QRIMOLE – August 2021

It’s time for QRIMOLE!  Let’s take a look at reader questions for Kpopalypse!

Is it just me that felt [site under boycott deleted] & Pann translation is bringing harm to how foreigners think of korean? I’m referring to “controversial” post they translate. I think the loud people on internet is a minority, and majority of them probably do have decent opinion on such issues.

I don’t like “comment” sites in general.  I don’t really care about how [national group x] perceives [national group y] but it’s true that comments are often skewed and inaccurate, and these days are also a weapon of political extremists to spread their agenda (sometimes in person, sometimes via bots).  Gradually more and more news sites are removing the ability to comment completely, because they find that ultra-right trolls and bots are targetting their comments sections, and even when they’re not, the comments are shit anyway.  Nothing that you ever read in a comments section anywhere will ever be worth reading.  Readers, if you agree, leave a comment below.

Hi kpopalypse! How’s your cat?
So, I wanted to ask how the fuck do you keep your day organized and get into doing stuff properly? Do you schedule stuff or anything like that? I have barely any idea of how to structure my time properly…

My cat is good!

I don’t have a strict schedule, it’s not really my style.  I’m more like “gosh I haven’t done x in a while, I might do x for a bit”.  There’s always things to do.  The exception is that at certain times of the year I do certain posts (i.e at roughly the start of every month is a QRIMOLE), but even then I don’t have it mapped out, that kind of ruins the fun for me a little.  I’m the sort of person who lives in creative chaos, but everything is very structured at least in my head.  For instance my studio is very messy but if someone asks for a specific object I can usually find it instantly.

What do you think of T-ara announcing a comeback as four?

I’m all for more T-ara, I just hope they get a good song this time because the last time they had a comeback as four we had “What’s My Name?” and honestly that song was pretty drab, even the most die-hard T-ara fan knows they could have done much better than that.

I have a question that’s been confusing my mind since the day I found out. I was killing time on tik tok and a video about the song Drunk Dazed by Enhypen appeared to me. In the video it said that the song is from the pop rock genre, but this left me extremely confused because to my ears it was clearly edm. So I decided to go research and it turned out that it’s a “psychedelic rock”, which I could swear to be a more different sound, as I recognize by bands like pink floyd etc… I know you’ve commented on music genres here so I would like to understand why this track fits into rock and not totally edm

It’s just a pop song.  “EDM” as a genre doesn’t really exist, as given the way music is actually created these days and what its function is, pretty much all popular music could be defined as both electronic and dance.  However I wouldn’t call this song rock either because it doesn’t really have rock-style use of percussion.  Pop music will do.  Don’t overthink genre labels, a lot of it has little to do with actual music and is just someone’s bullshit idea of clever marketing i.e “If we call it something different, maybe it will garner attention” which is why sometimes you get really random shit coming out in press releases.  Keep in mind all Korean music news sites (when they’re not focusing on scandal) are just press release regurgitation factories.

Hi Kpopalypse-seonsaengnim, I was wondering if you have and might share your shortlists for past years. I ask because I discover new songs I really like on your best/honourable mention lists. You don’t need to write something up for every song. That would be too much work. Just listing them (and maybe with links) would be fine.

I actually delete my shortlists when I work out the top/bottom 30 and honourable/dishonourable mentions.  The stuff at the bottom of the list just gets culled.  So I honestly couldn’t tell you what was on the lists from previous years.  However if you go through roundups, anything that had a generally positive comment, but didn’t make its way into any particular list for that year, it’s a safe bet that it was shortlisted.  Sorry for the OCDers out there but you must be “this” tall to ride.

how do i stop basing my music taste on what you like and dislike? throughout all your roundups and annual lists, you stress upon the fact that your taste is YOURS and no one elses, but as i read more and more of them…. i feel like i’m basing my taste on what you like, or would like. for example, when i’m listening to music, i think “oh wait kpopalypse would hate this song” and that would impact my listening experience negatively even if i already like the song. then, when i read your roundup where you reviewed seventeen’s ‘anyone’ and crowned it their best song. well, when i first listened to it, i thought “oh fuck this bullshit fucking song, this sucks dick, they’ve got tons of far better songs in any case”. now when you said it was their best, i started doubting myself, thinking “oh.. does my taste suck? what’s wrong with me?” i know this is very irrational thinking, but i can’t do anything else, so please help me oppar

This is why I write the roundups in the manner in which I do.  Summing up some group’s hard work into one or two quick jokes about their song is meant to make you stop and think and kind of go “maybe this guy’s opinions are really just a bunch of horseshit and it’s okay for me to disregard someone else’s opinion and like or dislike whatever”, in a hopefully entertaining way.  So that way when you read Billboard or Rolling Stone or whoever, you can identify it as ultimately just a longer-form version of the same and go “well, I don’t care what they think”.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with agreeing with me (those exposed to the kind of musical influences I had when growing up would probably find a lot to agree with) but I just think it’s okay to think a little about what you consume and ask yourself why you like something.  I always have a musical reason for my opinion.  K-pop fans generally don’t – they’ll start hyping up their faves’ new song before they’ve even heard it.  A good exercise to get into, when you hear a new song that you don’t like, is “if this was by my favourite group, would I like it more?”.  On my most recent livestream I actually did this in real time with the Seventeen song, I asked myself “if this was the Loona comeback instead of Paint The Town, would I be into this?”  This is a good way of removing bias.  You can also apply it the other way and imagine the next song by your faves being sung by a group you really hate and see if it still appeals to you as a song.

Lately I’ve been bugged by thoughts of my ex. We broke up a couple of months ago (I ended it) and while it was kind of a sudden end to a long term relationship, I’m certain it was the right thing to do. I haven’t missed them, but I recently had a holiday with my family similar to one I took with them last year and it seemed to release a whole bunch of thoughts and memories. I’m trying to keep as busy as possible but I find these thoughts quite annoying, they even spill over into my dreams.
Have you experienced this? Is there anything else I can do apart from keep busy and wait for it to pass?

Not really, just try to distract yourself.  You’re doing all the right things.  It’s pretty normal to miss someone who you were with for a while, even if you rationally don’t want the relationship to continue, because people find patterns comforting and are resistant to change.  Time will eventually dull it.

My question: Hi Kpopalypse, while reading the objectification results part 4, the link you posted got me thinking.

I think I do understand your points, in general, about sexualization, and I think you’re right. And on this link you “prove” that faces are just as sexual. Great! no problem with that. 46% say the most attractive body part on women in the face. cool. But on the male side, the results are very… body centered. That made me feel really weird. (im a bi man, for the record). It felt like the male results were… dirty, somehow. It felt like I was looking at a butcher shop, with body parts all over. THe worst part is, that muscle definition really is not normal, especially the goddamn V-cut, which is extremely rare, but is the favorite of many people. And the face is only 2%.

So here’s the thing: logically, I should have no problem with that. like, whatever, people like what they like, everything os objectionable, and sexuality is not a bad thing. But I did have a problem. Its been three days, and I cant even explain it. Why do you think me, and possibly other people, see as “more pure” putting emphasis on the face? For me, its because most of the person’s expressions are on the face, is shows their personality, its where you look when you talk with them, its where their eyes and eyebrows are… etc. Am I just a 18th century peasant that demonizes the body and paints paintings where the woman looks like she’s orgasming just because the face is free game? I try to be open minded always in my life, have always been (im 22) but is this a deeply ingrained society thought in my brain that says the body is bad? Clearly most of the women on the same society think its okay to answer primarily body parts on the survey, so maybe thats not it. Maybe its because, in society, men dont tend to take care of their appearance just as well? Maybe historically they tried to get handsome for themselves only and not the women, which resulted in bulking up and showing that off always? Why do I think this is as so bad, is it?

Anyways I’m so sorry this is so long but you’re the only person that I know of that might have some wisdom about this, and I do admire your way of thinking about this stuff, and I try to understand it (even if most of the times you do it in ironic and nonchalant ways). Thinking about this made me really feel bad these past days. Im attracted to both sexes, and primarily the face. Whenever I see people drooling over muscles over on social media nowadays (and sometimes even saying to ignore the man’s face) I feel really bad. It made me consider stop going to the gym, I don’t wanna be seen as a butcher’s table. And it made me feel even worse for women that get ogled and sexualized against their will. Help, mr kpopalypse? SHORT VERSION: Please expand on attractiveness to body vs to the face and why objectification is not bad 😦

I think you’ve answered your own question to a large degree.  We’re socialised into accepting the face as “non sexual” or at least “not as sexual”, because it’s where we tend to look the most for communication, reading people’s emotions, etc.  However the face is obviously sexual, and communication/emotions can obviously be sexual too.  There’s no genuine difference between finding someone’s eyes sexy and finding their arms sexy.  We’re all sexual creatures, after all that’s how we got here, but society and culture is so concerned with judging sexuality as a negative thing.  Obviously there are SOME aspects of human sexuality that are negative (rape, pedophilia, sexual slavery etc), but sexuality as a whole is not negative by default, yet our society often treats sex as more negative than murder.  In many countries you can show real violence and death on TV but you can’t see two people engaging in intercourse or even somebody completely naked – why is that?  I think sexualisation is a force for good, humans are sexual and should be acknowledged as such.  That doesn’t mean “be mean to people”, it just means sexuality should be appreciated.

Hello Kpopalypse I hope you are doing well and safe. Sometimes I really regret not reading your blog earlier because the advice you gave for college were so realistic and helpful but alas it was too late then, Recently my cousin has been showing aggressive behaviour for the fact that his parent didn’t send him to music college instead of engineering remembering your blog I did suggest that he could try it out as sound engineer and a lot of music theory could be applied he didn’t listen instead became violent with his father, and threatened his sister whenever she would visit home he will make her life a nightmare she has decided never to return. I think its a bit funny but everyone was celebrating when he got bit by a dog but in the end his mother cried a lot that there ultimately is no hope for him at this point isn’t it better to just send him to psych ward they once tried to kick him out of the house but he climbed back through the roof and destroyed all the cutlery

Psych ward stays these days are designed to be temporary.  Most governments don’t fund mental health that much anymore and plus it’s considered more beneficial for mentally ill people’s mental health to engage with the community to whatever extent they can rather than lock them up and throw away the key.  Your psycho cousin is always going to be primarily his family’s responsibility to administer the “chill pills” or whatever it is they do with hyper aggressive people these days.  I’m not a mental health expert so I suggest his family seek advice if they need it.

Oppar, what do you think about the whole “white privilege” thing? I mean, I’m not an incel from Reddit screaming that it doesn’t exist, neither am I a Twitter stan account saying that white people are the worst people and are the scum of earth without realizing they’re sounding weirdly racist, but I don’t think that it’s something that deep. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some heavy racism out there like latino people being seen as suspicious way more often than white people, but I think it’s way more of a systematic thing than anything, it’s a cool thing to talk about but people just use this whole white privilege thing to shut other people down and prevent productive convos, so what’s the point
Surprisingly enough, as a person of color, I don’t think I’ve ever been a target of racism because of my skin color (yet), but more because of my nationality, which is pretty funny to me. However it was mostly people talking shit but no actual tangible effects on my life, so, yeah.
Overall, I think there may be tangible effects from this whole white privilege thing, mainly in very race obsessed countries (cough America cough), but I do think I have plenty of privileges myself, so, yeah ig

Obviously not everything across the world is even-Steven and people do get privileges because of their upbringing, which does favour white people most of the time (although not always) just because white people have historically had more access to generational wealth in most cases.  Aside from skin colour ot any racism someone may or may not experience, no matter who you are it’s just easier to get by in life if you have a head start, that’s just common sense.  Not sure if that’s something to feel bad about though, I think people should feel grateful for this type of privilege if anything, if they’re lucky enough to have it.  As long as they’re not being a cunt to others for no reason, I don’t see a problem, and no matter who we are there’s always someone who is worse off so we all have privilege of a type.  Weaponising privilege to berate others is stupid, because we all have it, no matter how downtrodden we think we are – if you’re even reading this, you’re one of the privileged people with Internet access and free time to read some asshole’s blog, that’s not a privilege everybody in the world has.  If you have privilege just do something good with it if you can.  

Hello oppar! You wrote in your post about being targeted by k-pop fans online that we should delete our old social media posts so they can’t be used against us, but is there a limit to that? I have some old posts I would like to delete but they’re on places I no longer go to, and going back just to delete them would be kind of a hassle. However, I don’t people to try to use stupid things I’ve said in the past against me. Is there a point in worrying about it?

If it’s a social network that you no longer use and can live without then it probably doesn’t matter.  I’ve never seen a situation where what someone said on social network A got them banned from social network B.  Having said that, the smarter move would be to scrub your presence from social network A completely – if you don’t use it anyway you won’t miss it.

When are you going to post on Gfriend disbandment?

I already did a retrospective of their entire career ahead of time, that’s already far more than most groups get.  I would need a very specific reason to write about it.  “It happened” isn’t enough of a reason.  Kpopalypse is not a news site, or a “news + commentary” site.  If something comes up that makes writing about this relevant, maybe I will.

Are you watching the Olympics? Is there any chance there’s a sport which could catch your interest?

No, I haven’t watched the ceremony or any Olympic sporting events, I don’t watch TV in general.  Maybe if they had e-sport I would watch.

Which is better? A group with mostly trash songs and one or two epic ones? Or a group with consistently better-than-average songs?

The group is neither here nor there.  The group has no innate quality aspect other than the songs it produces.  What’s better, or not, is the songs themselves.

One or two epic songs > a bunch of better than average songs > a bunch of shit songs.

Do any of these ladies mrs?  What about the song?

They’re not really my type and the song is just average.  I do like the snappy dressing though.  Always good to be able to walk from the office straight to your gig without having to change clothes.

Hi kpopalypse oppa! how are u doing? My question of the month is: what are your favorite chord progressions?

I can’t go past a good Roly Poly (i-VI-III-VII), or the major equivalent (I-V-vi-IV) thanks Bravesound.

Hi Kpopalypse-seonsaengnim, I came across these articles on K-pop history and thought I would share them with you and other readers.

They are written by the Recording Industry Association of Korea (RIAK) though so they are probably pretty sanitized. Much trufax omitted in these articles. Read them with a grain of salt.
Readers will have to tune in to kpopalypse.com to get their trufax.

Thanks.  RIAK also have a YouTube channel where they spam trot artists and stuff, a lot of my trot nugu alert material comes from there.

Is the later part of the song even metal? I didn’t know what else to write in my silly little music report

Not really, just rock if you ask me.  It’s weak j-shit anyway so I didn’t really listen that hard to be honest.  I removed the link to the song so my readers could be happier and not feel obliged to have to listen to it.  I have to think of the people’s welfare.

What do you feel about the phenomenon of Vtubers, which have gotten so popular during the pandemic?

I don’t even know what this means.  I’m not super-clear on the difference between a YouTuber, a streamer and a Vtuber.  Is there even one?  I don’t know, or care.  This doesn’t really interest me so I have no feelings on it.  If people are making money somehow doing a thing that’s good for them I guess, nothing to do with me.

I tried to analyzed the lyrics of “Ring Ring” from Rocket Punch and it is basically a song about prostitution in point of view of the prostitute. Is it typical for KPOP to have specific meanings in their lyrics and how are these things chosen? It feels kinda random.

Well that’s one interpretation that’s valid but I wouldn’t suggest that it’s the only possible one.  The power of lyrics in a song is that depending on context you can interpret songs in multiple ways.  It’s actually not that uncommon for k-pop lyricists to sneak in suggestive content under the guise of something much more innocent-looking, most obvious recent example being NCT Dream’s “Hot Sauce” but there are many.

hello kpopalypse, as a fellow international reader, i wanted to ask: what’s the point of getting into a fancy univeristy that’s in the top 10/30/whatever of the world? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s great that you can get a bunch of interviews and shit like that if you have a fancy Harvard diploma or whatever, but is it all there is to it? Prestige? I don’t get it

I never understood it either, but then where I live there’s no fancy universities so what would I know.  Maybe certain corporate jobs or specialised industries look for this, I’m not sure.  I know that when I look for people to do a job, I look not so much at qualifications or even experience, but mainly at skills.  A university degree doesn’t tell me much except “this person had the mental fortitude to survive a degree at that university and come out the other end”, which is definitely a positive thing, usually not a “must have” though.

Oppar! You just changed my life. I was really frustrated about the lack of asian grocers in my country because I really wanted to make your fried chicken recipe, I love cooking and I love chicken. I also really wanted gochujang ever since I discovered it existed, because I love spicy food and Tabasco only goes so far, not very versatile. My girlfriend caught me complaining about not being able to make a fried chicken recipe, visited your website and imported gochujang, potato starch and oyster sauce for my birthday! Im so happy. You changed my life, you cunty motherfucker. Well not really a question, is it? But I thought you would enjoy reading a feel-good story and knowing you are a cunt that’s good for something. I’ll be making your recipe and eating gochujang in some stupid ways very soon!

Good news!  Oyster sauce isn’t in my recipe but hopefully you find it useful for something.  If you can’t find corn syrup or rice syrup, maple syrup or even honey will also work as long as you don’t mind the slightly more colourful flavour.

Do you know your enneagram type?

You may or may not of heard of it’s before, but it’s based on a person’s basic fear (I guess whatever fucked them up during their childhood lol)
there are 9 types. for a 1 for example, they’re scared of being morally wrong and becoming impure, so they tend to be upright and perfectionistic

9s dislike tension and arguing so they tend to be more passive and calm. 3s are scared of being seen as losers, so they work hard and want to be percieved as cool.

Unlike MBTI it doesn’t claim to have scientific proof of anything, it’s just interesting to know what scares people most lol.

Never heard of.  Took the test, I’ll let people guess what I might be.  It’ll be a good test of how well people understand/misunderstand my personality based on my writing.

Hello Kpopalypse, I’ve been feeling a little bit confused. So, I’m a high school student, and I’m in Brazil, and it’s been a dream of mine to live in Canada or some other country like that. Obviously, I’ve been a little bit desentisized to this dream and know that changing countries isn’t going to dissipate all my problems (but oh boy wouldn’t it be great).
Either way, I applied to some bootcamps and even applied to UWC, which I was very excited about at first, but then, for some reason, that excitement just died out. I don’t know if it’s a question of doubt or something. Why is it so hard to stay motivated about this stuff, even when you supposedly had it in your mind for a long time?

I guess that depends on the reason why you don’t feel motivated.  Maybe you need to be more introspective.  What excited you about living overseas in the first place?  If you can figure out that, maybe you can figure out why it no longer appeals as much.  I can’t really help more than that as you haven’t given me much to go on.

Do you like Sheena Ringo?

No.

Hi hyung,

This is a technical question about music. I know I could probably just Google this, but given your musical background, I figured you could offer additional insight to my question.

What’s the musical term for when the same, exact melody is sung by different voices, but at different times (i.e., slightly out of sync with each other)?

The song that got me thinking about this was “Love You Like Crazy” by Taeyeon. The chorus has Taeyeon singing the same lyrics with different voices and different timings, turning an otherwise okay song into something very satisfying to listen to. Though, the more I thought about this question, it feels like this is more so countermelody than anything else since only the lyrics are the same between the two voices. They otherwise have different rhythms and melodies from what I can tell.

I think a more accurate example of what I’m describing would be “Rum Pum Pum Pum” by f(x). The pre-chorus of the song has the same lyrics and melody sung by two different voices, with one starting a few beats (maybe an entire measure) after the other. Unlike “Love You Like Crazy” the two voices seem to be singing the exact same thing, just one is softer and starts later than the other one.

Is there a musical term for this? I feel like there is one, but I can’t remember what it’s called. It seems rather rare since having the same musical phrase harmonize with itself like that is probably difficult to achieve.

The most literal version of what you’re talking about – two voices singing or playing exactly the same melodic line, but with a delay between them, is called a “round” or “perpetual canon”.  You’re right that f(x)’s song resembles this much more than Taeyeon’s, which is more just countermelody.  The most well-known example of the perpetual canon in the classical world is Pachabel’s “Canon In D” where parts interchange after each eight-chord cycle, if you watch it being played by a string quartet you can actually see when one instrument picks up and repeats the same part that another one discards.

Several nursery rhyme songs are also designed to harmonise when sung in round format.

It would be so cool to see a Kpopalypse’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list written someday. The Rolling Stone magazine sucks, do they even know who T-ara and f(x) were?

I know you’re against your audience taking your opinion on music as superior but I am interested in the “finding out new cool artists to listen to” aspect of lists in general.

I don’t even have time to listen to one album these days, 500 is not gonna happen.  30 k-pop songs in a year plus extras is a lot of hard work I can’t imagine doing 500 full albums unless I was earning a living wage from it.  Rolling Stone do suck, can you believe they put Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” as best song ever, can they make it any more obvious that they are stroking their own dicks.  I mean it’s fine to create a subjective list and all that (I do it all the time) but they go the extra step that people often falsely accuse me of, which is that they posit themselves as an “authority on music”.

Greeting aussie cunt! I wish good health to you and your close ones.
I want to bounce off my thoughts with you about the article you shared on this month’s first roundup. Discourse in gender issues seems to be often strawmanned, lack nuance, empathy and play on the feelings of self-righteousness of the people involved, who perceive themselves as a perpetual victim of the opposite sex.
Both genders’ concerns that appear on the article seem reasonable to me. Sexual violence and molka are clear problems and it would be beneficial for everyone to have those issues solve in my opinion. Also, on the other side, gender quotas when it comes to job hiring (notable in a similar way the law student cap that becomes relevant when there are female-exclusive universities), forced military service for males and the case of a woman’s allegation of sexual misconduct being enough for a conviction (assuming this is the whole story) seem valid issues to me too, but in general male problems don’t seem to be acknowledged to a similar degree in the public eye as female ones so far. I reckon that this may be a matter of perception, but public policy seems to be shifting towards the female end of the scale only (talking as a Spaniard here mostly, but it may be relevant to Korea in some regards as well) and when one sees their issues getting ignored and sometimes mocked its really easy to become resentful towards the other sex, especially when one is younger and more immature, which in a way seems to be a vicious cycle of misery for both.
I would appreciate your view as an older man both about the previous topics and also about general guidelines a person that wants to be accurate/fair when discussing important topics should follow in order to be such.

The article I feel does a good job of putting the feelings of young Korean men into a bigger context and trying to grasp the motivations behind it all rather than just dismissing everything outright.  The grievances that young men in Korea (and elsewhere) have are real and valid, but their anger is being misdirected and is placed onto the wrong targets.  Feminists aren’t to blame for the hardships that men face – frankly, they’re not even that powerful.  The real issues are more broadly economic.  Yes, due to female advancement there are now more competitors in the workplace fighting for a shrinking slice of the pie – but that’s really an economic problem, not a gender problem.  You don’t see people getting too salty about female-only vocational education in countries where one person’s income goes a lot further.  Korea’s hyper-capitalist structure is the real driver behind a lot of the misery, but that’s a hard thing to even know how to start to tackle and it’s a lot easier for the mentally lazy and exhausted to blame a few easily-scapegoated ideologues.

How to deal with passive-agressive useless fucking cuntosaurs at workplace, considering I’m still a junior clocking in at 2 months in? I mean of course I could always just say straight to their faces what worthless cumrag whorebags they all are 🤣, but I still need to earn money this pandemic, and job opportunities aren’t exactly abundant nowadays. How to navigate this minefield of bullshit oppar help me 😭😭😭

Keep your unedited feelings to yourself, and try to find allies in management.  Failing that, look for other work.  If you do leave, make it very clear why you left – to the right people.

You’ve said plenty of times that kpop bsides aren’t really worth listening to, but I’m curious what led you to this conclusion? I agree that at least in the current era bsides are largely filler or lower tier single candidates that didn’t make the cut for lead, but I definitely think at least in 2nd gen there were quite a few discographies with worthwhile bsides. Red Velvet has a lot of good ones but also a lot of forgettable ones by virtue of having such a massive discography, and f(x) bsides past pinocchio were pretty much all great (though you’ve talked about some of them before anyways). T-ARA also has good bsides, Absolute First album bsides are great when listening to the album as a whole even if they’re a bit lacking individually. The only BTS songs worthwhile are a couple of their older bsides when they were still somewhat hip hop influenced. I feel like a lot of 2nd gen groups have at least a handful of good bsides, so is your bsides largely suck sentiment applicable primarily to 3rd+4th gen, or do you hold that to 2nd gen too? Are there any groups you’ve listened to a good amount of their bsides?

What led me to that conclusion is that I bought a bunch of albums back in 2012 or thereabouts and listened to them and they all fucking sucked incredibly apart from the feature tracks, with only a handful of exceptions (some of which you’ve mentioned).  This is not coincidental, it’s a side-effect of the business practices of k-pop in general.  I listen to SO much stuff each week for roundup because I have to, I don’t have time to go picking through albums.  I have a stack of 100 or so albums just sitting around that I will listen to “one day” but probably not soon, not this year, maybe not this decade.  It’s up to companies to put their best foot forward and feature their best songs, if they can’t do that they can fuck off because I just don’t have the time to sift through all their scraps.  You can read more about why Korean albums suck so much here, I wrote this post in 2015 hoping it would end all useless questions about stupid fucking k-pop albums forever and ever yet six years later I still get these questions almost on a daily basis.

I was reading the 2021 Objectification Survey results and saw JYP still ranking (thankfully no picture status). Who did that? Like , JYP ranked higher than Yohan, BM, Chan etc. in the ass category! Is there an unspoken rule to give your second vote to JYP or smth?

The dude is famous for wearing plastic see-thru pants.  When it comes to the Objectification Survey, people tend to vote a lot higher when they know exactly what they are voting for.

Hello! Hope you’re doing well!
I was wondering how songs you don’t like initially sometimes make it onto your best songs list? Like, do you give some songs another chance? Asking this because I remembered something about you saying you didn’t like mamamoo’s piano man at first but then it grew on you?
Sorry if you’ve already answered this before but u have too many QRIMOLEs for me to go through to satiate my burning need to have this one useless question answered!

Actually I’m pretty sure I never said that about “Piano Man”, you can read my review of it here.

However there are occasionally songs that I don’t like all that much on first listen but I will give them another go, usually because there is something fairly catchy about them anyway that makes me want to go back.  However a complete 180 degree “I hate it but now I love it” shift, no, that’s never happened.  Maybe a 90 degree shift at most!  Here’s an example of a song just like that:

My knee-jerk reaction to trap is always negative but after first listen this stuck in my head a whole lot so I kept going back and I ended up liking it more than I hate it.  Yes I know what people are thinking and Jvcki Wai looking great is a thing but it has no real impact – for every artist like her there’s 100 others who also look good but who make shit songs I wouldn’t listen to twice.  We all know I bias AKMU’s Suhyun but only one of the five songs AKMU came out with over the last two weeks is any good, I haven’t had even the slightest temptation to replay any of the others even once because they just SUCK flat-out.  Hope this is helpful.

hey kpopalysp,,/e
so, i was one of these people that asked something about not knowing about jobs or whatever, you probably got a bunch of these and honestly not even i myself remember which one is mine
i think i was really hung up on the fact that i didn’t ( and still don’t ) know what the fuck i wanna do with my life, i mean, there’s a lot of interesting stuff to learn about the world and fun skills and cool people and t-ara roly poly
my family is the type to think that, if i end up being a doctor, i’ll be eternally happy or some shit, i mean, i don’t blame them since they have to work their ass off to pay for things
i don’t feel very interested in academic work stuff since most of the time, they feel utterly specific and honestly kind of a no-sense/fun fact thing to learn, i wish they’d show the bigger picture more or have wayyyy more useful and interesting topics that help you understand the world and think for yourself better
it kind of hit me hard that i ended up noticing i was basing my self worth off of my productivity/career/whatever the fuck and not on, you know, just for me being myself in general
don’t get me wrong, i still wanna be productive, study and do my own things that i’m passionate about
i just don’t care as much as people really want me to care about my career or getting in a very very fancy university (but it would be very nice and i’m actually working towards it since my country is… yeah nah)
i think i’d just rather be patient with myself and let myself figure it out as life goes by
and also get really good at some stuff
idk maybe i can mosh them all up into one very interesting thing
i like to think about graduation more as an opening gate to a bunch of new stuff instead of one linear thing, that would be really fun
i think this is more like a rant but it’s whatever, just letting you know
cheers to you and your kitty cat

Thanks!  Yeah there’s no real question here but I think you are figuring things out well.  Good luck!

I know it’s a lame question even as I’m typing it but, I would like to know whose music do you think is better or worse : EXO or BTS? and TWICE or BlackPink?

Yes it is, because you can answer it for yourself easily enough just by going through my best/worst lists and tallying things up.  However in general such questions are almost impossible to answer properly.  Just going on track record, EXO and Twice have more good songs than BTS and Blackpink, but they also have more bad songs.  However that could change easily in the future for reasons which have nothing to do with the group itself.  Songwriters can change, ideas and concepts can change, personnel making creative decisions can change, deals between business partners can change, entire business can start up, fold, or be transferred, and dozens of other things all of which may impact what song gets served to a group and in what form those songs see the light of day.  There’s no reason why any of these groups couldn’t have a #1 song on the best OR the worst list, they just don’t at the moment.  People need to stop thinking about music the way they do about sport (and increasingly depressingly, politics) where they have a “team” that they barrack for.  Music is not sport and should never be treated as such.  Competitions, talent shows, charts, popularity contests, what other people (including me) think, all of that stuff is bullshit.  Just worry about what YOU like.

So oppar, I read that one music industry article for “aspiring stars”, and I definitely have no interest in the music industry cause it honestly sounds pretty terrible and scary to me, but one thing that made my heart really sink was the whole “people won’t tell you the truth if you’re delusional” part, which made me *very* glad for my mom when she tells me that I’m being a lazy ass fuck when I truly am but also made me kind of, I don’t know, I guess it just made me feel very naive and now I’m not that sure on who to trust and who to not trust.
I don’t know if you meant it only in the music industry context, but, being the quiet and reserved person I’ve always been, it kind of really pushed around my buttons since I struggle a lot with the question of trust, I mean, when do I know one’s being honest and is reliable and when they’re not? I swear, being open is one of the most challenging things for me..

Also, if most people’s view are biased and they’ll always tell me that it’s good enough ( people as in my friends and family ), how do I set reliable standards for myself?

very unrelated but do you have any productivity tips pls thx

This is really beyond music and more of a personal psychology question that’s a bit out of my depth.  I have a hard time with this also!  I think the best way to look at it is to look at people’s possible motivations – why would someone be dishonest to you?  It’s not a rhetorical question – there may actually be plenty of potential reasons.  When someone gives me some feedback whether good or bad, rather than asking myself “are they telling the truth”, instead I ask myself “why they are telling me this”.  Maybe it’s to make me feel good.  Maybe it’s to make themselves feel good.  Maybe they care about me knowing how they feel because it validates them, or maybe just because they believe that I’ll be able to better make decisions.  Maybe it’s because they want me to have a certain perception of something I did, so that I might change it, or not.  Maybe there’s some other reason, perhaps they’re doing it to please someone else, or a group of people.  Maybe I was just on their bucket list of people to give feedback to.  Asking these questions to yourself might help.

Productivity tips here.

If you had the power to decide what everyone learns in school, what would you put there?

Critical thinking skills.  How to determine trufax.

What’s the appeal of podcasts?

I’m not sure, as I don’t even listen to any.  I just sort of fell into doing them with AustralianSana, which I enjoy doing but it’s not the sort of content that I would ever consume myself, not because of any hatred of podcasts or anything but just because of time constraints.  As I mentioned before I have that stack of about 100 albums, and each podcast takes at least an album worth of time to listen to… yeah nah.  Maybe when I retire I’ll sit back and get through all those albums, and then start on the podcasts after that…

What have been your favorite places to travel?

The local supermarket, gym, band practice…

How do you figure out whether you’re ready to do drugs safely and how much to do starting out? (Including alcohol)

I’m the wrong person to ask!  So I asked my gf.  After about ten seconds of laughter and another ten seconds of looking at the screen like “what the fuck”, she said: “Moderation.  If you’re a fuckhead with a bunch of dropkick friends, or a rebellious teenager, then don’t do it, because you’re not ready.”

Who came up with the excellent idea of naming Big Mama that horrible name? I see people praising them for “body positivity” and whatever the fuck, but why point out the fucking fact that they are “big”? That’s why I found it so refreshing, when you criticised that, as well as the nugu alert post where you first brought this topic up. Thank you, sir! It’s baffling to me, how they are reduced to being nothing but “big” when three of the four members are actual professors in a university….

Yeah they could have called themselves “The Fucking Smart Bitches Who Are Smarter Than You And Can Also Sing A Bit” but no, they had to basically be called “Fatty McFatFat & The Extra Carbs”.  Korea always disappoints in this area.

Hello Kpopalypse Oppar!

Hope you’re doing well! As you presumably have some experience with the entertainment industry and with human nature in general, I want to know your thoughts about a few questions I have about K-pop.

1: Why is diet culture so prevalent in the K-pop idol industry? (For example, things like the “IU diet”.) While I am not a medical professional by any means, I don’t think the type of dieting idols seem to engage in is particularly healthy? I also feel like it shouldn’t be necessary for idols to diet in order to maintain a certain weight, given that most of them are healthy teenagers and young adults who do a lot of cardio (i.e. dance practice).

I get the impression that the state of dieting in the idol industry is a reflection of society. I have heard that South Korea has a widespread diet culture, but I am not Korean and don’t want to make unfounded judgements. Do you know more about diet culture in South Korea (or anywhere, really)? If so, do you have a hypothesis as to why that type of culture would arise?

2: I listen to K-pop primarily for the music (that’s why I like your website so much! I don’t have the same taste in music that you do, but I’ve learned a lot about music from kpopalypse-dot-com nonetheless.)

That said, I am well aware that in the world of entertainment sex sells, so it’s not particularly shocking to me if I see a hip thrust in a K-pop choreo or some fairly revealing outfits. This sort of thing’s also not a big deal to me at all! I danced for fun and some of my friends danced competitively in high school, and “sexy” dance moves (e.g. body rolls, hip thrusts) and outfits were just a part of the performance. Sometimes I find it fun to have a cool or sexy on-stage persona – it has no bearing on my actual personality. In that vein, I feel like an idol’s persona is designed to be as attractive (sexy/cool/cute/etc.) as possible.

That said, I think the K-pop fandom’s preoccupation with “sexualization” and its morality is a combination of youth, sexual inexperience, and a healthy dose of projection. (I say this as a relatively young person with no sex experience.) I feel like a lot of people watching K-pop videos probably find the idols attractive but are too young to know how to deal with it (the eternal paradox of sex to a teenager: is it cool? is it gross?) so it turns into moralization. Something like a projection of misplaced guilt? I believe you said on Curious Cat that you think this moralization is an extension of conservatism, particularly of the ‘Murican variety, so what’s your opinion on my theory?

2.5: There are some music videos that I do find a little creepy, like Choerry’s Love Cherry Motion or Shannon Williams’s Why Why, but they never come up in the “sexualization” debate. Is it because of K-pop dog-whistling? Or am I just oversensitive about Shannon’s song?

3: I’ve heard that idols record songs, music show performances, and other things at odd hours of the night sometimes. For example, the other day I was watching a Loona vlog and they were getting their hair and makeup done at 3 a.m. Do you know why that is? Is it just a scheduling thing or are performances generally better late at night?

4: What are your thoughts on things like this? Do you think these accurately represent the recording process? Is there anything interesting or important going on that a layperson wouldn’t notice?

Thanks!
~ A long-winded caonima

  1. Your second paragraph answers your first, pretty much.  South Korean beauty standards are insane basically, and the entertainment world reflects this.
  2. The people complaining about idol sexualisation would see it completely differently if they were the dancers.  Dancing is not sex.  Even sexual dancing isn’t sex.  There’s actually very little sexualisation in k-pop dancing, which is why when you DO see it, it’s so noticeable – because it’s actually largely absent, compared to many western styles, so it tends to generate more shock value when it does appear.  Choerry and Shannon’s songs are more about sexualisation in the theme and concept of the song and its visual presentation, rather than the actual dances specifically.
  3. It’s because video shoots tend to work around the clock for time/budget reasons (not just in Korea).  It’s definitely not to enhance the performances!
  4. I quickly skimmed these but I don’t have time to watch all of it!  Nothing I saw in my quick skim-through looked inaccurate or wrong.  What I will say however is this is clearly all the “interesting” bits of a recording session edited together, so you definitely get an artificial impression of how interesting and involving the entire process is.  Recording sessions from a group member’s perspective are honestly >10% doing cool stuff and <90% sitting around bored waiting for something to happen or for someone else to do something that you don’t really have any more than perhipheral involvement in.  This applies even for groups who write all their own material.

this song reminded me so much of this one and I have no idea why. I don’t have the musical lexicon to point out possible similarities between these songs similar in any way from a musical pespective, apart from the fact that they’re both rock songs. Help?

Similar rhythm guitar techniques especially with the mute-strumming, and the vocal melodies are both very similar in style, they both do that boring pentatonic vocal thing that most rock singers do when they can’t really write melodies properly but just make shit up on the fly in the rehearsal room.

Is it worst timing for Taeyeon’s “Weekend” to come out? Seoul impose strictest quarantine measures since monday. Obviously you can’t do “whatever you want”

Or it might make the song more appealing to Koreans as they listen to the song and dream about a future COVID-free life.

1 – Do you ever feel pretty damn anxious about the future too? It feels like there’s a hundred causes that will end up with the earth blowing up or something, and while I understand that they’re trying to get people to take it seriously, isn’t this sensationalism just too much, generally?
2 – How do you know which causes are worth to care about, and which ones aren’t that important? Do you gotta guess which ones are urgent or not?
3 – About this whole A.I thing that someone said last QRIMOLE, I’m pretty sure the people who work with these things will release stuff that says “what could go wrong, right guys?” and then it goes wrong… on purpose
Just kidding Lol, I’m sure all companies want the best for all of us! I love them!
4 – How the hell do you “live in the moment”? Is that even true or is it just new age bullshit?
5 – Do you believe in that whole “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us” stuff?

  1. I don’t really worry about it.  Just be as prepared as you can, within your means.
  2. Pretty much
  3. What are you talking about nothing could possibly go wrong
  4. It just means stop worrying about the future, or dwelling over the past and just enjoy your life as it happens
  5. I don’t know – I guess maybe?  All these existential questions are a bit above my station as a basic asshole who writes about titty, whatever is going to happen you probably can’t prevent so just try and support those in a position to help and other than this when you fap perhaps start with slow strokes to release less CO2 from breathing until it’s really necessary

I need to vent.
Tbh my best friend is being a cunt lately. All she does is complaining and her negativity is bothering me a lot, cause negativity is contagious. Yet, she always comes to me asking for advice and gets offended when I give my honest opinion about things. I don’t feel like talking to her because of that and she is simply being a bitch cause I need some alone time. We’ve been friends for almost 10 years but I feel like it’s coming to an end.

This is QRIMOLE not VENTMOLE.  Come back if you have a question.  In the meantime tell you friend to eat your vag

Now that Weki Meki released the dance practice I stumbled on it by chance: isn’t Sweet Dreams the definition of an hidden gem?

Boring tbh

Oppar, we all know that clout is something chased by those who haven’t achieved anything significant with their lives, but how about bulllshitry pedaled by more or less influential people or institutions which is then regurgitated by clout-chasers? Like some of the stuff you’ll find in the Great Satan or worse, mainstream media?

Isn’t that just as dangerous?

Yes.

what is your favorite video that you’ve ever seen online, and also what is the worst video you’ve ever seen online? doesn’t have to be music related at all

Best / Worst

Actually there are both better and worse but I’m restricting myself to what’s currently available on YouTube and stuff that isn’t 18+. 

Worst would easily be the Christchurch shooting video back when that was circulating, literally the saddest, most sorrowful thing I’ve ever seen, instantly regretted watching it even though I only saw very little of the entire thing. I should have skipped to the end so I could watch his ass getting beat by the cops but I stupidly watched it from the start when he was like “hur dur memes lol” and then starts killing people and just nope.

Best is really hard to say, so much JAV to choose from.  It wouldn’t be a Yua Mikami video though, although she’s good there’s much better actresses than her.  Unlike k-pop, JAV actually has quite a few people working in it who are my type.

Kpopalypse oppar thanks for being around. Reading your blog and humor brightens my day and I’ve learned a lot about music and the industry without meaning to haha. Your chicken recipe was great, thank you!

Thank you!

I went your last QRIMOLE back to back twice just to see if I missed my question that I submitted I had suspicions that it didn’t submit thanks to my shitty network so I’ll ask again (hopefully I didn’t miss your answer and I’m not asking you again) do singers who have zero participation in the song making get performance royalty or whatever it’s called when their songs get streams/bought ?

I don’t remember this question from last time, guess it was your connection.  Glad you were successfully able to ask a question this time!

Singers typically do not get shit, if literally all they did was sing and they had zero hand in the composition of the song they get precisely $0.00 royalty.  “Performance royalties” is a deceptive title, as they are not “royalties paid to performers”, they are “royalties paid to songwriters/composers/rights owners when a song is performed”.  This is one of the many reasons why most of your idols are broke.

I can’t help but notice the returning Yeojin-kills-the-old-men-creeps running gag in the Gay Sex With Yves games.

Not really a question. This is why I joined the caonimas.

I like to keep some thematic consistency with my characters!  Glad you enjoyed the games!

Why are KPop lyrics mostly cringe or just make no sense? I know you don’t listen to JPop, but even J-Idols have better lyrics I think

It’s aimed to what companies believe is the k-pop target audience – dumb cunts.  So they don’t typically put much effort in this area.  There are exceptions of course.

kpop’s fucking lost it, lee sooman now fucking trademarked ‘pink blood’ as a name for ‘fans of the sm family’. i do consider myself a fan of two sm ent acts (namely boa and shinee),,, however this is creepy and gross, definitely would perpetuate those idiotic “company stans” who’d go to lengths to defend a company. earlier, with aespa, they decided they wanted to introduce a ‘sm cinematic universe’, including the following acts – aespa, red velvet, nct, exo, even super junior, shinee, taemin as a solo act, etc (i just hope they don’t rope boa into this shit, shinee + taemin as a soloist was bad enough, as were those creepy animations on her 20th anniversary special video. now fucking PINK BLOOD????

even kangta from h.o.t is a part of this smcu (sm cinematic universe) shit. freaking kangta (as are tvxq,,,, wonder how they’re gonna explain jyj, as well as kris-luhan-tao in exo’s case). thank goodness the people who left sm did so.

on a side note, wonder how hybe haven’t done this so far. all the groups under it (including gfriend, even though they all left) have some kind of overarching lore in their music videos, except seventeen (and glam and 8eight, if we’re gonna talk about them).

bang sihyuk i hope you don’t read kpopalypse

I don’t know, I think “pink blood” is pretty clever, because it kind of acknowledges the freakishly devoted nature of k-pop stans, likening them to Slayer fans who carve the band’s name into their arms.  It’s the closest a k-pop agency has come yet to tipping their hat to the gleaming one-eyed crazy.  Maybe it will make a few people think twice.

Hello! I hope you’re doing well. First, as a Brazilian, I feel shitty. Our president is a joke, the country is beyond trash now and the feeling of hopelessness doesn’t leave me. Needed to vent that. I have a question that I’ve already been asked and answered before, I guess last year…but I didn’t quite understand the answer and felt a bit incomplete. Sorry to repeat myself.
I asked about idols on musicals. Asked if they needed to have some sort of different vocal technique than the ‘standard’ idol. I mean, taking VIXX Ken and Leo as examples…they’ve done a lot of musicals. So my question is, can any idol do fairly ok in main roles on musicals or do you have to be a really ‘good’ vocalist to be able to do so? Sorry if it’s a dumb question and for any english mistakes. Thank you oppar!

Venting is okay as long as there’s a question too!

The skillset for musicals isn’t quite the same as that for idols, because musical performers have to be more conscious of presence, something that the idol world gives zero consideration to, but they both share one thing in common which is that in 2021 “good vocals” are hardly a requirement.  Unless we’re talking operatic musicals, then it’s different, but for more “popular” style musicals it doesn’t matter.

Hi kpopalypse! We all know that companies always answer for their artists during scandals or rumors about them. They always say their piece through official statements on social media. Recently I came across ex-Stray Kids member Woojin (now Kim Woojin) and his company 10x Entertainment. His scandals were heavy, and most people already decided he was guilty when evidence told otherwise. All of my knowledge regarding this issue is pretty much surface-level since I didn’t care for another K-pop scandal. Anyways that scandal was already out of features and all that; it seemed that it was dying until 10x (Woojin’s company) posted a detailed ‘documentary’ (35 minutes) of sorts on his YouTube channel. It was new and kinda refreshing, to see companies actually taking their time to publicly address an artist’s issue.

Do you think videos like this, where companies pick apart accusations and publicly reveal their investigations and processes, are good for the artists at hand, or do these kinds of videos actually do more harm than good?

Cheers! Greetings from the Philippines.

In my case it does more harm than good because I get so annoyed by the stupid memes and found footage inserted every literal two seconds that it just turns me into a hater for the entire duration.  However if it was a better-constructed video that was less irritating and cringe then yes it’s a good idea just for giving their fans something to refer to that’s quite articulate so they don’t have to go piecing the truth together themselves (like T-ara fans had to, for instance).  While I don’t think that people who falsely create scandals should be pandered to, I think turning anyone who believes misinformation into objects of ridicule is good.

I bring you two instances of kpop fans being degenerate morons, for yours and the rest of the readers’ pleasure.

1. A while back STAYC covered Doja Cat’s Kiss Me More:

It made some people uncomfortable that 04 liners were singing “Baby wishing that the pussy was a kissing booth”, but the reception was very overwhelmingly positive (high like ratio, hard to find criticising comments), praising them for their bravery and shutting down those who said it’s predatory that their management, which would usually be comprised of men twice their age, decided they should cover this. Their retort was “how do you know they were forced, teenagers love Doja Cat, it was probably their idea, independent queens owning their sexuality!”
Cause we all know that if there’s one thing rookie girl groups are known for, is how much freedom they have to decide what their own schedule is, never mind the schedule of their makeup artists, hairstylists, cameramen, sound engineers, video editors, etc.

2. A few months ago, during an interview, Twice were asked if they have any plans for solo careers. As the leader, Jihyo responded that no, they all want to focus on group activity. This has been used as a counterargument by many in the Once-o-sphere when people complain that the members have very little individual recognition outside of kpop fans compared to their 20 something peers (even 4th geners like Gidle have had more solo promo). They say “Jihyo herself said they want to focus on the group and have no desire for individual gigs, how can you not believe Jihyo?”
Now from what we know, most Twice fans are above the age of 16, which makes sense, beacause 12 yos don’t generally have enough disposable income to spend all their money on kpop albums, and Twice sell a lot. We also mostly see 16+ people at fansigns and concerts, as well as sites where we are informed what age listeners are (eg Melon which tells you that most people who listen to their music are above the age of 20).
So how can they be this stupid? Obviously what Jihyo says in this pre-prepared interview cannot be taken for fact. Can they imagine what the alternative would be?
“Yeah, half of us do actually want to debut solo, but our boss wants us to keep up the “nine or none” image, which has proven time and time again to sell well and so is a safe investment. I personally feel like I want to move past it, but I’m stuck for a few years.”
Imagine how that would go down lmao

I realise this is less of a question, more of a conversation starter on just how stupid these people are, as well as touching on how teenagers (I assume) think it’s empowering if others teenagers “explore their sexuality” (even though their every move is up to their managers, there is zero empowerment here but ok)

Also, definitely awaiting your part two to the dog whistle concept post, if you still think of doing it.

  1. Well there’s truth to the fact that people who aren’t of age do like age-inappropriate songs, and like to sing them, and always have.  When I was 10 years old I thought Kevin Bloody Wilson was the greatest thing ever and he was so age-inappropriate for me at the time that it wasn’t even legal for me to buy his songs, I had to listen on pirated cassettes traded with other kids in the schoolyard.  Funnily enough, by the time I was old enough to buy one of his albums I wasn’t really into him anymore.  There’s every chance StayC like the song and wanted to sing it, although I’m certain, as you are, that they didn’t get the final decision on that.  For all we know they begged their management to do it, who weren’t keen but decided to acquiesce to shut the girls up.  Or, yes it’s possible that the management are being creeps and just love the idea of the girls singing that particular line.  The third and far more likely possibility to me however is that they’re just doing it because someone in management thought it was a popular song that would be good to do and the meaning of the lyrics didn’t even cross anybody’s mind.  When you look at how dimly aware Korean agencies and artists are of English language and cultural norms (and will remain so, whether me-first cultural imperialist westerners like it or not), it would be no surprise.
  2. Agreed.

I am still thinking of doing that post, it’s on the list, but more as a topic as part of a slightly different post, rather than a dedicated post of its own (which I’ve donetwice already).

Hey there Kpopalypse, hope everything is going well with you. Here’s a necessary rant with subsequent asking for advice following shortly after:
-At the moment, I’m disgustingly overwhelmed. I’m studying for a Master’s degree in an intensive program where I’m lucky if I have a weekly break between my semesters and my stress levels are off the charts. I’m at the end of a semester right now and I have 6 different homeworks/projects due in a week, I’m working with 3 different teams for group projects and the work is long and tedious. My motivation has tanked like nothing and I get crazy anxiety looking at what I have to do for that one week.

-To note, my teachers are great, my program is great, I’m learning a ton and I’m studying for something that I actually want to do later in life. Dropping out feels like a no-go; I at least want to get into the job market before deciding whether it’s too much for me (and I’ve heard that uni is the worst part of it, and that it improves afterwards).

My question for you is if you had any advice to help with crazy amounts of work. My usual strategy has always been to bulldoze through rush periods while slowly but surely becoming more insane; it gets the job done, but my mental health tanks completely and I have to deal with the aftermath afterwards. I also let go of things that aren’t “priorities” like cleaning and that also negatively affects me; my motivation is however so gone at that point that I use all of my energy just to get through the rush period. As you can imagine, it’s not a very sustainable model.

Any ideas? “Just do it” has been the Captain obvious answer from people around me but clearly after years and years I haven’t mastered this magical ability so I’m looking into more detailed solutions.

You’re obvious committed to doing it, which is great.  My advice would be to work smarter rather than harder.  Schedule your workload but also schedule time off.  With your time off, make sure you either completely relax (i.e meditation or other zero-brain activity) and also keep your physical health up.  You can’t do much about the mental strain but the physical affects the mental so go for a run or lift weights or stretch or yoga or anything that gets your blood moving a bit, anything that is as little like your study routine as possible, even do a little of the sportball if you are desperate.  There’s some Korean E-sports team and I can’t remember who they are but their manager makes them play sportball with each other to get some exercise once per day, because they’re literally spending the other 17 hours per day in a big chair grinding computer game stuff, and this is one of the top teams in the world.  It’s important to move your body and it will make you feel better about everything else, it’ll also give you more mental stamina.

When I sing I sound like a dying goat now I know this isn’t really your area of speciality but do you have any advice for me to sound less like a dying goat and more like a human singing ? I checked online and everyone’s advice seems to be for those who can sing a little but what sing better so they were no help

I dunno man, you could go to a vocal teacher I guess to work on pitching or whatever you need to work on but to be honest sounding like a dying goat sounds pretty cool to me, I kind of want to hear your voice now.  I’d stick with the goat.  Join a metal band and sing for them, most of them can’t sing (literally) and you’ll sound different and cool.  Stick with the goat and be the GOAT.

If you want more specific advice than that, and you’re not sold on this goat thing (which is a shame because I am) then send me a recording of you singing a known song and I’ll tell you where you’re fucking up.

hey, i’m submitting this pretty late so if it doesn’t get picked I would not be very surprised
either way, i really just wanted to ask you how to stop worrying about silly stuff and… some tips on mental health, ig

first off, i think i really really worry about stuff and i don’t know how to control it very well. hell, i’m worrying about controlling my worry right now as i’m writing this, just so you know how it gets. i’m a teen so i may be overexaggerating, but i’ve been feeling a little paranoid about some stuff: bad dreams and stuff that i shouldn’t really think about too much, but end up doing anyway
today i saw some random ass conspiracy that turned out to be true, something about a few harvard students going under a human test and going through psychological torture idfk i don’t even remember the name or what happened anymore, but i kept thinking about it over and over and ruminating about how I shouldn’t go to harvard or else it might happen to me (even though it’s a really old thing and it’s really unlikely that it’s going to happen, ever). i feel like this is all excessive mental energy that i’m not using bouncing back and forth in my head and making me ruminate about stuff that won’t ever matter (i don’t even plan going to harvard nor america by the way, i want to go to an university in europe or canada) but the very thought of suddenly getting myself into that situation scares me a lot. oh and also i feel hesitant to sleep because i’m afraid that i’ll have nightmares, but then when i sleep i proceed to get a cool dream that i don’t even remember, so. idk man, i have this thought deeply embedded in my head that i might have a psychosis attack even if i don’t fuckign know what psychosis is, that i’m broken and that something bad might happen to me all the time, and i don’t want to deal with those thoughts so i try my best to immerse myself in games and youtubers (even if, as highly addictive as they are, don’t work that well, surprisingly). i want to ask my mom for therapy very bad, but i don’t want her to think that i’m going through something really bad and worry her, and i do wonder if i’m truly as bad as my mind makes me to be. understanding your mind and yourself and dealing with overwhelming thoughts can be complicated. do you know anything that i could possibly do to stop this at all? should i just go ahead and get therapy?
oh yeah another note, i do eat pretty unhealthy even though i’ve started working out so that’s a start, people say it helps with mental health so maybe
either way, even if this doesn’t make it to qrimole it was very nice to be able to rant this and get it out of my chest. overthinking and anxiety can be a real pain in the ass, and falling for these stupid fear bait “conspiracies” all over the internet makes me feel very guillible, even if they do tap into my fear so well…
also srry if my english is hard to understand, it’s not my first language
just sayin that yall should watch out for emotional attachment cuz youll find it in the place you least expect
that shit is dangerous
it’s a minor miracle that i’m not a crazy kpop fan that’s willing to defend some random gg idol with my teeth and nails
thank you v ery much

I am not a psychologist or mental health expert.  I think at the very least you should see a doctor and tell them a bit about how you’re feeling, and also speak to your parents (which will probably be unavoidable if you want to see the doc given your age).  Yes working out will help (or at least won’t hurt) but it’s not a substitute for getting some kind of mental health assessment happening.  The fact that you’re ruminating about stuff which is clearly not relevant to your life (harvard conspiracy, like, who cares man) and you know this but you’re doing it anyway, I think you should value your mental health and see someone about it.  It’s pretty normal for teenagers to have a bad time mentally in general (I certainly did) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.

Ok so, oppar,
I know this is going to sound very cheesy and just, uhhh, I don’t know, but is there any way to tie things like music and art, both which I really do like, and some causes that I care about (like the environment)? Yeah, there’s a lot of shitty stuff going on in the world, but if there’s something I can do then I’ll do it – if not then idk, ig it just is what it is
This is probably a very random question, but you seem to come up with a lot of random stuff
You don’t need to give me a definite answer, but can you at least give me some tips to get me thinking or show your creative process a bit?

So all creativity, starts with an idea, right?  You could say to yourself “okay, I’d like to be very environment, so my idea is saving the environment, that’s what I want to reflect in my art”.  However that’s not a very good starting point because it’s very broad, and encompasses a lot of stuff, because there’s so many facets to environmental issues, so it’s not very helpful as a creative idea.  You need to drill it down to something specific so then you can map out how you want to incorporate that into some art of some type, art doesn’t work very well when it’s about everything.  So maybe restrict yourself to a certain location or a certain specific thing that’s happening that’s a problem or a certain type of discourse or outcome, you can also restrict yourself artistically by deciding what mediums you want to work in and what you want your final piece to look like/sound like/smell like/be/etc.  As you get more restrictive, the path to incorporate it into your art will also restrict, because you’re cutting out a lot of options.  The more limitations you have, the easier it is to define your goal.  Once you have a very crystalised version of the goal of both what you want your art to say and how you want to deploy your resources to tackle that, then you can expand from there and that’s when you can start to form your “art piece” that might be centred around a very singular topic but that is still relevant to the “big picture” of what its addressing (because it was carved out of the big picture).  So here’s one example of what you could end up with.

So if we apply this to, for instance, my computer games, we might get this:

Broad idea: fictional computer game about Yves and Chuu having gay sex

This is too broad, it’s also boring.  Anyone can write a game where people have sex, there’s tons of those.  No interest in this topic.  Let’s narrow it in a negative direction, so it can be a game that’s interesting to play rather than just porn or something.

Narrow the idea, it becomes: fictional computer game about Yves and Chuu wanting to have gay sex but they can’t

So what’s stopping them?  The agency?  The fans?  What about the player?

Narrow the idea, it becomes: fictional computer game about Yves and Chuu wanting to have gay sex but they can’t because the agency AND the player won’t let them

How does the player stop them?  Is the gay sex really a stoppable thing?  How does a third party stop two people from having sex anyway?

Narrow the idea, it becomes: fictional computer game about Yves and Chuu wanting to have gay sex but they can’t because the agency AND the player won’t let them.  However they will have gay sex if they can.  The player controls one character and tries to keep the other character out of that character’s mind.

Now we have something a lot more specific.  Now it can be expanded.  What would the game look like?  The very first iteration of the game itself as a concerpt in my head was:

Chuu in a room with Yves.  If Chuu interacts with any object in the room, this would remind Chuu of Yves, so she would go to Yves and have gay sex.  The only way to win the game is not to play.

That’s fine as a simple troll game.  But if we’re going to the trouble of making the game at all, why not expand the idea and make it more fun.  What if there was a way forward?

Chuu in a room with Yves.  If Chuu interacts with some objects in the room, this would remind Chuu of Yves, so she would go to Yves and have gay sex.  However if the player chooses wisely, Chuu may become distracted and other events may transpire.

What else could Chuu do?  What sort of other events do we want?  The sky is the limit, we can now expand our idea fully.

Chuu in a room with Yves.  If Chuu interacts with some objects in the room, this would remind Chuu of Yves, so she would go to Yves and have gay sex.  However if the player chooses wisely, Chuu may become distracted and other events may transpire that are relevant to the “world of Loona” as perceived by Kpopalypse and others.  Through Chuu, the player can experience commentary on the “Kpopalypse Loonaverse” and other related matters, and progress through the story to eventually not have sex (if the player completes the game).

Now we have a framework where we can hang humour, social observation, take digs at the harshness and puritanism of the idol world, comment on k-pop events, and really whatever else we want to have in there.  It’s now much more than just a troll game, in concept it’s a fully-fledged game idea, that can troll the player but can also do lots of other things.  Hopefully this is helpful!


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember to stan Mamamoo!

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!

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