Sunday, May 29, 2016

Radiolab's episode on K-poparazzi

A bit late, but this weekend I was catching up with some podcasts I like, and by chance found that the well-known Radiolab did a show back in February on K-pop. I gave it a listen. There's certainly nothing new there if you're familiar with Korea at all. You can get a decent text summary of the show here

Here are just my two-cents of reaction, as a guy not all that into K-pop. 

A professor they interviewed made a comment that the overall style and image of many K-pop groups is taken straight out of manga (Japanese style comic books). I can definitely see that especially in the boy groups. A lot of their outfits and styles are just completely impractical and impossible to wear outside, but fit right at home in wild J-gothic style comics. 

Image: mamaa
Come on, those hairstyles belong in the panels of a comic, not your shitty part time job at the CU. They must spend an hour at least in the makeup chair. I wonder if this manwha styling of boy groups is a tactic to allure the youngest female fans into the K-pop consumer group, milking as many years out of their fan loyalty as possible. Girl groups have the whole bright/cute thing for female fans, and those legs for days for the male fans of any/every age. 

Another interesting tidbit: when the trainee girls are living in the entertainment company dorms, part of their fitness routine is to be out hiking the mountains around Seoul at 5am. Well damn, I ought to get my ass out of bed. I always figured the mountain at 5am was strictly ajusshi territory, but if a youthful Girls Generation type group is there, I ought to rethink it. 

Here's a term I wasn't familiar with: "black ocean" when the fans all shut off their phone and glowstick lights, to show disapproval of whatever artist is on stage and did whatever minor insult that drives crazy fans against them.

I had known about the whole Ailee nude photos scandal, but had not realized that it was only the English-language Allkpop website that had posted them publicly. Their news reports really are the lowest quality, and half the time their "translations" of hot issues get several details wrong. Nobody should trust them for "news" so I'm not that surprised that it would be them. I've seen them, by the way (a quick search brings them up, not that hard, pun intended). Nothing special. Typical grainy low-res style from digital cameras back then. Always glad I'm old enough that no photos of me are circulating out there (trust me, nobody would want to see them anyway).


Well there you have it. If you're bored give it a listen but like I said if you're familiar with Korea at all, there's nothing new. I'll embed it below just in case. 

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