QRIMOLE – New Year 2020

QRIMOLE is back for 2020!  Let’s take a look at some more long and tricky questions from readers!


So oppar i thoroughly enjoyed the write up on four seasons but can you also elaborate on what makes the song good? I remember you saying something about reggae/t-ara ballad hybrid etc?

Thanks and happy new year!

It’s just simple and good basically.  Nice vocal line with a lot of breathing room and Taeyeon not oversinging it, some good riffs that function as a call-and-response, the reggae rhythm is nice and stays consistent throughout, it doesn’t do any stupid shit like go into a trap section for no reason, mostly just four chords going around in a circle with a little pre-chorus stop to break it up, it’s all pretty basic but it’s good-basic.  In pop music often the simple ideas work best.  There’s not much else to say about it which was why I was happy to devote most of the favourites list review to talking about Annie (who is open for collabs, take note fellow musicians).

Hi oppar, for my new year’s resolution I will aspire to be like Annie and come back with a more mature image.

Happy new year!

My question is, I’m honestly fascinated by songwriting/production etc but am a total noob. Should I go to school if my end goal isn’t really to earn money from it? Or would YouTube tutorials and your posts be enough lol I mean I do have money and time but I’m not sure if it’s a good investment?

Also, what kind of noob-friendly equipment (hardware, software, etc) should I get? I see so much stuff on the internet (use this, use that) and it’s honestly very overwhelming.


School doesn’t hurt, I did an audio engineering diploma and didn’t regret it.  More education is always better than less.  However it can be expensive, and you can get the same knowledge just by learning off the Internet and reading through instruction manuals.  I want to tackle more audio engineering stuff in the music theory posts this year, as last year was fairly focused on the basics, so I’ll do what I can to also educate you, in time.

I honestly think it doesn’t matter that much what toys you get.  Songwriting and production are two aspects of the art of making decisions about sound.  So the first thing you need to develop is your ear and decision-making skills, prioritise that first, and toys second.  I’m not really up on what the latest gear is, and the stuff that I’ve used is all old as the hills now, but there’s new stuff coming out all the time and honestly it’s not super-hard to use any of it once you understand the terminology, because they toys now are mostly designed to be powerful and user-friendly and they all work with similar principles.  The best software you can get is the stuff that’s free, use it and just fuck around with it, practice sound design.  Audacity is an essential download as it’s basically a baby DAW for free.  Don’t blow money on anything until you’ve had practice with the free stuff because with freebie shit there’s always limitations you’ll eventually run across, and when you hit those limitations and think “I wish I could do x but I can’t” those stumbling blocks will give you a better idea of what commercial programs are going to suit your needs.  As for hardware, the best thing you can spend money on is good quality microphones plus a baby mixing desk that you can use to connect the microphones to your computer audio input, add Audacity to that and you basically have a bedroom recording studio.  Shure SM57s (for recording instruments) and SM58s (for vocals) sound good, aren’t too expensive and are nearly unbreakable, they will last you a lifetime if you take care of them.  If you can only afford one microphone for the forseeable future make it an SM58.  If you’re purely interested in studio only, instead of an SM58 get a condensor mic built for vocals if you can afford it (the cheaper ones are reasonably priced, if it needs phantom power make sure your desk has it).  Also USB microphones are quite good now and if you’re only recording vocals you can consider that route, I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 USB model for streams and it sounds good.  A future post will go into microphone choice and use in great detail.

Oppar I just drained a sizeable chunk out of my (always just on the verge of broke) bank account by doing impulsive online shopping. It’s like chasing a high, only I crash immediately after I complete the payment. The items are non returnable; not items that I NEED but does make me happy to own. However I feel so guilty after buying them (I keep thinking maybe I should’ve saved up my money?) to the point that I’ll have difficulty sleeping until like 3AM just spiraling in these thoughts & feelings. Stupid really but it’s like a fixation?

It’s not bad enough that I’d feel the need to talk to a professional – monetarily I’ll also have safety nets if worst comes to worst – but WHY do I have such weird feelings towards spending my money?! What are your thoughts pls oppar

I think what you’re experiencing is quite normal for anybody with some disposable income, it’s a product of being sold “lifestyle” as part of products – you buy the product and it’s only when it arrives that the realisation sinks in that the imagined lifestyle didn’t come with it.  I think you need to get into the habit of saving though, don’t rely on safety nets.  My thoughts are that you should start small.  If you spent 50% of the money you normally spent on shopping by prioritising the things that you feel you need the most, gave 1% of it to my Patreon, and saved the other 49%, then you would be a much happier person while still scratching your shopping itch.  I think that’s an achievable goal.  Feel free to adjust the percentages as necessary if this goal seems a bit too ambitious, or not ambitious enough, but keep your expectations realistic.  The trick is to introduce saving into your lifestyle slowly, not all at once, so by the time you really do need to save, you know how to do it (emotionally speaking).

What. The. Fuck. Is. That?
and then:
I just posted the question about the IK Brothers. I just found info about one of them. According to SONEs in the comments of their other video, it seems like one of them is Sooyoung’s first love (from 17 years ago) as detailed here.
Maybe that’s why he’s in this 90’s vibe shit still. Also, seems like he studied music in USA before going to the program. By the way, the look in her eyes while she stared at him (at 4:45) didn’t seemed like a complete fake story don’t you think?
It’s really too hard to tell, k-pop idols are really good actors when it comes to the emotional labour stuff.  She can’t act like she doesn’t give a shit, she literally has no choice.  That doesn’t mean she’s lying of course, if nothing else, it certainly looks real, but it’s too hard to separate the reality from the fantasy in situations like these.  If you want to see what I’m talking about, now that we know every season of “Produce” ever was completely rigged right from the start, go back through it and watch it and look at how genuine all the people who were in on it looked at the time.
Some time ago, you spoke something about people having some type of fetish with “best of” lists created by other people or companies editorials. In this December, Youtube posted their Youtube Rewind 2019, were they simply showed lists of most watched shit sorted by type. It seemed that the backlash from last year was so big that they decided to supposedly pass the blame of what to expect in the video to the viewers.
Besides that, it seems that reality shows like Produce 101 and its copies will be more scrutinized by its viewers in Korea, since the last popular vote manipulation scandals will probably result in some sort of more presence of “will of the people” in the votings (less editorial’s fuckery).
Getting finally to the questions:
I – Will the “best of” lists actually be used as a way to “validate” public opinion on nuanced and subjectives themes like tastes in music, humour or even politics ideologies? Like, should we fear that that shit like this might be used to supposedly legitimize opression on minorities?
II – Do you agree with what Youtube made in this year’s Rewind video? Like from an entertaining perspective and from a business perspective.
III – What kind of “The best 10 of” list would you absolutely never make about K-Pop, and by what reason?
Since I’m not a native speaker and much less a writer, excuse my English errors and thank you for spending your time with my crappy doubts.
Wishing you a wonderful 2020!
  1. Far, far too much of the energy of people concerned about “oppression against minorities” is spent on trying to find out whether something is problematic or appropriating something or legitimising something bad or whatever (usually so that person can feel special about being the ones who found “the problematic thing”), instead of you know, actually doing something about the real problems that already actually exist and are yet to be tackled convincingly.  If you want to fight racism why not put your energy into examining stuff that actually definitely matters and affects people’s lives, like police brutality against minorities, or racism in immigration policy, not about where some song gets on someone’s fucking list somewhere.
  2. I haven’t seen it and refuse to watch it just to answer this question.  I didn’t watch the previous year’s one either.
  3. I would never make a “best 10 trap songs” because all trap is a trap.
Thanks for the well wishes!
My question: I had a question about the way music is taught. I’ve never delved seriously into learning an instrument or singing or anything, but I enjoy music and I suppose I have pretty good general knowledge. I say THAT because I have a teenaged relative who has been studying cello & piano for quite some time. He’s very good (first chair in his school’s well-respected orchestra), but I mentioned something (the falsetto) that I thought literally anyone with any interest in music would know about, and he just had NO idea what the word meant or what I was talking about. (I thought he was joking, but he was quite serious.)
I realize that he’s a teenager, and they often have weird gaps in their knowledge, but again, he’s been studying two instruments for years and years, with different teachers and all that. Is music education typically this narrow? I’m wondering if all this time his teachers have been so focused on fingering and whatnot that they never talk about anything not directly related to his specific musical instrument.

Well he’s an instrumentalist (piano, and cello) whereas falsetto is a vocal technique, so there’s no reason why he needs to know about it, so there’s no reason why anyone would have taught him that.  The way people find out about other instruments is through talking to other musicians with different training, usually.  For instance I worked with a saxophone player a while ago and he was talking about instrument quality and there were all these things that he brought up that I’d never even considered or knew about because I’ve never played that instrument.  Music is a large field and there’s even stuff that I don’t know about even though I’m trained all the way up to the highest level.  I know the things that I need to know about the saxophone for if I want to write a saxophone part in an orchestra, but people don’t normally learn things “outside of their realm” unless they’re going to actually use that knowledge for something specific.  To think of an analogy, someone who does maintenance on tractors probably doesn’t know a lot of the terminology that racing car mechanics use, and vice versa, even though both are “automotive machinery”.

Hello Mr. Kpopalypse oppar sir, I have done as requested and sent this into Qrimole despite still thinking this is the dumbest shit you’ll read and the fact that I know others reading this will think I’m a stupid bitch, so apologies to you all. Mock me in the comments – I deserve.

Anyways, in all seriousness, I’m happy you’ve bothered to take a look at this because I still feel as if it’s such an inane issue. I know you’re not a guru or therapist (though I’ve figured I sure as hell need one), but concerning K-pop and idol images – it all just gets to me sometimes. Let me state now that my mental health isn’t the best, at all, and among other factors such as my impending graduation from college, not quite figuring out what to do with life, and being abroad in a different country for a semester as taken massive hits on my psyche. I’m actually looking into getting some extra help like therapy when I return home in a couple weeks but I don’t think I will be able to seek regular help until I graduate…

Anyways, I wanted to preface that I’m not that deep into K-pop despite starting up a blog centered around it recently thanks to your help/advice/inspiration! And while I feel like I do want to continue with writing about K-pop in my own manner especially after reading your blog and following AustralianSana on Twitter (BTS is one of my favorite groups – god knows why, and she makes me feel saner regarding them…and their fans). I want to write about K-pop maybe not in academia but like journalistically or by blogging. I don’t think it’d be lucrative for an actual job though unless I monetize my site to hell and back like AJ, but I don’t wanna be a sellout.

But hell, I even contemplated writing for an online news site one day like Billboard or something – though not anymore cause the way you and AustralianSana talk about journalism in general disillusions me, haha. I didn’t even go to school for journalism. I’m not even sure what I’m asking here since it’s not like you can decide my path for me, but any general advice or alternative paths may help despite seeing this type of question hundreds of times. Though, fyi, I do plan at least taking a year off after graduation mostly for my mental health, but I want to pursue something doing that time like blogging or therapy or volunteering

As for the other part of my issue, I get that idol images are mostly fabricated and manufactured and we will never know truly who they are (arguably you can say that about even friends and family though…the world’s complicated). Although we know there is a real person underneath all that plasticness, I still beat myself up for being attracted to any of them, but especially the men considering this past year’s news and my cynicism towards people in general lately. But I especially hate myself for those who I “bias.” Like it just gives me another excuse to pile up on the self-hate train saying how much of an utter piece of shit I am for liking these idols. I can be gullible and naive and still am, but I’ve learned a lot being on sites like yours, so logically I should be fine. You even said in response to me basically dehumanizing idols that: “Of course idols are people – it’s not that a full person doesn’t exist, it’s that you’re not allowed to see all of what’s there (especially the negative side). Celebrities are definitely, absolutely “normal people”, it’s the situation which is abnormal, and this situation (deliberately) alters both your perception of the idol as well as their own perception of themselves…” But goddamnit, I understand that and even empathize with that, and that’s actually what I’m looking into with my research.

And yet, I still don’t agree with my stupid brain and hormones betraying me and growing attracted to, like, the most popular idol in the most popular group right now who is such a stupid basic bitch that I can’t fathom why I’m attracted to him. Like what the fuck? And this is mostly after I’ve learned more about idol image and culture, so I know it’s just a persona cause he could be a molester or pedo for all I know. I know there is science or whatever that could explain but I honestly hate myself for it and it doesn’t help that I 100% don’t love myself possibly due to internalized racism or general inferiority considering I’m a black American.

Thing is, I’m totally fine with anyone else going gaga over idols. Hell, sometimes I think it’s cute and wish I could freely and unashamedly express liking this idol or that idol. But then I look at myself with such scorn and think to myself, “Who the hell are you to like them?” And I also compare myself to these fans, any fan, even ARMYs and still say that ALL of them are better than me. Yes, even the crazy ones.

I’m unwell—I know. I’m overthinking it— I know. I overthink everything. Will this matter in 10 years? No. Probably not. I’m not sure if I even want to be around in 10 years, honestly. But you sent me a really wonderful reply on Qrimole some months back and it really touched me despite how much I sounded like a stupid cunt there too, so I’ll try to persevere, I guess. I should probably go back and read your answer…might make me feel better.

I’ll end here, it’s getting amazingly long and now I’m not sure it’ll make Qrimole cause I figure it’s too long to bother to answer. I just don’t know when to shut the fuck up, haha. If you read this far, I apologize again, but I’m really grateful. I’ve talked about it with a friend but having another voice can help.

Thank you. Oh, and hope you had a Merry Christmas? If you don’t like Christmas (cause you sure as hell don’t seem to like Christmas songs), then I hope you had a Happy New Year and stay healthy! No more kidney stones, please.


Okay, I guess there’s a few things here to tackle.

Writing for Billboard or similar: why not?  Seriously, do it if you want to and the opportunity comes up.  Sure you’ll probably be writing fluff articles most of the time but they pay money, right?  I guess it depends how attached to you are to what you want to write, and how you envision your writing style vs the writing that you might see over there.  I’m certain that they’d never have me on board, but if you’re comfortable that you’d be a good fit there’s no reason not to give it a go.  Or if not – hey there’s tons of things you could do, writing about k-pop is only one.

Being attracted to idols: just because it’s easy to understand how the idol game works, doesn’t mean that your biology is just going to switch off from it.  Biology is always a stronger impulse than sociology, we’re all biological before we’re anything else, and in a fight between your brain and your hormones, your hormones will probably win, most of the time.  I feel like engaging about the world of k-pop sensibly isn’t about shutting this instinct out, or denying it, but just about saying “okay, that’s my biology talking and that’s fine, it is what it is” and not letting that colour any of the other stuff that you might feel about k-pop.  Which of course is 100% the opposite to what the plan is from the company’s point of view, they’re trying to hook you in and the cute guys and girls are the bait.  I think AustralianSana is a good example of how one can rationally engage with that, she sure likes her man in BTS but she doesn’t let it colour how she feels about the songs, company decisions and all that “left brain” stuff.

Being black: I get that liking k-pop might feel funny and a bit alienating with not much visual representation there, but just remember that when you dig deep all popular music is black music really.  All those cute kids from around the world jumping around and singing, they’re just copying and reinventing the music of your ancestors.  Which is fine because that’s what people do in music throughout history, they reinvent things and spit them back out in a new form, but remember that black people are very highly regarded by any popular musicians who know their stuff (and who aren’t racist – which is most of them) because without the influence of black music, all pop music today would suck.  If we didn’t have the beauty of cultural appropriation allowing people from around the world to mix and match styles and reinvent the wheel over and over, the only pop music we’d have is shit like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, and nobody alive today needs to hear that song one more time.

Being around in 10 years: yes of course you want to be.  I sure intend to be.  In 10 years things will be great, I just wanna see what it’s like.  The world has lots of problems, and still will, but overall life is so much better for people now than it used to be and it’s improving all the time.  Also just on a personal level I’ve gotta say that as I’ve gotten older I find it easier to handle my emotions generally, so the whole thing with idols you’ll be more used to and it will bother you way less.

Kidney stones: yeah I’ll try not to get one of those again.  Fuckin’ ouch.

My question:Isn’t it funny how many people said “We must stop the bullying towards celebrities” when Sulli died and then here we are not even 2 months later with a Top Trending hashtag full of the same people bullying Lana for “not being enough asian”? When will these assholes learn? I guess never
Yeah, never seems about right.
My question: Hi, I’m the person who was having a mental breakdown 2 QRIMOLES ago about a failing internship and you replied with a legit nice peptalk and your cat. Thought I’d give an update… I was given a different set of tasks (research,development, R&D type of tasks instead of frontline work with clients) and my employer was legit happy with my performance and i was set to have a good/acceptable grade on the internship after all. Well now, in order to legally pass this shit i need to work two more weeks fulltime by a certain deadline (mid january). Which is gonna be pretty fucking hard as I just (early december) broke my dominant elbow, rendering my entire arm useless (incl wrist) and the doctor ruling me completely unfit for work for the next 2 weeks (might be extended due to a possible surgery after those weeks). I’m going to try to get back to work as soon as I can, still have 1 hand to work with, and I’m still not entirely out of time. As for the ED, I’m in treatment and working towards accepting myself (I already was, but now a dietician is involved regularily aswell, which helped). Hopefully I’ll have a smooth recovery and everything will be all right after all…
I have complete faith.  You’ve made it this far.  You’ll smash it out and surprise yourself.  Trust in your abilities, you wouldn’t be where you are if you couldn’t do it.

Hey oppar, some question:
1) Is these songs belong to a certain genre? Ok, it’s pop, but these songs seems to have the same music background in the chorus with the same “way” of playing the piano.

Also, these artists are all british and i heard some other UK songs with these style, it’s very common there.

2) When this song came out, it was an immediate hit (look at the views). Probably the standout part is in the chorus and I think this song starts a trend and a lot of song sounds like that (in kpop some example are the latest Got7 song, Kyungri, Move by Taemin, Monsta X western songs and others..). The question is: is that original or are there other example of songs like that but more older? Some example?

  1. No.  There’s not a specific genre name for that type of piano playing.  General rule with genres – they only have one real function which is for filing purposes, so if it makes no sense to file it under that name in a music store, it’s not actually a genre, it’s just someone making stuff up.
  2. I don’t really keep track of when these sort of sounds appear, but with k-pop you can pretty much guarantee 100% of the time that when a particular sound, phrase or idea turns up in multiple k-pop songs, that they’re all copying a specific western pop song.  Korean pop music is and always has been a copyist form, there are very, very few people doing anything original.  Always a safe bet to assume someone else has done it before.
Hey oppar… I’m feeling really down lately. Earlier this year, I tried committing suicide, but it didn’t work out. After that, my mood started to go up, I didn’t feel as empty and lonely anymore. I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to die anymore. Now that feeling has come back. It’s getting worse by everyday and I don’t know what to do. I am hanging out with more people than I did before and I finally have friends that I want to talk to, but one of them is really jealous and doesn’t like it when attention is taken off her. For example today, one of my friends hugged me from behind because he tried to calm me down, but my other friend as soon as she saw that sounded really jealous and he let go off me because of that. It felt really nice whenever he hugs me because he likes hugging and it makes me feel like someone actually cares about me, but because of my other friend he almost never does it. There’s another girl we hang out with who is always complaining and constantly tired, and my jealous friend doesn’t like her because she is always complaining and taking attention from her. She even told my huggy friend that once she is stuck on him, she isn’t going to let go. She said that our tired friend tries to steal her man (the hug guy) even though she already has a boyfriend. Because of that I don’t want to talk about my feelings with them because I’m scared she won’t like me anymore and then I won’t have any friends.
I really just want advice on what to do to make me feel happier, because nothing is helping. Killing myself is really tempting at this time because no one would care if I die. I’m really trying to stay strong and happy, but it’s so difficult when you have no one to talk to. I uploaded a message onto my snapchat story with a very vague message about me being sad and also telling people that I want to talk about something with someone, just to feel less lonely. I don’t care if it makes me seem like an attention seeker because I just want someone to talk to, about anything. I hope you can give me some tips on how to feel better, I’ll try to stay strong until next year. Also by the way, I can’t contact a suicide hotline because there’s only one in my country and it’s always full. Anyways, I hope you have a merry christmas oppar.

Seeking medical attention, I recommend it.  Make a doctor’s appointment, tell them how you’re feeling.  Just make sure that you insist they do a blood test on you to make sure all levels are okay before they do something more extreme like put you on antidepressants.  Sometimes the solutions to depression are simpler than you think.  I’ve talked about this before in previous QRIMOLEs.

Don’t sweat your insecure friend, that shit is 100% her problem not yours.  Let the hug guy hug you if you’re into it.  Physical contact can help.  Maybe she needs her man stolen anyway so she wakes up to herself, haha.

You can talk to me if you want.  Send me a private message if you want to make it happen.  I’ll be your friend too, add me on your social networks, add me on gaming networks if you play computer games etc or just watch me livestream them when I do.  Watching me suck at computer games is bound to cheer you up at least a little.


With the launch of the new Loona’s teaser in December, someone wrote these cool things about musical notes and their connections to the Loonaverse theory. I think that maybe you can find the read interesting, since you know music theory well enough to know if this person really thought before writing her point and not saying shit just because. Speaking of Loona, which punishment would you give to that fuckstick that grabbed Chuu’s hair in that stupid sport competition?

None of the music theory stuff is incorrect, what’s less convincing is the “Loona theory” stuff.  C Major is just a really common key to write songs in, for obvious reasons – it’s the easiest major scale to play on the keyboard.  If they’re saying “B#rn has a B sharp because a lot of Loona songs are in the key of C” then that may be true, but all the other stuff is just the usual reaching that the group’s lore is deliberately designed to make people do.  I mean, there are twelve of a lot of things, it doesn’t necessarily mean much.  Someone at Blockberry is having a great time thinking all this weird stuff up to put in songs and teasers and watching the fans all spin in circles trying to “decode” it.

As for the guy who pulled Chuu’s hair, obviously the main concern that people have is not necessarily over one dickhead employee who got out of line, but rather that it may indicate an overarching culture in Korean entertainment of treating the noobs like shit.  Given the very large quantity of groups that come and go at these events, and the general opinion that the non-kpop-following Korean community has about the massive influx of wannabe idols, I’m unsurprised.  I get how it happens, these staff have to wrangle multiple idols they’ve probably never heard of all the time, and the one person who deals with it is usually there because they’re experienced in dealing with it.  So they get a little “over it” and jaded sometimes probably, especially if some girl in some young group is acting all hyper and shit, and talking so goddamn loud that she can’t even hear anyone else talking to her.  I’m sure if it was IU or something she would be handled differently, they wouldn’t dream of it.  Not saying it’s right (it’s not) but it’s not shocking in the slightest, I bet it happens a lot more than we know.

My question:Hi oppa. I’m living with my father for 3 years now and everything is ok except for the fact that since them I’ve been feeling like I’m not my full real self anymore. Because he can’t handle any noises, he’s very concerned about me making any noises. One of my passions, if not my biggest, is singing, but because of him I can’t anymore and I feel like this is kiling me in some way. I feel so stupid cause maybe it’s a simple solution, but It feels so difficult.
Another thing that happen is that he’s very overcontroling me all the time, he’s too jealous, this made me develop quite of a social anxiety. No matter how much I try I can’t find a job and have my own space. So, due to this, I have to keep here and try to deal with those things. But now that my b-day is coming and I’m getting older, it gets me thinking how long will it take again living with the feeling I’m not doing it fully. I even tried singing at the church, due to the lack of practice, I was too bad. In the end it also went wrong because people weren’t compromised enough. That choir isn’t active anymore.
I’m sorry for the long text. You’re the only person that I’m confortable to write about it. It helps me relieving some weight off my shoulders. Your answers helps me a lot, even indirectly. Thank you if read this.

I think go somewhere else to sing, that would work.  Doesn’t have to be your church.  Just go for a walk and sing maybe.  Maybe make it a daily routine to walk in your neighbourhood or park or whatever and sing a bit.  Or go to a friend’s place and sing, preferably a musical friend it could even be the start of a new project.  Most of all just get space from your dad until you can afford to live elsewhere, try to spend less time at home.  These two things go hand in hand, if you can fix one problem the other will fix itself.  Good luck.

why are jpop songs for korean groups often the most mediocre when a lot of their Japanese fanbase became fans from their korean discography and the general public doesn’t really care about kpop to actually appeal to them with crap discography

this song was the title track over this bside which is honestly better than their korean releases for a while

No idea.  A lot of songs for the Japanese market from Korean groups don’t sound much to my like typical k-pop or j-pop songs.  Sometimes they get it right (see Eunjung and TVXQ on my 2019 favourites list) but usually they don’t and I don’t know why.

hello sir!

first of all, after the last QRIMOLE I wanted to say that I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend.

My question: at one point during the last podcast AS made some points about CLC writing their own songs and you seemed to agree with her (apologies if I’m mischaracterizing). I believe in the past she’s also cited Twice members receiving songwriting credits as evidence that they should be taken more seriously as artists. But I got the impression that you were generally pretty skeptical of songwriting credits as a face-value statement of an idol’s actual involvement in song creation—that it would be too easy to give credit for very little work and thereby perpetuate the illusion that idols are “involved” “artists”. Am I reading a difference of opinion that doesn’t actually exist? How credulous, in general, should we be about idol songwriting credits?

Thank you!

Artists “writing their own songs” in k-pop should always be treated with suspicion for the reasons you’ve outlined.  That’s not to say it doesn’t happen however.  The point is, you never really know. The closest thing to an indicator that you actually have in reality, is determination of stylistic aspects of the individual in songwriting choices.  For instance if someone told me that Blackpink wrote “Forever Young” I’d shoot back with “that seems unlikely” because it sounds like such a Teddy-written song.  However I’m more inclined to believe that CL might have written her own post-YG solo tracks because they don’t really have YG’s sound.

With podcasts and interviews, generally I prefer to let people talk if they have something to say, and people usually already know my position on the topics presented anyway, so I don’t always feel the need to “defend my position”.  There’s no need for me to bring up every single time someone talks about idol songwriting “well you don’t really know for sure” because the audience is already aware that I feel that way, especially if idol songwriting is discussed about 12 times during the course of a podcast it seems rude to keep harping on that one aspect if it’s already established how I feel.  This is part of good interview technique – let other people explain their position fully and don’t be like Donald Trump interjecting with “wrong” every ten seconds, even if that means you have to bite your tongue occasionally.  The audience can decide for themselves what’s right or wrong, the task of asking an interview question is to extract what that person feels is the answer, and get their thought processes documented, preferably as detailed as possible, so that judgement then becomes easier for the reader to make.

My question: Oppar! I really enjoy ur content even thought sometimes we disagree, however this time I got a little bit disappointed about the removal of the stalker interview. I think since you are a troll sometimes you should have kept it, I mean the comment section would be a huge attacks of rabid onces, like I would get a good laugh and after that I would get the funniest and made another post. I think a criticism I would do for future posts is that for this kinda news I would put a disclaimer for dumb people or do it “so right in the face” like french face. That type of issues get the attention of the rabid fans and I think it’s way too much for them, think that all of them read the great satan and the horrible [buzzfeed of kpop] posts.

and quite a lot of questions along the lines of:

Hi! how can I get the password for the interview? Some ritual involving twice or loona to revive t-ara?

Actually the Nayeon stalker interview has a lengthy preamble which is effectively a disclaimer, and explains exactly why I did the interview, what I hoped to achieve with it, and so forth.  Nobody reads disclaimers and preambles though, my end-of-year lists always have them but people just hit me with the same old bullshit anyway each time the lists comes out, getting all upset over my subjective opinion like it actually matters, and misinterpreting satirical criticism as personal attacks.  The only people who are smart enough to read disclaimers are the people who are smart enough not to need them.

I was disappointed in the removal of the interview too, but I’m even more disappointed in ONCEs who sent me much abuse and multiple death threats over it (charming fandom, aren’t they), even though it’s hardly a “validating” interview and I called out the stalker for his shitty behaviour in real-time and told him in no uncertain terms exactly why he’d fail.  I do understand that ONCEs are being protective and have their heart in the right place by not wanting the interview out there – I get the reasoning.  However, that reasoning is coming from the flawed and completely incorrect assumption that the Twice stalker is in this for the currency of attention.  Fandoms are obsessed with “having clout” and being the most visible, the most popular, etc so of course the only possible way they can rationalise this situation in their pea-brains is “oh he wants attention, don’t give it to him”.  That’s a highly dangerous thing for ONCEs to do, because by trying to remove content and silence interaction they’re actually putting Nayeon in a huge amount of additional danger.  Of course they’re far too dumb to realise how dangerous they’re acting as a collective, but it’s true, whether they know it or not, and whether they like it or not.  You don’t solve problems like this by ignoring them, and the guy isn’t suddenly going to go away just because nobody is engaging with him – there’s only one person’s attention that he really wants, and it’s not mine, or yours, or anyone in some fandom.  He’s not going to wake up one day, realise he’s getting no attention, and go “oh gosh, my need for attention is no longer being granted, I’d better stop this stalking nonsense”.  The guy is not a troll or attention seeker, he is a real threat and he needs to be taken seriously, and part of the reason why I did the interview is that I want people to know about this guy and what his motives are, and make this crystal clear.  ONCEs criticised me and said “we all know what he’s doing anyway so shut up, bury the interview so he doesn’t get validation” which is so typical of egocentric attention-seeking hive-minded fandom thinking.  The stalker doesn’t want attention, he doesn’t want validation, he doesn’t want clout – he wants Nayeon.  The best way to protect her is to make sure that as many people have as much information about the threat as possible.  My audience isn’t fandoms, in fact most fandoms fucking hate me (because sooner or later one of their biases will get written about by me in a satirical list and then the shit hits the fan), my audience is people who like k-pop music and performers but keep both fandoms and the more mainstream k-pop media at a mentally healthy arm’s length, and most of them didn’t even know that this guy existed before I wrote about him.  The idea is to signal-boost this guy’s depravity in front of a wider, more casual audience, so people can clearly identify the threat, and as I have several readers from Korea and nearby countries, it’s highly relevant for me to do this.  A stalker can’t even operate at all with lots of fame.  What if that stalker got so famous that the airport wouldn’t even let him anywhere near a plane Nayeon was on.  What if he couldn’t even walk down the street in Korea without being recognised and people pointing him out as “that stalker guy”.  All eyes on him is what we need – at all times, so he can’t make a single move without people knowing about the move he’s making.  When that guy got on a plane and tried to harass Nayeon recently, a few of the ONCE hive-mind actually sent tweets and messages to me like this:

Complete bullshit to anyone with a brain, of course.  Not only did I absolutely do the right thing by interviewing him (something which I doubt many of my haters would even have the balls to do), but I firmly believe that he should be interviewed every single fucking day until he’s in some kind of protective custody where he can’t harm Nayeon.  Preferably by me – but if not, then at least by someone with my decades of interview training and professional experience in dealing with sensitive subjects and not provoking them, and training others in doing the same.  The one silver lining about that creepy guy’s behaviour is that he likes to talk about himself, that’s actually the one thing that is keeping her safe and it’s the one big advantage that JYP has right now in handling this situation. Stalkers are far, far more dangerous when they’re not talking.  ONCEs are treating this all like a fucking game or something, it’s just another point-scoring exercise for them like one of their award shows, most of them don’t give a single shit about Nayeon beyond their juvenile emotional attachment to the idea of her as an idol, because if they did they would have read that interview word for word, shared it to everyone they possibly could have who could have benefited from the information, and absorbed the lesson about what I was trying to do.  If that creep does hurt somebody but people didn’t see it coming because there wasn’t enough information circulating and people didn’t recognise who he was in time because ONCEs tried to bury all the data, then it’s on their heads, not mine.  I guess what do I expect from people who live in a k-pop bubble that shields them from rational thought and supplants their moral values with fairy-floss “likes and engagement” bullshit.

Oh and if you want to read the interview… gosh, I’m sure I put that password somewhere… I wonder where it could be…

Hi Kpopalypse,

I have a logical quiz that I came up with when I was listening to Twice’s “Yes or Yes”: if someone asks you a question, and you can only choose between “yes” or “yes” (even though your answer is “no”), how would you save yourself? In other words, how would you construct a “no” using a bunch of “yes”? You can use whatever technique you like, as long as your answer doesn’t contain the word “no”.

Actually there is another question I want to ask you for a long time: where did you learned that many Mandarin swearing words? Your mom taught you that? : P Also, are you interested in learning some Cantonese swearing words?

I think the Australian vernacular “yeah nah” or “nah yeah” would suffice.  Failing that, I think it’s all about how you say it.  Just put enough disbelieving sarcasm in your voice and any “yes” can basically be a reasonably clear “no”.  (I don’t recommend this when dealing with creepy German stalkers, by the way.)

My question: Is Adam Driver hot? (Asking for science)

I have no idea as I’m not into guys, so I asked my girlfriend this important scientific question.  She couldn’t place the name to a face and had to look him up.  When she saw him she took about 0.25 seconds to say “absolutely not”, “far from it”, and “his nose takes up half his face”.  Sorry, Adam – you do not mrs.

My question:

Is it wrong that I hope they’re bumping clams while also hoping they aren’t because I don’t want all the “yasssss queens” that comes with it…

“Wrong”, I guess it depends.  Wrong according to whom?  Except in situations where people actually get hurt, I suggest that it’s wise to start worrying a lot less about “right and wrong” and a lot more about “true and false”.

There’s a reasonable chance that any two people of any gender in k-pop are boning, all that close proximity that they experience probably helps things along.  However you’ll probably never find out about it, so I guess just write fanfiction, that’s what everybody else does!

Hi Oppa! This isn’t exactly a question, is more like an outburst, but I don’t have anyone who I can confess to and if I don’t I fear i might go crazy.
I’m currently 17 and I’m still I virgin, but I masturbate regularly (I’m not addicted or anything, though) and some months ago I noticed that my orgasms aren’t as strong as they used to be when I first started (like about 4 years ago) and I’m really worried that I’ve lost my ability to reach orgasm, because it’s been really difficult for me.
I suffer from anxiety, so maybe I’m just making a big deal outta something so small, but it’s been really bothering me and I’m worried I’ll become a sexually frustrated adult woman.

Sexual activity is muscular so when you’re masturbating you’re exercising the muscles involved.  You’ll only get better at it over time, not worse!  People’s sexual drives do change over time but that’s really a separate issue to how often you masturbate and there’s a lot of factors involved.  Anxiety may be one.  There’s a lot of scaremongering about masturbation which should have died down to nothing decades ago but has seen a slight resurgence thanks to the thought-bubble tendencies that the Internet tends to generate (also see: flat earth theory, anti-vaxxers) but honestly the worst harm you could possibly do to yourself is pulling an arm muscle.  It’s the safest sex you can have.

Now that MonstaX’s Wonho is completely out of the game, I’m out of big k-pop hunks to make gifs and sexually stimulate myself. Do you know some other male singers/rappers that can help filling this dissatisfaction?

I suggest that you start your search here.

My question: Hi, happy new year! I would send you this on twitter but I like to keep my profile as quiet and peaceful as I can, and sadly I know I’d get backlash for saying this, even I’m hurting no one. I hope you don’t mind. What I wanted to say is that I truly like your website, your articles, reviews… I sometimes agree and sometimes I don’t, but that’s what I like about it. You’re not writing to please anyone and that’s refreshing to see. It’s scary how everyone tries to please crazy fans, and even tho I understand why they do it I appreciate your website being different from them. I don’t wanna come across as an arse licker, I don’t agree with everything you say or do, but I respect you for staying true to yourself. I bet you receive many hate comments, and even if you say you don’t care much I thought you also deserve to get nicer messages. No need to post this on your monthly qrimole, I just hope you get to read it. Thank you.
Cheers – thanks for your support!  I started writing when I had one visit per day, and I think a large part of the reason why that’s now thousands of visits per day from all corners of the world, is because I’ve kept things reasonably consistent.  Obviously the writing style has changed somewhat over the years (over seven years I’d be concerned if there was no development or change at all) but it’s always remained true to myself, at that moment.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I write, but I’m glad that people derive some entertainment value out of it.  The point is not to agree with everything presented, but to be entertained, educated, and perhaps once in a while have your individual thought-bubbles invaded with a perspective that may or may not be correct but certainly might be different, and might get you thinking and questioning the k-pop world and the world around you, as an antidote to the rubber-stamped k-pop media world where only one type of stance is allowed on any given issue, and where a veneer of outward sunniness is used to cover up an underbelly of issues that nobody wants to deal with in any way other than sweeping them as far under the rug as possible.  You’re welcome.


That’s all for QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a month, in the meantime don’t forget that cats mrcs!

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!

6 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – New Year 2020

  1. The fact that you think the only reason Twice fans criticized you for the interview was to “bury the data” shows how conceited and up your own arse you actually are.

    Twice fans are the ones who found this guy. Twice fans are the ones who complied 1000’s of pieces of information that was sent to JYPE. If it wasn’t for Twice fans providing YOU with evidence, you would have gave this guy an official platform for him to deny and disown his hugely disturbing reddit account. What’s more is that you didn’t actually gleam any new information out of him. Literally every thing he said was already out there either on his twitter, YouTube videos or DM’s.

    The one thing Josh has begged for is for his side of the story to be heard. You afforded him that opportunity.

    • Oh great, the ONCEs are now following me here after I blocked them on Twitter. I guess sending me death threats wasn’t enough “engagement” for them. Lovely fandom you got there.

      This comment fails at logic. Either I gave him some kind of “dangerous opportunity” to tell people his side that he previously didn’t have, or I didn’t reveal anything that he hadn’t already said. Which is it? Pick one.

  2. To the caonima who asked about the toys, https://www.bandlab.com/ has a free, slightly comprehensive DAW that’s very easy to use for beginners! No download needed too, it’s on the internet. And if you wanna upgrade, but don’t want to spend just yet, bandlab also offers its own free pro DAW – CakeWalk!

  3. I regret buying an SM58 because even though it’s really good for recording vocals, I mostly use it to talk to my friends while playing video games which isn’t very convenient since I have to be so close to the mic and people complain that I’m too quiet when I’m not. The xlr to usb adapter that Shure made for the mic is also really shit and my audio interface really isn’t that much better (:

    Next time I buy a mic I’m just gonna get a USB condenser. When you do write the post about microphones, if you could cover phantom power in more depth that would be great.

    • Yeah don’t buy an SM58 if all you plan to do is sit in front of your computer with it and game, that’s really not what it’s for. A USB condensor or just a gaming headset will both work way better for that.

  4. @The person with the long post near the beginning (I apologize for this long ass comment, but I have no other way of talking to that person and I would like to).

    “Arguably you can say that about even friends and family though” – That’s quite true, and something most people never realize. I’m going to go real deep into philosophy real quick. Humans don’t see the world as it really is, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s far too complicated – our little brains can’t handle it all. And second, even if we had the mental capacity, we have no way of finding out all the information. It’s true on a quantum level, have you heard of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? And it’s true on an interpersonal level. How can you fully appreciate what someone is feeling, or what they really think? The best you can do is get them to tell you, and then listen to them attentively. But that relies on them being able to understand what they’re feeling or what they think, and being able to articulate it sufficiently. And by the time they manage that, they probably don’t feel the same way, because time has passed. You just can’t know all these things, so you have to kind of guess a lot of the time.

    The world is unfathomably complicated, we just don’t have the mental capacity to deal with it, so we don’t. We deal with the world by identifying things that are important, labeling them, and then we hold that label in our mind and think about it – not the thing itself, but the label. What is a hammer? It’s a tool used for striking things. That’s nice, but I asked what it is, not what we use it for. Stupid question really, because what it’s used for is generally just a far more important thing to know. Of course we’re capable of directing our attention past the use of a thing (It’s label), and looking at what it actually is, but that’s not what we do instinctively. This is relevant I promise. How to we perceive other people? Well, it might be uncomfortable to admit it, but we generally perceive other people in the same fashion as we perceive a hammer – we see a use for them and store that use. Of course our perception of people is far more sophisticated than our perception of a hammer, but fundamentally, people generally aren’t real interested in who someone actually is, or what they really want, or what they really think. People tend to label someone once their first impression is complete, and then they more or less ignore everything that the person says unless they have some reason to listen to or observe them. And when they think of the person, they think only of the label, a sticky note with two or three lines of text on it. Meet Jake – Jake is a normal 48 y.o. man who’s been married for 12 years, and the relationship is just fine, comfortable and predictable. Or it was, until just now, because Jake has just found out that Karen has cheated on him. Suddenly, Jake’s label for Karen (in his mind) is incinerated, and chaos is left in it’s place. It’s like he doesn’t even know her any more despite having been married to her for 12 years. If she’s cheated once has she cheated before? Has she been cheating the whole time? Was their love a lie from the beginning? How could he be so stupid as to not see this!?

    That’s what can happen when your sticky note is quite a bit different from who someone actually is. Of course it’s not always so dramatic, but it can be. Events like that can fuck you up big time. It’s very important that you try to keep your sticky notes up to date and accurate. I should mention that there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a fairly simplistic perception of someone (A “Sticky note” in your mind). It really can’t be helped, our brains are just a few pounds of jelly, and we have a lot to think about, there’s only so much capacity there after all. Moral of the story – remember that who you think a person is, and who they really are, and different things, even when you think you know someone, you really just have a sticky note covered in observations, and maybe things that they’ve said. That’s definitely not a complete and accurate description of who that person really is. And you really should bear that in mind, and try to keep your sticky note up to date, bad things can happen if you don’t.

    “I still beat myself up for being attracted to any of them” – You really shouldn’t. They do an extremely good job of cosplaying as beautiful, perfect people. They put on an image that is extremely attractive, and they want you to fall in love with it. That’s the business model. The attraction is completely normal. Just remember that your sticky note for Jungkook, and who he really is, are different things. Mostly because the extent your note is probably “He’s hot af”. At least that is factually true.

    “considering this past year’s news and my cynicism” – Remember that bad news sells and good news mostly doesn’t. They don’t report on people doing wholesome things, for the most part. People often react to scandals by saying “If this is going on, imagine what’s going on that we don’t know about!” That’s a valid point, for every guy like Seungri, there’s at least a dozen more that we’ll never hear about. HOWEVER – cynicism is something you have to be careful with. Assuming people are assholes until otherwise is a practice that has utility, but it’s also a mentality that will turn you into a wrinkled old asshole in a hurry if you let it. There’s hundred of male kpop idols, and we find out periodically that one of them is a real cunt. So, if we assume that there’s another dozen who are also cunts, that still leaves hundreds of them who are just normal people, and some of them are very likely wholesome, awesome guys, who you really would be happy with, if you could just meet them. Of course you probably won’t meet them, because life sucks, but the point remains – there are nice people out there.

    “I’m overthinking it” – No, you’re actually thinking about it. Thinking is inherently conflict based, and thus uncomfortable. What is thinking? It’s when you create two avatars in your mind, and have them each champion opposing viewpoints, and then you let them go at it. One of them is going to lose, so it hurts a tiny bit. But better that you kill off one of the avatars, and the idea he was championing (which turned out to be wrong), then go on thinking the wrong idea. You’re durable enough, and smart enough to be able to do this. As a result, you have the capacity to be able to whittle off bad ideas bit by bit as you go through life, that will leave you with only things that you know to be true and useful. That’s way better than being comfortable and ignorant.

    Thanks for reading my response 🙂 I’m 31, which is probably 10 years down the road from you (maybe more), and life is fine here. In fact I don’t constantly want to kill myself any more, so that’s a real improvement. Kpopalypse said that managing your emotions improves with age, and that’s certainly been the case for me. And for the record I unapologetically thirst for kpop girls all the time. It’s not about fantasies of dating them, there’s a million reasons why that’s absurd, It’s just that they’re beautiful and endearing, they do entertaining MVs with great choreo, they make me smile. Life is hard and Kpop is a bright shiny happy spot, stay awhile 🙂

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