good thing about rap battles, MCs pick really hyper-aggressive tracks to rap over so the music in rap actually stops sucking for a change.  Except here of course.  All tracks involved in this exchange were pissweak, worst rap beef ever.

hi! just want to inform you that the link to lim sehoon’s oh my love vid is broken. heres an alternate one if u care.

This has been fixed!  Thanks to all caonimas reporting broken video links!  Note that I will never fix broken links in roundup, but I will try to fix them in all other places where available!

Hi oppar! Be warned: this is long. I do competitive trampoline (I have mentioned this before in past ask.fms/qrimoles/surveys. I am pretty sure you only have one reader that competes trampoline!). This is going well, actually, and it looks like I’m finally going to get an “elite” designation, which in theory means I’m eligible to represent the USA in world competitions and stuff. In practice, this of course would never happen – there are many elite-qualified people who are much better than me , but the idea is still pretty cool, however, and something I have been working towards for like 10 years. As you may have noticed, even if I would be a “bad” elite, hitting the elite designation would still be a massive deal to me: essentially a validation of all of the time I have thrown into trampoline as a sport. This is where my question really starts – Notably, I have been sick (various physical illnesses + rather severe depression and anxiety) for the past two years, which has absolutely killed my progress, and heavily interfered with my ability to attend practice/participate actively when I do come. One of my coaches, while less abusive than the average gymnastics coach, absolutely despises me as a result. Hating a sick person for being sick is certainly a dick move, and she tends to characterize me as disrespectful, lazy, and unmotivated, using me as an emotional punching bag at times. This is ironic of course, because trampoline/gymnastics loses athletes at an astounding rate due to it being an almost-exclusively fickle teenager’s sport. Someone with chronic illness probably would not scrape along and stay in gymnastics if they were *actually* lazy and unmotivated, but no matter – I recognize that logic probably isn’t what is going through my coach’s head. In fact, her generally abusive demeanor probably doesn’t have much to do with me at all, and I am simply the unfortunate target. She has sworn at me, consistently yells at me because I am generally more lethargic due to my *ahem* chronic illness and fatigue (“why are you sitting? run 10 laps now! If you sit down again you can leave practice!”), and has for the most part done her very best to make me feel unwelcome. Having been disrespected for the past two years or so, naturally I have become far less respectful of her, and my demeanor to her is clipped, cordial, and mostly faked, if not exactly “warm” (I am sure she has noticed). Despite having been very “out of the closet” around my gymnastics friends, only two days ago did I officially come out to everyone as a bi girl. The morning afterwards, I had practice and I was talking about having come out to one of my friends. This coach walks up to us, yells at us for …talking (even though talking is perfectly permitted!) and walks away. Later on, a different coach (let this be Coach B) tells me that Coach A said “I shouldn’t talk about gay stuff around the little kids because parents might be upset about it.” I am sure you’ll agree with me that this sentiment is absolute bullshit. I wasn’t saying anything remotely explicit, and the very act of being gay should not be inherently inappropriate or “R-rated.” The whole prudish “your identity is explicit and not for children and you can’t talk about it” is idk, kind of terrible? The fact that Coach A also seemingly refused to have a mature conversation about it, leaving it to Coach B was… kind of insulting as well. I wish it ended there, to be frank. The rest of the day, Coach A was extremely rude to me, snapping at me more regularly in one practice than she ever has in the past (she even hilariously yelled at me for something as mundane having the wrong kind of water bottle! no, our gym has no published water bottle policy, if you were wondering). It seems to me that she’s really mad that I came out of the closet and that I’m daring to be 100% open in her gym. She’ll put up with it if I just talk about it “with the older athletes” but I don’t think that the coaching staff wants the parents to know that they have an openly gay athlete on their team. To me, it’s very gross that they place the comfort of their conservative and prejudiced clientele over the safety and ease of one of their long-standing athletes, but since they are a private business, it’s their prerogative to tell me to shut up about being gay or leave the gym. For context, I live in the Southern United States, which is very much hardcore-Christian hate-the-gays Puritan land. Suffice it to say that while I’ve been feeling increasingly alienated since I got sick, I REALLY don’t really feel welcome in that environment anymore. I don’t want someone in a position of authority hating me for openly being who I am. Trampoline is basically my whole social life, and I would hate to quit while I am just on the brink of finally reaching my goals. Becoming an elite gymnast officially is, as I said, a huge deal to me – I really don’t want to leave it behind. Even though she started disliking me around the time that I got sick, that also coincides with the time that I started being more open about liking other girls. I don’t want to be that “victim” marginalized person or whatever, but idk I feel kind of fucking victimized. Should I put up with her and just finish out my last competition season while hopefully reaching my goals? Or should I quit? I cannot foresee right now what will make me happiest- quitting will provide me relief from a toxic person who seems to hate me just for existing, while staying means I get to spend time with my friends while accomplishing my goals and doing what I like to do (and also being unfairly bullied!). The third alternative, of course, is to calmly and respectfully call Coach A out on her bullshit – the problem is the other trampoline coaches on staff are Coach A’s daughters and best friend of like 20 years. It might be hard to drum up unbiased support from any other authority! I suppose getting kicked out of the gym in style might be better than actually quitting however; I would certainly feel more vindicated. I may regret in the long run however, if I ever want to step foot inside the gym again to see my friends. I’m at a loss oppar! Is there an option I’m not seeing? What do you think about my situation?

I don’t really know how much of your coach’s sentiment is based around homophobia, maybe they really are staunchly anti-gay, that’s quite possible, but I wonder if perhaps what’s really bugging them is the distraction that both your health conditions and your newly outward sexuality is creating.  “Here’s someone who is already struggling with health and isn’t 100% on their game a lot of the time, and now they’re running around talking about gayness instead of doing the trampoline, what other ways will they find to get distracted from their goal?”.  I’d take a two-pronged approach to this problem.  Firstly, stay the course until you get elite certification.  Secondly, move all of your socialising away from the gym environment.  That doesn’t mean give up your existing friends, it just means socialise with them elsewhere.  This might chew up a bit more of your time as you can’t kill two birds with one stone as easily, but your social life will be a bit better and more carefree, which will help your mental health, and you’ll be able to use the gym more for actual gym which will speed up your progress.  If you come to the gym with an attitude of “I’m just going to murder the trampoline today and forget about all this other stuff and not let it distract or bother me” and keep coming to the gym with that attitude every day, your progress will increase despite your mental issues and your coaches might notice and respect that you’re really knuckling down even if they don’t like your sexuality or they think anxiety is a joke or whatever.  You’ll also get mentally tough, which will help with your anxiety – it won’t make it go away, after all it’s an illness, but it’ll make it easier for you to manage and work around.  So that might work.  Or, they might start being even more dickish and homophobic to you, in which case get back to me about plan B.

I’ve taken 1/3 of my exams for this term and I sucked. Do you think there is a chance I can pass all of my classes if I start studying for the second midterms in a month right now?

Yes.

Hello!
I was wondering, when you review drama do you watch the whole movie or skip through it to get the general idea? Or you just watch trailers?

I don’t watch the film the entire way through, but I don’t just watch trailers.  I just sort of skate through it and pick out relevant sections to extrapolate as well as make headers from, which is actually pretty easy to do because all you have to do for that is just skip all the sex scenes, and if you skip all the sex scenes in a JAV you’re usually left with about 10 minutes of watch time.

In this image, we have LOONA’s Hyunjin in red and some basic bitch to the left. Do you think that sense of humour (or some lack of dignity others would say) can improve the opinion you have about a new K-Idol?

Well it’s often a played-up version of their true sense of humour so you can’t really judge them by that.  Idols perform for the cameras 100% of the time that they’re in front of cameras.  That’s why when idols actually do something “real” it’s so incredibly jarring.

What’s your take on Pledis and the lack of promotion of their girl groups? Pristin haven’t had a full group comeback since August 2017 and you’re well aware of After School’s situation. The entirety of Pristin except the one Chinese member have been rotting in the Pledis dungeon for several months to over a year, depending on the member. (Qieqiong is doing stuff all the time in China ATM). Even the popular Nayoung who was in IOI has done fuck all for months. Do you think that girl groups are just not profitable for Pledis? They trained the members of TV survival show girl group Iz*one, none of which are part of Pledis. Do you think that “renting out” the agency’s services/staff/etc has a higher cost to benefit ratio than trying to get work for their internal FEMALE idols? (Context: Pledis is renown in their kpop idol industry for their training programmes. They teach trainees how to write, produce their own music and dance routines.)

Who knows what is going on with Pristin, but my guess is that there’s been some kind of internal fracturing where a few different girls have decided to either not do more stuff, or the company has found them a path which is more profitable than the actual group.  Remember, unless you’re absolutely A-list, being in a k-pop group does not make money, so what might be happening is that certain people are actually getting some money in for themselves and/or the company while the internal issues in the group are being sorted out, and if the money is coming in Pledis would be in no rush to sort any of that out in a hurry.

How does your age affect your experience with k-pop?

  • Most people I talk to about music are significantly younger
  • Girls in groups start off looking really uninteresting and tend to exit the k-pop industry just when they are starting to look hotter than ever
  • Lots of ageist insults directed at me online from k-pop fans (but none to my face, because my haters are chickenshit lol)

Lately, I’ve really been having trouble getting anything done. It’s frustrating. I just get so bogged down in the tiny little details and nothing happens because the task becomes so much bigger in my head. Do you have any advice or tips?

Yes!

I think that the next horrible trend in K-Pop will be mumble rap.

It doesn’t seem to be taking off all that much for some reason, let’s hope it stays that way.

EXTRA-LONG RAPE CULTURE SECTION

I promised that I’d address all your “rape culture” concerns in this Qrimole, so here you go.  Prepare to agree/disagree/be upset/thank me/never read the blog again/fly yourself to the moon/whatever.  It’s a long read, apologies for that.  Feel free to skip the whole thing and go down to the next heading if you just couldn’t be fucked, I don’t think anyone would blame you.

Look, this is gonna be loooooong but that’s fine we all have time (I obvs do lol). I’ll try to be exhaustive cause I actually think you and I can think the same way on this, I think I can understand where you’re coming from, so I’ll make a case.

I’m gonna give a run down of our convo so far, this is the comment I left under roundup week 12/11

“Kpopalypse I’ve been reading you for years, I enjoy your content, what you said about rape culture ticked me off tho. You, imo, don’t need to run your mouth like that when dumb impressionable people be reading this page.

Of course rape culture fucking exists, but if you think that thought on countering it amounts to policing peoples dirty humour or horniness, then jesus christ man what kind of basic bitch backwards thinking baby feminists do you be surrounding yourself with. Smh. I’m sorry you’ve experience of such shit company when it comes to conversations on how we think of and respond to sexual violence, but that don’t mean you can say shit like ‘rape culture doesn’t exist’ . Stfu.

I’ll elaborate.
I live in a culture where rape happens. I have been sexually assaulted. and if I’m gonna term the segment of my culture that consents to that as “rape culture” so as to better discuss and understand its nuances and why me and my friends have been violently attacked by strangers or people close to us, then let us and please respect us and the violence we face and have faced. Don’t say this shit ain’t happenin cause it clearly is, and don’t say my way of speaking about it is dumb cause it ain’t. It’s very intelligent.

It seems you have the opinion that the people who be speaking about these topics are so vacuous and illogical as to think that illiciting change begins with stifling ‘dirty humour’ or being irate at the notion of hotness rankings. Again, I’m sorry you are in contact with such basic baby feminist types, I’m really sorry, but that don’t mean you need to run your mouth like that and say rape culture don’t exist ***cause it’s sentiments like that which are harmful***, not sentiments like sexy jokes or titty/abs posts (or even fucking Twice’s song like are ppl really gettin mad smh).”

Then I was still mad so I tweeted you:

“@kpopalypse I left a comment under your roundup about what you said bout rape under twices song. What you said will amount to ‘conversations around sexual violence are ridiculous’ for a lot of your readers. Ngl, I’m so mad you said that. Do you stand by that??

And if you’re gonna say ‘then don’t read my blog I’m an asshole’ 1) bish please that is so uncaring, + you actually seem very nice. 2) I come to your blog once a week for your hot takes on kpop (and hot male idol round ups)- not old man anti-feminist BS. Stay in your lane.”

Sorry my last tweet there was salty, ’stay in your lane’, sorry if I hurt you, I was being rude, but I was pissed off at what you said on round up.

You responded to me on twitter to see your previous article which I haven’t read yet but will once I’ve responded here and you suggested I use Qrimole which is sensible and I’m doing so now.

[To be clear, this whole Qrimole submission is only in response to your review of ‘Yes or Yes’ in the last roundup. I don’t want to respond to your article on whatever drama is happening around ‘Yes or Yes’ (???) because I feel like I have enough to say about the review under the roundup entry alone. I’ll read your ‘Yes or Yes’ controversy article after I’ve written this.]

Another user responded to my first comment.

“I am really sorry for what you have lived, but you (and many others) miss the point. Rape is not a culture, it is crime, therefore rape culture doesn’t exist. Rape obviously exists, it happens, in some places people may be lenient about it, but there is no such a thing as a culture of rape, just like there isn’t a theft culture or a Twice is better than your bias culture”

This is insightful as to what I think one of your misgivings with rape culture is.

Seeing it as a grammatical thing. Coming down to how we use words. Specifically “culture” and putting it adjacent to rape. I googled the word culture for a definition, the second definition Google’s dictionary offers is:

the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
“Afro-Caribbean culture”

synonyms: civilization, society, way of life, lifestyle;
More synonyms:
customs, traditions, heritage, habits, ways, mores, values
“people from many different cultures”
the attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.
“the emerging drug culture”
Hey! It used it the way my people been using it! “The emerging drug culture”. Let’s think about that.

A culture is an assembly of ideas, customs, and social behaviours of a society. I’m Irish, I have an Irish culture, it’s thousands of years old. Many people would rightfully say that the Irish live in a drinking culture. I could say they have a culture of going to mass on Sunday. A Catholic culture! I could rightfully say they have a habit of eating dinner together on Sunday. “Sunday Dinner culture”. I could say young Irish people be finding it fashionable to go for brunch, and that there’s an emerging economy of small restaurants in cities catering to… you got it, brunch culture! Snap!

I’ve offered six examples of [noun] culture. One of them is a bit off though…

drug culture
Irish culture
Catholic culture
Drinking culture
Sunday Dinner culture
brunch culture

Which one is it?

The answer is Sunday Dinner culture. I have never heard that before. That term could totally become a thing I’m sure, but nobody does be having convos about “Sunday Dinner culture” lol.

Irish culture, yeah abso, that’s recognised, we’re 5 thousand years old, we have weird rituals and angry responses to seemingly random things, we repress our emotions, we’ve been colonised, etc. That’s all Irish culture.

Catholic culture, the same, totally valid. It’s even broader than Irish culture, there is “Catholic culture” singular but there also hundreds of more specific “Catholic cultures”. When we say Catholic culture in Ireland we don’t even be talking about religiosity, in our discourse here we’re probably using the word “Catholic culture” with the, brace yourselves, colonial trauma we do be facing from a still corrupt government and mass murder and enslavement and child rape scandals we’re coping with from the Church’s ancient involvement in our state (I started talking about sex too soon, I’m sorry). We’d be talking about Catholic culture in those terms. But I imagine if you go to like, the Vatican, or Macedonia, or Philippines, idk, when they’d be talking about Catholic Culture maybe they’d be talking about it in terms of religiosity? But the aforementioned is how we generally employ “Catholic culture” in our convos and it’s a very useful and correct term.

Drinking culture. Yeah there’s totally an issue with alcoholism here lmao. Notorious. It’s the culture. Rural people have no social outlet except the pub and 85% of Irish people are of the ***Rural Irish culture*** so they share in the same ***drinking culture***. It’s complicated like, it’s a lot to do with repression of health modes of celebration, isolation in rural areas, and mental health problems Irish people face but have no support for, as well as just like the tradition of alcohol bonding us together. It’s fab! Has it’s problems tho you know (especially when Irish people go abroad). There’s drinking cultures’ plenty of other places too. I heard Estonia, Finland, South Korea (!) and Japan are pretty bad too. I lived in Scotland for a while, wasn’t as bad there but there still totes was a drinking culture. Again, I love it (love the Scots).

Sunday Dinner culture. Yeah like there is a culture of having Sunday dinner with your family in lots of Xtian or post Christian places. It’s an odd thing to say but yeah there’s plenty of reasons and histories behind why families meet for Sunday Dinner and what they do at Sunday Dinner. Lots of Sunday Dinner cultures. Sorry for slamming you earlier b, I still do think your less of a thing, but you totes exist xoxox

Lastly, brunch culture. Maybe this seems silly but lots of economic papers, small businesses, and foodies do be talking about brunch culture. Brunch culture creates loads of money for the local economy, causes evolution in food and cooking, is a thing people enjoy and insert into their lifestyle so they can bond with people in a pleasant way at a time of day where they might not usually have cute social moments with their pals. Gorge! It also has these connotations of indulgence and excess (obvs) which people really enjoy, cause historically this’d be working time of day and the food you eat would be a preserve of the upper classes blah blah blah blah etc. you get it. It’s a culture. These are all cultures, right?

Okay.

So. Rape culture. Does it still seem like such an abomination to the English language? ;^__^
Or do you see it along the lines of Sunday Dinner culture now, I’ve changed your mind that much, it’s not an abomination but it still don’t deserve much respect like.

Well lemme tell you in case you don’t know. Rape Culture is IMMENSE :O And affects a lot of people in ways much more confusing than Sunday Dinner or Brunch or dare I say it being Catholic or even an Orbit (I haven’t forgotten this is a kpop blog)! So we talk about Rape Culture to help ourselves grapple with the trauma we’ve faced and to understand the circumstances which lead to our attacks. Don’t mistake this term as a term used to annoy men or women who ain’t got time for these conversations about sexual violence. That’s ridiculous. Why would anyone do that?? And don’t think that it’s just dumb baby feminists who throw around the term either, I’m sorry that they might annoy yous but they’re just not very articulate about what’s frustrating them yet.

Rape culture is a term used in Womens Help Centres, for Domestic Violence Counselling, or for Survivors of Sexual Trauma help groups. It hasn’t been devised to piss you off on twitter, or for your lil rich white girl friends to annoy you with with their baby feminism. We talk about rape culture because it is actually useful for us to talk about rape culture, and using the word rape culture is relevant and helpful in our discussions. It’s not incorrect. Fuck off!

More examples. Lawmakers who might want to enact change in their respective systems talk about rape culture. Artists having conversations relating to sexual violence in their work might find it helpful to employ the word rape culture. Men understanding and navigating their privileges when navigating and creating womens or queer spaces might find it useful to ponder the concept of rape culture and how it be affecting the women or queer people he be working with. Many club promoters and DJs I know would talk about rape culture when they’re setting up nights and working with their bouncers and house staff and creating their promotional materials- how can they stop rape at their club night- this is a useful enquiry and understanding *rape culture* will help them to this end.

So what is rape culture. I hope you gleaned an idea of what it is from what I’ve already written and just from life in general. I would say that rape culture is the ideas, customs, and social behaviour that lead to the prevalence and ease of rape. There’s a hell of a lot of ideas to unpack there, there are customs we can list and ponder, there are multitudes of social behaviours we can reflect on in ourselves and in others, and there’s a hell of a lot of very fucking serious consequences for everybody involved in rape so don’t shit on it like you did, please. And those consequences are a like … fuck me man, they affect everything for the people involved so we have a whole other set of ideas, customs, and social behaviours we can think about when talking about trauma and how *rape culture* obstructs the healing of sexual trauma lmao.

An example of rape culture.

In an Irish court last week, a 17 year old brought their rapist to court over raping them, and the barrister presented the jury with the thong she was wearing when she was raped. He said, “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone on the day. You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

The jury of eight men and four women subsequently returned a unanimous not guilty verdict.

We don’t need to go into the dimensions of the case, but there are many many many ideas, customs, and conditioned social behaviours around gender, misogyny, sex, and sexual violence in there that we could unpack, and most of these ideas, customs, and behaviours can be put under the proverbial umbrella, or institution of rape culture. These things facilitated the ease of her rape. These things encouraged the dude who raped, the rapist, to think he was having nice happy sexy sex. He obviously wasn’t. These things lead the jury and barrister to think that the victim’s trauma and status are irrelevant and unimportant.

Kpopalypse. I’ve gone on very long for a Qrimole question. B, we can debate this further, but if you’re with me on the validity of rape culture as a construct and word, please edit your comment under Yes or Yes (lmao, I love how this all relates to Twice). I’m always coming across misogyny on the internet

(yeah I would connect your remarks to misogyny and the same with the other person who responded to me, it’s calm ,we all do it sometimes)

, and like, IDGAF usually cause it ain’t worth my time or energy, but I’ve been reading your blog on and off for like four years now, and I never felt like there was serious misogny on your blog before, so why you gotta raise that sentiment now? That’s why I’m going in like this, because I really enjoy your writing. I like your wit, I relate to your cynicism, I enjoy how you take down lots of problematic aspects of k-fan & kpop culture, the musical knowledge you sometimes share in such an accessible format (to me anyway) I greatly appreciate, most of all I love it when you find a kpop song you really love and you share with us how much you love it and why. It’s really great, your blog is really great! So it upset me when you said something that, for the above reasons, I thought was really callous and I really disagreed with. So that’s why I’ve responded at such great lengths.

I think you have a lot of power in your position as someone a lot of people listen to, so when you said something that would function as a statement saying “Conversations around sexual violence are ridiculous” I have to in my own good conscience strongly disagree with that function and ask you to respond to my qualm. I mean, I’d like you to make an edit on the post taking into account my views if you can sidle up to that.

Imma put this in Qrimole, or if it’s too long I’ll email it you.

I’ll read your Yes or Yes controversy article soon like you asked me to, and maybe I’ll respond to that, but like I said, this response is only to roundup because I have enough to say on roundup by itself, never mind any contextual material. Thanks.

Firstly, yes that’s too fuckin’ long.  But I posted it here in full anyway.  However it does feel good for a change to have a post with over 9000 words in it where I didn’t actually have to write most of the words.  I promise my response won’t be quite as long.

Secondly, I don’t edit my roundup comments for anyone.  As previously mentioned in this very Qrimole, if you’re caring about the comments in roundup this deeply, you’re doing it wrong.  That’s why the roundup has the very “off the cuff” comment about rape culture, but the Twice post about “Yes Or Yes” has my position on it explained in more detail, which hopefully you’ve read by now (making this post redundant, hopefully).  If you did read it, you’ll know that the concept of “rape culture” is hardly a unanimous concept or one that is completely agreed on, even by those who share your views on it, and that’s part of the problem with it, but it’s not the only problem.  More detail below.

Thirdly, I stand by my position on “rape culture” not really being a genuine thing (at least the popular definition thereof), an argument which I feel is only strengthened by your analogy to such things as “drinking culture”.  A “drinking culture” I would think is a culture where drinking is considered culturally acceptable, where people often feel good about and are happy to drink and tell their friends about how they got drunk.  I can assure you that where I live in Australia it’s definitely a “drinking culture”!  Using this analogy, a “rape culture” would be one where rape is considered culturally acceptable, where people often feel good about and are happy to rape and tell their friends about it.  I don’t feel like I live in such a culture.  If I were to go and tell everybody I know that I got drunk, my friends would either be happy for me, or they would laugh, or maybe they wouldn’t care.  They probably might wonder why I was telling them about my drunken shenanigans, but they wouldn’t outright hate me for drinking (unless I then got in a car and killed someone), after all, drinking is a very culturally accepted thing (especially where I live).  However if I told them all I was a rapist, I think they would be creeped out or find me disgusting, I certainly wouldn’t be considered “culturally acceptable”, at the very least I think I’d be shunned and ostracised as a very culturally unacceptable person (and rightly so).  In a more extreme scenario they would quite possibly call the police on me and I might go to prison, potentially.  Even within the prison system, I would be separated from other prisoners in a special wing of my own, for my own safety, because even in prison, rapists are hated.  That’s how much of a not-rape culture we live in, our culture is one where even the people of the lowest moral fiber in our society (the ones who have committed crimes worthy of jail time) still hate rapists.  Doesn’t seem like much of a rape culture to me.

Now of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t any problems between men and women concerning consent, in fact I agree with you that there are.  I think that men do behave like absolute dicks towards women (and other men, about women) at times, and that there are deep cultural issues between men and women generally.  I just don’t think “rape culture” is an accurate way to describe that, and actually does rape victims a disservice (explained further down).  Your comment here illustrates the problem perfectly:

there are many many many ideas, customs, and conditioned social behaviours around gender, misogyny, sex, and sexual violence in there that we could unpack, and most of these ideas, customs, and behaviours can be put under the proverbial umbrella, or institution of rape culture. These things facilitated the ease of her rape.

This is a really good point, because it illustrates a phenomenon known as “concept creep“.  You can indeed fit “many many many ideas, customs and behaviours” under the “rape culture” umbrella, and that’s exactly what people are doing.  So what ideas fit under “rape culture” and what ones don’t?  Where is the line drawn between “actual rape culture” vs the “baby feminism version of rape culture” that you’re attacking me for?  And how do we prove which aspects of this supposed “rape culture” facilitated the ease of an actual rape?  Is a misogynistic rap song part of “rape culture”?  What about a dirty joke with rape as the topic?  What about a guy who whistles at a girl walking down the street?  Some people would argue that all three might be part of “rape culture”, and I’ve seen those arguments – and I’d agree that all three could be unpleasant and highly unwelcome depending on context – but none of them are actual rape.  What about the argument that these things “facilitate the ease of rape”?  Is wolf-whistling a girl argued to be some kind of “gateway drug” to rape, and if so, how exactly does that work?  I know quite a few guys who do wolf-whistle girls (not me – due to a tongue deformity I actually can’t whistle at all) but none of them have raped anyone – so where is the direct causation?  I know a guy who pretty much never tells a joke that isn’t about rape – and he hasn’t raped anyone, he just has a fucked-up sense of humour.  I also know a few girls who tell a whole lot of rape jokes, and I’m fairly sure they haven’t raped anyone either.  I also know a guy who doesn’t do any of those things, was always completely polite to everyone whenever I saw him, and then I found out that he did rape someone!  (He’s now in jail by the way – I guess it wasn’t as much of a “rape culture” around these parts as he thought.)

But the point is that this is how “concept creep” works.  People start with something like “x is y” and over time it expands to “a b c d e f and x are all y”.  It starts off well-meaning with “slapping a girl on the ass in the office is sexist” and before we know it we’re at “office air-conditioning is sexist“.  So my problem with the term “rape culture” is that it’s not actually talking about a “culture of rape”, not really.  Find me a country where rape is legal and encouraged, and rapists are generally loved by society, and where people talk about the rapes that they had that day at the pub and exchange high-fives, and celebrities go on the variety segment of the evening news to reminisce about last weekend’s rape, and indulge in “rape culture” in the same way Australians indulge in “drinking culture” and I’ll agree with you that there we definitely have a rape culture.  Until then, not so much.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a problem of some sort, but to call it “rape culture” is a mislabeling.  I think rape is an issue, but I don’t think rape is a cultural issue.  I think rape is an issue with certain people who are fuckheads thinking it’s okay to commit a crime.  Let’s not let these individuals off the hook by blaming “culture” for fuck’s sake, let’s put 100% of the blame on the rapists instead or they’ll start using culture as an excuse: “I’m not responsible, it was the rape culture I was brought up in that is to blame” – what rape victim wants to go down that road?  Do you want rapists to be even harder to prosecute than they are now?  Advocating for the existence of a “rape culture” diminishes the responsibility of the individual rapist, by saying it’s the culture’s fault instead.  How incredibly insulting, what a way to take a big shit on victims of crime.  This is why not only myself but a lot of rape victims (including some that I personally know) VERY VERY STRONGLY disagree with rape culture as a concept.  And we’re entitled to have an opinion on it without being demonised.  If you want to keep using the term, go right ahead, you’re entitled to your opinion also, just don’t kid yourself that people unanimously agree with that usage or find it helpful in any way.

However I do believe “rape culture” as a term may not be completely useless, if we’re using it to describe an actual culture of rape, as one other reader pointed out:

I don’t know what one might call this particularly awful microcosm climate of sexual harassment, but maybe “rape culture” isn’t crazy.

We read about what happens inside some prison systems and we’re horrified, right?  So it’s safe to say that we’re not in a rape culture, because if we were, we wouldn’t find this so disgusting.  Now I’m no expert on prison systems, and I don’t know how true that article is, but if a valid argument for “rape culture” exists at all, it’s possibly to describe the internal culture of prison system situations in that article.  I believe that the original use of the term was actually for just that purpose, in describing what happens inside some prison systems and other societal microcosms, before “concept creep” kicked in and people started using “rape culture” to describe broader western society, a hugely disrespectful and irresponsible twist of the term’s usage that when taken to its logical conclusion has profoundly negative effects for everybody, none more so than actual rape victims who get trivialised as fuck and their agency to seek actual justice for crimes committed removed from them.

Would you bother your girlfriend to watch Taemin’s MOVE? What is her opinion about him/it?

I’ve got more respect for my girlfriend than that.  Forcing a woman to watch things that as her boyfriend I know she doesn’t want to watch is RAPE CULTURE.

howdy kpopalypse, I recently found out about an English ex-kpop trainee that was actually really high-profile. She was part of SM Rookies, but from what it seems in her vlogs, she’s back in England. I was wondering if you’d be interested in asking her for an interview.

If she approaches me and is genuinely keen then I’m also keen, but approaching her for an interview and just assuming that she would say yes is RAPE CULTURE.

wheres the boobs post this year

Some girl told me that it was RAPE CULTURE so I skipped it this year.

Just kidding.  (I just wanted to demonstrate concept creep in action.  It sucks, doesn’t it?  Yes it does.)  Okay, seriously now about the boobs.  The real reason is not enough contenders.  Also, the previous five boobs posts all kind of make the same underlying point so I didn’t feel any urgent need for a sixth.  Even though they are fantastic traffic-generators for the site, I’m not in any desperate need of web traffic (I have no ads, remember) so I can leave it a year.  Or two.  Boy, you readers sure like searching those boobs, even if most of you won’t admit it.

You’ve talked about how the music industry is crude and “handsy”, and I just want to register that thought that might be the norm it rather horrifies me. It also strikes me as something that almost everyone would be better off if it changed. Not being in the music industry and having limited energy (being human), I don’t want to touch it because it’s not my fight to take on, but that isn’t because it seems good…

Yeah, it is.  It’s a really hard thing to describe to an outsider.  Things that would seem like sexual harrassment in most workplaces are almost completely normalised in the music industry – not in all of the music industry, but certainly some parts of it.  Think about how in the adult movie industry, getting your genitals out might be considered kind of normal.  It’s a bit like a less extreme version of that – a lot of the usual boundaries that exist in a workplace exist in slightly different places to where you might expect them to exist.  This isn’t gender-specific and affects both men and women (yes there is sexism in the music industry but it’s actually almost a separate issue) and I’ve been surprised by it myself quite a few times where I found myself on the receiving end of some attention that I definitely didn’t see coming.  And no, I definitely wouldn’t call it a “rape culture” – that would probably be the most inaccurate use of the term ever.  There’s no quicker way to take a big shit on your entertainment industry career than by raping someone and having people find out about it (and there’s been plenty of examples of that lately).

BACK TO SOME OTHER QUESTIONS (THANK FUCK)

Did you take inspiration from Chuu’s train pursuit from her solo MV where she pursuits Yves bus?

No, in fact I don’t even remember the bus scene.  All the plot turns and twists in “Stan Loona – or else!” was just straight off the top of my stupid head, and the only material I actually drew on to think of content was Blackpink’s “Ddu-du Ddu-du” video… and Bugsy, or course.

Some people are saying the Japanese version of Sori’s Touch has worse mixing than the Korean version. Is this true? If so, what exactly is wrong with it?

The Japanese version is duller-sounding, probably because it’s a lower-bitrate YouTube conversion.  This is a deliberate anti-music piracy measure – instead of a “short version”, you get a version with low-quality audio.  If you actually went out and bought the Japanese version on CD or downloaded the retail version you would find that the mixing is the same.

I know she might not be your type and I know I’m starting to spam you with her but her boobs are genuinely big aren’t they? Just watch the gif. People reckon she’s bigger than Jihyo, not sure show she’s compares to Hyosung since I haven’t seen Hyosung in a while. I guess all I want to say is that Eunbi deserves your respect and attention as one boobs enthusiast to another.

If I do ever get around to that next boobs post I’ll put her in there just to shut you up lol

1. Oppar, please tell us the secret of your youthful face. Do you secretively use 100U$ korean golden facial rejuvenation masks?

2. Can you understand why some people want recreational drugs legalization so much? So much people fighting against their addictions in all that shit and they still insist in deny that such act (to legalize) would increase even more the number of people addicted, turning things even worse. I just can’t comprehend and wish your sincere opinion on it.

  1. Stan Loona for clear skin
  2. Yes, all drugs should be legal.  Watch this, all of it.

Hey there! I noticed there are a lot of people with these ‘unique’ voices that sound like there are about to [censored for qrimole purposes]. A particular kind would be the vocalist of Boyce Avenue.

Doesn’t it sound like all those unique voices that I’m starting to get tired of?

Anyways, in talking about it, I miss the kind of voices that are not just unique, but are actually distinctive. Weird Al Yankovic is a strong example of it.

Notice the video is about a book, but his voice stands out for me.

Don’t you somehow miss these kind of voices like Weird Al did?

I care about the song, not the vocal tone of the singer.  Sometimes a singer with a very unusual vocal approach might be able to do something good that makes me go “wow that voice” but only if they are singing a song that is actually interesting and good to being with.  The song is king.  The singer serves the song.  If it’s a bad song by a good singer, it’s like a very good servant is serving a corrupt king.  The two songs you have linked are in my opinion two of the very worst songs (in their original forms) in recent western pop music history, and different vocalists singing those same songs does NOT make them better.

Is it kind of weird that upbeat music can be sung by anyone, regardless of age? Just look at this group of old grannies below:

It’s surprising, and I like it, but I don’t think so for you.
Do vocalfags need to at least listen to this for some lesson at weird but unusually ok upbeat songs?

Age means experience.  Experience means that you are good at stuff.

Any music can be sung by anyone.

I’ve been finding that I enjoy recent releases less and less compared to the songs I listened to when I first got into Kpop. Do you think that this is a natural degradation of quality in the music that is being released or my taste shifting away from Korean pop music in general?

I just think that people tend to warm to songs they like the more they hear them.  There’s a nostalgia effect that happens.  I notice that I always enjoy the previous year’s favourites list more than the new one while I’m making the list and getting to know the songs, but after the lists are done I tend to enjoy them about equally.

can you explain to me what the hell is going on here with Sunmi’s boobs?

i mean, showing so much cleavage is supposed to be a turn on but that dress is just such a turn off

why did that dress have such a weird shape when a regular straight cut would have done a better job?

It’s a terrible dress, isn’t it!

I was wondering about the prospects of a production artist vs. someone who makes music for the sake of their own creation. The producer makes money from selling their music to someone who designates the direction of that song, while an artist who has the freedom could make a song for their own enjoyment. Who do you think would benefit more in the long run?

I think you might be conflating “producer”, “composer” and “engineer” here a little.  Understandable as k-pop tends to use these terms inaccurately.  Further reading here, hopefully this will clear up your question.

Hello How are you?
So i am taking Kinesiology amd Health Science in university and i am nearly finished with it but I don’t like it at all. It was fine at first but I am not intersted in health field at all. Is it okay if I finish my degree bit go work on a completly different field? I am trying to learn coding and get html, C+ certificates at the same time. What certificates do you think I should get so I can get a entry level job in the coding field?

Up to you, there’s no law that says you have to follow your University path.  However that health shit makes a lot of money, so I’d consider doing some work in that field just to get some money up while you learn coding.  I don’t know much about software IT careers but surely an employer would be more interested in your actual ability to code rather than the certificate.  The certificate is only useful because it denotes ability, but there are other ways to denote ability.

Hi Kpopalypse Oppar,
I’ve discovered your blog last December and I really love it! Besides that, I have learned quite a lot especially about the music business in Kpop. Keep up with the good work!
I’m finishing my job in a few weeks and will be searching for a new one in the next year. Accordingly, I have quite some time writing my resume and redoing my art portfolio. Nevertheless, I am concerned that my resume won’t impress the reader enough.
Have you got any idea how I could improve my resume or even have some helpful advice or tips?
Thanks a lot in advance!

A resume only has to be good enough to get your foot in the door for an interview, so ensure that it does this.  I look at resumes a lot.  Quick advice:

  • Keep it short, more than two pieces of A4 paper is too much, don’t make the text tiny either
  • Employers want to know what you can do, focus on your actual skills.  Experience matters, demonstrated relevant skills matter more.
  • Don’t put your photo on it unless the role you’re going for is customer-facing AND you look AMAZING
  • Get all the typing and grammar errors out.  I cannot stress this enough.  Get someone to check it if you have to.  (I can, if you want.)
  • Don’t use some ugly-ass “graphic design is my passion” formatting.  Simple is best.  They just want to know the facts about you.
  • Don’t bullshit.  You’ll possibly get to the interview, and then you’ll get caught out under pressure.  Not worth.
  • Use non-emotive language.  See the language the question-asker used in the huge-ass “rape culture” question above?  Write anything important anything like that and you’re practically begging people not to read it.  Always keep emotions out of any writing, stick only to the facts, no matter how you feel.  Good rule of thumb for writing in general, across-the-board.

Ok so whenever an idol is dating or does some shit their hypercontrolling fans don’t want to, these stans can band together and protest/boycott and bend companies’ arms and cause actual shit to happen (like the hyuna/her boytoy scandal that resulted in hyuna and the boytoy leaving his group and company, or that super junior dude who can’t be in any comeback because he got married i think?). it doesn’t even have to be an actual thing that happened seeing how T-ara and Tablo’s careers basically died due to big whole LIES

AND YET
whenever an idol faints on stage or is revealed to be in dangerously low weight, or even worse when they idol takes his life due to depression undoubtedly exacerbated by the extreme environment he is in, kpop stans…… do nothing?? they get mad one day and next week they move on like nothing

kpop stans could theoretically demand better working conditions for idols if they got together and did their usual thing (protesting and whining and leaving lots of downvotes en masse), SO WHY WON’T THEY DO IT

oppar we both know it’s because they’re dumbass teenagers who haven’t had a single day of struggle in their lives OR they’re dumbass adults who struggle every single day in their lives but take it on celebrities instead of their corrupt governments, but the entire day my TL has been flooded with people asking everyone to vote for the MAMAS and the PAPAS and fandoms forming groups and voting for each other and it makes me so fucking mad to think they have time for this shit but not time to help their idols in a meaningful way. Companies clearly listen whenever fans make enough noise no matter how fucking dumb is the complaint, i don’t know why kpop fans are so fucking stupifdd aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Great question!  The answer is that fans don’t want to think about how cruel the industry is, because then they feel complicit in their own participation which is an uncomfortable feeling, and this is not as nice to think about as oppar.  People like k-pop because it makes them feel good, so confronting facts that drive a wedge between the fantasy and reality isn’t very appealing, it makes them feel bad, which is the very opposite of what k-pop fans want to experience.  The k-pop industry is good enough at selling the glamour that it fools fans into thinking that these issues aren’t as widespread as they are – [group x] look great and seem to be convincingly having a great time, so how could they be supposedly suffering so much? What are these boring ugly k-pop bloggers talking about?  Surely they’re just exaggerating the problem for web traffic?

Of course, some people can see through this.  However those who really get upset about the under the surface issues often just stop following k-pop completely, which them puts them out of that crazy fandom loop which has all that mobility to pressure labels.  The ones who can think get ostracised by the crazy fans for “disloyalty”, but their true crime in the eyes of the fandom is poking holes in the picture-perfect image of flawlessness that fans are so heavily emotionally invested in.  That’s why quite rational Kpopalypse articles that have a lot of trufax in them still get a lot of hate from fandoms.  Mamamoo fans really did not like my second “Plagiarism Fun Times” article about Mamamoo, even though I was actually proving in detail that the plagiarism claims leveled against the group were incorrect.  My only crime was that I didn’t really like much of Mamamoo’s music (although I was very honest about which songs I did like), and because they couldn’t swallow that simple fact, they didn’t want to read what I had to say about anything else – the fantasy was already broken.  That’s fine, and as it should be.  The k-pop industry as a whole is designed to reward people who can’t think, my writing is designed to reward people who can.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a month with a special New Year 2019 edition, in the meantime be sure to practice safe sex with consenting adults only!  Kpopalypse loves all of you!

Oh, and do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of QRIMOLE?  If so, use the question box below, or if no box appears, click the Qri on the sidebar to open the box as a separate webpage!  Kpopalypse will return!

4 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – Christmas 2018

  1. “I haven’t seen that many SNSD fans attack Red Velvet or NCT or EXO for getting attention from SM.”

    That’s because SNSD fans are too busy attacking Twice for being the new “Nation’s Girl Group”. I recently became a SONE and joined one of their fan clubs… and then I left that fan club when I realized that my fellow members would rather spend their time shunning Twice than actually praising SNSD and their music. I was pretty much labelled a “heretic” when I claimed to be a ONCE and a SONE.

      • Here’s a theory why many people shit on Twice, having nothing at all to do with music or beauty. When JYP put together a girl group from Sixteen (which was already a damn good idea, all the show hype guarantees popularity) he used his power and influence to make them popular, and the result exceeded all expectations. Twice is now the de facto top kpop girl group, raking in like eight or ten times what everyone else does, with every comeback. Most of the 150 girl groups in this intensely competitive field are hopelessly behind, and will fail.
        The reason I don’t stan them (although I have mellowed, now I enjoy their music and Nayeon’s awesome bunny teeth grin still slays me) is the huge fanbase they have pulled out of the limited Korean fan pool. They’ve left so few fans available to other groups, they have seriously skewed the whole market, dooming many talented, hard-working groups to a tiny few fans, and obscurity.
        One more point: Those TV shows creating new groups bring massive popularity to the table, but if you disband the group after a year or two, you’re giving away a massive advantage, which seems pointless. Why not use that hype to make permanent groups?

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