Monday, April 9, 2012

MAMA - An EXOploration of the South Korean Oedipal Complex

EXO are sick bastards, and don't let any fangirl tell you otherwise.


But why Zaku, why do you say such things? Watch/listen to MAMA and you'll see why. I've prepared a line by line analysis of EXO's Oedipal complex. Definitely not for the TL;DR folks too lazy to read through a wall of text.

Here are the English translations of EXO's MAMA:
Careless, careless. Shoot anonymous, anonymous.
Heartless, mindless. No one. who care about me?
Careless, careless. Shoot anonymous, anonymous.
Heartless, mindless. No one. who care about me?
It feels like I’m turning away as I have lost it
There’s no choice but to hold it in
Though I shut my eyes
MAMA! Now answer me and tell me why people have changed
Has there even been a beautiful time before?
They forgot how to love and lost their heart to care
They’re busy living with their backs turned on each other
Envy, you’re filled with the desire to kill behind an anonymous mass
Even after seeing it you’re filled with hunger
Are you happy now?
Why won’t we look each other in the eye anymore?
Why won’t we communicate? Why won’t we love?
We shed tears at the painful reality once again
Please say that we could change things if we wanted, mama mama
At some point, we have voluntarily trapped ourselves in a smart prison
0 & 1 were used to create a digit for my personality
There’s no life, emotion or warmth but just garbage language A desolately rolling meadow
Loneliness adds as the days go by
We have to be humans because we get scars yeah
We meet, hold hands, feel, laugh and cry together
We resemble one another and we are connected
But if you want to turn it back
Why won’t we look each other in the eye anymore?
Why won’t we communicate? Why won’t we love?
We shed tears at the painful reality once again
Please say that we could change things if we wanted, mama mama
Turnback!
Die, kill, fight, shout – this is it a war
Help us mama mama mama mama mama turn back
Help us realize mama mama mama mama rolling back
Clash, hit, take sides, fight – this is not a game
Help us mama mama mama mama mama turn back
Yeah
Careless, careless. (mama) Shoot anonymous, anonymous. (mama)
Heartless, mindless. (mama) No one. Who care about me? (mama)
I’m grateful to be allowed to live in this blessed days
If only we can make new relationships
Rather than broken hearts, having a joyful love altogether
If only we can all smile together
Why won’t we look each other in the eye anymore?
Why won’t we communicate? Why won’t we love?
We shed tears at the painful reality once again
Please say that we could change things if we wanted, mama mama
Careless, careless. Shoot anonymous, anonymous.
Heartless, mindless. No one. who care about me?

Source: LYBIO.net

As you can see, EXO have deep seated issues that have inadvertently revealed themselves through their debut song "MAMA." EXO have Oedipal complexes which are illustrated and elaborated upon within the lyrics of this song.

"Heartless, mindless. No one. who care about me?
Careless, careless. Shoot anonymous, anonymous."


The first lines reflect EXO's emotional anguish at a perceived betrayal of their love for their mothers. Because the mothers express their love and emotion in a purely maternal fashion, the EXO boys are deeply wounded and are thus lost and adrift in the world. EXO are acutely aware that their love is unrequited, and are equal parts enraged and sorrowful that their mothers cannot see this love for what it is. They feel like their mothers mothers are heartless, mindless, careless individuals who do not care about them. EXO, lacking this emotional pillar in their lives, feel like they have been abandoned and are "shot" by their mothers who have become so distant as to be anonymous figures.

"It feels like I’m turning away as I have lost it
There’s no choice but to hold it in
Though I shut my eyes"


Because they do not have the love they so desperately seek from their mothers, they feel shunned or exiled from a perceived happiness they can no longer attain. Societal expectations and norms very clearly define this relationship as taboo, and as such, EXO cannot share these feelings with anyone for fear of further alienation or reprisal.

"MAMA! Now answer me and tell me why people have changed
Has there even been a beautiful time before?
They forgot how to love and lost their heart to care
They’re busy living with their backs turned on each other
Envy, you’re filled with the desire to kill behind an anonymous mass
Even after seeing it you’re filled with hunger
Are you happy now?"


Enraged and hurt, EXO rail out against their mothers and demand answers. Remembering the simpler times in life when it was merely them and their mothers caring for them, they lash out and angrily ask what has caused this shift in their relationship. They feel like their mothers have forgotten about them, turning their backs and ignoring the ones who truly love them unconditionally. Again making reference to the emotional distancing their mothers have created so far as to become faceless and anonymous, EXO seek to bridge the chasm between them by attempting to guilt their mothers into returning.

Also, the use of MAMA is a symbolic bilingual pun of sorts. MAMA means "mother" in English, and "MAMA (마마) means "royalty" in Korean. Thus within the context of this song, MAMA can be interpreted as an idolization of their mothers as royalty. Queens, empresses, whathave you. Think of it as a Freudian slip.

"Why won’t we look each other in the eye anymore?
Why won’t we communicate? Why won’t we love?
We shed tears at the painful reality once again
Please say that we could change things if we wanted, mama mama"


In this effort to guilt their mothers, EXO clearly outlines the things their mothers have done to distance themselves from their sons. With each line, EXO becomes increasingly distraught, eventually reverting to a near-juvenile rhetoric.

"At some point, we have voluntarily trapped ourselves in a smart prison
0 & 1 were used to create a digit for my personality
There’s no life, emotion or warmth but just garbage language A desolately rolling meadow
Loneliness adds as the days go by"


Having exhausted themselves in an emotional outpouring, EXO now feels hollow and empty inside. They liken this condition to being mechanical and machine-like, saying they've voluntarily trapped themselves in a smart prison (an allusion to The Matrix). 0 and 1 refers to binary code, another symbolic representation of the lack of emotion or humanity the abandonment of their mothers has created in their lives.

"We have to be humans because we get scars yeah
We meet, hold hands, feel, laugh and cry together
We resemble one another and we are connected
But if you want to turn it back"



Returning to a more rational plea, EXO outline what it means to be human, what it means to love. All of the things their mothers are denying them because of this unrequited love.

"Die, kill, fight, shout – this is it a war
Help us mama mama mama mama mama turn back
Help us realize mama mama mama mama rolling back
Clash, hit, take sides, fight – this is not a game
Help us mama mama mama mama mama turn back"


Now newly energized, EXO resolve to fight for their women, in this case, their mothers. However, this materializes in a deranged declaration of "war" on their mother's hearts. They seek to forcibly conquer the hearts of their mothers and establish a requited love, one way or another. Despite this fall into madness, at their core EXO remain the innocent young boys who fell in love with their mothers. This dichotomy is reflected in a subconscious plea for a peaceful solution. This subconscious effect is created by the juxtaposition of "Help us" between the violent calls to action, symbolizing their desire for their mother's love to be willingly given and not forcibly taken.


"I’m grateful to be allowed to live in this blessed days
If only we can make new relationships
Rather than broken hearts, having a joyful love altogether
If only we can all smile together"


In the end, EXO express optimism for success behind a thinly veiled threat. Feeling "grateful to be allowed to live in these blessed days" is contingent on being allowed to "make new relationships," or being able to secure the love of their mothers.

EXO's behavior or attitudes as expressed in the song are consistent with the obsessive and often deranged delusions of a stalker. Though highly flawed and at times alarming, EXO's MAMA is at its core a love song for their mothers, a reflection of the South Korean national psyche.

24 comments:

  1. OPPPPPPPPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ღ♥ღ愛してる~~~~~~~~~~ღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღღ♥ღ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This MV was way too try-hardish. It's obvious SM dumped all their money on them in hopes of success, but the song isn't even good and I still can't name half of the members of this group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >2012
      >not having memorized every member's name, symbol and super power in the MV

      ishygddt

      Delete
  3. Nice to see you blog posting zakubot!!! I salute you and all the other gundams (Zero Type Wing/XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero, Heero Yuy!!! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice to see you blog posting zakubot!!! I salute you and all the other gundams (Zero Type Wing/XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero, Heero Yuy!!! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  5. I skipped after reading the taboo unrequinted live part.
    I dun really care bout exo
    With ur essay. i giv u a piece of shit bcuz of ur hardwork

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love*
      Typing it with an galaxy note
      *excuses*

      Delete
    2. Love was the only thing you corrected in this? lmao

      Delete
  6. Were you the one that wrote that on Hallyu8 or did you ripped off the author? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallyu8's zaku and I are the same person, if that wasn't obvious enough.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. People thought that Suck Mine couldn't find a bigger group of pussies than DBSK and they brought us Sheechul and Super Senior. Then we thought "You can't get more pussy than this" and BAMM! Here comes SHINee. Now they've managed to round up an even bigger set of pussies than Diva Key and Miss Taemin. Poor Amber is the last shred of masculinity they have left in that company.

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  9. In this song, MAMA does NOT mean mother as in the woman.. It is referring to Mother Nature, Creator, Higher authority thingy..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You! Jesus Christ, why is everyone bashing them so badly? The person who wrote that whole essay at the top needs to do their damn homework some more. Obviously they had no idea that the group was singing about Mother Nature and not their own mothers. Thank you for clarifying that, Lavanya.

      Delete
  10. or maybe 'mama' is meant to refer only to the korean definition? wouldn't that make a whole lot more sense than trying to twist the song's meaning into some oedipal drama? -_-

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  11. Woah! You obviously took the effort to write a whole essay about their song?! I'm sorry but you just looked really stupid thinking that MAMA even remotely referred to an actual mother in here. FYI, MaMa in korean means YOUR HIGHNESS/YOUR MAJESTY and in the song it is used to refer to Mother Earth asking her what happened to the world in this Internet/Digital age. The ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me. You obviously have a lot of free time in your hands.

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  12. On a side note, i actually enjoy reading the stuff on this blog, I think you guys are hilarious. But this article was just, well..ridiculous! ;P

    ReplyDelete
  13. Except "mama" in this case doesn't mean "mother". In Korean "mama" means "Your Higness" or "Her Majesty" so their referring to an all powerful creator, kind of like a queen

    ReplyDelete
  14. To everyone who obviously lacks the reading comprehension or attention to detail to notice:

    "Also, the use of MAMA is a symbolic bilingual pun of sorts. MAMA means "mother" in English, and "MAMA (마마) means "royalty" in Korean. Thus within the context of this song, MAMA is an idolization of their mothers as royalty. Queens, empresses, whathave you."

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  15. Exo is referring to mother nature using both the english and the korean version of MAMA together. Exo is asking why have we turned our backs on her and each other. They want to know why we can't work together in harmony and all that lovey dovey shit. God get real! are you actually telling me you believe that load of shit that you posted. They don't have mommy issues but you obviously do and are calling out for help through your post. Get a therapist and your life!!

    ReplyDelete