QRIMOLE – June 2022

It’s time for QRIMOLE, the monthly series where Kpopalypse answers your reader questions!  Read on and enjoy!

The contracts for Monsta X members came to an end in mid-May 2022. Starship revealed that 3 of them renewed, presumably so that fans would put pressure on the other 3 to renew too. Fans weren’t surprised that some of them weren’t keen to renew since Minhyuk has been openly complaining about the treatment they get from Starship. The deadline has now passed and Monsta X are currently touring. What happens if some of them don’t renew but are still promoting as Monsta X? Do they get something like a month-to-month contract extension?

As a contracted musician I play in various groups from time to time doing whatever they require and the way my arrangement works is that I sign a contract per performance, or per “run” of performances if it’s a small tour, and that agreement just covers what I do as part of those performances.  I of course don’t know the specifics of any arrangements with a group like Monsta X, and I’m yet to have a conversation with any idol who has been in a “my contract has ran out but I am not quitting the group just yet” situation, but I imagine it would be something fairly similar to these arrangements – an agreement that covers certain activities (an album, a music video, a concert, or a combination of these) rather than a specific time scale.

I’m a new reader and was wondering why you don’t seem to review mini/full albums from groups, is it just because there’s too many since you listen to Everything? or because you find most b-sides to be trash? or because your reviews are centered around the roundup? am i just missing them somewhere? something else entirely? I’m curious about your thoughts on certain albums that you’ve had mixed feelings on the feature tracks– specifically unforgettable from lovelyz, which is a current fav of mine. anyways ty for your interesting commentary, I’ve rly been enjoying reading your new and old stuff :]]

I just don’t have time to invest in an activity that consistently results in almost zero return, given the huge amounts of other activities I’m doing on a daily basis and the insane amount of listening that I already have trimmed down to an absolute bare minimum because otherwise I would have to listen to music all day and night and that doesn’t pay the bills unfortunately!  If I listen to one group’s album, I have to be fair and then listen to everyone’s album (even the nugus because I refuse to deploy favouritism to well known groups) and there aren’t enough hours in the day, I’d have to hire staff to get through it all, at which point it would no longer be my opinion anyway and the entire point is lost.  You can read more on my thoughts about k-pop albums here.  My main reviewing activity, I see it as the favourites/worst of lists at the end of each year, roundup is really just a quick way to quieten people’s curiosity and reduce the “what did you think of [song x]” questions until those lists appear, the really meaty reviews are the end of year list ones.  You can read more about the philosophy behind Kpopalypse roundup here.

Hello Kpopalypse! I have a technical question, hope I don’t bother you too much since it’s related to vocals. 😛

OH GOD

Go on, then…

You’ve talked extensively about how much vocals in pop songs can be twisted beyond recognition, but let me ask: how is it possible for two singers with distinct, completely different voices to suddenly sound like the same person when singing two songs from the same composer/arranger, and ONLY then? I’ve noticed this kind of thing in two different instances (so four different singers and four different songs) where the only thing in common were the composers/arrangers so I was wondering how much influence they can have on vocal production/editing to the point a singer starts sounding identical to another one. I mean, short of doing the ghost voice thing, obviously, but I really think that’s not the case. I’d send you the songs but they are Japanese and you’re always bitching about how much JPop sucks (I merely think you aren’t listening to the right songs, but oh well :D) Even if you end up not answering, thank you for reading and sorry for the annoying question. Will eagerly await any single new post from you! 😀

In j-pop they really, really like their vocal processing.  You’ve kind of answered this question yourself just by noticing what you’ve already noticed.  The amount of influence an engineer who is given free reign can exert on a vocal performance is massive and can’t be understated.  If a producer favours certain quirks of vocal production they can definitely make two people sound similar by pushing them through the same tools which has a homogenising effect, and j-pop in particular is quite brazen about pushing people through tools. 

Ok so, Rammstein’s “Dicke Titten” is basically EXID’s “LIE”, just a bit more agressive.

On a serious note though, I am going to see Rammstein this summer. I’ve had my tickets for over a year, however I am very anxious about getting hearing damage (tinnitus), as I’ve been struggling with it for years now and I don’t want it to get worse. Right now things are bad enough that I have flare ups of tinnitus if i don’t wear earplugs in the cinema’s. I have 25db filters for my custom made earplugs at my disposal, but I’m still scared it won’t be enough given It’s fucking Rammstein and they make everything explode. I don’t know whether I should sell my tickets or not, I’m torn as it seems like such a fun once in a lifetime opportunity as these dudes clearly aren’t getting any younger and I haven’t seen them live before. I’m hoping you can give me some magical insight on whether I should be safe or not. Would those hearing protection things that look like headphones but aren’t, that construction workers wear provide additional protection over earplugs?

A secret – modern rock concerts aren’t actually that loud – sure, they’re far from quiet, but even groups like Rammstein are not as loud as groups like The Who and Led Zeppelin were in the 1970s.  The reason why is that modern technology is far better now at creating the illusion of loudness, so actual volume doesn’t need to be cranked so high.  Soon, the music theory series will cover psychoacoustics and I’ll explain more about this at that time, but for now, I’ll just say don’t worry about it and go see Rammstein.  Rock music concert volume levels actually peaked 50 years ago and have been on the way down ever since.  As for your earplugs, 25dB filters are very, very extreme filters that work really well, and should turn Rammstein from aircraft-level loud into a polite street-corner busking event, personally I only ever used 15dB filters back when I’d wear custom molded plugs and I found they were enough to make any show comfortable – still loud, but not deafening.  Yes you’ll still feel it in your chest so it may still seem loud but with earplugs in you’re not going to increase your tinnitus, simply no way.  You might possibly notice the tinnitus that you already have a little more, just because earplugs tend to have that effect, by quietening down everything else and leaving you with your own ambient head noise and ear-ringing, but getting more hearing damage with 25dB plugs already in?  Physically almost impossible in my opinion, the only way this could happen is if you literally went right up to the front of the stage and put your ear literally inside the speaker (don’t do this).

Why do there seem to be so many people who get upset that anyone could like a song such as “Sticker”? They seem to be unable to accept that someone could like it for any other reason than fandom brainwashing, which I’m a bit tired of hearing as I do like it and I definitely don’t care about that group or like really any other song of theirs. I dunno, I’m baffled that people can like certain songs but it only really annoys me when it’s like Loona releasing shit and knowing that if it’s popular with fans, we’re gonna get more shit. If a group I don’t care about releases a song I don’t like and if I’m not forced to hear it in public like “Dynamite” (bleh!) then I can’t even fathom what there is to get angry about.

Part of it does seem to be that the “weird” songs seem to incense people, like “O.O” which I didn’t like but wouldn’t even make my “bottom 50” if I cared enough to make it… meanwhile folks seem to calmly accept all the generic shit we get every week.

(OTOH I’m getting annoyed by these people getting annoyed so I can’t totally claim the moral high ground here either…)

“Sticker” is honestly a fucking weird song, it’s not like other k-pop songs, so it’s natural that a lot of k-pop fans wouldn’t like it.  It’s deliberately harsh and abrasive, it has weird textures that fit together oddly and it dives so deep into the cut-and-paste aesthetic that it’s genuinely hard in places to tell apart the vocal parts that are sampled and looped versus what is actually sung.  K-pop fans hating this song is probably a rare example of them actually listening to the music and not liking what they hear.  That’s what the songwriters for a group who innovates like NCT are actually supposed to do – they push that boundary just about as far as it can go before pissing off a bunch of their fans, and sometimes just that little bit further, just to see what sticks.  This is why I say, completely unironically, that NCT are “paving the way” and BTS are definitely not.  BTS might have some different lyrical themes but they play their musical content very safe, and always have.  NCT do not, they are very far from safe.  Do NCT’s production team get it right all the time?  Hell no, in fact not even most of the time.  That’s the thing about experimenting, you have to dare to fail, because most of the time you will.  However in this case their experiment worked for me, it feels like a more pop-focused version of what other sample mash-up artists were doing in the 80s and 90s.  I appreciated it a lot, but I wouldn’t expect anyone else to agree!

Hi Mr. Kpop,

glad you finally made the blog readable on mobile by increasing the font size, I was pondering whether to say something about it for the longest time. Now make the embedded videos lazy loading, you lazy bum. I’m sure there’s a wordpress plugin for that so you won’t even have to do anything.

Speaking of you being a procrastinating lazy cunt, where’s the answer to my question from half a year ago? Anyways I was pinky-promised a whole article anwering the question why there’s so many debuts in kpop even though most of them are bound to fail. I was supposed to remind you at some point so consider yourself reminded. (Unless you put this as an aside in some boob post I dind’t read, but who am I kidding – you didn’t and I read all of them). Anyways, keep up the good work!

Also, new question regarding yourself as a performer. I was on two different concerts recently, one of which was absolute shit and the other pretty great. The shit one was mainly bad because they had terrible mixing and everything was too loud generally, but then they also had zero stage ambiance, it all looked pretty dry and you really got the impression they didn’t give a fuck. Now, it was a very cheap ticket at 15 €, but their support act that played before them was much better in every regard so I wouldn’t put this solely on a lack of funds.

So, for you as a performer, how much value do you assign to ancillary things like lighting, stage design etc., and from your experience, how much do other artists care (not speaking of kpop here)? I find that for me as a spectator, these things actually do matter quite a bit for my overall enjoyment.

The funny thing is that I don’t actually remember increasing the font size, but I guess I’m glad I did!  I don’t know about the video embed thing though, I don’t think I have the power to force browser behaviour with WordPress code unless I want to shell out megabucks for their ludicrously overpriced plugin plan.  Maybe I’ll make it a Patreon tier but it would be fairly high one.

Thanks for the reminder about the reminder.  I have a TON of things in drafts (over 100 articles at any given moment) and I’ll hopefully not need a reminder about the reminder about the reminder, but I make no promises.

As a performer my job is to perform and I don’t worry about things like lighting and set design, I leave that to the experts who do that kind of thing.  Maybe if I was performing as the star attraction in my own shows and was heavily creatively invested I would have a bigger hand in this, but I’m not, so I don’t.  I just turn up and do my job and let the pros do what they do, while I do what I do.  I’ve been lucky enough to work with some people who are really good at it, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case and sometimes you have to deal with real amateurs which can be painful both for myself and the audience.  I personally really hate overuse of lights, sometimes people when given all the toys just have to use every single last one of them all the time and that’s irritating and certainly more of a problem than too little lights or set dressing.  I do like it when things look cool but I don’t like blinding the audience.  It’s good to have some light and shade, I think the audience likes it more and so do I.

Hi Kpopalypse Oppar,

I wonder is there any reason why certain chorus repeat the melody with two verses (like Lovelyz’s Close to you or fromis_9 DM, while many songs has the opportunity to do so (I always think of Gfriend’s Mago or WJSN 2016-2020 title tracks) but went different direction like Gfriend’s “Mago mago” part.

Hope you understand my question! Thank you

Nope, sorry.  I read this to myself about ten times and I honestly have no idea what you’re asking me.  Can you rephrase and I’ll tackle in the next QRIMOLE?  Thank you!

What is your thought on Kate Bush’s music? Do you like any of her albums?

I can’t say I’ve ever listened to a whole Kate Bush album.  When I grew up “Running Up That Hill” was flogged to death on TV because it was such a huge hit and I got really sick of that song, so that definitely turned me off her music (and I’m getting deja vu of that now thanks to my girlfriend being addicted to TV series Stranger Things).  I didn’t even try to investigate her other songs for years because of that.  I appreciated her more later when Tori Amos came out, who I liked, and of course people noted that she was just a Kate Bush 2.0 – that got me paying more attention to Kate Bush.  I wouldn’t sit down and listen to a whole Kate Bush (or Tori Amos) album for pleasure but I don’t mind hearing that kind of stuff when I have to hear it.

What do you think of the Australian Federal election results good that Liberal-National Coalition lost and no more PM Scott Morrison?

Yes, it’s a great result.  Scotty was a corrupt fuckwit and I’m glad he’s gone.  Not that the incoming government is necessarily going to be amazing, but the Liberal-National Coalition has become massively corrupt in recent years, I hope the planned anti-corruption commission does its job and some people from the Liberal-National party go to jail.  Good job Australia.

I also highly recommend this computer game.

Lord of Cunt, this video serves for my first question and also as a round-up suggestion, since the traitor of sOsHi BoNd Is ReAl! Ms. Jessica Jung herself was featured on the video.

1. Do you think China can now actually compete with South Korea as the biggest representative of asian pop music to the rest of the world? I mean, they have gourgeous ladies who know how to sing, perform and all the other shit, like video production. Maybe this competition could raise kpop song quality for a change?

2. Do you miss Jessica in K-Pop? Was she useful to the genre?

3. Since LGBTQIA+ usually love to spend their money to forget their hardships in life promoted by the cis-Het faggots, why does China’s government prohibits gayness display in their media? Wouldn’t be more interesting to promote gay and lesbo shit and make a good penny from it?

4. What’s your opinion on the Putin’s propaganda of “Russia is destroying Fascism in Ukraine”?

5. I live in one of the hottest places in Brazil and today, in the middle of Fall (Autumn), have experienced the coldest day of my life at 4ºC. That’s simply fucked up. Why no people with real politic power in the world seems to really care about global warming? Should we torture them with Little Psy’s album until they fix their pro-eschathology attitude?

6. What is it like to have a pussy?

7. How would you rate my English writing level?

Hugs from a high, tropical caonima.

Good work Jessica.  I will be reviewing the traitor’s book soon, expect it fondly.

  1. No and no.  Their government can’t get “soft power” quite right, the rest of the world mostly doesn’t like China’s heavy-handed political mojo and that pretty much wrecks any goodwill that the better aspects of China provide in the eyes of an international audience.
  2. Yes just because I enjoyed her attitude.  I don’t know what “useful to the genre” means.
  3. China are very shortsighted.  Gays sometimes have children but usually they don’t, which means what they have instead is more disposable income to spend on themselves.  Definitely a market worth capturing.  However I guess China is worried about their shrinking population and traditional expectations of the family unit and those are the real reasons why China is reluctant to promote gayness (which is silly of course, as people are going to be either gay or not regardless of what the government does).
  4. While it’s true that there are far-right battalions of the Ukranian military, that’s a very small percentage of the Ukranian military as a whole, and even calling them “Nazis” is a little bit of a stretch as they’re more just generically right-wing like a group of USA redneck mercenaries might be rather than following Nazi doctrine specifically.  Those batallions have quite a lot of Jewish membership too so “Nazis” is definitely an inaccurate oversimplification.  Certainly they are not the real reason for Russia’s invasion, just a convenient scapegoat.
  5. People with real political power are usually old and they will die before the real climate change shit hits the fan.  It’s up to the younger generations to hold them to task.
  6. It’s great, except when she wakes me up when I’m trying to sleep because she wants more food even though I just fed her.  What a chonker.
  7. 8/10 Borams, you get an extra 0.5 Borams for using “pro-eschathology” in a sentence, which I’m pretty sure most native English speakers reading this have no fucking idea what it means.  I didn’t either, I had to look it up too.

Can you give me some tips to realize whether someone is a true intimidating person (such as Han Seo Hee) or they are just trying to act edgy (like trolls who speak edgy shits online but are spineless losers in real life)? Also how to not get provoked by insults and homophobic shits Internet trolls love to flaunt whenever there are gay-friendly content? I tried to ignore them but my mind kept reminding me of those insults

Han Seo Hee isn’t intimidating, she’s cute to me if anything (and seriously mrs).  People who are actually dangerous in real life, tend to not advertise it.  The ones who are all talk don’t tend to do a lot of the punching.  People who can really destroy your life tend to be humble and even quiet, sometimes even pleasant until they decide it’s the appropriate time to fight for whatever reason.

I’ve been insulted and called anti-gay slurs all my life, I’m very used to it.  Doesn’t bother me at all these days.  Sure, I’m not gay, but you don’t have to be gay to be the victim of anti-gay violence, and I’ve been the victim of anti-gay violence more than any gay person I’ve ever met.  Exposure therapy works great.  If people insult you, use it as a way to harden up.  Don’t specifically goad the insults, but certainly don’t do anything to appease them either, and certainly don’t act offended (even if you are).  Let them talk.  Soon, you will be used to the talk, you will be able to put it at the back of your mind.  Just watch and learn how to tell the difference between talk and actual threats that might go somewhere physical or dangerous.  Homophobic attacks are a real thing and can be genuinely scary, so don’t let the talk bother you and don’t give in to fear, but stay streetwise and alert, and ready to defend yourself as necessary.

I always wondered what’s with the “vocalfag” thing… no not the offensiveness, I know your stance on that and whatever, but is it an Australian slang thing to use “fag” as a suffix in the way that you use it (to apparently mean “overly obsessed with” I guess), or just some shit you came up with on your own? Asking because I’ve literally never seen it used that way anywhere else.

It’s not specifically an Australian slang to use suffixes in general.  Most Australian slang is more about shortening words than adding things to them.  The one exception is Australian “rhyming slang” that breaks all the logic contained in all other types of Australian swearing, but fortunately that’s kind of a boomer thing and they’ll all be dead from COVID soon so we won’t have to put up with horrid rhyming slang anymore.

Hi Kpopalypse oppar, do you still keep in touch with writers from Anti Kpop Fangirl days? Sorry if you’ve answered this before.

Yes!  Quite a few of them are on my Twitter followers.  We don’t correspond every day or anything but I definitely read and interact with their tweets etc from time to time.

Are you into how Dolly Parton looked when she was younger?

Yes.  I’d probably still be into her now too if her various rounds of facial surgery hadn’t put her so deep in the uncanny valley.  Definitely an attractive person (even though she denies it), and smart!

my god i just did my three monthly stalking your twitter for no reason and im sorry if this seems invasive!! but i cant help to be happy for you and your partner that tweet was so cute. you two are so cute!! and happy birthday you have decent writings sometimes. also pls be nicer to your australian nephews and their honorary australian groupmates stray kids if u can thank you have a nice day

Cheers!  Enjoy my tweets while you can, everything on my Twitter auto-deletes after three months.  Since this is the case, I’ve preserved the relevant tweet for you here, so people not in the loop know what you’re on about:

I don’t think I’m un-nice to Stray Kids and in fact their batting average is a lot better than most boy groups out there, but I won’t blow smoke up someone’s ass if I don’t like their song.  I’ll do everyone the favour of being honest about how I feel.  Also don’t take roundup so seriously.  It’s deliberately hyperbolic in order to get people thinking “well I agree with this part, but this other part is bullshit” and if you can reject my stupid thoughtless opinion then you’re giving yourself the valuable tools to also reject the stupid opinions of others.  Critical thinking will serve you well in life.  Also it’s more fun to go to the extremes.  “I don’t like it but you might” is polite but it’s not very emotionally honest and it’s not very fun to write like that.  I write for my own enjoyment first and foremost, I put very little thought into each individual review, it’s just whatever’s in my head at the time, as rude or inappropriate as it might be.

Tbh I was gonna write a suggestion but then I figured you would just do the opposite to spite me, so I thought better of it.

I’m not that contrary just for the sake of it, contrary to popular belief (ahhh!).  It really depends on what you suggest.

Saw someone on reddit who obviously fancies themselves a music critic say “Mike Portnoy doesn’t have any color in his drumming”. Idk about you, oppar, but to me, this entire sentence reads as total nonsense. Do you think people who phrase their opinions in this way are knowledgeable about whatever they are discussing or am I too ESL (or stupid) to understand OP’s point? What the fuck is the word color supposed to mean in this context?

I don’t know but it was clearly written by a lousy drummer.  I’m colour blind so does that mean I get to appreciate his drumming more than others?  People use nonsense words like “colour”, “soul”, “feeling” etc to describe music because they don’t actually know how to properly describe what they mean because they don’t have musical training but they also don’t want to admit that they have no idea what they’re talking about so they reach for a bunch of made-up quasi-spiritual junk words that don’t have any actual meaning that can be pinned down.  This is deliberate – if you can’t define what “colour” is specifically, nobody can tell you that you’re “wrong”.

do you think that a bad ballad style song or a bad upbeat song has an easier time hiding the low quality, and which do you prefer to listen to?

I’d rather listen to a bad upbeat song simply because upbeat songs tend to have shorter running lengths so they tend to be over with quicker – and even when they don’t, because the beat is still faster, I still feel like I’m proceeding to my destination (the song being over and me not having to listen to the shit anymore) more quickly, so psychologically it’s a better experience, usually.

what is the reason that kpop acts like to act that they are doing a massive world tour but even within Korea its not more than 2 days and it takes them a year to do venues more than 20 whereas I saw Avril 2007 tour list and it was 107 venues within 3months how does booking happen so efficiently for American artists

K-pop tours seem to have a different audience, a different amount of logistics required, and just less of a touring culture in general.  The expense to make a k-pop tour happen is actually really large because of the amount of staging and person-management required, even when groups do it cheaply (like Dreamcatcher) it costs a lot.  Western groups can spend a year on the road, with k-pop this almost never happens (the exception is the larger YG groups who promote in ways more similar to western artists, but note this generally isn’t even worth it for a smaller artist).  Also there’s worries that if groups spend too much time on tour that they’ll lose their momentum in Korea (remember Wonder Girls) and will find it tricky to stay in the public eye in such an ultra-competitive scene where a constant media presence is kind of expected.

What will be the outcome of Garam of le sserafim with the current controversy? Kick for sure?

Don’t bet on it.  Think about how much money and training has been invested into her.  Also, she’s apparently just Bang Si-Hyuk’s type.  He will fight tooth and nail to keep her in the group, and will only let her go once all of his other options have run out.

you should get jessica to interview on your blog just tell her that you and her developing a virtual interactive girl group game

If you have her private email please forward it on!

I have a family member whom I enjoy being around until they start talking about Christianity. They sometimes try to convert me. It’s annoying. I’ve had to lie to them about believing in God, but they want to turn everybody into the Sunday church-goer, “I read the Bible for fun every day”, proselytizing type of Christian due to their denomination.
Once this relative invited me to a “party” with their friends and said one of the girls there loves kpop. How could I not go lmao. They didn’t mention anything about religion. I’m very naive and wanted to hang out with them, so I agreed to go.
It was just everyone from their church packed into one member’s tiny apartment. (Also a bunch of a dudes with acoustic guitars strumming three power chords while mewling about Jesus. The kpop girl wasn’t even all that into kpop.) Ended up in one of the rooms with 10 people interrogating me about my religious beliefs. Do these people sniff out secularists or what?
It turned out these people are very bitter towards those who don’t fit within their world view – I heard them talking about abortions, gay people and other stuff Christians love to judge. My relative was absent from that conversation – they are kind of a softie and don’t seem as mean….I guess?
Another strange thing is how some of young people are already thinking about going to heaven after their death and standing before God and shit. I also think about death often but privately and not with such weirdly maniacal glee? Also damn bitch, who said you’re going to heaven?
The biggest problem is I’m part of the LGBT, in the closet and agnostic (also hiding that). I want to stay friends with this relative – they are good company when they aren’t talking about their faith – but I’m afraid I will accidentally out myself and that they already see me as “someone who needs saving” rather than simply a friend. I don’t know if they are manipulating me consciously or unconsciously, or if I’m misinterpreting all this as a manipulation tactic. I have only one actual friend, so I wonder if I’m just clinging onto this person out of loneliness.
Wat do, oppar??? (Sorry this is so long. I really appreciate your qrimole series and your willingness to answer everyone’s questions)

Gosh, well they just don’t seem very holy to me?  Personally I’m a cunt so I’d just come out with the whole box and dice, but if you want to go in gently and also have some fun along the way, try this.  Rather than worrying about coming out as agnostic or gay or whatever, why not flip things in the other direction, and position yourself as the more holy one, and talk to your relative about how you don’t think your peer group are measuring up to god’s lofty standards?  Here’s some conversation-starters: “You know, I try to talk to these people about god but they’re just so hateful about those who don’t see things exactly the way they do, I find that strange given that god’s central message is everyone should be loved, even your adversary”… “it might condemn gays in the bible, but god doesn’t say that WE should be judgemental, our job as humans is to be loving and accepting of all people, the bible actually says we shouldn’t cast judgement on others, that’s for god not us” … “the way a lot of young people believe in god in a really selfish way, like they just are doing it so they can get into heaven, rather than because they truly want to accept god’s love, actually seems to be anti-christian, don’t they realise that god would see through such a lack of commitment?” and so on.  After a while you can transform and evolve those conversations into more agnostic type stuff.  “I see a lot of people paying lip service to god but they don’t actually seem to be following through with any christian values, this is making me wonder about my faith and whether I should even be hanging out with these people, I am worried they would lead me astray”, “surely all this hatred of different groups is not what jesus would have wanted, it doesn’t say to hate your brother in the bible”, etc… the great thing about Christianity is that the endless conflicting rules allow for amazing trolling possibilities.  If you do this right, by the time you finally come out as a gay agnostic, your relative will practically breathe a sigh of relief, she’ll be the one wishing that YOU would stop talking about it…

Do you think being bold attracts a larger number of Korean girls?

You would have to ask a Korean girl.

My indian friend told me he has a crush on me but I have never tried it with men before, but I have found him attractive as time passed by. Do you think I am turning bisexual?

Only one way to find out for sure…

Even when people rightly put down someone for being a jerk / annoyance, they do it by calling them ugly. Instead of ‘feminazis or those who believe in the male gaze discourse are being stupid and hive – minded’ its ‘ most girls who spew the male gaze discourse look like jabba the hut. Hideous, why are you complaining about my gaze when I wouldn’t ever want to look at you’.

So much bigotism and sociopathic lack of empathy and reason on both sides in such cases. Ppl who call ppl who are wrong as physically hideous are no better. And yes, I’ve seen many women shame misogynists or creeps or misguided men by calling them ugly unfuckable undateable unwanted incels too.

Like bro you think only ugly frustrated ppl are dickheads? What about Amber Heard (from what i’ve heard), Ted Bundy, many politicians and wealthy ppl , Hitler etc powerful and / or good looking and rich psychos ? They think only ugly people are misogynists or misandrists or rapists or criminals?

And many genuinely ugly or frustrated people are kind and sensible enough folk too.

I wanna punch these hypocrites right in the medulla oblongata. Fucking cosmic cancer.

Have this helpful pyramid!

If you have to get drawn into an Internet argument about [random issue x], try and argue as far up to the top of the pyramid as you can.  However it can be a lot of time investment, and is it really worth it?  Generally speaking, Internet arguments are a game where the only winning move is not to play.  That’s why all the arguments you see on the Internet are so weak, smart people who are smart enough to only play the top of this pyramid are also smart enough to realise the value of their own time and not even bother.

Regarding your take on male gaze and jealoysy towards attractive, successful women.

So when i was a young teen, and even now, I hated the idea of society – approved feminity, feminine delicateness and social beauty standards + had (and still have) major self esteem issues. When i saw successful, confident or pretty sexy women being praised and having a good time, I thought I would never be like them + i felt very isolated from society’s expectations and approved norms.

I never bullied or criticised such girls even when i was jealous of them (except when i was little and angrily stopped my sister from listening to romantic songs because I was made to believe that romantic desire or attraction was looked down upon so it was wrong, or maybe i was a just a jerk, idk). I never bullied them mostly cuz i thought it was futile + when they were nice to me i felt fond of them.

Otherwise in my tweens and teens i would talk often in a very sex – negative way. But at the same time i felt sexual thoughts , and defended girls who were called dirty for voicing sexual thoughts when i knew those girls were kind or non malicious people as long as what they said didn’t seem to me an affirmation of social feminity / beauty ideals.

I never seriously tried to change people to be more ‘pure’ and sexless because i recognised my latent sexuality, even though i tried to fight and suppress it + my cousin ruthlessly criticised me and made me feel terrible for acting romance and sex negative, and i was afraid people would shun me for being sex negative.

Basically i hate when society or others dictate how people should be including in their love and sex lives, I feel highly jealous and pretty depressed looking at successful women but still i genuinely am attached to, admire and and easily befriend successful or ultra feminine women when they are are nice people. I still instinctively have a negative attitude towards such women when i don’t know them, but i keep it to myself cuz i dont want to get in trouble + i force myself to remember that it’s considered morally wrong.

A lot of sex negativity is fraudulently pushed as “progressive” these days but that’s just an attempt to sell it “across the border” to gullible teens – the real driver behind sex negativity is conservative religion and conservative governments, both who view women as ‘men’s property’, a ‘breeding pool’, etc.  When feminists switched from a pro-porn ideology in the 1970s to anti-porn in the 1980s it was because the feminist movement at that time was infiltrated by fundamentalist christians.  The last thing conservative people want to see is women actually enjoying their own bodies and experiencing empowerment and pleasure through sexuality because it threatens the “old order” of women as subservient slaves purely on earth to please men and provide them with offspring to carry on the family line and estate.  This is why sex positivity is important.  That doesn’t mean “no rules, open slather” is the way to go either, but having a healthy attitude to yourself and your body will see you far in life and save yourself from a lot of mental damage down the track.

Oppar do you use last.fm and if so can you link your profile?

No, n/a.

Hi, so I’m all for safe sex when I become active, both for fun and relief and cuz I’d probably never have a secure relationship without sex since how many ppl are truly asexual. I don’t have real life experience, and online articles say a significant portion of guys and girls experience reduced pleasure and intimacy from condom or other barrier contraception and so eagerly have unsafe sex. Do condoms really reduce pleasure so much for many people especially guys ?

As a girl I will never want to have possibly STDs, cancerous growths or pregnancy. And IUDs , pills etc are said to have side effects and don’t prevent STDs.

In my country and even USA, Russia dismally small percentage of guys use male or female condoms. Other barrier methods like cervical caps don’t prevent STDs. I don’t know how effectively STDs can be treated, even if they could be I wouldn’t risk getting AIDS or cervical cancer.

30 – 50 % girls in my country are forced to get themselves sterilised for sex. I don’t plan to have kids, only adopt. So I could get sterilised but i’ll have to research it properly cuz its an operation after all, plus in my country getting sterilised has so much social stigma attached if ppl get to know.

I’d like to have fun but I never want to forced into unsafe sex. I’d dump a guy if he insisted on unsafe sex without a clean health record. Plus say i casually fuck someone, would condoms etc be enough for safety? Cuz i’d want to ask him for medical checkups of being disease free.

And no people who seem perfectly clean can have latent virulent STDs too, especially in my country. I’ve had sudden huge outbreaks of skin (not genital) warts on my feet and hands earlier due to a lot of high school stress. The warts were the non – genital variety of HPV, and I must’ve come in contact with the virus through public surfaces. But before high school stress I had just 1 – 2 warts. With high school stress my sole and fingertips were full of them, about 25 big ones in total. As a kid I had bad seasonal respiratory allergies causing me to use inhalers and steroids to be able to breathe during attacks.

My warts and allergies have disappeared now since less stress now and maybe my immune system adapted to the seasons or other reasons idk , but I am paranoid that my immune system could fuck me up with STDs or tumours if i fuck someone who doesn’t have a clean
medical record, even with condoms etc.

Any advice in this regard? Or any trustworthy sources I could consult?

And thanks a lot for putting up with these walls of text.

Condoms actually work pretty good as long as you keep sharp fingernails away from them and keep them clean.  Yes they do decrease pleasure somewhat but since the problem most guys have in the sack is blowing too soon, a bit of a reduction in their stimulation level is usually a good thing.  

Sterilisation is a pretty extreme choice, I would hesitate to make such a choice especially at a young age, and it won’t protect you from STDs anyway.  

A doctor is good to talk to!  They can talk you through various options.  There are some clinics who specialise in sexual health so if your GP is lacking in knowledge or is unable to address the specific questions and concerns that you have, seek these out instead.  Just avoid anything connected with religion in any way, they will give bad advice.

I have some music production-related questions.
1-Why does removing the low and high waveforms from a vocal line make it sound like a telephone?

2-Similarly, what does increasing the low and high waveforms do to a voice line (what I think is called scooping out the mids?) I noticed a music software does this automatically while compressing, and I think it results in a more “pop-ish” sound usually. But it can also make the consonants really harsh or sound off for more raw, indie/folk stuff.

3-Do other instruments get heavily processed before going into pop music? (Assuming they were recorded live)

4-Lastly, what exactly is compression doing? Is it making the loud parts softer and the soft parts louder? Isn’t that just equalization?

  1. Because the small speakers inside telephones are unable to reproduce very high and very low frequencies, so when we hear an absence of those it reminds us of a telephone.
  2. Usually nothing good.  Most vocal sound is in the midrange so by scooping the mids you’re usually removing a lot of the vocal information, and just leaving the harsh lispy noises at the top (known as sibilance) and the breathy popping noises at the bottom.
  3. Yes, usually.
  4. Answered here.  Compression is usually used to equalise volume levels, but an “equaliser” such as what you would have in a stereo system actually equalises pitch levels (or de-equalises them, depending on the adjustments you make).

Hey hey!! I’ve been a reader for a long time, and long story short my mental health has been deteriorating rapidly the past year (reaching out for help soon though!). That might be the reason I saw one of the trippiest and scariest dreams of my life. I know this isn’t a question but if you see this you might get a kick out of it. It was my last day of high school exams and I was filled w/ stress and this increasing sense of paranoia – apparently, the last days I had discovered that someone has been replacing/misplacing stuff in my room while I sleep, and I also discovered a TV in the storage room that gave a real-time CCTV feed of the rest of the house. In any case, my girlfriend’s grandpa (a very sweet guy btw) had come to pick me up so we could go have lunch. But he’s acting all strange, and talking all enthusiastic about a camp called something-something I don’t remember now. My paranoia increases; I’ve heard about this camp before. It’s a camp that has notorious cult relations. Worst of all, it’s a camp that forces its members to become BTS stans. We reach the restaurant in any case, and we’re in an outdoors space. I see some people dressed in black approaching fast towards me and the grandpa and I know they’re not coming with the best intentions. I run faster than I’ve ever had, trying to escape, but I think they knock me unconscious cuz the next moment I wake up at the dreaded camp. Somewhere in the background they’re playing Dynamite or Butter no idea, and the furniture is a strange buttery colour as well. I’m surrounded by some people I’ve never seen, and they’re all wearing creepy smiles. They address me by my real name, and I realise it’s them who have set up cameras in my house, and who have been stealing stuff from my room while I sleep. Once I start trying to claw at their faces they get a hold of my limbs, effectively limiting my movements while I scream in agony. Last part of the dream is them trimming my nails while I sit completely complacent and accept my fate in the BTS camp. I woke up after this cuz the nail trimming felt too real, I had to check that my nails were still in place. Maybe this could be a cool idea for a new fanfiction of yours? Lol.

Well if it’s a fancfiction idea you’ve just spoilered the entire plot so I’m not going to write about this now.

Hi, so I have been in the kpop rabbit hole for about 10 years now and I think you may agree on this, “there was a growth that no one saw coming, like the snsd and big bang were popular and all of that but the real breaking point was bts and the acceptance in the usa market, therefore the rest of the globe”, so I have seen many theories about them disbanding or at least stop being bts for a very long time very soon, so my question is, do you think kpop will loose like half of the fans, sales, concert tickets, streams…i know it may sound like overreacting at first, but last year all football fans experienced something very similar, leo messi departure from barcelona, that turned into fewer ticket sales every match, the best players dont want to sign for the team and the advertisements pay them less money and matter fact the club is near bankruptcy because all of this, do you believe something like this will happen the day bts leaves the scene? If you are curious about the fans anticipation about leo messi new club, this is a good example

I removed your sport video because it was sport and I totally wasn’t curious about any of it.  However as for answering your question yeah it’s really hard to predict the future of things like this.  I really think that one of the reasons BTS became so huge was timing – they appeared, with very good marketing, right when equivalent boy-group content was really drying up in the west.  When BTS eventually stop being “that big boy group”, which is obviously inevitable and just a question of time, it could be another k-pop boy group that picks up the slack, or perhaps it’ll be a new western group or a group from somewhere else.  I’d say the Koreans have the advantage here just because the marketing infrastructure is so strong, but then BTS fans and their snobbish disparagement of anyone “not in the cult” might mean that Korean and western groups start to stand on a more even “not BTS” playing field.

Here’s Dal Shabet Serri talking about the time BL4A fans decided to go nuclear because the two groups did a performance where they were touching and she wrote on twitter something along the lines of ‘hey don’t harass me and my group’ and she had to apologize for that little statement and even 8 years on she concludes that it was her fault for speaking up in the first place. Like how it that reasonable to put on someone being harassed. Is it like part of the idol training to make it so that standing up for yourself is wrong and your fault and so on?

Yes, this is absolutely part of the training.  The entire idol training system is designed to make the performers obedient, subservient and to feel guilty for speaking out or having assertive thoughts of any kind.  Because if they can question unfair treatment from fans, they might also start to question unfair treatment from the agency.  It’s mental conditioning.

Hi Kpopalypse,

While it’s nice to be alone, there are times we have to communicate to other people, socializing, usually in a big family gathering. For an adult, it seems that in my culture, aren’t supposed to be shy anymore and able to kind of “click” or able to do small talks with others. I keep comparing myself to my brothers (older and younger) because they are able to do that almost easily, which leaves me like a boring statue in the room.

That feeling also lingers in a car, where they have many technical knowledge about car and road which are useful for roadtrips like this. It leaves me feeling like a burden because I can’t drive for long unlike them, I can’t make a small talk, and so on. I know I shouldn’t do that, I know each person have their own forte, but I really feel worthless because if I can’t do something that I have been doing (or experiencing) for last 20+ years, then what are you?

Do you have any suggestion about this? Because the only solution I think is to learn about cars and road so that I’m at least, can giving two cents when something happened on the road lol.

Regards!

My suggestion is don’t worry about it.  I don’t know about cars either, but I do know a lot about the shit that I know about.  So that just means that when my car fucks up, it’s someone else’s problem.  Don’t worry about fitting in, just keep reading the rubbish that I write and if that doesn’t train you how to be more individualistic over time then I dunno what else to tell you.

Hi Kpopalypse,

I’ve been meaning to ask your opinion on suit dance, something that has been a thing in 1theK YouTube channel to showcase performance of the artist(s) with suit rather than the actual costumes. While both boy and girl musical acts did it, somehow I feel the hype is more targeted to girl group since when again you’re going to see your favorite girl appears (arguably) masculine look with pulling tie or throw the suit off. Is that the only reason that ignites the whole saga? What do you think about it?

Thank you!

Depends on the person but generally… suits look good!  Bring on the suit dances.

Hi Kpopalypse! A few months ago I sent a question about how I started taking vocal lesson and general tips ECT! The thing is, my teacher says I have a good voice but for whatever reason I literally can’t project. I know in your kpop v-files stuff you’ve talked about how that goes t matter with these idols lip syncing/giant mics/1+ people on stage at once but I literally can’t push my voice at all. My teacher says I have a nice voice and tbh hitting the actual notes isn’t hard for me. It’s the projection part-like pushing my voice out. He said he didn’t want to psycho analyze me or whatever but he said that I come across as very meek and it’s hindering my progress. And the thing is I feel it too, there was one time I apparently really projected the way In supposed to and I literally cutt myself off because I felt like I sounded insane/shout/shrill but he told me I sounded great. I immediately tried again but it’s the same feeling, like feeling my voice vibrate through my body actually terrifies me. I have diagnosed PTSD and shit from stuff when I was a kid and I’m in the process of doing “touch therapy” essentially to normalize some of the more severe body stuff-a few years ago just taking a shower or sitting in a neutral yoga position sent me into a spiral. I just feel very silly, I like singing I realize but I realize I do the same thing with my speaking voice-I make myself speak in a lower tone if I ever have to speak louder and when I do speak in a more natural way it’s very airy and people have to strain to hear me. How do I keep working to get better at this, my teacher is really blunt which I appreciate but he basically told me it’s all psychological.

Well guess what – he’s right.  We all know how to project our voices intuitively, we just can’t always get in touch with that intuition and access that ability easily when we want to, for reasons.  It feels unnatural to do it on cue.   When I was doing training to be a radio DJ, we were doing projection lessons, and the trainer advised me that I also couldn’t project my voice.  So he asked me what I did for a living, and I told him about the job I had at that time where I’d have to serve customers by calling out their name.  He then stood a few meters back and told me to call his name out as if he was my customer, so I did that and suddenly I was doing the projection perfectly.  Then he said “any time you’re struggling with this just imagine that someone is a distance away from you and you’re doing your job and calling them out by name”.  So something similar might work for you, but if you don’t have a job like that maybe think about calling out to other people in the schoolyard or whatever situation works for you, see how you go.

How do you think the most rabid of ARMYs would react in the case of a very widely publicized racism/sexism/homophobia/etc. controversy? In your opinion, would it affect BTS’s reputation as socially conscious and progressive? I know there have been such cases in the past (e.g Holocaust memorial photoshoot – about as woke as the hundreds of chuckleheaded tourists doing the same thing) but they tend to get buried on social media.

You’ve kind of answered your own question here.  They’d bury them on social media.  Let’s clear the search terms.  Jungkook kind, jungkook nice, jungkook pretty, jungkook handsome, jungkook probably not a racist I guess, pretty sure.

from what i get in the description they use ai to mash the songs, do you have any idea of how that work? i can imagine how a bot work through texts, but audios? also, what do you think of the song? 😀 you dont ask but i like the mariya version, it sounds nice

Mashups are a cancer that should not exist in music ever, so I deleted your video for the benefit of humankind.  However I can’t really answer the question of using AI to separate vocals from music and how that would actually work under the hood.  It’s a bit like asking how a self-driving car determines where the road is, sure there’s a system the AI is using but since it’s machine-learning it can’t be easily explained.  Machine learning is just another word for “software where we don’t really know how it works”.

As a certifiable old hag (not as old as you, of course, but older than pretty much everyone in kpop except Qri), I’m uncomfortably conscious of the very young ages at which idols debut. I mean yeah, “healthy porn for men,” we’re all aware of why companies debut teenagers. But what confuses me is why companies throw young teens into groups with grown women in their twenties. A good example of this is Le Sserafim. Four of the members are between the ages of 18 and 24, but the two youngest are 15 and 16 (and look their ages), and they can’t pull off the group’s concept as well as the older members can. By contrast, the members of Girls’ Generation were all born within a two-year span, and I think they had a much more unified image because of their closeness in age. So what’s the point of putting together a group with such a huge variation in ages?

To capture the attention of fans of different ages.  In this social media age where people basically call you Hitler plus a pedophile plus a rapist if you’re in a mutually happy relationship with anyone and there’s more than two years’ age gap in either direction between you, you need someone who is as close to your own age as possible to fetishise so you don’t get cancelled by the hate mob and thrown out of the fandom… at which point there goes another customer.  Bad for business, right?

I jest, of course.  The real reason is that these companies simply don’t give a fucking shit and from their perspective there’s no reason why they should.  They just pick whoever looks the part and is the most compliant and able to do the tasks required with the least amount of complaining.  Sometimes companies will go for an “age concept” as part of the hype, and I don’t know if Girls’ Generation was one of those groups or not as I wasn’t following the debut marketing, but normally agencies aren’t going to pass up someone outside the overall age bracket if they tick all the other boxes so ideas about “she must be between age X and Y” tend to go out the window.  This favours older performers, by the way, as the typical age concept in k-pop is “as young as possible”.

How did you get so proficient at swearing in German? I’m impressed.

My father swore in Geman all the time.  Usually at his caonima son doing stupid shit.

So loona released a cover of sistars shake it for queendom. i know you don’t like that song and i don’t either, never been fond of the sistar summer song. but i DO like loonas version, at first I thought I was biased because i’m an orbit but i think their version is just better than the original.

I don’t have any musical education or knowledge but I tried to figure out what works here and I think they injected the song with some emotion, it sounds “fuller” to me, the original is quite flat and boring in my opinion but this version feels actually fun lol, this is obvious in the “make it louder” part, while on the original is kinda the same as the rest of the song, in the loona version it feels like it’s exploding with excitement.

Anyways I wanted to know if you think they managed to make it into a good song, or at least improved on it or if it’s just the same old shit.

I really didn’t like the new version any better.  It’s got a slightly different backing track which is maybe a little better, certainly there’s a few more layers to the sound which might be what you’re responding to, but it’s also got trap breakdowns that are a little worse so it evens out.  They’re not wildly different overall.

So my dad has been obsessed with this Dutch super group (?) known as De Toopers. They do like 3 hour shows and it includes some main vocalists/ performers, dancers, orchestra or rather live band and some other things idk. Anyway based on your recent anecdotes about rehearsals, I was wondering- How do huge shows like this happen when like so many people need to be present for rehearsals… Definitely not for a whole lot of days but I imagine atleast for like dry runs, audio check, light check. How stressful is it really behind the stage?

I’ve been on productions where there’s been a large multi-piece band plus backing singers plus special dancers and extra guests for some songs etc, yes it gets messy backstage!  Dancers tend to do their own thing when it comes to rehearsals, they don’t usually rehearse with the band, but separately, however it has to be to the exact arrangement of whatever the band is doing so they can get the steps exactly right, so the band will usually make them a practice recording and they’ll go away and learn with it in the gym.  Backing singers and guests again can clock up a lot of rehearsal time on their own just as a subunit practising to recordings before being introduced to the band.  There’s usually only one dry run needed of everything all together before embarking on a tour, just to iron out any unforseen issues that can crop up when multiple people are on stage at once, and usually this is more about the logistics of moving people around on a stage than the actual performance, i.e where do people go before and after routine X, where do they wait for their next cue or for something to happen, who looks after when to give certain signals and so on.  However a very tight production can get away with no dry runs at all if everyone is well rehearsed and stage managers really know their shit.  Audio checking for a big artist usually takes an hour or maybe two, light checking tends to get done at the same time but by different people.  The really time consuming part of a large production is stage rigging – setup and pulldown of trusses, screens, lights, sound systems etc takes a very long time and all things need to be checked carefully for OH&S compliance as accidents can happen very easily.  Yes there is a fair bit of stress but it’s stress that’s usually pretty evenly distributed among a whole bunch of people if they’re all doing their jobs right so in the end it’s not too painful if you’re involved in a decent quality production.

Are there any adverse effects of screen use (smartphones, computers etc) (besides posture, neck, back etc oroblems) on say eyesight, cancer risk, organ damage, brain functioning etc ? Say if someone’s screentime is a few hours, or worse several hours daily, how fucked are they and in what ways ?

I don’t like smart phones but I’ve been staring at computer screens ever since I was ten years old or so, I’m now 462 years old and my eyes are pretty normal for my age, my brain seems to work more or less okay apart from the times that it stans Kim Garam, and I don’t have ass cancer yet.  Just get exercise, get up and move around a bit, do stuff.  Force yourself to do some kind of regular physical activity to break up the sitting, for me it’s gym which has halted and actually reversed my body decline, I feel better/stronger now than I did in my 30s.

WRT your healthy porn for women post a while back, I think you’re missing the creep angle that infantilises the adult men of kpop. You’ve touched on how naive and open to being manipulated the girls in stellar were, but it’s hardly different for boy groups starting out. Girls are just as capable of being into perversion as guys are, and the idea of ‘teaching the ropes’ to a rookie boy group member is definitely going through the mind of the older female fans of those groups.

For every guy that’s imagining a cute girl group member being dragged off the stage and into the back of a van, there’s probably a girl doing it too. It makes shinee’s hello video that much worse, because the angle isn’t that he’d ‘make a good father to your child’ playing with the childen, it’s that he still knows as much about love as one of the ones he’s talking to. In a sense, it’s as much preying on the naivety as real pedophilia is, minus the attraction to children.

Making adult men act like lovesick teens *who don’t know any better* is part of the selling angle for that market for cougars, and kpop has learned that targetting the parents of their old target market sells much better, as they actually have disposable income. Parents who are sick of their partners will see a cute member and imagine them doing all the things their partner doesn’t, letting them get away with things they shouldn’t because they’re too naive to know it’s wrong, whether they’re men or women.

Aprils dream candy ‘why not, I wanna know’ is mirrored for boy groups with ‘why am I letting her get away with mistreating me, I love her too much to leave’. From your roundups I’m pretty sure you how common a theme that is for boy groups. Same target market, genderflipped.

There isn’t really a question here, so I’ll just leave this here for readers to ponder and weigh in on if they want to.

Someone on Reddit who said they used to live in South Korea claimed this is how K-Pop idols behave –

“Sending/requesting nudes to/from minor trainees in their company, sleeping with girls and making them get abortions to not ruin their careers, getting nudes from fans and sharing it amongst different members, drug parties (all drugs are illegal in Korea but there are ways to get them), sleeping with older, rich men/women for sponsorship, hooking up some of their female coworkers in different idol girl groups with rich men for sponsorship (they get paid if they help the rich man sleep with the girl idol member) and having 3somes/4somes with fangirls. That’s just some of the things that happen behind the scenes. In both big and small companies.”
In fact, one of my friends who used to live in Korea almost had a foursome with 2 Kpop idols. It was crazy. After all the things I heard I can’t ever look at Kpop idols the same way again.

How likely do you think that all of this true? Tbh I wouldn’t be surprised

I assume that certain similar aspects are true in entertainment industries across the world (Hollywood, Western Pop etc.)

Redditors will say any old shit, how dare they besmirch the reputation of my bias who is pure and would neve… okay, okay, I’m not fooling anyone am I.

I can’t prove what I’m about to say without revealing sources and putting people deep in the shit, so it’s your choice whether you believe any of this.  Feel free to decide that I’m completely full of crap and go on about your day unbothered (as many do).  

Nudes from/to minor trainees – can’t confirm, wouldn’t surprise me either though.  I mean, it’s a workplace, right?  What workplace doesn’t have people sending nudes to each other.

Sex and promiscuity in general – OH YES.  Can 100% confirm.  Once again, it’s a workplace.  People in workplaces fuck from time to time.

Sex specifically followed by abortions so the girl doesn’t fuck her career up – yes can confirm although not as common as the Reddit statement might imply, girls are careful for obvious reasons and even when they’re not, in many cases they are so medically underweight that they don’t get easily pregnant.

Unsolicited nudes from fans – well, nobody has ever told me this happens specifically to k-pop idols, but it’s happened to ME when I’ve been in groups, and I’m a nobody, so I’m sure it happens to them!

Drug parties – yes.  Dealers are smart and very tech-savvy, and some have even taught Kpopalypse a few tech tricks…

Sleeping with men for sponsorship – yes.  More common even than you might think.

Hookups for sponsorships – yes.  Goes hand in hand with the above.

Group sex with fangirls – honestly never heard of this happening, I can’t confirm it.  I’m sure the temptation is there for young famous men but it would be risky, I think prostitutes would be preferred by the smarter idols as they would be more likely to honour the code of silence than a fangirl, but doing it with fangirls would feed the ego more so I dunno, I’m just guessing here.  Hopefully someone in the know talks to me about this and all of the above more, even better if they can do so on-the-record with enough evidence to back their claims so they can be in a Kpopalypse interview one day.

Bottom line – Korea has a certain culture, but the music industry also has a completely different culture, and that culture doesn’t change as radically from country to country as you might be inclined to believe.

Hi Oppar, I have been visiting your site for about four five months and I stan. Your ugly ass writing has its own charm and even though I don’t necessarily agree with all your opinions, you have taught me a lot about how to navigate through this big wide world. So thanks for that!
Now before I begin narrating my hybrid rant-question, I know that probably from your eyes, these kind of stuffs don’t matter even a little. Also I know that my problem is very minor compared to the other questions you get from other caonimas. But even if I know that they won’t affect me long term, it is important for me at this moment in my life and that’s why I am telling this to you to get advice or just emotional support.
I am currently in my 12th grade with only a few months for my exams to end and then everyone in my friend group would probably separate in our different ways for college. My closest friend group consists of four people, let’s call them Perry, Terry, Addie and me. Perry can arguably be called my ‘best friend’ as we have known each other since like fucking kindergarten because we lived and still live in the same building. Well, living close to someone means that you get know allll about them even their ugly side. I always got vibes that she and her mom were shady but it got confirmed when her mom called my mom to insult me calling me a dumb fat bitch for not doing some random shit like not telling we had a test in school the next day. Well the problem was I picked up the damn phone and basically got cursed on by my best friend’s mom. Since then (it happened like seven years ago) I have forgiven her but not because she said sorry to me, it’s just that being enemies with someone you will inevitably see everyday is exhausting. Plus it is not like they never helped me later on like feeding me food and letting me crash when my mom had to go to the hospital suddenly and more. So even though she is kinda fake and gossipy in a bad way, I enjoy her company because we have the same kind of humour and other interests and I like talking to her. We still go to take long walks sometimes where we talk about everything and anything.
In sixth grade Perry introduced me to Terry along with Terry’s bestie Addie who was my classmate for that year. I had recently got into a fight with my then lunch together eating group and me being the kind of girl who doesn’t care about being alone and stuff, I was just eating alone until Perry invited me to eat with them. I got closer with Terry even more when we got into the same class in grade seven so by the end of the grade seven, we were a solid group of friends who threw fruit (by accident I promise) and then laughed for the rest of the recess. Those were the times really.
But then at the end of our tenth grade, Miss Fucking Corona struck and school became online. Perry and Terry were in the same class with me and Addie in completely different classes. The problem was that all my other friends were with Addie in her class and I only had like mutuals in my class. So it was a little lonely for me during these two years. We four did meet many times but since they were interested in local celebrities and other shit I don’t give a shit about, the conversations got a little awkward. I am grateful for kpop because it gave me a common topic to talk about with them. This wasn’t a problem earlier before Corona because we had school shit to talk about.
But the biggest problem for me was that Perry and Terry got very very close due to being in the same class. Addie and Terry were already besties since like childhood so sometimes I felt a little out of place because of their inside jokes and stuff.
I haven’t brought this up till now with any of them because like my mother told me, since we all are going to separate after maximum six months, I should just brush past these issues. I think I agree with her, even though I am the kind of person who doesn’t like hiding how I feel about certain stuff.
Even though it might seem like I have been in a toxic friendship to some, that really is not the case since me being a very guarded kind of person, our friendship was not exactly a share-deep-bonds-for-life friendship but a laugh-together-and-enjoy-the-companionship-and-share-interesting-stuff-with-each-other kind of friendship which suited me a lot.
To tell them all this, I am planning to give them a handwritten letter (containing what I feel including the problems in the last two years I faced and gratitude towards them for their companionship for all these years) and a gift. I got this idea because Terry told me she still keeps the letter I wrote for her like 5 years ago for her birthday.
Could you give me advice on how to go about it and if possible some gift ideas? From what I read about you, you are not sociable but if it applies could you also tell me about how you handled these type of situations yourself?
PS : I know your poor eyes must hurt from the mountains of text from my side so thanks if you answer my question. Thanks again and have a good day!

Yeah you’re asking the wrong person this.  I didn’t get anywhere near this socially sophisticated in my school years.  I would have frankly been envious of these kinds of problems, instead of my actual problems of working out how to get to school, then from class to class and home again each day without getting assaulted, beaten up or robbed while also surviving extreme depression and loneiness.  I was often scared for my life in school days and the idea of having three friends with competing needs in a school environment would have been completely alien to me, you’re already operating at way beyond my level.

I don’t know, man.  If you want to do it, do it, if it means something to you.  Gifts are all about the thought so just get them something which shows that you’ve been paying attention to who they are and what they like.  You know them better than I do so just think back to conversations you’ve had and what their interests are.  Maybe this is where those useless physical k-pop albums can come in handy, if they’re into that.  Good luck.

Would you start studying Japanese as someone who has been studying chinese for 5 years but hasn’t been able to go to China with the current situation?

If I had to pick a language it would probably be Japanese just so I wouldn’t need subs for my JAVs… or I could even make my own.  Javguru has the best JAV subs  but he never subs the videos that I wish he would sub, he tends to just sub things that fit his sexual tastes rather than the stuff which is actually more dialogue-driven and therefore would benefit from subs more.  By the way JAV of the month for May 2022 is BDSR-477.

Oppar, how do determine what is and isn’t a good “Kpop rap” from your point of view. Not Khiphip (though you could go into that as well if you want) but the idol side of Kpop rap specifically.

I’m not completely sure what you’re asking.  Do you mean the raps in idol songs and if I like them?  Honestly I could take or leave absolutely all of them.  At best they’re nice rhythmic window-dressing between more melodic sections but they rarely improve the song, with the exception of songs that are very hard-edged where that sort of delivery is appropriate, but once we get that point we’re not really talking about idol pop anymore anyway.  More thoughts on rap here.

How do I get over feeling bad about not having something that I actually never even wanted, or will want later?

Hang on, how is this even a problem?  Okay, go on…

A bit of context: Me and my friend are almost 24 and she is dealing with many issues that arise due to her personality disorder. While she’s made a lot of progress in terms of her mental state, she still prizes male attention over anything else.

So one day we were talking about some guy, A, who won’t leave her alone after she made the mistake of sleeping with him. She is also talking to another guy B at the same time. She had sex with B, too, and he eventually confessed to her – basically all her male “friends” are people who she has either slept with, or guys she knows want to sleep with her and whom she keeps talking to for validation. Despite Guy A stalking her across social media and continuing to harass her online, she refuses to block him completely because on some level she just doesn’t want to lose a guy’s attention. Her Instagram DMs are 90% male, her Snapchat “friends” are all random guys, you get the drift.

I don’t know WHY this is happening to me but suddenly I ended up feeling very jealous of my friend’s ability to just talk to a guy and have him like her, or have so many dudes in her DMs wanting to talk to her, especially when I’ve always had to put in the work across multiple meetings for one man to bite. Now those guys are extremely low quality fuckboys and I would rather cut my arm off before having to entertain them at all, and I am not down for casual hookups, but I just felt very unattractive despite all this – kind of like a lactose-intolerant person wanting ice cream.

I’m definitely not ugly, but I suppose my introvertedness and lack of wearing makeup and baddie fits makes me come off as bland, which I know many people ignore (not just guys). I’ve also been focusing on my career hard, to the point that I make more money than almost my entire friend group right now, while she’s yet to graduate and is just floating through life at the moment. But this money doesn’t seem to get rid of the crushing loneliness and undesirability I’m feeling right now.

I wouldn’t say that she isn’t lonely, attraction and attention isn’t always the panacea for loneliness that it seems to be.  Don’t worry – things will happen for you, just not in the same way – and as you’ve already identified, you wouldn’t want them to happen in the same way anyway, right?  The real key here is to stop looking at what your friends do and focus on yourself, and self-improvement, self-esteem.  You know she’s got issues, you don’t have those same issues, so use you advantage of NOT having those issues and instead having what you do have to keep making money and doing cool shit.  Also maybe create a little bit of friendship distance if having someone around you like that feels a little stifling.  Don’t worry, things will definitely fall into place.  In the meantime, just remember that the grass is always greener.  I bet everyone else is probably more jealous of you given that you’ve got all that cash… in fact, I am too, so if this advice is useful please consider subscribing to my Patreon if there’s any change left over after buying your next sports car.

Do you think Aespa will finally release a good song this year?

Anything is possible, but I don’t anticipate or expect anything.  I just wait until it happens – or doesn’t.

Am I going insane?

Yes.

Oh, wait, there’s more to the question?  Okay, continue…

I guess that’s kind of an open ended question but for context; I generally shudder and cringe at the mention of fandom, but as a LOONA supporter/enjoyer/connoisseur/what have you, I do actually want them to win Queendom and therefore want to participate in voting and streaming, which I think is a normal response to “stanning” a group where you live vicariously through their successes because nothing is going on in your life and you have no other hobbies than watching young women bounce up and down on stages and shallowly tell fans that they love them and/or each other. However, am I going crazy for not understanding why there are so many people complaining that AJ from Team LOONA (or whoever else constitutes as a “big account” on twitter) has personally strapped them down to a chair and has sawed their eyelids off and is forcing them to make 100 accounts to vote and stream and etc? Why are people acting as if orbits – or any fandom for that matter – have kidnapped their parents and won’t return them until the most recent Queendom video has reached 2 million views? These people know they can just… ignore them, right? Am I crazy for not understanding how this works? Sure, I get that these ‘big accounts’ who get their external validation from being more obsessed over K-pop than anyone else are constantly tweeting different strategies to try and guilt trip more people into streaming, but what is stopping you from unfollowing them and doing what you want? Nobody is forcing anybody to stream – why are people so angry at/feel so victimised by other people who have nothing better to do with their lives other than /rigorously enoucrage/ other people to stream? Just because twitter user orbitfan69 says “You are not a true fan if you haven’t blackmailed your state senator into streaming on 6 devices with the threat of releasing his dick pics!1!!1!” doesn’t make it true. (And if it did, why does it matter whether you’re a true fan or not – you’re here for the music right? Why are you playing by someone else’s criteria?) If you don’t like your fandom experience, what is stopping you from disengaging and enjoying it your way, by only following people who aren’t guilt tripping you, by only making friends with people who make “stanning” a group fun, by not letting yourself get victimised by strangers who have nothing better to do than be the most loserish– I mean hardcore fan in the fandom? Am I crazy for not understanding this mindset?

Okay, seriously… I think people are just susceptible to peer pressure and don’t like to be seen as “doing the wrong thing” by the fandom, and people who run big accounts and who are unscrupulous know how to exploit that… they exploit your own feelings of guilt for “not doing enough” and they also exploit the more hardcore members of their own following by taking their time (and in some cases money) and using that as a weapon to demand compliance.  It works the same in any cult, and it’s one of the reasons why I compare k-pop fandoms to cults so often – because it’s an accurate comparison!  Fans are often very heavily invested, and might not feel like they have much control over their lives, and the fandom is something that brings them happiness.  There’s nothing wrong with having happiness but when you have to bargain a whole bunch of your physical autonomy and critical thinking to get it (without the reward of renumeration that an actual job would provide), you’re actually in a very cult-like situation.  I do my best to help people keep their distance from such things, and if you feel like you’re going a bit crazy when you interact with these people – that’s a very good thing.  It’s your mind realising that there is something vastly wrong with how k-pop fandoms behave and exert group pressure.  For anyone already in a fandom, that step is a step towards reclaiming your own identity and thoughts.  That’s one reason why my roundup reviews are so uncompromising and don’t pander to what anyone wants to read.  Sure I’m having a laugh and a good time writing about music, but I’m also training people to resist control.  If people hate what I write and question it, that’s good – it’s practice for when their own fandom spouts equal amounts of bullshit, now they have the tools to question that also.

Oh, by the time I will have sent that I imagine you’ve already written June’s Qrimole. And by July, Queendom will have already been over, and that question becomes irrelevant. Is this the same Qrimole question box every time – as in, does it transcend months and time altoghether? Or do you post a new google form every month?

It’s the same Google form every single month, I just pick up from where I left off the previous month, so you don’t have to worry if you miss the deadline, it will be picked up in the next month!

My life sucks, I can’t get a job, my family disowned me, my dog died and oppar doesn’t love me. Please fix all of my problems even though you’re just some cunt on the internet and have already answered the same questions 4638653267 times (using the search bar is very difficult when you’re grieving over your dead dog, please understand). Also please give your opinion on this B-side/J-shit/OST/other shitty song you don’t care about even though you said you don’t cover them, I swear this one is special and unique and will change your life because my fave sang it.

You didn’t send a link, but I’m sure your song sucks, whatever it is.  But don’t be sad, here is Velvet with some otters. 

This should fix all your issues, you’re welcome.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember to propose to your true love!

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!

One thought on “QRIMOLE – June 2022

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