It’s time for QRIMOLE! Let’s take a look at this month’s questions for Kpopalypse!
I was going to rant about luxury brand ambassadorship for kpop idols but then after 500 words I realized maybe the exact same words have been reiterated everywhere and I’m just exhausting myself for nothing.
So, yeah I agree with you Blackpink really paved the way. This brand ambassador things was overblown when each blackpink members signed the deal for luxury brand houses. Looking at how kpop idol fans now overhype the deal (which is just a glorified advertisement/sponsorship) that happened to any luxury brand while there’s 50% chance they’re not the luxury brand target market really puzzles me. In a risk sounding being a high-class arse, it really cheapens the whole luxury brand image.
Maybe I’m now too old for kpop
Blackpink members have been marketed to exist somewhere in the nexus between “k-pop idols” and “social media influencers”, so this type of activity is completely unsurprising and in fact exactly what they were hired to do. The average Blackpink fan isn’t necessarily in the market for a luxury brand house but a few certainly might be. When I went and saw Blackpink live it wasn’t all young people, I did notice quite a few people older than me in the audience. And even for the people who aren’t buying the house, the appearance of luxury that the house provides may help in selling other things, that might go in the house…
Please tell me you’ll keep doing the thing where you replace one shitty song in the roundup with black musicians, it helped me discover lots of good stuff and it offers a much needed break from all the yolosweg, nursery rhymes and ballads, so thank you for that
I intend to keep at it for the entire of 2023’s roundups. Let’s see if I can continue to introduce my readers to one new black musician each week.
In 2024 I might keep it going, or I might switch it up to something else, haven’t decided. Open to suggestion.
I’m half-way through Show Me Love (no spoilers please) and I was wondering why you picked a female group for this story instead of a male one?
I wanted to make various aspects of misogyny a key theme of the book, because that’s an issue that I feel needs a lot more attention within the k-pop world, and it’s easier to do that if I have a big roster of female main characters. The second book will have some male idol characters introduced so you’ll get a little more of the “male side” there.
More “spoilery” Show Me Love questions are later on in this post, in their own special section at the end so you can skip over them if needed.
So I recently watched some videos on sound by Tech Ingredients, a high quality Youtube channel on doing experiments for DIY projects.
So, what I was wondering was how sound his work actually is? I couldn’t find much information on exciters and DML speakers, but I did notice that they weren’t part of conventional sound setups. There must be a major catch involved then, or surely, something so cheap and easy to build would have become popular. The Tech Ingredients host does acknowledge the weakness in low frequencies, so subwoofers are essential. But, beyond that, what is the problem here? Sorry for linking such long videos to you. There are written posts by others about the videos, but none are nearly as detailed as the videos themselves, and I’ve yet to see anything critical that provided clear evidence for his flawed (if actually flawed) methodology (also, there were a whole bunch of keyboard “audio engineers” weighing in with no proven credentials while you actually have the proven knowledge to show for it).
Can confirm the info in the video linked is accurate and he knows what he’s talking about. Unlike “k-pop vocal analysts” he’s someone who uses the word “resonance” correctly instead of just making shit up! (To see/hear an example watch from 8:55 where he uses the aluminium speaker panel and you can clearly hear a resonating frequency after he turns off the audio.) The tech here isn’t actually that new, any object can act as a ‘speaker’ if you pump audio through it, and some objects just perform better than others (some new acoustic guitars actually use the same technology). The main reason why the flat panel speakers aren’t that popular is space – to get a good frequency response over a large spectrum you need a fairly large panel, so the more traditional “box and cone” wins out from a practicality standpoint because a little box fits better into most people’s setups, is easier to point where you want, and is easier to get even frequency response from all the way up and down the spectrum of audible sound. With the flat panels it’s hardest of all to get those low frequencies but if you’ve got the room for that kind of setup and you can add subwoofers you should be right.
I kinda had a strange sensation with a Khruangbin’s song called Friday Morning.
The interesting rythm that was mantained since the 16:55 mark is suddenly dropped at the 17:25 mark.
While I was grooving to the music before, the first thing that passed in my mind at the subsequent drops was “Oh god, that feels like a coitus interruptus!”
Do you know some other song capable of such feat?
Start listening to prog rock and you’ll hear these sort of changes all the time! VERY common in that style. A YouTube search on “prog rock” will sort you out.
what is your opinion on Andrew Tate and why do you think guys like him so much?
Just a common get-rich-quick scammer like many others. This hustle has existed for centuries, it’s just online now. He’s just more noticeable than the others because he’s tapped into that while incel social networking thing.
I think some people like him because he projects a public persona that appeals to young boys (or people with the mental age of young boys) who haven’t lived life yet and thus don’t know any better, which is of course the target audience of his scams. Like a lot of scammers in his position he deliberately mixes in a lot of true things and basic facts people can agree on with his own personal agenda of absolute complete odious bullshit, which makes it easier for people to share his content and say “look, he’s right about THIS thing, maybe he’s right about other things too”.
Also in today’s age where everyone has to watch what they say in fear of being ‘cancelled’, Andrew Tate completely does NOT watch what he says and that’s hugely appealing to young people who are annoyed about the increasing amount of rules around public self-expression because it taps into that “forbidden fruit” concept. This is why I don’t advocate censoring words or ideas, for instance – even the most disgusting ones. The end result of such censorship is it just ends up making those words and ideas more secretly appealing, and just waiting for an Andrew Tate type person to come along and harvest it all to exploit and scam people in the worst possible ways. If you make something “naughty” there will always be people who start to crave the “naughty thing”. In countries where everyone walks around naked, nobody fetishises body parts or makes a big deal about nudity, in countries where people wear clothes, people suddenly become very interested in what other people look like naked… people think conservatism is the enemy of pornography but conservatism is actually what makes pornography possible…
kpopalypse oppar I’m going to audition for a local small indie band who want a new singer (never seen them live tho). i have 0 singing experience outside of going to karaokes but reading ur blog and going to gigs i am aware that attitude and stage presence >>>>> singing skill. plus i figured out the worst that could happen was being rejected. i want to do my best effort regardless: what tips can you give me? what should i wear? should i go casual or elegant like i’m going to a job interview (lol)
Clothing doesn’t matter, not for an indie group. If they have a dress code they’ll tell you. Otherwise, don’t ask, and just dress for comfort.
Don’t worry too much about ‘stage’ stuff unless they actually audition you ON a stage. It’ll probably just be in a rehearsal room. So don’t worry about performing to any great extent, a little is okay if it helps you get ‘in the zone’ but don’t overdo it, mainly just try to sing with confidence and do the best you can. Don’t worry if you think it sounds bad, just go for it and do your best. At the end of the day you can be the best singer in the world and still fail the audition for all sorts of reasons (they don’t like you personally/they have someone who sounds different in mind/you were good but someone else was just better/insert a million other reasons here) so just go for it and whatever happens at the end if it’s a rejection don’t take it personally. Note that for ‘indie’ groups the standards for performance stagecraft are super low so the chances of you being rejected for not ‘looking the part’ are slim.
I’m a bissexual man with high libido but with a really good sense of smell, and I usually get repulsed by even the faintest smell of body odor from other people.
Since I am a man who lives in a chauvinistic society, I wasn’t invited much to dates or direct casual sex by other people, much less invited people myself to initiate my sexual life.
While in the past I kinda didn’t care about peoples opinions about how I live my life, I stayed this way, which seemed more confortable to me, but since I am soon approaching my thirties, I am wondering if my choices are actually being adequate to my life.
I absolutely HATE smelly feet (something that I never had myself), smell of earwax, and almost throwed up once when I felt the body odor of an old man’s armpit (probably unwashed and without deodorant/antiperspirant) in a bus. In other occasion, I passed out after being more than 15 min behind a pig truck full of crap (once again in a bus).
I’m conscient about my own body odors, but as with most people, the way that I can smell myself is less potent than the way others can smell me.
Not joking here, but just so you know the extent of my tranquility with my own body odors… I actually had the habit of swallowing my own semen after climaxing from masturbation, as it uses far less tissue paper, was easier to clean and it felt nice overall. Just stopped doing this because the semen was upsetting my intestines, giving me diarrhea (if you have problems with bowel obstruction here’s a solution I guess). And yeah, I noticed that myself. It was easy to perceive it, since almost everytime that I ingested my semen I had diarrhea 1-2 hours later. I even tried to take a long bath before the act, imagining that it could be some bacteria in my hands or skin, but the effects still appeared after consumption, sadly.
Like I said, I’m bi and masturbate regularly, to both genders and in various media forms (sometimes without visual assistance). Some years ago I even made an anthology of smut k-pop fanfics from boy groups, since the girl groups ones were hopelessly unsalvageable (I altered the stupid parts to please my tastes when possible).
I don’t believe that I have some sort of hormonal disbalance or some other health-related stuff.
Now for the questions:
1. Do you believe sex is always kinda yucky? Like, I’m also masturbate in a daily basis and I feel a little disgusted with the idea of ever licking another person’s penis, vagina, asshole, tits or even mouth. It is one of those things in life that starts terrible but with practice you start to care less about the negative parts?
2. Am I being a stupid faggot bitch pussy for not wanting to deal with people’s smells?
3. Does the clitoris and it imediate adjacent parts smell as terrible as some guys who don’t seem to wash their dicks daily?
4. Let’s suppose that I am having sex with someone who has just removed her shoes and presented an awful stench on her feet. In your opinion, what would be a polite and efficient way to communicate to her that this fact is upsetting me and may hinder my enjoyment in our intimate moment?
Thank you for reading my weird secrets and answering my questions, oppar!
1. Dealing with another human in close contact is always going to be a bit yucky, we’re all living breathing, shitting, pissing organisms and there’s no way around this unless you want sex with robots (coming soon courtesy of SM Entertainment probably). Even masturbation has an ugly physical side as you’ve discovered. It is what it is, the question isn’t whether it’s yucky but rather are your desires strong enough to overcome the innate yuckiness of it. Everyone’s personal threshold on that differs. Some people might lick a vagina but not an asshole. Some people might not care. Some people might do none of it. Also it depends on the cleanliness of the recipient, which can vary…
2. Maybe but you can’t help it probably. Once again it’s not about whether the smell is there or not, but more what can you handle. For instance one time I picked up a girl who was a hugely heavy smoker. She wanted to do these long lingering slow kisses while we were making out but I just wanted to hurry up and get the kissing out of the way, not because I was keen to get to the sex but because her smoker’s breath just smelled so goddamn bad. But maybe if she was more my type I would have been able to look past that factor. It’s hard to be sure.
3. Depends on the personal hygiene of the owner.
4. No reason to pussyfoot around the issue too much. “I can smell your feet, can you jump in the shower” should do it. Hey if I really wanted to have sex with someone and they asked me to have a quick shower first I would comply. What’s a few minutes in the shower? “I was about to get laid but she wanted me to take a shower and I didn’t want to”… yeah, I’m not that person. Being clean if the other person requests it is just being polite, honestly. It’s not that difficult.
“Army are the only fanbase who flock en masse to negative (or mildly positive?) reviews to wish death and destruction on all who oppose them. At this point, it’s parody and should be treated as such.“
What is actually wrong with Army? I’ve been around since gen 2, so I’ve been around for a while, and I recall Army being fairly wholesome at the beginning, back when BTS was still in that angsty teenge rebellion stage. Of course, once BTS got big in the K-pop community, Army had a whole bunch of bad seeds in their fanbase. But, I always thought that was just a consequence of being popular. Any sufficiently large group will have more terrible people just from proportions alone. What is it about Army that makes it so distinctly awful? Is it just because BTS targets the lowest denominator now and thus has the largest number of new and young fans who just don’t have the mental maturity to handle anything less than worship of BTS? Or, is there distinctly awful about Army that comes from somewhere else? There are other groups with a predominantly younger audience, but I don’t recall them having the same problematic fanbases.
I think ARMYs were always toxic in the same way that all k-pop fanbases are, but the character of that toxicity changed somewhat when they really started breaking through on international mainstream charts and becoming “THAT big boy group” on a global scale. It’s that massive breakthrough beyond the orbit of normal k-pop fans that is unique to BTS, I think it attracted a lot of people who would normally stay the hell away from k-pop.
Hello Kpopalypse, how are you?
I have a question for your girlfriend. Can you pass the question to her? You could answer, too, but I feel like your girlfriend will have a better answer than you.
I’m a female in my early 20s, and shockingly never have a boyfriend (only ever been in the situation of having mutual feelings with a guy back in my school days and neither of us do anything about it), never been kissed or having any sexual experience with other person except for pleasuring myself. The reason why I never have a boyfriend is because my family is quite affluent, and typical among affluent families, I frequently hang out with kids (males and females) who have houses in my country’s equivalent of Gangnam. The same goes for my parents, they’re friends with politicians and socialites. My circle of friends is basically Jersey Shore on steroids or maybe Crazy Rich Asians in real life. Girls having their birthdays by renting a ballroom in a 5 star hotel like it’s their fucking wedding or something and Guys wearing Yeezy sneakers and drive Harley Davison’s motorcycles or even performance cars for illegal racing when they aren’t old enough to have driving license. You can list every Fuckboy/Playboy stereotypes to my male friends and they’ll tick all the boxes. Also will name all the girls (or guys if they’re closeted gay/bi) they have sex with to all their equally disgusting loose-mouthed pals. Then the girls he had sex with will have ‘devil slut’ attached to their names while the guy will be labeled as ‘heartthrob’. This makes me turn off any advances some of them make to me. That’s why I never had a boyfriend or kissed or had sex before.
I really wanted to have sex and have a boyfriend, but I could cared less about it now seeing how trashy a guy can be. Now I’m okay whether if I’ll ever get a boyfriend or not, romance is just part of life. Sex, however, is another matter because I have needs. Lately I’ve been thinking of paying a male sex worker to have sex with me just to get over the whole virginity thing, but I’m an emotional person so I’m afraid I’ll get attached from just one sexual encounter. What do your girlfriend think I should do? you can provide some male perspective, too.
Sorry for asking you and your girlfriend a very private matter, Thank you for answering.
I passed this to my girlfriend, she said it was interesting and she would think about it, but she hasn’t got back to me yet. I’ll edit here when she does.
EDIT: “OK well she has the means to enlist a professional so why the hell not. I doubt she’d fall in love after one encounter. Remember the sex worker is there providing a service for her. As much as they may pretend they won’t fall in love with her either. If she feels she is at risk of getting attached then switch who she sees. That’s basically what I think.”
In a recent roundup, you mentioned the girl group Kiss&Cry. Did they have any decent songs?
No. Their most well-known song was “Domino Game”, a terrible Beyonce “Crazy In Love” clone.
Same agency as the equally awful PiggyDolls. Kiss&Cry were disbanded almost as soon as they debuted, apparently due to underperforming chart-wise.
There’s no way to write this without sounding ignorant/racist as hell so I apologize in advance!
I was watching this documentary about jpop idols. it’s fantastic, would recommend
— and this guy talked about how Japan dealt with its economic fallout and compared it with England. He mentioned that Britain created punk as counterculture for the restless youth, but Japan ended up with cute idols and otaku culture as a way of escape. And then things got stranger from there.
Do you think it possible that Another reason why Japanese culture is marketed as “kawaiiii ❤ uwu” to foreigners is to detract from the various atrocities committed during WWII?
I took a german cinema class and we discussed german cinema — how their entertainment and the way that they choose to present themselves to the world is shaped by the holocaust.
In Japan, there is this whole concept of “shame” that is embedded in culture.
I’d imagine that the US castrating their military force and murdering innocent civilians also adds to that shame aspect.
I’d also imagine that at a subconscious level the perpetuation of this cute thing is also a way to redeem the Japanese image to Japanese people themselves as a desirable “image”. I don’t know oppar, maybe I just find aegyo and cutesy-ness so repulsive that I went insane and just wrote this all out.
There’s nothing wring with saying “I’m ignorant” if you’re actually ignorant. It’s impossible to be completely informed about everything. I am also ignorant about a great many things, including the answer to this question!
This is really a question for Jpopalypse, I have no idea personally. There’s probably a whole thesis in it but I’m not the one to write it. My gut feeling is that it seems unlikely that this would be the reason, but I’ll freely admit that I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. I’d be interested in contrasting other theories about this.
What do you feel about the capabilities of ChatGPT and GPT-4? Would you use them to help you write as much as you do to save time?
I would never use one to save time while writing. AIs can write but they write very generically, which is only good in my opinion for certain specific meta-writing purposes. I would only use such a program in a very obvious kind of way, to make a joke somehow. For instance in this post the “fap equations” essay that Wonho is studying was written by an AI website that creates spammy nonsense math essays that make no sense, and I did that because I wanted a math essay that read like very generic computer-generated total bullshit. That’s the biggest extent to which I’ve ever used, or ever will use, an AI in my writing.
I got into SPEED recently, and I’m wondering how they failed. They had great music, which we both know no one cares about, but they also had some of the most impressive choreographies I’ve ever seen.
Have we seen another group pull off such acrobatics?
Using Heelys for a choreography is brilliant. It lets you pull off normal dance moves and roller blade moves. I’d imagine it’s also harder for it.
K-Pop fans care a ton about choreographies, so why didn’t SPEED get any recognition? Oh wait, they’re from MBK, known for mistreating T-ara, Shannon Williams, and DIA. Was that it? Their company was just that shitty?
Quote from my interview with Sarah Wolfgang, nine years ago (and nothing has changed since):
“The Korean entertainment industry never has to do with talent. It has to do with a) whether or not your company can pay to support your fame or b) whether or not you’re in high demand because your company already went through route a. I mean there is the occasional actor/artist that spends years under the light (usually without a company) that may be very talented… but it’s the actual entertainment agency that helps anyone actually see any light or fame.”
The most important quality of an idol isn’t singing or dancing, it’s whether they can hit it off with the public. The singing and dancing is just a means to an end, which is to get the love from the public, that then leads to money-making activities. For whatever reason with SPEED it just didn’t happen for them on that large scale that’s needed to support their fame.
Linus is back to debunk more audio bullshit. Just how much audiophile shit is snake oil junk? I want to get into listening to music more seriously, but it seems like there’s a whole bunch of scams in that community.
Listen to audio engineers, not audiophiles. Audio engineering is a discipline that you can get a degree in (I have one). On the other hand you can safely disregard almost everything audiophiles say. Sometimes there’s a bit of truth mixed in with their bullshit but it’s usually accidental, the bulk of what they believe is horseshit and very easily debunked by someone with audio engineering knowledge.
If audio engineering is astronomy, audiophilia is astrology. Basically.
I’ve recently been considering making a Wonho game. I have a few non-Wonho games under my belt for experience, but this would be my first exploration of the genre. I’ve of course done my own extensive (ahem) research over the past ten years, but I’m looking for consumer opinions on the topic.
What do you think is the main distinguishing factors between good Wonho games and bad ones? Also, are there any elements you’ve seen in Wonho games that don’t work well in the genre, but are usually fine/acceptable in normal games?
I think the main thing that makes a Wonho game good is actually the ‘game’ part. Sakura Dungeon is a great Wonho game. It’s not that explicit, but it’s an actual ‘game’, you can play and enjoy it even with the Wonho content turned off. So I think the principles of good game design in general apply to these games as much as any other. Whereas a game like Fleeting Iris is also good, but it’s really just a multi-path story, there’s no “gaming” content, however it’s good because it conforms to good storytelling conventions (within the parameters of what it is). So I think the main thing you want to get to is this: are you interested in making a game, or telling a story? If you just want to tell a story you might as well just make a visual novel, and then the conventions of good storytelling and Wonho content apply. Whereas if you want to make an actual game, make an actual game, and then the conventions of good game design and Wonho content apply. So in other words your game design skills should be transferrable to this context, provided that you already know how to make good games.
I would just like to say as a member of the alphabet soup mafia I hate the way Kpop stans have ruined the word camp. camp is supposed to mean radical self expression without giving a fuck about how dumb or bad it is, not badly done corporate bullshit. if something is corporate at least have the decency to be FAAAAAAAAABULOUS. gotta love how people only give a shit about cultural sensitivity when it’s non white people.
Yeah I think the word “camp” is often used to hand-wave away low-effort corporate crap. People are too afraid to say that something just sucks because they’re worried about getting hate or being dogpiled or whatever (with some justification – I get dogpiled nearly each week by a new fandom just for daring to have an opinion) so they say it’s “camp” instead.
do you love me
I love all people who bother to fill out a QRIMOLE question, as long as they use correct punctuation. So in your case, let’s just be friends.
Now that Luda hasn’t prolonged her contract, does that mean that Bona will have to step up and take her place in Chocome?
That’s a question for Starship, why not write to them?
Am I a soft snowflake baby for feeling overworked at 50 hours a week?
I work in advertising and I understand that other people have it much harder but damn I’m suffering.
Part of the problem is probably agency culture in general – virtually all ad agencies live in perpetual, pants-shitting fear of their clients, and will sacrifice any semblance of dignity in order to keep them happy. They take on clients and projects they should refuse to do point blank because they need the money to stay open another few months. They force creative to spam out idea after idea, campaign after campaign, because they don’t trust their own judgement or ability to sell ideas to a client on the basis of a shitty brief. They kowtow to every demand made of them, lose boatloads of money on pitches because they’re so desperate to attract new revenue streams, and will often continue to pursue relationships with clients that can never be profitable for them. No matter how much an agency says they value culture, work-life balance, etc. they will see dollar signs when a nightmare big client comes along.
I’ve seen it happen so many times – a great work environment turns into a toxic cesspool overnight because of one client. In my experience, an agency will never fire a client who is paying them a lot of money, no matter how much of their staff leaves.
But just because it’s common for agencies to slave-drive their employees and cultivate a sweatshop culture, does it make that right? I don’t wanna sell my entire work week and weekend to someone paying me a shitty salary with no overtime to crank out iterative, boring banner ads.
It feels so unnecessary being intense and overly serious at an ad agency. We’re just running ads for people, mostly ads that no one even cares about. We’re not saving lives here, there’s no need to send emails at 11pm or treat people like crap. But people in advertising do it anyways. And I’m sick of it. How on earth am I going to write “Got Milk” 2.0 when some cement company comes back with the 50th round of revisions for a dumbfuck ad that made no sense to begin with?
Not really sure what to say except work sucks. The business of clients is of course important but a good business manager should be able to also know when a client is being unreasonable and tailor negotiations and terms to suit, rather than over-promising and then feeding the responsibility to deliver something that can’t be delivered over to the staff. Some managers are better at handling this negotiation than others. Not much you can do about it really except for look for greener pastures.
What makes Gfriend’s ballads work?
I am not overly fond of the koreans ballads which seem to be so common.
However I enjoy songs like time for the moon night, sunrise and crossroads. What makes gfriend ballads different from all the others ballads in kpop?
Speed. They’re not actually ballads because of the fast BPM.
“Time For The Moon Night” is 170 BPM, that is fast. Objectively not a ballad. It might feel a bit balladish because of the other instrumentation used (heavy focus on stringed orchestration which is common in Korean ballads in general) but I wouldn’t call this or any song at this tempo a ballad.
Dear Kpopalypse Oppar, I am having some problems in the house that I live in. It’s a college living group of ~17 people, and we are on the rebound post covid, trying to about double our numbers. It’s been really hard, I’ve noticed people are a lot more quiet and like to hang out with each other less. I guess everyone is a lot more individualistic? idk. The problem is there are some people who are clique-y. How do I fix this… I’ve been trying to run events and stuff but people aren’t really engaging how I’d like them to 😦 I want to like the house that I live in
You’ll probably like it more if you don’t keep pouring your energy down a hole. Perhaps let someone else run the events and bash their head against a wall. Or maybe just forget about events. I know that if I was living with that many people in close quarters and there were “events” there is no way in hell that I would participate, no matter what they were. I’d probably take every opportunity possible to socialise away from my living environment with different people, or just be alone and do my own thing. Not everyone wants to hang out with their housemates all the time, and you can’t force engagement. Sometimes people just get along with who they get along with and that’s okay.
Hi Kpopalypse. I’m interested in writing or making songs but I have zero knowledge on music theory and I don’t know how to play any instrument. Do you have any advice on where and how to start? Thank you.
A friend of mine was in exactly your position so he downloaded the free version of FruityLoops (aka FLStudio) and just started fucking around with sound. A few years later he got himself a record deal. So that’s one way. The other way is to actually learn an instrument. Don’t worry about writing songs in the beginning stages, just learn what the instrument does and how to play it in the first instance (that goes for both real instruments and DAWs etc). If you’re creatively-minded the ideas will eventually come without you having to force them.
Any chance of a most fappable MV list of all time?
No, because I’d have to constantly update it for it to be relevant and I hate posts that I have to go back and update. Annual lists are the way.
Famous JAV actress Kaho Shibuya finally has her book about the industry translated in english available on amazon. Thinking I might pick it up (because the preview kinda got me interested and seems well written), was just wondering if you knew about it / were interested.
I was aware of the Japanese print of this book already but I didn’t know that an English translation had been done. I have ordered a paperback copy of this, thank you for letting me know about it! JAV of the month for March 2023 is URE-092.
I recall you mentioning that you really like Doki Doki Literature Club. I know you said it’s a game that’s best experienced with no pre-knowledge. Do you think it’s still worth playing regardless? Also, have you tried any of the mods?
The experience is definitely way better with no pre-knowledge at all, of any type. However I’d still recommend playing it anyway if you’ve had the misfortune to read spoilery reviews and discussions etc (which they ALL are) if you like visual novels because the writing is very high quality. No I haven’t tried modding it, I’m not a fan of modding games in general, it’s always a twenty step process of headaches that icbf with. Also if I try to mod Monika who knows how she might retaliate…
How do I make friends with someone who doesn’t really have any positive experience with friendships/non-familial relationships? There’s this new roommate I’m moving in with and although he’s plenty nice and polite, I’ve heard directly from his sibling(s) that he’s found himself stuck with a toxic friend group he hates and he can’t leave them or else they’ll bully the shit out of him. I really want to be his friend because out of all the interactions I’ve had with him, he’s been a very pleasant person and I’m friends with his siblings. But he’s also hesitant in trusting people and our roommate contract only came to be out of necessity (long story short: money), and when I see him around the campus, he’s always sitting in the corner next to his unpleasant friends (I’ve creepily stared at them. He rarely talks to them, he just sits there).
Mister Kpopalypse, please offer your wisdom.
Rather than trying to psyche his friends out, which will achieve nothing, just go up to him and talk to him while he’s sitting with his friends. I doubt his perception of what his friends will do is correct, but who knows, anyway you shouldn’t worry about it. Just do what you would normally do anyway. If his friends see him getting along with someone else that may change their perception of him to his benefit… because right now you’re the one looking weird because you’re staring at these guys you don’t even know based on hearsay from this guy’s family that you don’t even know if it’s accurate. Not saying they’re lying but perhaps they have a skewed picture and it’s worth checking to see how much perception actually matches with reality.
i’ve found myself wanting to go back to the “good old days” of kpop but then when i research into that time period i realise there was a lot of shady things going on behind the scene… feelsbadman
How many times have you fapped to wonho
ΔMi−1 = −αΣn=1NDi[n] [Σj∈C[i]Fji[n − 1] + Boram[n−1]]
Yo, kpopalypse. As you are an old man who’s probably been in 10,000 relationships, can you help a poor 20-something figure out if he should break up with his girlfriend because at this point, I don’t know what the fuck to do.
Okay, my seatbelt is on. Let’s do this.
So, let me just give you a rundown of important moments in my and my girlfriend’s relationship. Around a year ago, we officially started dating, which was all because of one of our friends, who basically pushed us together. At first, she was just kind of pushing me, she’d say to me things like “I know that you like her, I know that she likes you, just ask her out already” and I’d just say that I didn’t want to do it for various reasons, but she didn’t give up. At first, I just laughed away her efforts at getting us together, but it did quickly get annoying. The day me and my girlfriend became a couple officially, our friend asked me why I didn’t want to ask my now girlfriend out, I just said that I was scared of rejection and also scared of being in a relationship. Our friend did not give up though, and decided to instead push my now girlfriend to ask me out, and she did, and I said yes. I honestly was not thrilled about the idea of being in a relationship, but when you had a friend who had been bugging for weeks about asking someone out combined with being scared that my girlfriend wouldn’t want to be friends with me anymore if I rejected her, I just said yes. Anyways, the first few months were… great. I mean, there really weren’t any problems, and I felt happy that I decided to not reject her. But the last few months have been a little confusing. For context, my girlfriend is a drug addict that recently decided to try to become sober. But with the decision of not doing drugs anymore, she instead started drinking a lot of alcohol. At first we had rules set up for how much alcohol we were allowed to drink in a week, and the first month was fine with actually me being the one not following the rules we made, getting alcohol poisoning multiple times, blacking out in the middle of town and being sent home by the police. But, oh well, I realized that what I was doing was not healthy and tried distancing myself from alcohol, which is when my girlfriend started drinking a lot. I realized what she was doing pretty much immediately and told her that she’s clearly abusing alcohol, but she explained it away as “not that bad”, and also said that the only reason she’s drinking this much is to not take drugs, and I said that substituting one drug for another is not a good idea at all, but she told me she had it under control. I knew that she didn’t, but she wasn’t listening to me, and I knew that she wasn’t going to stop drinking, so I told her that if she was going to drink, she had to do it together with someone, just to make sure she’s okay and doesn’t drink too much. She didn’t take my advice, which in turn led to an interesting party we went to. At first, party was great, I had drank a bit but not too much, and my girlfriend was definitely drunk, but she was just having fun at first. Then, all of a sudden, my girlfriend got really pissed off, started telling everyone who talked to her to fuck off, said that I was too drunk to drink anymore vodka, while subsequently taking shot after shot. I tried stopping her but she told me to fuck off, that she was the one who paid for the vodka bottle, therefore she’s allowed to drink however much she wants. After some time of her screaming at me and hitting me, I once again told her she shouldn’t drink anymore because she’s clearly too drunk, and she basically called my mom a whore, and at that point I was getting really tired of her so I told her off, and she just said fuck you to me and walked off. And then I started crying because there’s really only so much being screamed at I can take in one night, man. Anyways, my girlfriend was in another room crying as well, and telling one of our friends that I didn’t understand her, and after a while I left the party alongside a few others. Before I really could’ve gone very far, she called me and asked me to come meet her, and I did, and when we met, she claimed that she didn’t actually feel bad that night, she just felt the energy of a few others who were there who did feel bad, and that’s why she started acting the way she did. I just said okay to that because I did not believe her but didn’t want to argue. And then she started invalidating my mental health issues, saying that her’s control her entire life whereas mine just makes life a little harder, which made me annoyed because it seemed she didn’t understand that my mental illness does control my life and everything I do. Either way, I was kind of tired after the whole party and shit, I just told her I was going to go home and sleep, and as I left I could hear that she started crying again, which made me not want to leave but I decided to anyways. After that, my girlfriend seemed to realize that she was abusing alcohol, and said that she would quit, and I said that I’d help her with quitting. Anyways, that whole event at the party was not a one time thing, it had happened prior to the party multiple times but not quite as dramatic. But the party was kind of my breaking point, and I realized I wasn’t happy in the relationship anymore and that I didn’t love her the same way as I did a few months ago. I still care for her and want the best for her, but I don’t want to be romantically involved with her anymore. So, I’ve been thinking of ending things, but there’s a few things stopping me.
-I don’t want to completely cut ties with her forever, but she has told me that she hates every person she’s been involved with prior for leaving her, and that when she hates someone, she practically never stops hating them. Honestly, if I were to break up with her, I’d want to take a break from meeting her or talking to her for a while, but then maybe later try to be friends, because she’s genuinely a nice and funny person, I just don’t think this relationship is going to work.
-We practically share the same friend group, and almost all of our friends are better friends with her than with me, and considering that if I were to break up with her, she’d probably start hating me… I really don’t see most of my friends keeping in contact with me either. This would’ve been fine because I could just make other friends, but throughout my entire life, I’ve had considerable problems with meeting people and making friends, so now that I have friends, I don’t want to risk losing them.
-She’s really attached and dependant on me, which is honestly pretty hard to deal with, because I don’t have a lot of time to focus on myself, and I’m a person who needs a lot of alone time, whereas she’s said that she’s only ever really happy when she’s with me. Now, that’s actually one of the reasons why I want to break up with her, but why it’s become a thing that’s stopping me is because she told me that she gets really attached to people, and I fear that if I were to say that I can’t constantly be the one she relies on for all of her problems, she’s going to get mad and tell me that she told me before we started dating that she’s really dependant on her partners, which is… true. And at first, I could handle it, but I’ve been trying to get her to talk to other people about her problems, but in the end, she’ll always turn to me, and I can’t really handle that.
-She has heavily insinuated that she’s going to commit suicide if I leave her. She’s told me that when other people have left her, she’s tried to kill herself, and that she won’t be able to handle another person leaving her. She’s also said that I’m the only reason she is still alive. What the fuck. I really don’t want her to kill herself, or try to kill herself, so I feel a little bit stuck.
But then there’s of course the reasons I think breaking up with her would be the best decision.
-The good moments with her are great, but the bad ones are… pretty much the worst moments I’ve ever spent with a person that I love.
-I obviously don’t have feelings for her anymore, and it’s just cruel for me to not tell her and lead her on like this. I mean, every time she calls me, she says ‘I love you’ before hanging up, and I can’t bring myself to say it back, so I just say bye. I mean, I really do just treat her like a friend at this point. I can’t remember the last time that I kissed her.
-I talked to my therapist and she described our relationship as toxic, which it probably is.
Uh, anyways, kpopalypse, my dude… Please give me some advice. Should I stay with my girlfriend, break up with her, or is there a secret third option? Personally, I’m leaning towards ending things, I just… don’t know how to go about it. Obviously, you don’t know everything about my relationship with her, but you have experience with relationships in general so hopefully you’ll have some insight anyway.
Thank you in advance.
(also sorry for inevitable spelling and grammar mistakes, english is not my first language and I am too lazy to proofread everything I wrote because I wrote so god damn much oh my god why did I write that much)
First things first – alcohol is a drug, and a pretty intense one at that. Just because it’s legal pretty much everywhere doesn’t mean that it can’t fuck people up and destroy their lives at least as effectively as any other drug out there. I’m pro-legalisation of all drugs (yes, all) but also pro-making sensible choices about your drug intake. Some drugs work for some and not others. Some people just can’t handle it.
The thing about toxic/abusive relationships is that they’re actually great 95% of the time and that’s what keeps people hooked in them. However it’s possible to have a relationship without that 5% that really sucks. Important to make a distinction here between toxic relationships vs relationships where one person has a problem and needs a bit of help. The key difference between the two is in how much the person having issues is willing to proactively tackle the things that are interfering with relationship happiness. “I’m an alcoholic/drug addict” isn’t a dealbreaker, but “I’m an alcoholic/drug addict and I refuse to acknowledge and manage my condition in a way that benefits the relationship and doesn’t hurt my partner” is.
However at the end of the day, if you don’t have feelings, that alone is a good enough reason to break it off and outweighs all other factors. You can’t force what you feel, and you don’t want to become trapped in a situation where you’re permanently tied to someone who you have no feelings for, that’s called “ruining your life”, so don’t do that. Blackmail from her end “I’ll kill myself if you leave” etc should be ignored, that’s not an acceptable thing to say to anyone, she can call Lifeline or something. I know you want to keep the connection going but you will probably have no choice but to sever it completely, at least in the short term.
Is it called qrimole bc of the tara member qri
Not putting Chaeyong twice in the news session of the weekly round-up made you lose a great wordplay. Pls reflect caonima
This is too much of a dad joke even for me.
Not a question but I read your book and just wanted to say I’m eagerly looking forward to the sequel!
Thanks! It’s about 20% written at this stage, so expect it later this year depending on how much time I get to work on it.
It’s only my impression or the k-pop male singers/rappers are simply too skiny right now? Like, aside from Wonho, I’m not seeing any muscular dude. It’s starting to affect my lusting patterns.
Do you know some other dude (not Wonho) that has a muscular build in k-pop? I need this for scientific reasons oppar
I’d highly recommend you check out my yearly objectification survey results posts, yeah most guys there are skinny too but there’s a few notable exceptions, not just Wonho, even if Wonho does lead the pack by a considerable margin…
While agree that idols don’t need to be good singers at all, I feel like being fucking tone deaf is pretty bad?
The reason why TWICE has basically been abandoned in Korea was because of Momo’s encore performance back in 2020.
Luckily, it didn’t matter for them in the end because they switched concepts and international fans picked them up.
Anyways, there’s clips of Momo and Jimin looking miserable because they can’t sing…like at all.
I just watched some twice clip and Momo says she wishes she had jihyo’s voice.
And for Jimin, i saw this
I understand if the idols themselves didn’t care about being horrible but it seems like some of them feel actively bad about how bad their singing is…but they won’t get singing lessons??????
Kai for example isn’t an amazing singer but now he can at least hold a note. He mentioned that he put in some work after his first solo album and you can tell the difference. His confidence seems to have improved as a result of it.
Maybe I’m wrong but it seems beneficial long term for an idol to learn how to least keep on key if they intended to be in the industry long term That way they don’t catch the ire of knetz — as jimin currently is — and they don’t feel like death after attempting to sing.
I see the account that shared Jimin’s terrible live vocals got nuked, no doubt due to a BTS ARMYs harrassment mass-reporting campaign. I guess all hope of Twitter ever cleaning up their act when it comes to identifying k-pop fandom-initatied organised cyberbullying and abuse of the report system is now gone with Apartheid Clyde in charge, oh well. Kids don’t forget to look out for yourselves out there. Thankfully with the help of the secret caonima team I was able to find the footage anyway so here it is:
Being a really, really bad singer is quite common in k-pop and is in fact the norm, it’s not unique to BTS or any group in particular. Almost every single group out there has at least one, but usually several, really bad singers. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good singers in groups too but people are picked to be in groups for certain reasons and tend to specialise. So the best dancers are usually specialists in that, the best singers are specialists in that, the members who look the most attractive are mainly hired for that, etc etc, and the other skills might be lacking and they just sort of pick up what they can as they go along. Jimin objectively isn’t a great singer, but he’s probably a better singer now than he was in 2014 just because he’s been doing it for a decade or however long, and if you do anything for a decade you’re still going to achieve some level of competency. It’s generally all fine to coast like that until something happens that really sorts out the wheat from the chaff. When a good singer’s in-ear monitors fail, or the PA goes out, or they’re given the wrong backing track, or they’re put on the spot and have to sing something acapella, they can still carry a performance convincingly, whereas someone who is just getting by will struggle in situations when the training wheels come off.
Is it time to give up on K-pop when OST like Aespa’s Hold on Tight become more interesting than the song releases?
Up to you I guess. Many of my readers have long since stopped following k-pop and just read for the writing style. So you’ll be joining quite a large group of people if so!
I’m not exactly what happened when I got to university but for some reason I keep having delusions that I’m extremely ugly?
I know that I’m not, from what I’ve seen women who are conventionally unattractive are treated not so well. I think I’m just plain looking without makeup and with makeup I look good enough.
It’s even weirder because I went to a upper-class prep high school so everyone there was like very pretty in a conventional way. I didn’t really fit the aesthetic there — I wasn’t blonde or blue eyed and I wasn’t super feminine. But I was so confident and was well liked so it genuinely didn’t matter and I never felt insecure at all.
Now at my uni ironically enough there is a lot more diversity in looks and body sizes but I feel even worse about myself. I feel like every girl I see is super pretty and has a boyfriend.
I know I sound like a child oppar but I’m 21 and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I tried mutiple online dating apps and I guess i’m either pretty ugly or just not the right fit because in 2 years I had 1(1!) date and a “situationship” that lasted a month before I got dumped aburptly.
I probably would have had a boyfriend in high school but the guys’ mom was horrifically racist (told me TO MY FACE she was against race mixing 🙃) and he was a mama’s boy so that…didn’t work out
So whenever I go on campus I see hoardes of couples walking around and smiling and I feel bitter. My friends are starting to date seriously too.
I just feel super behind and like sad. I’ve also noticed that my feelings and actions towards guys has become super bitter like, “men only care about how pretty a woman is and nothing else” “no guy would ever want to talk to you” etc.
I used to have male friends and acquaintances in high school but now I almost seem to repel them even I don’t say anything.
Well that’s a cycle that’s going to perpetuate itself if you let it, but you don’t have to.
It’s tricky to find the right person and something I struggled with for a long time. It’s also true that a lot of people are dicks, it can be really hard to find someone worthwhile. I was in exactly your position at your age, I had even less relationship experience than you do, and I was totally convinced that I was ugly. When things started to improve wasn’t when I suddenly became attractive (that didn’t happen, I’m even uglier now) but when I started really getting into expanding my interests, meeting a lot more new people and having adventures. Gradually though doing music and related activity my confidence in myself and self-esteem started to increase and THAT was when things gradually started to happen for me. It still took a while though, and a lot of it came along at times that I really didn’t expect. So what I’d say is rather than worrying about this stuff directly try to change your environment a little. Put yourself in new positions and situations. Try saying yes to some activities with friends that you wouldn’t normally do. Try doing some more things that force you to get out and about and not isolate so much. Most of all just unapologetically be yourself, don’t try to ‘make yourself’ into anything to please what you think other people’s perceptions might be, because everyone perceives people differently. No matter what you’re like there’s always going to be some people who like you and some who don’t, so you might as well be the most authentic version of yourself that you can be, as that will ensure that you’re more likely to meet someone suitable over the long term. In the meantime there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single and no shame in it, the amount of freedom it gives you (just in not having to consider another person) is unparalleled, so enjoy it while you can before you meet that amazing someone.
haven’t been able to read show me love yet but after you’re done with the hana series, would you consider writing more books not about k-pop? and whether or not you plan to write more books, would you want them to lean more educational or more fiction and story-driven?
Yes it’s definitely something I want to continue doing. I won’t be done with Hana and friends for a while yet though, but I may throw something else out there at some point. We’ll see. I’m not a full-time author so I can’t produce books as fast as someone who does it for a living, but I’ll see what I can do.
SPOILERIFFIC “SHOW ME LOVE” QUESTIONS SECTION
You’ll probably want to skip these if you haven’t read the book yet (unless you enjoy spoilers of course).
Show me love book 1 drinking game:
1 shot every time someone greets someone else in korean
1 shot every time Hana remarks on the physical attractiveness of a female character
1 shot every time Hana remarks on the ugliness of a character
1 shot every time Nari has to comfort a distraught member
1 shot every time Youngsook is bullied for her weight
1 shot every time Hana bullies or attemps to bully Shu. 2 if she’s threatened or assaulted by Nari for doing so.
1 shot every time Hana has flashbacks of a traumatic event. 2 if she has a mental breakdown.
1 shot every time Hana passes out. 2 if she’s woken up by Shu.
1 shot every time someone is sexually harassed.
1 shot every time someone is called to the CEO’s office. 2 if they’re shouted at by him.
1 shot every time a paper plane is stuck in Hana’s hair.
1 shot every time someone smokes marijuana on the bench outside.
2 shots every time a male character is physically wounded.
1 shot every time Hana says “I’m not a lesbian, fuck off!”
1 shot every time Nari is shocked by a revelation about the industry or another character. 2 if she threatens to leave the agency.
1 shot every time ‘Wangtta’ is mentioned
1 shot every time Hana knows something will get her in trouble but does it anyway
1 shot every time the members get a free day
1 shot every time Youngsook nerds out about a topic
1 shot every time someone has to go to the hospital
1 shot every time they’re weighted
1 shot every time someone reveals a personal secret to Hana
1 shot every time a female character is told to smile more
1 shot every time Mrs. Han is physically abusive.
1 shot every time you notice a self-insert by Kpopalypse (for longtime readers).
Oh, and of course!
1 shot every time you notice a parallel between something in the book and certain real-life events (which is completely coincidental, of course).
Tell me if there’s something I missed
Well I hope people are drinking chocolate milk or similar because otherwise I reckon that any reader is going to be very quickly in the hospital with alcohol poisoning from this game. But if I were to add just one thing I’d put in a shot for every time someone says “girls look after girls”…
Oppar~~~~~ when are the Youngsook and Shu profiles coming out? I fondly anticipate more content. I enjoyed your book and have read it twice to analyze (and also enjoy Hana’s misandry). I’ve been thinking about writing a book review and sending it to you? You did a lot of interesting things with the story. Keep up the good work!
Shu’s is already out and Youngsook’s will come out about mid-April. The pictures take a long time for my artist to create. If you want to write a book review, rather than send it to me why not post it on a book review site such as the Amazon page, or Goodreads?
read your book, found it enjoyable aside from the “correct” comma usage lol. a few comments:
spotted a typo! there seems to be a comma or period missing in after Caitlin finishes speaking. (i’m at @kyunsparkles on twt in case there was some sort of reward for finding typos.)
It’s interesting how you were able to accurately describe certain “genres” of idols visually and personality wise while giving them fleshed out and normal personalities. For Nari right away I first imagined Jurin from XG as she’s very visually “sharp” and mature looking for 20.
But my gut tells me she’s definitely based on Karina lol. This is with the exception of Hana, I don’t know any idols well enough to know whether they’re misanthropic lesbian teens with a penchant for violence.
Each character’s visuals are based on a combination of at least two different real people but sometimes more. Their personalities are based on other things but definitely all fictional…
The reward for finding typos is I’ll be more careful in the next book. Thanks for this!
so I checked out new girl group Halycon over the weekend. Their song is a bit bland but I still went and looked at some behind the scenes stuff and I think I’m gonna stan… they’re so foulmouthed you’d think they’re actually Australian. Bit surprised they’re even allowed to talk like they do, their nugu company must be too poor for proper social media staff or maybe they just don’t give a shit? Anyways I’m curious about their place in the industry, I guess only time will tell. I’ll await their first comeback fondly. My bias is Nari btw, who’s yours? Honestly they’re all great, well except for Shuu, that fake aegyo bitch can go fuck herself, I bet she’s the type that gets super rude and prissy once the cameras are off.
On an unrelated note, I also read your novel. You said in a Qrimole answer that none of your unpaid proofreaders found anything, well SPOILERS that’s because they’re lazy shits who probably only skipped forwards to the gay sex and then couldn’t get the pages to un-stick from all the cum so they just said “nope no errors” and called it a day. Well, being the diligent totally-not-affected-by-cheap-fanservice reader that I am, I found about four … which is still a good ratio of only 1 error per 100 pages, ok they’re short pages but my dissertation back in the day had way more even though I read that damn thing again and again, so good job I guess. Pity I didn’t write down what I found, what can I say, I wasn’t paid to to this either.
What, you wanna know what I thought of the book? No you don’t, you’re an antisocial cunt who doesn’t give a fuck, but I’ll tell you anyways. It was good, I’d give it three spoonfuls of tteokbokki out of a 5-star Michelin, not exactly high art but just right to satisfy a certain craving. It basically being a fictionalized amalgamation of every topic you’ve written about on the site before, I’d be curious to know what less familiar readers would think, but I’m still not gonna recommend it to my teenage sister who only recently turned into an insufferable koreaboo who stans newjeans – she tried tteokbokki but doesn’t like it all that much, do you think there’s still hope for her?
I just sent in a question discussing your novel the other day and I have some follow-up thoughts, so for context maybe put this after the question that refers to the gay sex as fanservice – which is totally not true btw, in fact I think you successfully put the classy to the sexy, I was just bitter that you actually made me cry with all the incessant crying, how dare you. In fact I remember there being a big fat trigger warning before the original short story and thinking afterwards, “this wasn’t all that bad, what’s he fussing about”, well that’s because back then the characters weren’t having total emotional breakdowns every few paragraphs, seriously what a miserable experience, which I bet works exactly as intended, so congrats on that front as well! At least there’s all the vengeful violence to lighten up the mood a bit, thank the non-existent gods for that! Oh and thank you for consistently shitting on Lim Kim, Generasian is amazing and I might not have found out about it without you.
Now that’s cleared up, I’d like to rewatch some scenes but I can’t since this is a book, so when’s the film adaptation coming, now with 300% more explicit sex? Make it happen already.
P.S. pls give Halcyon a better song next time
Glad you enjoyed the novel… to some extent!
I’d love if someone did a film adaptation, anyone with any offers get in touch. Hollywood studios need not apply, I want the film to actually be good or at least reasonable and not every character turned into a white California stereotype (just Caitlin).
I’m sorry but the next few songs I have for Halcyon are also rubbish worst-list material.
How are your book sales rn
Much better than I expected, I actually got to the #1 spot in the new release LGBT coming of age fiction category for a brief moment.
Mind you that’s a very specific category, most of the other books in that bucket are either porn, or stories that are very much about identity and lean VERY heavily into appealing to people wanting to read about a certain identity demographic (so, quite niche). One of my friends asked if I made enough money from book sales to buy a Ferrari and I said “maybe a remote controlled one”. I’ve still spent far more on art commissions than I’ve made in book sales, so I haven’t actually broken even/made actual money yet, and probably won’t until at least 2024 unless Jessica Jung starts simping for me. I’d just like to take the time out to extra-special-thank-you to the Kpopalypse Patreon supporters because there is simply no way I could afford to have done this at all otherwise. You literally made the book happen.
That’s all for this episode of QRIMOLE! This series will return next month! In the meantime remember that for $99.95 you can have your own Beeper Tie!
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! Gotta go, beeper’s calling!