QRIMOLE – Lunar New Year 2022

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


Hi oppar! I’m writing bc I saw this video  on Youtube and I thought it’s interesting! And even more interesting, almost comedic rlly, is the disclaimer at the beginning at the video. It’s a video essay abt the cinematography of Blackpink’s MVs. Obviously its creator ends up showing that Blackpink MVs have a lot of consistent effort put into them to portray and sell each member as this and that kind of person… But they still put that dumbass “this is not about any mercantile part of the Kpop industry <3” disclaimer, lmao. Seeing BP fans go at length in the comments abt “wow the directors rlly know how to display each member’s lovable personality perfectly and how music brought these 4 amazing girls we love together!!” just as the video shows that this is all a front and illusion being cast is. Something. Anyways it’s a long video (35 minutes) but I watched it sped up with subtitles and wow the Blackpink members are really attractive so I think folks may enjoy it too. Peace~

I didn’t watch all of it but just skimmed through the main points.  I don’t think she’s saying any of it isn’t an illusion, she’s in fact talking about how the illusion is being created by honing in on various elements of cinematography and motifs used to create thematic elements etc.  Saying “this is not about any mercantile part of the Kpop industry” is correct in the sense that she’s really only addressing the cinematic techniques and not really going into how any of that plays out from a marketing angle once it leaves the editing studio.  Of course, we know that the cinematic techniques are being employed specifically to market the girls, (not necessarily “reflecting their true personality” but rather “extrapolating on the more desirable bits that will go over well with audiences”) so in a sense it is still about marketing, of course, as is pretty much any k-pop discussion, but I get why the video maker put that disclaimer in there.  It’s arguably a little clumsy but I understand the intent of it, she’s just saying “there are no value judgements here beyond just looking at it from a cinematographic perspective, so please let’s not lose your shit here, okay”.  Of course Blackpink fans won’t even absorb that, but that’s not a shocker, nobody ever absorbs the meaning of any of my disclaimers either.  I don’t know why any of us “content creators” even fucking bother. 

Hi Kpopalypse. A few years back Girls Girls by Girls Girls featured on your top songs of the year where the gist was you didn’t like the verses but you enjoyed the chorus and bridge/whatever that section of the song is called before the final chorus in a standard pop song structure.

I run/ran a fan page for Girls Girls that is more or less dead given the group hasn’t been heard of since MiSO departed. But someone shared their metal cover of the song (read: played guitar over the top of the song) onto the page, and I was wondering how this might impact your perspective of the song.

Is the chorus still the best part? Have the verses become palatable? Is it just a steaming mess? Should Dreamcatcher take a leaf out of his book as an indication for how well you should be able to hear guitar in a song? Lol. Although this is probably just a smidge too far in the other direction.

For me an interesting side effect was that the chorus no longer had the same impact that it did in the original. But overall I was surprised and thought it was pretty decent.

I think he’s definitely improved the verses by adding some riff content that wasn’t there in the originals, it’s catchier now.  However I’d say that the chorus is a bit worse because the guitar muddies some of the details that made it cool, and it really lessens the impact of the transition as you pointed out, because the same distorted guitar texture just kind of dominates the lot and obscures the details.  Still a pretty good effort.

So you’ve stated that you wouldn’t have a problem with your girlfriend being a cam girl or anything like that, and that’s quite interesting to me, because a friend of mine recently broke up with her boyfriend after she caught him watching cam girls several times (even though that wasn’t the only reason).
The reason why she couldn’t stand it was because cam people interact with the chat and do stuff at your own request, so it feels like physically being with them (as opposed to a porn video, which is already prepared for consumption).
Personally, I’m more on my friend’s side, but I would also like to hear your point of view, so that I can see the opposite end of the spectrum.

I was actually talking to my girlfriend about this very topic the other day, and I mentioned to her that while I’ve always liked porn and continue to like it, I’ve never had the slightest interest in camgirls.  I think the reason why is because with a camgirl, it’s that interaction with the viewer that’s that main selling point.  However I already have plenty of personal interaction with people in my real life, and I’m an introvert anyway so my needs for human interaction are quite low in any case, I’d rather just watch someone perform an erotic act on screen than have them force an interaction out of me to make it happen, I really don’t want live interaction with my porn.  I think your friend would be right to be worried about the camgirl interest just because it indicates that his attachment possibly isn’t really with her but lies elsewhere.  It’s a little context dependent, but if my girlfriend was talking to camboys or camgirls online for hours and neglecting our own relationship, I’d be asking myself what void they are filling for her that I wasn’t.  It could be a sign of something deeper that’s very wrong with the relationship, or maybe it isn’t but it’s certainly something worth asking about.

However as for my girlfriend actually being a camgirl (potentially/hypothetically – it’s just an idea she floated past me, but nothing’s been firmly decided yet), that’s different, because she’s on the other side of the camera, and from her perspective, none of the interactions that are happening are “real”.  Of course they’re very real in a sense that they are happening, but they’re also understood to be transactional, it’s not something where there’s actual relationship-building beyond the transactional developing, or at least not on her end.  Yes I do trust her on that level, period.

Remember that friend of mine who broke up with her boyfriend because she caught him watching cam girls (on top of other reasons that I’ll explain later)? Well, it seems like they got back together – for the 87364893920th time, in the course of 8 months.
It really boggles my mind because they fight very often (even in front of other people), and she’s always complained about him for a variety of reasons – he’s 35 but still at uni and relying on his parents for money and house chores, doesn’t give her attention, has contacted and dated other girls after fights despite my friend not officially calling the relationship over… and yet, she just can’t stay away from him.
I’m aware that this is her business and I have no intention to tell her what to do, but it breaks my heart to see her sabotage herself like this. And no, I can’t mind my own business, because last time they argued, she called me in tears (at 5AM) because the guy stormed off and blocked her and she couldn’t live without him and wanted me to call him to find out where he was… WTF??? (She was drunk AF but still) See why I can’t pull a cao ni ma and mind my shit? Because she dragged me into the mess that one time and I’m afraid she’ll do it again.
I know all of this is more of a rant than an actual question, but I would really appreciate some words of advice on how to handle the madness, e.g. how to behave when she defends him despite his wrongdoings, how to make her understand this whole thing is unhealthy as fuck for everyone involved, what to do next time she calls me in tears…
Thank you so much ❤

I have known many people who are very similar to what you’re describing, women in toxic relationships with men where he’s clearly a mega asshole, either neglectful or possessive, sometimes even physically violent, and she bounces back and forth between wanting him and not, always leaning on her long-suffering female friends for emotional support every inch of the way.  This girl needs to pick her side for good and sort her shit out.  If you insist on maintaining the friendship, put your foot down.  She rings you at 5am?  Don’t pick up the phone, turn the fucking thing off.  She can’t drag you in if you don’t hold out your hand.  When you do speak to her, do it on your terms only – set ultra-firm boundaries that suit YOU and don’t ever waver or go soft.  You’ll be doing her a favour because she’ll be forced to choose between self-sabotaging behaviour and you not wanting to talk to her, OR healthy behaviour and having a connection with you.  It’s up to her which one she wants more, sadly no guarantees she’ll make the right choice, but you can only lead a horse to water, you can’t make it listen to T-ara’s “Absolute First Album”.

1. I’m 20 years old now and still an A cup (american sizing). I’m petite so I don’t look completely flat chested but I would like to be a C-D cup so I can wear certain outfits and have the boobs to compliment a v neck, for example. I think men don’t know this but if your boobs are too small certain types of clothes will just fucking slides down your chest. I had this formal dress once, kept slipping down and almost exposing me. And this was after an alteration to prevent this from happening 😦

I don’t have the money to make this sort of change rn but ideally in my 30s I’d want to get my boobs done. I don’t plan to give birth to kids so I can’t get bigger boobs that way either.
Do you have any experience talking to women who have had enhancements + their recommendations?

2. why do western male artists suck at singing these days in comparison to the women? here’s a vid that mentions what i’m talking about.

whereas in kpop the vocal requirements seem to be equal

1. I’ve talked to a LOT of women who have had breast surgery (enhancements, reductions, even removal) for various reasons.  I think the worst reason to get any kind of breast surgery is because you think someone else might like it, or because you want approval from people generally for your appearance, those I’ve spoken to who have had the surgery for these reasons have always had deep regrets.  Any other reason is probably a good reason, after all it’s your body so why not make it the best version of that body if that’s what you want it to be.  Having said that I’ll admit I find your personal reason to be interesting because most of the women I’ve dated who have had larger breasts tend to complain about not being able to find nice clothes, how a lot of fashion isn’t really designed to fit them properly and that they wish they could wear a lot of the clothes that more petite women can wear easily.  I guess that’s a factor that is very much down to your taste in fashion.  My main advice would be select the surgeon VERY carefully.  If you’re in a country where you can get elective breast surgery on the public health system – don’t go that route, public system doctors don’t give a fuck about aesthetics that much and aren’t really held accountable for something that doesn’t “look right”, spend the big money and get it done privately from a surgeon where reputation is paramount.  If you can’t afford the absolute top-quality surgeon to work on your bits, wait until you can.  Research a lot, talk to others who’ve had it done if you can about their experience, especially seek out those who have used a surgeon you’re considering.  There’s plenty of testimonials online, just search it up, you can find public reviews from most clinics.  It’s a huge decision (pun intended) so don’t settle for second best.

2. I don’t really care about it.  It’s pop music, singing is an optional requirement at most.  “Male pop singers should do better” – why?  Do better at songwriting maybe, but the actual singing delivery… it hardly matters.  Elvis Presley, Madonna, Vince Neil, David Lee Roth, Jimi Hendrix, Lennon and McCartney, Lemmy, James Hetfield, all strictly average vocalists at best, yet they all have their own unique style and have sold tons of records, and it’s because as soon as they start singing, you immediately recognise them.  That individualistic charm is I think far more important in the popular music field (where you’re selling personality as much as music) than some overly analytical bullshit.     

going to be a volunteer dj at my university! do you have any tips at all!? thank you!

Do it!  It’ll be fun.  I could probably write a massive essay on just this topic.  The shortest of short dot-point advice:

  • Doing the show you have to do is fine to get experience so you can then do the show you want to do.  It’s always good to make your first few disastrous fuckups on someone else’s baby rather than your own.
  • Follow the station rules.  But if you have to break them, break them with maximum style points (hi anyone from my old radio station, how did I do?)
  • Find cool ways to help out the station if you can, but…
  • …don’t burn out.  Nobody is paying you, so while it may be tempting to throw yourself in the deep end, just be a bit careful about how much time you’re putting in vs what you’re getting back.
  • Stay away from radio station “politics” at all costs!  If they’ve got a bulletin board etc use it to the absolute bare minimum work-related purposes (because people use it to gossip and talk shit), don’t sign up for committees etc unless you have no choice – and you ALWAYS have a choice, you’re a volunteer so only volunteer what you’re absolutely comfortable with and no more.

Do you think this latest scandal will be enough to make a dent in BTS’s career? I think it would be very damaging to a less popular group but the rules are different when you’re as huge as BTS.

Won’t make any difference.  In fact I don’t think it would even make any difference to a less popular group.  Most people are sensible and don’t care about things like this.  Who gives a fuck who someone “worked with”, seriously.  I’ve “worked with” problematic people too – most of us have and probably don’t even realise it.  Imagine if you were held accountable for everything your co-workers did.  How stupid would that be.

I’m a guy and I’m submissive in bed but there’s this internalized shame in me of being submissive. I feel like my inner monologue is trying to be dominant event if my heart and my dick wants to be dominated by an assertive woman. How do you shake off these feelings of embarrassment?

If you can’t deal with your internalised shame over being submissive, then maybe you’re not really as submissive as you think you are.  I’m not submissive but I always thought that those sort of feelings were actually part of the fun.

Hello oppar, is this view very vocalfaggotry?

I mean, well, I used to engage in some vocalfaggotry behaviour before I realised how dumb it is to do that. But reading this,,,, makes me question myself lol. Shouldn’t idols BE able to sing? I mean, it is a part of their job. Never mind all the cheating techniques used in pop music, it won’t do if they croak their way through a live music stage. Or lip-sync, for the duration of an entire concert which you’ve paid your hard-earned money for. And if they’re shouting over a backtrack, just to be heard,,, then isn;t something very. very wrong?
There are some parts where I definitely think the writer is wrong. Trashy vocal skils =/= trashy songs, as Bom’s You & I proves to all of us. And K-pop stans have always wanted pretty people to fap to, who can dance well. It isn’t something new. But they should be able to sing live… right? Or am I going back to my vocalfaggot days, if so, please save me oppar.

Vocal skills are a “nice to have” in pop music, not a “must have”.  There’s many reasons for this, which I’ve extensively covered, but a lot of it boils down to the simple fact that in pop music the voice isn’t a “virtuoso” instrument, it’s a “functional” instrument only, so idols only need to be able to sing (or fake it) well enough to function in their environment.  It doesn’t matter if they can’t sing that well in a live music stage, as I’ve covered here – if you’re part of a multi-member group, even if you’re doing a two-hour long concert, the amount of actual solo singing you really need to do is miniscule.

The link is just the same old boring “music is getting worse” rant I’ve seen hundreds of times, the performers are new but there’s nothing new about this person’s point of view, people said exactly the same thing ten years ago, they said the same thing about Madonna when she came out as well, they said exactly the same thing in the 1950s when rock and roll came out.  They’ll say exactly the same another ten years from now.  Also she’s mega-biased because she’s claiming about people bullying Twice, but Twice don’t have a single “good vocalist” in them… and nor should they.  They just don’t need one.

So let’s talk about Twice a bit.  Think about something like, for instance, the recent Twice online concert.  Pick any random Twice girl out of the nine – how much does she actually have to sing?  In a nine-member group, maybe she gets 30 seconds of solo singing per song at the most (but usually less), and not all at once, but with big gaps in between where other members sing.  The songs are only performed in groups of about two or three with huge rest breaks in between, and then there’s all those talk breaks between the songs where they get to know the audience and play smash the pinata or whatever other bullshit.  Once you add everything up, you’ve probably got each girl singing for maybe five minutes, in tiny little fragments, spread over 120 minutes of concert.  So TONS of rest.  And they have a backing track with their own voice on it to help.  AND a lot of those vocals are gang vocals where they are singing together and covering for each others’ mistakes.  AND we’re assuming that they actually ARE singing at all, which we actually know that for at least some of the concert they weren’t as the audio was pure backing track (Jeongyeon forgot to hold her mic up to her face at one point and her voice still came out, much to the amusement of the livestream chat).  Honestly, the talk-breaks are probably more taxing on their voices than the fucking music!

Heyah oppar! You’ve shared appreciation for Japanese rock and metal bands before. I was interested in Japanese punk rock in particular, are there are couple names worth checking out coming to your mind?

Shonen Knife, punk rock veterans that you must know.  The Ramones of Japan, but aegyo.

There are tons of punk bands there though, Japan has always been great for punk music.  Here’s a doco:

Do you have any advice for finishing songs? I’ve been trying to write some but can never decide if one is ready and especially since learning some theory I always end up overthinking and putting more and more stuff, more harmonies more suspensions and whatever that probably just clutter it up even if they’re “right” in theory. The thing you always mention about letting the music breathe is exactly right but it’s hard to do!

If you find it hard to set limitations ad-hoc as you’re writing, try setting them before you start writing.  “On this song I’m only going to use x amount of instruments”, “I’ll restrict myself to this particular tonal pattern”, “I’ll write a chorus with no more than eight notes in it”, “I’ll use melodic idea X only” or whatever helps, you can think up more and mix/match as you need.  Adding restrictions makes it easier to write, because you’re limiting your options, so you have to choose from the options that remain.  Once you have confidence that you can get the results you want, then try loosening the restrictions a little.

Chloe, who’s is called Beyoncé’s clone by some nasty people, released this cover recently. Is this a good cover?

She’s clearly in-topic with her sexy performance while singing about doing sex. But why I still feel that something’s wrong with her clothes? Am I prude woman-hater or something?

You’re probably just not used to seeing clothing that’s really built more for the stage/music videos being displayed in a cam-like format where it’s just one single lingering shot.

1. So, do I have a dumb ear or this song’s chorus have a uncanny similarity to this one?

2. In the aforementioned songs, it seems that both of them uses the same “structure”, where the choruses starts before the last “arrangements” of the song had come to an end, giving this weird sense of interruption. Does this “tactic” have a name?

3. Do you think that the producers of the newest song (from 2022) just made a chorus melody sample from the older (from 2005, it seems) because they thought nobody would gave a fuck about it?

Sorry if I couldn’t communicate better oppar. English isn’t my native (not even 2nd) language, and I don’t know shit from music terminology.

Irrelevant off-topic non-question: I find Rina Sawayama hot.

1. Yes they are similar.  A lot of pop songs are similar.

2. Not really.

3. It’s not a sample, nor is it exactly the same.  It’s just a fairly generic style of music, where the same type of things are done all the time, so naturally there will be similarities between many songs.  You could probably find another half a dozen examples if you searched.  And by no means is this style of music the worst offender, just investigate blues music a little, now there’s a style where they pretty much pride themselves on being as unoriginal as possible.

There’s really no such thing as “off-topic” in QRIMOLE.  If Jpopalypse wrote a bias list Rina wouldn’t be in it. 

Thank you Mr Apolypse for your archive of shit from ‘back in the day’ as it were. Too often in even newer circles people like to pretend that the latent problems with the kpop fandom and companies popped up recently and ‘oh why can’t we go back to the good old days of 2011’ and something. I like reading this here blog so I can be reminded that everything has always been like this, there’s always been shit songs and time is a flat circle. Hah.

You’re welcome!  Yes songs have always mostly been shit, fandoms have always sucked and neither companies nor fans have ever cared about actual music as anything more than a business card/reputation booster.

You’ve talked a lot about “cancel culture” pushing people away from left-leaning politics but I disagree. In quite a few different ways. I have them sectioned up.

Firstly, it sets up the precedent of “if you don’t teach me in a very nice tone, be patient, and coddle me then I have the right to be racist!” but leftists (like anyone) have no obligation to be kind to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily work either.

Imagine if you shouted at a kid not to walk across the street in the middle of traffic, and the kid gets huffy, runs across the street and gets run over by a car. Then the mom runs up and screams, “it’s your fault! you should have taken the time to educate them very kindly as they were running instead of being so harsh! You should have ran alongside them so they could see what mistakes they were making!”

This is how this argument reads to me, tbh. It seems irrational.


It also implies that someone who is good intentioned will get “cancelled” for calling someone an ugly retard when they were in middle school on insta or something, and then suddenly since they had one negative experience they have no choice to turn into some facist nut job.

anecdotal evidence – I myself got scolded (or maybe “cancelled” since people are so sensitive) by some people online when I was 11 because I said some homophobic things. I was mad and confused, since my religious upbringing had taught me to believe a certain way. But instead of turning into an asshole, even I as a fucking 11 year-old with no life experience realized that maybe they had a perspective I hadn’t thought about before. I did my research, interacted and read stuff written by gay people online, and two years later realized I was also part of the alphabet mafia!

I also don’t see how anything on the right is inviting either. You can’t be alphabet mafia, an effeminate male, have an abortion, want to have casual sex as a woman, be a minority, like socialist policies, be poor, have a disabilty, and etc…
A system where one group of people believes that the above people don’t deserve rights and a group that believes that those that don’t coexist and come to an agreement. It’s why the world is leaning right and towards illiberalism. People are getting restless and intolerant as a result of nationalism.

This is one of the longest questions QRIMOLE has ever received, and that’s saying something given some of the long-ass shit people write to me.  So I stopped your question here as the rest of it was really just reiterating on the above and adding a shit-ton of links that I really didn’t get much of a chance to read properly.  As it is this “shortened” response took me about three hours and my time is limited, apologies.

To be clear, I don’t suggest people “coddle” each other.  These are confrontational conversations.  I don’t think Daryl Davis was “coddling” anybody (in fact he recounts often how the meetings were pretty confronting for not just himself but also those KKK members).  I think his point of view was going into the conversation with genuine curiosity, saying “I want to learn why you think the way you do”.  And then to just have a discussion around that.  In the midst of those discussions, many of the people who held those beliefs could see that their beliefs didn’t hold up in a rational discussion.  Because Daryl was willing to have that discussion, the people he was talking to were able to realise this, in their own time.  It wasn’t a quick process for many of them of course, nor did it work in every case.  He still did more for the cause of anti-racism that just about anyone else I can think of recently.  Yes it sucks that his aims are probably being twisted by some, or “used for optics” or whatever you want to call it – but this happens to everybody trying to do good things – including me.

Yeah sure – as a leftist [or a fill-in-the-blank] you have no obligation to be kind to anyone.  This is true… but then, is it really?  Isn’t the fact that we all generally want the world to be a kinder, better, fairer place where people are treated nicely and everyone is given their fair shot and there’s no discrimination or whatever, isn’t that what attracts people to “leftism” or whatever in the first place, at least in theory?  Shouldn’t you be demonstrating those values to which you subscribe?  Okay, asking black people to be kind to a KKK Grand Wizard is definitely a “very extreme” version that I would never blame someone for not wanting to do (it could even be physically dangerous to interact with people so filled with hate), but I’m not saying edge cases like that would be the norm, I’m just saying if you have disagreements with people about some stuff, maybe it’s better to talk about that stuff in a genuine way (not in a “I want to prove you wrong and me right haha I gotcha now” way, but a “why do you feel like this?” way), rather than cut them off.  However let’s just assume for the sake of argument that the “tolerance paradox” holds, and you’re correct, that you don’t have any obligation to be kind, just because you subscribe to ideologies that espouse kindness (“I’m tolerant, but I won’t tolerate intolerance”).  Even if so, there’s still a VAST difference between “what you have the RIGHT to do” vs “what is EFFECTIVE to do”.

Never mind who is right or wrong – which person above do you think gets more people onside to their cause with their approach?  You’re right – the stuff on the right definitely isn’t inviting, but the way neo-nazis recruit, is similar to the way religious cults recruit – they don’t focus on ideology first (because if they did, almost nobody would sign up), they build a relationship first, and then package the ideology along with it.  This is because many people believe what they want to believe, so the best way to get someone to believe something is to build a connection with that person that they see value in, which involves being at least outwardly friendly and willing to converse and communicate.  That’s why there’s so many religions in the world and they’re stronger than ever despite hundreds of years of science debunking everything in every religion over and over – belief in the afterlife, having a purpose in life, and the idea that your actions actually matter very much to some entity higher up, sure that stuff makes people feel good, but it makes a lot of people feel even better when there’s a “community” of loving, accepting people packaged along with this belief, like a church, a mosque, a synagogue, a tribe, etc.  That’s why Scientologists don’t hit you with “hail Zenu” straight out of the gate, they ask you how you’re feeling and get you to do a quiz.  So if you want people to sign up to your cause, whatever it is, building the relationship is paramount, no religion, cult or politically partisan organisation can survive without some sort of “community gathering point” (this includes online spaces).  The reason why leftists often can’t keep people interested is because a lot of them act like pricks about their ideology (as per above cartoon), and make the gathering point hostile by being excessively dogmatic, members and potential members feel disillusioned and don’t want to be part of that type of “community” anymore.  (This works both ways – a lot of people who eventually leave neo-Nazi organisations leave not because of ideology differences, but because of internal friction with other members, which then distanced them from the ideology and made it seem less appealing.)  Or sometimes not… I’m not saying it’s like this in every case, but it’s like this in a lot of cases.  Sometimes scolding does work… but usually it just backfires.  There’s a paradox here as well – leftist ideologies basically can be summed up as “don’t be mean to others” and that’s a bitter ideology to swallow if it’s coming from someone who is being mean to you because you’re not complying!  It’s a bit like “the beatings will continue until morale improves”.  Amazingly, if you treat people like dirt (even if deserved), they tend to become less likely to want to join your special club, whatever it happens to be.  Sure, “cancelling” can in a lot of cases be mild, sometimes it seems like it has no effect at all, plus it tends to make a lot of people sympathise with the attacked party… so if it makes your own team look like shit, plus it doesn’t even work, why even bother to do it?  Isn’t there a better way?  I think Eric Clapton is one of the biggest fuckwits in music, but if I had the opportunity to talk to him about his shitty music, his racism and his antivaxx stance, I’d still do it.  That doesn’t mean I’m “coddling” him, I just want to know more about why he said that shit and how he really feels, because honestly what goes on in the mind of that cunt is a bit of a mystery to me.  I wouldn’t tell anyone off for listening to Cream records if they enjoyed them.  Even based Park Kyu Hee did a cover of “Tears In Heaven”…

Should I cancel her for playing the tunes of a guy who said “stop Britain from becoming a black colony, get the foreigners out”?  Maybe I have the “right” to, but what would that actually achieve?  Probably nothing to help my cause.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit down tonight and listen to a double-album box-set of Cream live recordings and congratulate Guitar Player magazine for putting that overrated fuck in their publication, would probably rather shoot myself actually.

I just finished reading your music theory blogs on signal flow and mixing. Really cool information; all of it was completely new to me. Following up from it, I have two questions:

1) Do most DAWs come with similar mixing tools like the ones that you talked about in your blog? I’ve been writing most of my music in notation software like MuseScore, but the mixer is obviously very limiting. I assume it would be reasonable to write music in notation software, convert to MIDI, then move on to a DAW to mix all of the sounds, add effects, and fine-tune everything.

2) Is double-tracking just making a copy of one track, then lowering its gain and panning one track toward the left and the other toward the right? Is this the most common way to take a channel and pan it out to the sides? Admittedly, I think I have a hard time understanding the concept of the stereo field, or rather hearing it. I followed along with the examples you gave, though I dunno if I could do a similar breakdown for any other song.

  1. All DAWs are pretty much alike.  Yes what you’re suggesting sounds fine, although personally I would just play the thing on an instrument and record that instrument straight into the DAW if that was an easier option.  Depends on what you’re recording of course.  Be mindful with MIDI tracks that if you have polyphony and want different instruments to take different parts of the harmony, you might want to transfer over each “voice” one at a time so it can be treated in isolation.  Just explore what your software can do in this area before you start making that symphonic opus.
  2. No, don’t copy the track and pan it out, it sounds like shit.  Instead, you need to manually play the second track.  This video will explain:

If you’re working with two completely programmed tracks, that you can’t manually play, so they will obviously auto-play at the same times, then a neat solution is to use patches that are subtly different.  For instance if you want an orchestral stab, use two different versions of an orchestral stab patch (most workstations and sample libraries have several), or pitch one of them up or down an octave – just make them different somehow so you get the right effect,

Hi Kpopalypse,
I’m a beginner guitar player looking to find a suitable acoustic instrument that won’t leave a college student broke. Do you have any tips? I thought about buying one second-hand, but I don’t really know what to look out for. Should I stay away from certain brands or years? For now, the thing I care about most is intonation. Should I pay attention to something else? Thank you in advance!

Intonation – hell, I didn’t even know what intonation was for the first 10 years of my guitar playing life!  However I would personally shop new rather than second-hand for an acoustic instrument, just because anything above a certain price point is probably going to be set up right and won’t have any huge flaws in it.  The main things you want to consider are probably comfort as #1, looks as #2 and sound as #3.  Why sound as #3?  Because a truly great player can make literally any piece of shit sound good:

Whereas if you’re playing isn’t good, it doesn’t matter if your instrument is fine, you will still sound bad:

So get the instrument that helps you to feel comfortable, so you can play well.  I wouldn’t worry about shopping by brand, honestly many new lower-end acoustics are machine cut from the same factories regardless of brand, I would just go to a music store, pick things up and see what you like the feel of.  As a beginner you definitely do NOT want to shop online, you want to feel the instrument in your hands first before you decide, as that will be the #1 determining factor.  That’s why secondhand isn’t an ideal way to purchase if you’re a beginner, unless you have access to a very large stock of secondhand instruments you can try.  New cheap guitars can be pretty good honestly.

As for workmanship, don’t worry about it because most problems are fixable.  There’s only a few things you really have to look for that scream out “woodchip this one”, so here’s a video that tells you how to do an acoustic guitar inspection to avoid the big deal-breaking stuff.

Happy Lunar New Year (by the time you published Qrimole). Tbh I was surprised that you like Squid Game because I’ve heard so many negative reviews about it, as people compare it to other series with the same theme (about survival games) like Alice in Borderline, Liar game,…, saying that the games are not as intense and witty and how the MC is hypocritical (his outrage towards the cruelty happened during the games) because he’s lived a not-so-decent life before joining the games. I was also surprised (and amused) that you like the thug guy because he got a lot of flaks from the viewers (if you also like Sang Woo, the glasses guy who is the childhood friend of the MC, it would be double the fun because he also got a lot of hate)

I think those kind of criticisms are superficial and completely missing the point of the show.  The overriding theme of Squid Game is hypercapitalism and how it crushes people’s souls to the point where it makes them do unreasonable things for money that they would never otherwise consider.  That means being a contestant in Squid Game, but it also means the Squid Game staff who also have similar motivations, and all the other bit players, absolutely everyone in the entire show except the few people at the very top of the tree (no spoilers here) are just a slave to everyone else due to economic circumstance.  The quality of the games isn’t the point.  Whether the contestants are good, bad or hypocritical isn’t the point either – the hypercapitalist death machine sucks everyone vulnerable enough up in its grasp, regardless of ideology, character or reasoning.

two questions related to sex.

disclaimer: I’m NOT anti-sex i enjoyed kai’s peaches way too much to pretend to be some paragon of purity.

However, I think part of growing up and becoming a better person is being able to analyze things that are accepted. So since I’m left-leaning, there usually is a push against hypocritical and puritanical sex values that stem from pastors trying to control their sheeple through shaming them about sex.

Thankfully certain spaces are moving away from this and especially the BDSM community is really good at what I consider the most important part of sex: consent and mutual gratification.
But there hasn’t really been any discussion in general, more left-leaning spaces on how we view people and sex as something that needs to evolve. I think maybe people in general just need to start viewing sex the way BDSM-ers do.

i still see a lot of people who believe/feel(?) like sex is a need, similar to food, water, or human company. I wonder if this belief is what drives a lot of men in particular into this weird state where they believe that the amount of women they have sex with will make them cooler or better. at the worst point of this obsession with instant gratification and a lack of respect for women, you get elliot roger.

and vice versa, women who believe that not being associated with sex, having sex, or shaming women for having sex will make them better.

And naturally with that sort of mindset you’re not going to like women as sexy people, but sexual objects that must bend to your will. and for women, they end up in a place of frustration for more “sexy” women because they can’t do what they see these women doing. some women raised in communities like this run in the opposite direction to “rebel” and end up in bad situations since they lack sexual education.

you insist objectification is okay because it’s part of human nature, but that’s a
naturalistic fallacy.
I don’t think things are okay or great just because they’ve happened for a long time or people accept it, or there’s chemistry in our brain that makes us act a certain way.
If all humans lived their lives like this then societies wouldn’t be able to evolve.

finally, I think sex “positivity” is inherently weird because there’s nothing to be praised nor derided about it. It would be like having “pasta positivity”. Like why does that need to be a thing? I think instead of just sort of monotonously saying “normalize sex blah blah blah” it’s more important for each person to normalize what they are comfortable with and doing.

Since you’ve lived twice as long as me, and have more sexual experience, I wonder what your thoughts are on this.

second question, probably a bit easier:
why do idols write songs about sex and then have to come up with weird stories explaining that the song isn’t actually about sex?

nct has a couple of videos with this happening. taeyong wrote whiplash, not kenzie or something. there’s an extended section where he talks about wanting to be punished and whipped.

wouldn’t it be easier to just have tracks NOT about sex (or much more subtle) rather than suffering through every interview?

1. It’s really hard for me to work out what you’re even asking me here.  Sex positivity in my opinion is absolutely necessary to counter the “push against hypocritical and puritanical sex values that stem from pastors trying to control their sheeple through shaming them about sex” that you point out, and other things similar to that.  There’s enough evil outside forces trying to clamp down on sex and sexuality without people oppressing themselves in the process.  Objectification isn’t just good because it’s natural, it’s good because it’s reality.  We are objects, this is scientific fact.  This doesn’t mean we’re also NOT people who might (possibly) deserve respect or whatever, these things aren’t mutually exclusive, and to me it’s people pretending that you can’t give in to your desires AND be respectful of others, that are the real problem.  All of the really big douchebag behaviour happens when those two facets are separated.

2. They’re horny young people so they want to write about that stuff, so they do.  Then it’s someone else’s idea to make them “explain it away” probably.  That’s my guess.  I’m sure being an idol and having to be squeaky clean all the time is super fucking boring as shit, they’re just trying to spice up their lives a little.

What was the name of the rap track you recommended a while back that went something like “you’re never too old… the system”?

This one.

Hi oppar, I’m that dude who ask you a question on QRIMOLE last year explaining how I was doing poorly in a few of my university courses as a 4th year student (probably won’t remember). Anyway, the turn-out of that was actually not THAT bad (could have been worse) since thankfully the professor adjusted the class marks b/c they were so low (typical in physics courses). There’s just an odd C in my transcript, but to me it’s not an indication that it’s the end of the world.

Anyway, I wanted to ask a few more questions since I have the opportunity to and it’s good to get various opinions. I will be graduating this year and I’m uncertain what path to go down. I feel like everything’s happening too quickly for me to figure things out. I’ve been trying different things out to try and get a sense of what I want to do, but I feel like there just hasn’t been enough time. I’m considering academia as a potential path (going to grad school), but I’m unsure if I actually like research. Despite having done a few research projects, it’s still hard to tell if I want to pursue it. I skipped the grad school apps last year and thought I would have a better idea for the next round of grad apps at the end of this year, but I don’t even think that’s enough time. The other paths I’m considering have paths of their own (education, industry) and it’s hard to decide what to go for this early on. The reason why I feel like I have to make a decision quick is b/c it becomes harder and harder to get into grad school as time goes on from the time you graduate undergrad. Not to mention, the jobs I’ve had thus far (all in education) have not been able to sustain me living alone as they are not full-time (since I am also a student – I’m constantly doing school work especially for a physics program). And so I have not moved out of my parent’s home yet and worry about getting a stable job and being able to move out eventually. I feel like one of my main problems is that I compare myself to others. It has caused me great stress throughout the years and I feel is the root cause of all my insecurities related to academia and careers. What advice would you have for someone in my situation, who feels like life is just breezing by and you feel like you can’t catch up?

On another completely unrelated note, I am also concerned for a very very close and dear friend of mine who is going through some gender-related stuff. I am not at all trying to be offensive or anything, but I feel like life for my close friend would be so much easier if they abandoned their need to explore their gender or find their gender identity. It kind of pains me b/c it has become such a vital part of their life and it is a sensitive topic that, depending on the circumstance, can strongly affect how they feel. The entire struggle of trying to find one’s own gender identity in the current landscape of society is anything but easy. I feel as though they will never truly feel happy with themselves and will rely too much on how others view them. There is clearly a lack of understanding on my part which I fully acknowledge, which also inhibits my ability to be supportive. How do you suppose I approach this situation? I really want the best for my friend, and I’m unsure if the road they’re going down is truly beneficial for them. I am very confused. I hope one can understand my concern even slightly and not think of me as an asshole, which is what I feel others will think even though I am anything but that. I genuinely want advice on this.

Thanks for reading.

Holy shit is anyone gonna ask me about k-pop this month hahaha.

Studies – doing grad school, then getting a job, then moving out of out of home, to me that feels like the wrong order, because I did these things in the reverse order.  No wonder you’re confused.  I think you might get more clarity when you move out of home and change your living situation, then things tend to “get real” and I think it’s easier to decide what’s the best path.  I moved out of home and did office jobs for a few years before then going into uni later down the track.  Obviously you can’t completely change your course, nor am I suggesting a radical change, but I think changing your living environment will make a bigger difference to your life than changing your study environment.

Your friend – just let him/her/it/them/whatever do their thing and try to be supportive.  That doesn’t mean you have to approve of what they do or even like it, but you can still be there for them as a friend.  People who go down the gender exploration path generally don’t do it as a trend, they do it because they really can’t see a way to find happiness any other way.  That might change for your friend or it might not – and it really doesn’t matter if it does or it doesn’t, but either way they’re going to need someone to help them out a little probably.  Just put aside how you’re feeling about it and try to be that person.  Who knows, maybe they feel the same way about you when they look at your aimlessness with regards to study.

Damon Albarn has said something similar to your comments on how cowriting credits are bs, unfortunately he said so about Tayloe Swift who does write her own sonhs so he looks like a bit of a fool. But its interesting that some things stay the same, kpop or western pop

Not really a question but okay.

Probably shouldn’t ask this to you caonima but, how the fuck can someone realize that a dick is smelly and still proceed to suck it?
I mean, I would never be able to stand something so atrocious and I like giving blowjobs! I’m really flabbergasted with the fact that someone could go that far, and even more to imagine that it might be possible that someone actually like to lick dirty cocks.
Sorry for bringing a disgusting topic, I really needed to share this with someone and I live with a family full of prudes.

Welcome to QRIMOLE 2022, everyone.

Yeah I don’t know.  Maybe some people don’t have that strong a sense of smell.  Maybe some people get off on the subjugation of it.  Maybe some people just like strong smells.  Fuck I dunno, but I personally sure do appreciate it when a girl has a shower before an oral sex session.

Hello Mr. Kpopalypse! Would you help me to locate that link that you posted with that beautiful thicc korean women in a fashion show (or pageant, can’t remember well)? I tried to use your search bar, but my tries were quite unsucessful (lack of domain in the english language, perhaps).
Wishing you a wonderful February!

Probably in the bonus videos here.

I know that your opinion of b-sides that don’t get the full MV treatment is generally pretty poor, but I’m curious if there were any albums you listened to in 2021, and if so, if there were any you liked. Also curious what (if anything) does motivate you to listen to a full album?

Nope not a single one.  Thanks mainly to COVID I am just way too busy for that shit.  Maybe later this year I’ll listen to a few albums – but probably not.  What makes me want to listen to an album, usually knowledge that the band has a reasonably consistent sound so therefore I’m not wasting my time.  Which never applies to k-pop where any old rando could write any song on any album and “consistency” is therefore almost impossible just by design.  More reasons why k-pop albums are mostly bullshit here.

Probably not that relevant in Australia, but the producers of the Voice Holland are making headlines. I wonder if other versions of the Voice are impacted as this is about the people that invented the format. I reckon it doesn’t as the rights have been sold.

**When it comes to the contents discussed, better put a trigger warning/multiple trigger warnings. If you end up watching the video, you can skip the latter half (the interview) as there’s no new information and the interviewee contradicts the perpetrators statement in an attempt to diminish his own involvement. It’s the whole industry that’s got these issues, right? Its’ quite disturbing.**

Frankly, I’m not suprised or dissapointed by the artists. Your honest writing about the music industry informed me of said practices. Can survival shows even be ethical?

I don’t have time to watch an 80 minute long video about some skullduggery on some competition show that is dogshit anyway so I don’t even know what these people did or didn’t do.  You probably would have been better off giving me a quick paragraph on that rather than trying to get me to take 80 minutes out of my life (or 40 if I don’t need to watch the last part).  Linked it for others, maybe they have an opinion.  All I’m going to say is fuck music competition shows and there’s no such thing as a “good” one.

Hi oppar! Isn’t X Japan’s discography kinda short in length? I wish it was longer 😥 Aside from Lovebites, do you recall other bands with a similar sound?

There’s a bunch of other artists in this genre in Japan.  X Japan were hugely influential.  I could list artists forever but you might feel more rewarded if you go searching yourself, just search “Visual Kei” and see how you go, you’ll discover a ton of stuff, mostly shit, some good.

“Only egghead jazz assholes like the sound of this shit.” 100% agree. This reminded me of a jazz rendition of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue I once played in ensemble that had A#9 in it. Defenitely not the sound that suits a small woodwind (chamber) ensemble.
Your latest music theory post made me realize that I might’ve gotten some decent music theory basis after all. It’s been a while since I graduated from my music classes (high school level, attended music academy – I don’t know if that’s even a thing in Australia. I just want to clarify I didn’t go to music college).
Nevertheless, I still enjoy learning some music theory and your posts manage to keep me interested in the topic. I like your approach – no snobbery involved. What about chord progressions ( I-IV-V-IV etc.) as an upcoming topic? Keep up the great work and stay safe

A future music theory post will explore what’s called “functional harmony”, this will probably be what you’re looking for with chord progressions.  Don’t expect normality though, you might want to read up on what standard music theory teaching about functional harmony is before you read what I have to say about it, which is going to be different.

so last month i asked you for advice on handling an irl crush while in a long distance relationship and you told me to tell the boyfriend, observe his reaction and act accordingly. i didn’t tell the boyfriend because i already knew he would most likely freak out, but more importantly, i thought about what i’m actually getting from being in that relationship. the answer was not much. it was honestly kinda toxic and codependent especially because of the distance and i was really sick and tired of it so i dumped him, for the sake of both of us. now he seems to be living life more than he did when we were together and i’m the same. also i went out with that irl crush a couple of times. my new question is, how do i ensure this new thing doesn’t move too fast or turn toxic and codependent like the last relationship i was in?

Just set some boundaries.  You already will have a pretty good idea of what kind of boundaries to set based on your past experience.  If you don’t want it to go fast, then don’t go fast with it – make yourself some rules about what you feel comfortable with, and don’t waver from them.  Might seem tricky to do in practice really but just think about past experience in your head and that should be enough of a motivator.

My board exams didn’t go well but my parents are expecting me to score above 95 percent. My results will be out next month. I’m crying shaking shitting throwing up. How do I face my parents after they get my exam results?

95 percent?  Tell your parents to go and fuck themselves, from Kpopalypse.  I bet if your mother licks my ballsack I don’t give her a 95% rating straight out of the gate for that either.

Seriously though, what is their problem.  They should just be happy if you can get a job out of it.  Big life spoiler – employers don’t care that much about your exam results, they just care if you’ve got the skills to do a job and you’re going to be reliable and not cause shit.  The uni degree’s main value to employers is just showing that you’ve got the discipline required to finish a uni degree.

Why do I get sleepy when studying? How do I study better?

Because studying is fucking boring.  To fix, study in the morning only.

Did you/do you adjust your bias compendium regularly? I was reading it recently and noticed some minor differences I think (like for Dreamcatcher, I thought Jiu was first before, but now it’s Dami; or Soyou now MRS but before it was Dasom) but it could have just been my imagination.

I used to but I don’t anymore, there’s too many groups now and I really just don’t give a fuck about most of the newer ones, I mostly can’t even tell the girls apart in any of them, so it’s kind of become an out-of-date post and I’m happy to just let it die.

Kpopalypse Hyung, here are my questions to you!
1. Could you please review the newly made tracks made in SMTM and Mr/Miss Trot as well? I mean both shows, like the Produce/Planet clones, will try to hire top songwriters to create the songs, although the songwriters might give the shows “throwaway” title tracks. However, they are still equivalent to KPop title tracks, right? Additionally, they are culturally relevant, so I think it is reasonable to review songs from THESE SHOWS and not the others.
2. For side-tracks review, how about limit the review to songs that produced a somewhat well-staged choreography video or a dance studio video at bare minimum? I think this would be helpful in reducing your workload.
3. I got a postgraduate scholarship to study abroad in Australia! From time to time, you mentioned that a lot of Australians were much more curt (I am not sure if this is the correct term). Could you give me any suggestions to feel less offended when interacting with Australians? Any other tips that you think might be useful? Also, is it okay to say hi and take a picture with you if I meet you accidentally on the streets?

Thank you so much Kpopalypse 😀

  1. I have enough on my plate with hundreds of roundup submissions every week (half of which I have to delete because of time constraints), piles of albums I probably won’t get to hear between now and 2040, movies people have sent to me to watch, not to mention the assload of questions in QRIMOLE, retrospring, livestreams, finding time to write articles besides roundup, also working a job with more or less full time hours these days, etc etc… no.  Let’s not add this to the plate cheers.  Maybe instead of doing largely redundant clones of my roundups, perhaps certain other well known Korean pop-focused sites with a much larger following than mine could fill this demand and do some “rundowns” of these shows… just a suggestion…
  2. I pretty much already do this.
  3. Congrats!  “Curt” isn’t how I would put it at all, you’ll find Australians are very friendly, but it’s an “informal” type of friendly.  Don’t worry if you’re new to the culture most Australians won’t throw you in the deep end, so I wouldn’t stress about this.  Feel free to say hi to me if you see me, take a pic or whatever I’m cool with that.  This goes for anybody.  People generally don’t take me up on this offer though, I think they are scared!

I was noticing how similar the voices sound in the multi-lingual version of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Do you think that’s just the result of Disney being able to cast close voice matches, or do you think a lot of audio manipulation is involved to get that consistency?

Probably good casting plus a conscious effort on the part of the performers to capture the sound of the original.

Does Taemin do it right at 0:25 of this video?

I mean, he does fuck it up later on, but if he’s doing it right at 0:25, then we have rare footage of an SM Entertainment idol actually miming correctly. Woah.

Kind of, but only by accident, he clearly has no fucking clue.  I’m not impressed.  Even a broken clock is right twice per day.

advice on how to get your cat to calm down when you need to touch them for any reason other than petting them? mines got an eye infection & has fecal matter stuck to her fur and freaks the hell out whenever i try to snip it off w scissors or put saline drops in her eyes even though realistically the process takes 30 mins max.

I would use electric clippers, not scissors, for the fecal matter, just because it makes the process less fiddly and a lot faster.  I assume by 30 minutes you really meant 30 seconds but clipping fur shouldn’t be more than a 2 second job with clippers.  No idea about the eye thing, talk to your vet I guess.

Hola! So I used to compile big-ass roundup lists in 2021 and, one day, I stumbled across a very interesting video.

So this song is called “Harry”, and the visual accompaniment is a so-called “fan video for Harry Styles”, which turns out to be exactly the kind of cringeworthy shit deluded K-pop fans usually make about their idols. Nowhere else is this clearer than at 1:43, where a caption (which is detached from the actual lyrics) reads “why would anyone in a successful band go solo?”).
Maybe the singer is not very fluent in English and just did not notice this, but the overall package is still quite amusing so I thought I could share it here. Enjoy!

Someone has shared this video with me before a few times.  I have no idea why people share this with me.  Yes fans of western pop are just as nuts as k-pop fans, it’s the same psychology at work, it’s not something isolated to Korea and never has been.  There is literally nothing to see here.

Stumbled on this song

Didn’t know it even existed. I’m surprised how different it is from Baekhyuns solo stuff. I’m still salty -he has a voice I really enjoy listening to – that his solo work is the boring R&B inspired stuff.

Can’t say I like this song of his much either, very blues-based, I’m not into it.  This is still R&B inspired, just the older-school R&B.  Glad someone got some value out of it though.

You seem to know at least a bit about fashion, oppar, and I am in need of advice:
1) Is it possible to wear clothes which are “unflattering” for your body type and look good?
2) Should a person stick to one particular style or wear whatever the fuck they want? I genuinely don’t know whether I want to look like Empress Sisi or Hedy Lamarr or Annie Lennox or or or…you get the idea even if the examples might be pretty extreme.
3) Should I bother with heels (not stilettos though, fuck stilettos) even if they feel like a POW camp for my feet?
And lastly, 4) female k-pop idols often have thin-ass, damaged hair but they still look so good. How?? Surely it can’t be just a result of styling, I’ve seen pictures of Red Velvet with unbrushed, straw-like hair and they somehow still rock it.

1. Yes.  Really “flattering” or “unflattering” is actually about “homogenisation”.  You see, there’s an “ideal type” and clothing’s flatteringness is often judged by how closely it steers your appearance so it conforms to that ideal type.  For instance if you’re very short, wear heels to look taller, if you’re very tall, wear flats to look shorter.  This is all “beauty standard” stuff, and it’s really, really optional.  Because what if you are already tall and want to look taller still, who says you can’t?  Or what if you’re really short and want to look mega short?  Rather than play to the middle, why not play to the extremes?  It’s really up to you.

2. Similar to 1 just do whatever.  The ultimate rule is, do you like it?  Please yourself first.

3. Up to you, personally I wouldn’t.  The reason why some people like heels isn’t just the height, it’s the way it forces people to walk with a hip-swing.  Whether that’s something you want or not is your choice.  Plenty of people like high heels.  Plenty of people also don’t give a shit.  For me personally heels is something I’ve never cared about, I pretty much lose all sexual interest in women below the ankle.

4. Lots of colour, lots of lights.  Damaged hair can still be very photogenic if you’ve got a photographer who knows how to work with it.  The majority of k-pop idols have completely fucked hair, so the people who style them and take photos of them are very used to dealing with this aspect.  Of course the idols generally pay the price by having their hair fucked even further.

Oh and one more question. I used to be a GNC teen with a short haircut. It felt great, except for when literal strangers would call me “f*ggot” and “tr*nny” or refer to me as a man to try and piss me off (I am female by birth and I identify as such). I grew it out because I am a sensitive bitch, but now I want to give it another try. However, I am paranoid about getting harassed, because I am in the closet and I live in a non-LGBT friendly country (same-sex relationships are legal tho). Still, the possibility of getting my ass beaten is probably very small. Should I chop my hair off, oppar?

If you really want to do it you definitely should.  I can relate to the fears you have, as a guy I used to get beaten up all the time for having non-conforming hair according to my gender.  But your chance of experiencing physical violence due to your hair choice is much lower than mine was, just because you’re female so there’s a social stigma against being violent toward you, I wasn’t protected by such a stigma so I was frequently violently assaulted back when I had long hair.  That doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen to you, but it’s far less likely to.  You might get comments maybe.  I think it’s worth it though, I had no regrets even though I got called “faggot” constantly and bashed a whole ton even though I was straight (while my actual gay friends who passed as “more straight looking” didn’t), ultimately you’ll still be happier living your life with the appearance that you want, rather than the appearance someone else wants.  It’s worth it.

Hi, I was wondering what your views are on the female gaze in Kpop?

Same as the male gaze.  If you want to look, look.  If people want to cater to that, they should.

I’ve had severe shoulder pain lately and I’ve drank every day for the past two weeks for pain. Does this make me an alcoholic? I’m only 21

No, but it does make you dumb for not seeing a doctor.  Stop clowning around using your shoulder as an excuse to get shitfaced and get your doctor to look at your shoulder before you find a way to fuck yourself up even more.

You heard of the controversy that happened recently? The one where Everglow Yiren didn’t show respect during the New Year’s fansign? This blew up all over the Korean and Chinese internet. Now she’s going on hiatus until the end of February “for academic reasons”; seems like a good excuse. I’m just upset at how Yiren does stuff that pits Korean netizens and Chinese netizens against each other, like with the Xinjiang posts. Everglow is my top favorite and I love all 6 members, and seeing one of the members do something awful that warrants a hiatus is just gut-wrenching for me. I couldn’t really focus keep up with Ateez when Mingi was recovering because there was something missing when he was not there; I thought the same thing when groups like Monsta X, Infinite, Lovelyz had a member on hiatus or leave permanently. But with Everglow and Yiren’s hiatus, there’s actual politics happening. China is trying to impose itself on other cultures (Kimchi/Pao cai controversy, Joseon Exorcist Chinese props). Do you have any predictions for how China or Chinese netizens will stir up political trouble in Korea?

Yiren gave respect, just the Chinese version.  It sucks for idols who are not Korean nationals, because they will get shat on by one audience or the other no matter what they do.  Really, the problem isn’t the idols themselves, but the fans being dumb-ass patriotic pieces of shit.  Patriotism is mental junk food for life’s morons, it’s stuff for people who will never achieve anything with their lives to feel better about their own failings by clinging to their countries’ achievements as their own instead.  If the Koreans could chill out about the Chinese, and the Chinese could chill out about the Koreans, then it wouldn’t matter what form of “respect” people show, people would just recognise it as “respect”.  Imagine if she was also Australian where we have a “reverse respect” culture.  People just need to be more tolerant generally, another reason who “cancel culture” is a problem because it promotes basic intolerance of other people as some kind of golden virtue.  Extreme intolerance disguised as tolerance.  More mental junk food that makes people feel good in the moment, while fucking society hard at the same time.

Why do you think is sex such a taboo around the world when it is such a fundamental part of society that it is literally required to create new humans. People get so outraged over the lamest sex scandals such as having multiple partners at the same time. When in the animal kingdom most creatures don’t have the same sexual partner for life.

This requires a thesis to answer and there are already several out there.  I could probably write another one just now but let’s just go with “if you fuck twenty different people, who gets to own the house”.

Furthermore, conservatives in general around the world get so outraged over porn when it does not hurt anyone. I am talking about porn created by porn stars and consumed on mainstream porn websites to be precise. Seriously what is their problem with it? Religion? Religious institutions like the Catholic church does not have the best track record on the matter. Purity? Please times change stop living in the past.

Same thing with sex workers why do we degrade over the job they choose to do. Plenty of people actively choose to work in the industry and deserves to be protected from abuse like the rest of us when we are doing our job. Seriously society look down on them too much when there is so much demand from all sorts of people.

Porn and sex industries can be kind of shitty actually, but they do better when there’s some kind of regulation.  For instance the JAV industry has “cleaned up” a lot over the last decade or so due to the rising popularity of JAV and these days working conditions are much better than they once were. Kaho Shibuya talks about this quite a bit.  Similar situation with any kind of sex work, if it’s shunned and criminalised, then it attracts criminals, the type of people who kill girls who try to leave, but if it’s legal then basic standards of employee welfare can be applied, there can be more advocacy for workers etc, I’ve known several girls who have worked in “decriminalised” brothels and made quite a lot of money, also didn’t have any trauma from the experience.

What do think of the latest Jae controversy on calling Jamie a Thot?

Well he didn’t really actually call her a thot, what he said was “why does she want to look like a thot” which is actually a slightly different statement.  Kind of a shitty way for him to ask the question, I didn’t even know what “thot” meant, apparently it’s “That Hoe Over There” so in other words he’s saying “why does she want to look like a cheap hooker”.  I addressed this a bit here.

Hello. There’s been discussion on what stage presence is and thanks to being the kpop discourse for too long, my immediate response has been to say ‘your mum has good stage presence’. However as I am trying not to die thanks to blood pressure caused by people with San profile pictures I need to be less reactionary and figure out if stage presence is actually a real thing and not someone made up by people who want another reason to slobber over their faves and shit all over their not-faves. Do you believe that stage presence is real in kpop and can be quantified? Do you believe that it matters at all whether an idol has ‘stage presence’?

K-pop fans largely don’t even know what stage presence means.  I already have a post on stage presence which probably could use an update for the new decade so maybe I’ll write about it again sometime soon.

First of all I know I shouldn’t be validated by you but thank you for acknowledging that Sticker is in fact a great ass song. And how mad are you that Chorong getting hit with some obvious bullshit bullying accusations means that for once you’re going to have to work hard to find the top fappable video of the year? I watched that anniversary video the only thing fappable about it was Hayoung being Hayoung but I have a crush on her so I’m biased as is can’t imagine what it’ll be like for people who don’t give the slightest shit about APink.

Anyway speaking of fapping, the only reason I use Twitter these days is because I have a nsfw account and I do nsfw things for a small fanbase. Not deepfakes but writing cringy slash fic, talking about how much they rail each other so on and so forth and I’ve found a nice little community who likes that shit too. Problem is much of the rest of the fanbase is a bunch of puritanical arseholes who are high on the ‘protect our babies’ juice who have nothing better to do with their lives than try to find the nsfw side even though we heavily censor names and such and try to get us banned and raided. I do like talking to them but the latest shitshow means that many people have left due to crushing morale and l am left with few options. How to deal with these assholes and keep the motivation to fap another day?

Unless it’s something worth going to prison for, “scandals” or whatever have very little effect on anything in real terms.  People need to stop caring about them, I certainly don’t.  Apink will be back, and soon.

The best way to do something people don’t like is just to continue to do it unrepentantly.  Just be unbothered, no apologies, no concessions to anybody.  I certainly haven’t stopped or slowed down my activities due to any backlash, and there has been a LOT of backlash over the years.

Hello Mr Apolypse. Just the other day I was gripped with the delusional ‘Oppa noticed me!’ Disease when you featured my Reddit post using one of your memes on your Twitter account. Yes the one where I baited someone who wrote a whole CSJH The Grace appreciation post into writing that rant about you hating CSJH The Grace. I was basically on Cloud 9, oppa noticed me I thought as I had a shit new year where I didn’t even get drunk properly and got all sad because my Reddit posts about the joys of N.O.M and Mega Punch got downvoted and ignored by the rabble who pretend to be all LGBT friendly but only when it comes to tasteful displays of gayness like straight pretty kpop boys playing plausible deniable gay chicken and not when it comes to grown ass men being tasteless and sexy and tastelessly sexy and doing more for the LGBT community by existing and making killer fucking songs than any of the ‘we accept you(r money cause you have disposable income and our label says it’s not fashionable to say faggot anymore)’ shit most idols come up.

Then I read more of your posts about how stupid fan mentality shit all is and realised that you’re old and ugly and don’t even like Ghost by Dreamnote and that I should really stop caring about Reddit the tastless little up themselves turds and should stop tying my self esteem to random fuckers on the internet and just listen to Roly Poly on Spotify while taking a shit like I always do. Then I fapped to Beomgyu and Karina and Wonho and Ryujin. I guess it helped my worries.

Anyway thanks Mr Apolypse. Keep on keeping on I guess.

Thanks and good work figuring all this out!  You are now in the top 5% of readers!

Hiya KP-nim!
1. Looking over your song reviews largely for personal music recommendations, I’ve noticed a pattern to the harmony in a few songs you’ve positively reviewed; specifically the use of non-native major chords in minor key songs (normally built off the fifth degree). Some examples would be Tigerlily, Gourmandises, Lip2Lip, Vibrato, and various T-ara tracks (Number Nine and the previous two get bonus points for adding extra non-native major chords as well). In my personal opinion, these major chords introduce a feeling of tension, and songs like Lip2Lip even sound somewhat comedic given the major-minor play in the context of the MV’s faux dramatic storyline and song lyrics. I wanted to know, have you noticed this occasional appearance as well? Is it fair to say these tracks, in some fashion, borrow the harmonic ideas of the now less-fashionable harmonic minor scale (or even melodic minor in some cases?) Sorry if I sound like I’m talking out of my ass, all I’ve been going off of for this question are piano chord websites and some of your past writings.
2. Would it not be folly to say TXT’s Loser=Lover is the spiritual, boy group successor to 4Minute’s Heart to Heart, with cooler counterpoint and guitars but slightly less compelling singalong vocal melodies?

  1. I’ve never really analysed it to that level of detail but you possibly have a point.  A major song that only has major chords, or a minor song that has only minor chords, either isn’t using very many chords (typically only I, IV and V) or if they are using more chords than that, they’re doing it in a way which “breaks” the originally established harmony (or “non-native” chords, if you like).  Harmonic minor scale is still pretty popular these days for building harmony (hence its name) at least in the K-pop realm where songs tend to have relatively complex harmony compared to “Blinding Lights” or whatever.
  2. I didn’t really think the songs sounded very alike at all, maybe under the hood they are a bit similar but the end result is like chalk and cheese.

hey oppar! happy new year!

I’ve been obsessing about Lovebites thanks to your post where you mentioned Glory to the World being the best song of 2021. I’m hooked and just added their latest 2017-2021 special album to my YesAsia cart lol. In your post you mentioned a few aspects as to why the song is so great, but also said you wouldn’t go into much detail about it. Can I ask you what!! makes it so crazy cool in technical terms? I’m a noob regarding all things music theory. I know objectively the guitar solos are insane, the drums just as much, and that the song just sounds _right_. But i’m really curious as to how it was crafted to flow so well on the ears. I’ve been watching Miyako’s youtube videos and it’s amazing to see just how much of a prolific musician she is, even if i know jack shit about most of what she’s saying! Thanks for the recommendation, they’re an amazing band.

It’s a bit beyond the scope of even QRIMOLE to talk about Lovebites in more depth than I did in the 2021 worst of k-pop list, but in the shortest word-length possible, aside from the obvious heaviness and speed of everything being a tremendous asset, and also getting the presentation so very right for the kind of music they’re making, they rip off classical music motifs a LOT and that sort of stuff tends to work really well together with heavy metal.  You’re feeling of “that just sounds right” probably stems from the fact that they’re reconfiguring a lot of sounds that you’re already mentally familiar with in other places.

i know i’ll likely get closure on this & the situation will be resolved by the time this qrimole even comes out, but my friend is probably missing & im freaking out. they won’t answer my texts & have deleted all their socials, & prior to ceasing communication with me they were getting themselves into dangerous, trafficky situations. they were getting into sex work and judging by what historically happens to sex workers who suddenly go off the grid my stomach is in knots. how do i cope with these feelings of extreme stress? this year has already been super traumatizing & i feel myself slipping into a breakdown. i just need to know that they’re safe somewhere, wherever it is

Well, good luck, I hope it turned out okay.  I agree it doesn’t sound good.  Best case scenario is probably that they deleted their socials because they were getting harrassed by an individual and wanted to give them the slip, in which case they’ll probably reconnect with you in time.  Sadly sex workers do have to deal with clients who take things too far.

My question: Is there a good and consistent place to see your JAV recommendations?

I deliberately don’t collate them.  Just continue to read my posts and I will put them in from time to time.  I always find sneaky ways to include that kind of content.  You never know where you might find it next.

I decide to leave this here after reading comments about reader worrying about HK. I understand if you don’t wish to post it in your blog.

I see misinformed comment about Hong Kong, so I just want to let open minded reader to watch below (the other side of story). It’s been proven over and over again that MSM is lying many times. The moment AP is used as source, I understand that the commenter never try to see the other side of story. Why? because AP won’t show you. AP has changed story about Xinjiang, from “human genocide” (which the cannot find evidence) to “cultural genocide” (again, no evidence). Do remember story about Iraq weapon of mass destruction (WMD) that being spread out by MSM before US invasion to Iraq. We know by now that WMD story is total bullshit.

Watch below youtube videos on the other side of story. For those who are open minded, who wish to know the truth:

Oh, this is so aegyo.  Not sure what this is in reference to exactly, maybe it was my reviews of Jackson Wang or something.  Anyway, let’s have some fun and learn a few things as we go through this person’s video links one by one!

Violence towards police in HK

This video isn’t available anymore so I put a link to something better.  But protestors being violent towards police doesn’t mean that the protestors are wrong.  Doesn’t mean they’re right either.  In fact it doesn’t prove anything at all, one way or the other, other than protestors get violent sometimes.

HK Protestor Attacking MTR

This video of some guys attacking a train was kind of boring and didn’t really prove anything about anything except that protestors do attacks trains sometimes, so I replaced it with something better. 

HK Student Leader & Protestor doesn’t condemn violence

Honestly this Hong Kong student protest leader was way out of her depth in this interview, it’s clear she has no public relations experience at all.  I actually agree that it’s shameful she refused to condemn the violence of her protest group when they beat a guy up just for saying that he loved China, but then that’s the kind of shameful public relations blunder I’d expect for someone so young thrust into the spotlight.  So shameful in fact, that I’ve removed the video completely and replaced it with something a lot less shameful.

How HK Protestor Treat Woman

This one’s also quite incriminating, why are the protestors being mean to her like that in the classroom.  They should be studying or something instead of making her take her clothes off.  Oh wait, is this the right video?  Never mind.

HK Real Hero (obviously not the protestor)

A true hero indeed, she couldn’t reach the top shelf so he got the object down for her.  That’s the kind of classy gentleman we need in Hong Kong these days.

HK Extradition Bill

There’s a lot going on with the Hong Kong Extradition Bill.  It pays to be fully informed about all the issue.  Especially watch out for banana peels while being extradited.

Western Meddling in HK (FYI: not only in HK. My country also victim of US meddling which let me experience what’s like to live under true dictatorship. Book Recommendation: The Jakarta Method)

I know, right?  The US is always poking its nose into other countries’ business, it’s been doing this for decades and it’s like super annoying.  I completely agree.  Just like how the girl in this video turns up with her bowl of soup or whatever.  We don’t want your fake soup of the proliteriat, lady, but we have to sit there and eat it anyway so you don’t send the paramilitaries into our country.  Or something.

Associated Press (AP) spread fake news about Xinjiang

The video here was pretty wacky and I couldn’t really confirm any of it, I mean Associated Press might be lying, but then so might this guy, right?  He seemed to harp on about a lot of points that didn’t really prove or disprove anything much in particular.  So I replaced it with some news that might be more relevant.

What is NED? (FYI: Joshua Wong, HK leader protester is funded by NED)

A lot of these videos were just like from the same two or three sources and I didn’t have time to watch them all and fact check them.  My QRIMOLE time, like most of my time, is very limited, and it already takes over a day of solid writing to prepare each QRIMOLE for you, the lovely readers.  So I replaced the VERY long video about NED with a much shorter video which had less NED and more not NED.  I’m pretty sure nobody in this video is a member of NED.

US NED Zoom Call

Oh everyone uses Zoom these days what’s the big deal.  I do enough Zoom calls, I don’t want to watch even more Zoom calls when I’m not being paid thanks.

Anyway that’s that.  None of it really convinced me of anything much, as most of it was pretty much playing to various forms of whataboutism rather than addressing the specific issues.  Anyway hopefully we all learned something.

Could you give us lovingly detailed section-by-section breakdowns of why Cherry Bullet’s “Love So Sweet” and Dreamcatcher’s “BEcause” are in the Top 10 of 2021? I do like both songs, but I want to understand why you find the former to be much better than, say, Twice’s “What is Love?” and the latter being Dreamcatcher’s best (better than “Love Shake” and “Good Night”???).

No.  If I start doing this, people will want it for every song, and I don’t have the time to cater to every fan’s love of having their songs pored over.  Just settle for what’s in the best-lists, there’s a reason why I write those reviews in the way I do and not in some other more analytical and boring way.  Having said that, if this site survives long enough to do a “best of the 2020s” list, you might read some more at that time.  You can wait, right?

On a semi-related note, whenver other people start “k-pop music analysis” blogs I always cringe, because they only ever do that so they can fawn about their faves.  Nobody ever does a “music analysis post” and describes why a song doesn’t work.  Except me of course.  That’s how you know the real agenda of these folks isn’t objective music analysis, but using music analysis as a wheelbarrow to push their bias.  Let’s not go there.

i hear a lot of people complaining about how the kpop industry or the porn industry shouldn’t exist but less often do i hear no industry should exist. what do you think abt this?

You don’t hear about this because it’s dumb.  Industries should exist.  If there was no industry there’s be no completer for me to type this answer to you.  Industries should exist for this reason alone.

I’ve seen you preferring K-pop over J-pop mainly due to k-pop having better melody writing than j-pop. I can kind of understand what you mean as I do find myself enjoying more k-pop songs than J-pop songs but I can’t quite get why the melodies in k-pop seem to be better and more catchy.

Why is that? Is it because generally in J-pop the melody doesn’t match the underlying chord or the way the melody ends is just kinda weird (not ending on tonic/dominant?) or is it entirely something else not related to its melody?

I’m not sure and I don’t feel inclined to study it enough to find out.  It’s something very specific about the melodic and harmony choices but I just can’t bring myself to give a fuck.

Greetings oppar! I don’t know how much insight you’ll have on this since from what I can gather it’s not the sort of porn you consume, but I’m wondering why trans woman/shemale porn seems to be so common and popular? Especially since a lot of the people who seem to be into it are pretty clean cut politician types like Ted Cruz? I’m a trans man, and we really only have Buck Angel doing porn as a trans man that’s even remotely popular, but you’ll look at view counts of random very amateur, even one-off trans woman porn and they get tons! It feels like porn featuring trans woman and porn featuring trans men are equally “fringe” so it would make sense that the frequency and popularity would be similar, but that’s not the case at all. Thoughts?

I’m going to guess and say that a lot of straight men watch porn and a lot of them might be curious about trans women, or they might secretly like it and it might be just under whatever “threshold of gay” they have.  Trans women who “pass” would therefore be tapping into the biggest demographic of porn watchers, so there’d be more demand for them.  Whereas straight women don’t watch porn quite as much, and therefore might not be as interested in looking at trans men, so in a market where there’s supply and demand issues, there’s less of that stuff demanded.  Just a guess.  I’ve watched trans women porn just to see if I was interested in it, and I wasn’t (probably because it’s harder to “pass” with your clothes off), but it was still interesting on an “anthropological” level even if it didn’t really turn me on.  I’m not sure if I’ve even seen trans male porn at all, but I’m open to recommendations, now’s a good chance for all you people bored with my JAV recommendations to get your revenge.

What is it with Asians and big boobs? My partner informs me that criticism of Jihyo from TWICE for ‘being fat’ seems to have been very intense pre-2020, but she’s not fat, she just has a large chest. I’m Asian (not Korean) and I also was body-shamed pretty consistently by my mother for the crime of big-ish boobs, to the degree that my heart sank when I finally got measured and was definitely NOT a B-cup because I knew she would be mad at me. Changes of weight have not really made them change size, SAME AS JIHYO. She still talks disparagingly about ‘top-heavy’ women, even though she’s one of them! Are you or your readers able to explain this to me? Is it because natural big boobs come with wider shoulders, aka not the hallowed ‘hourglass figure’? Is it just stupidity?

Just beauty standards in those countries I guess, people want “petite”.  I think restrictive beauty standards of any type really sucks.  Everyone who has ever criticised me, or been hesitant about supporting this blog, specifically because of the boobs posts, read this question right here, and then go and read some of the boobs and objectification posts again, maybe you’ll see them in a new light.  I don’t like to take the high ground with posts like that, because soapboxing is a boring read (hasn’t this episode of QRIMOLE proven that beyond a doubt eh eh) and I have no desire to be universally loved, I’m happy to be considered the asshole in the conversation, but it’s always nice when people figure out some of the real reasons why I do what I do, so I don’t have to boringly tell them.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember to support body positivity!

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!

3 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – Lunar New Year 2022

  1. breaking my anonymity here, my friend is safe and not missing & just needed some time off the internet after a bad time with mental health. definitely best case scenario even if they`re still not doing too well, i mean who is right now. they recently adopted an emotional support cat 🙂

  2. Aww, thanks for featuring my Q at the end! Agree re: beauty standards, hilariously I am the *least* fucked-up of the 3 daughters of our family when it comes to my body and I am 5’3′ and have the biggest boobs, so the ‘worst’ figure. My mother actually made a point of disavowing me on this, according to her, her figure was more like my eldest sister’s when she was young whereas I was ‘more like your dad’s sisters.’ Not sure how I don’t have an eating disorder, as my sisters pretty much do. I do think the thinness obsession comes more from Asian women than men, though I’m sure some men also prefer it. It’s a mindfuck to see the obsession with having ‘plump, youthful’ features whilst also encouraging people to be skeletons in K-pop.

    PSA: us naturally endowed women aren’t choosing it for ourselves, so stop fcking projecting your weird weight issues onto us.

    Really appreciated your Ji-hyo/Daniel Kang post and it inspired me to submit this question.

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