The Korean pop industry is too powerful and embedded in the Korean political/legal structure (read: criminal) for what gets written in the media to be any true threat to the status quo. Korean politics, gossip sites, netizens and k-pop have a symbiotic relationship which is all-too-obvious - without k-pop creating such a hefty side-culture of bullshit, people would have a lot less to whine about and might have to actually redirect their focus onto something real that actually matters. Since actual journalism and healthy debate isn't a palatable idea in Korea's "sweep problems under the rug because we must keep up appearances at all costs" culture, pop scandal is a convenient distraction for everybody to concern themselves with instead. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a deliberate "bread and circuses" conspiracy on anybody's part to have pop culture as this massive distraction (conspiracy theories generally are political junk food for the fuckwitted) but it's certainly a good situation for those in charge and no doubt they realise it. Imagine for a moment, if every EXO-L were as passionate about the fate of their country as they are about EXO, and you'll quickly realise it too.
That's why I don't care about scandal. I don't care if the things the media says or that netizens speculate on are true or false, and that's why I'm generally not in a rush to cover any of it. I applaud anyone who doesn't give a fuck about k-pop scandal. I only care that:
- Music I like continues to surface
- There are sometimes hot girls
1. Black and white thinking
Here's a list of all the things that Seo Jisoo from Lovelyz was accused of when Lovelyz debuted:
- Being a lesbian
- Spreading nude photos of other girls
- Date rape
- Animal abuse
- School bullying
- Inserting buttplugs into other girls
- Taping hidden sex cameras
- Being an Infinite sasaeng
- Creepy online roleplay
- Being the best ever cum in your life
Whenever someone tries to paint a person or group of people as 100% villains, and another person or group of people as 100% saints (in this case, the "victims", who actually turned out to be a male with a buttplug fetish), I call bullshit. It's a sure sign of fabrication, and I've seen it before - it's what the media always does when they want to put a spin on a story, they'll remove anything that conflicts with their chosen spin and exaggerate their chosen angle as much as they can. Netizens do it as well when they decide that they want to demonise somebody - suddenly all their previously-noted good qualities mysteriously vanish. As soon as you see that happen - look out, the bullshit circus is on its way.
People tend to take what they read in the news and on websites mostly on face value, or at least with a "I guess I can't be sure, let's wait and see" attitude, but the media's spin becomes really obvious when an article appears about something that you actually know a fucking lot about. Example: many years ago I was on my lunch break from work, and I picked up the newspaper. I was astonished to see that on the front page was a guy who I knew quite well from the local heavy metal scene. Unfortunately he wasn't on the front page because his band had hit the big time, instead it was because he had been shot dead at a city nightclub. I read through the article, and it was hilarious - they talked about what a wonderful guy he was, how he had a great relationship with his parents and his girlfriend, how he loved feeding the ducks by the pond and listening to Beethoven. If you were to read this article and take it on face value you'd think that the man was a perfect angel. Of course they left out anything that might contradict this picture-perfect image of him - that he was in a reasonably well-known local thrash metal band, that he liked smoking marijuana, that he had a mouth on him and was a real shit-stirrer who wouldn't hesitate to hurl abuse and even get violent with people he didn't like (which was probably what got him shot). However these aspects of his character didn't fit the narrative, so they were excluded from the newspaper story. I laughed as I read it, I thought to myself "wow, feeding ducks - that's a new euphemism for dope-smoking that I hadn't heard about until now, he would laugh if he could read this now". The newspaper weren't about to let truth and a fully-rounded picture of him as a person get in the way of the "he was a flawless angel" article that they wanted to write.
If you want a k-pop example, think of the recent incident between Lee Taeim and Yewon. The media picked a side - they wanted to demonise Lee Taeim so that's what they did, even changing the dialogue to turn a shades-of-grey situation into a black-and-white one. Then the truth came out and the media outlets now look stupid... but usually that doesn't happen and people just carry on believing whatever bullshit is written about.
Media loves to portray things as black-and-white as possible and they'll fudge the truth to make that happen constantly. When Australian spree killer Martin Bryant's images were released to the public, his eyes were subtly doctored by the media so he looked more bug-eyed (and hence "crazy") than he really was. On the other hand when Rolling Stone published an image of the Boston Bomber that just looked kind of normal, they were accused of glamorising him by an angry public. Today's hive-minded morons can't comprehend shades of grey or the idea that their villains are any less than 100% pure evil so the media play to the lowest common denominator and give the people what they want. Expect it fondly from your k-pop media as well, and know that when it happens, the truth is usually a lot more nuanced, because in real life nobody is the "bad guy" or the "good guy" 100% of the time.
2. Evidence without evidence, proof without proof
K-pop fans have a fairly strange relationship with the words "evidence" and "proof". Apparently, little do they know that "proof" has to actually prove something to be proof, and "evidence" actually has to make something evident to be evidence. Let's take this well-known example:
Here's what this picture makes evident:
- Singer IU and Super Junior's Eunhyuk know each other well enough to be in the same room together
- IU and Eunhyuk are close enough as friends/fuckbuddies/lovers/acquaintances/whatever that their faces can only be a few inches from each other in a photo
- IU is wearing pajamas
- IU is really shit at taking photos
- IU deleted this picture pretty quicksmart after she uploaded it (not quick enough though)
- IU might be wearing pajamas because she was sick, as the Loen/1thek press release stated. Or maybe she just put them on after a good fucking from Eunhyuk. Maybe she left them on during the fucking because Eunhyuk has a pink pajama fetish. Maybe IU just wanders around the place in pajamas all the time because it's comfortable. The photo was taken in early November and I understand it's pretty cold in Korea at around that time, maybe she was just cold and her pajamas are warm.
- Eunhyuk may have that expression on his face because he just came and then wiped his dick on IU's pink pajamas, or maybe he has that expression because it's a really awkward pose for him to bend over like that so he's in the shot for IU's wonky-as-fuck camerawork. Maybe this is the tenth photo they took together and he's just fucking tired and over this selca bullshit, "bitch hold the camera steady for once in your fucking life, what's with you chicks and your fucking selcas of everything" perhaps that's what he's saying. Maybe he has a headache. Maybe he functions on only a few hours sleep per night as many idols do. Maybe IU really is sick and he's worried about catching it so he's cringing a bit and trying not to inhale any germs.
- IU and Eunhyuk might be on a bed together. They might also be on a couch together. They might be sleeping together. They might have spent the night together. They might have just sided up next to each other just for this one photo. Maybe they stayed together all day, as close as this. Maybe Eunhyuk left the building five seconds after IU insisted taking this photo because she was all like "I've always loved SuJu can I please have a photo with you" and he said "ok you annoying bitch here you go, can I fucking leave now?".
- Maybe IU deleted this from her SNS because she was worried that her affair with Eunhyuk would become public knowledge. Or maybe she deleted it because she isn't having such an affair but she can see that a photo of her in her pajamas with Eunhyuk could be misinterpreted. Maybe she removed it because she thought that it would upset SuJu fans, or IU fans, or both.
Personally I'd like to believe that they both fucked all night with multiple cameras rolling and edited down a professional-looking video and then left the tape with a note for the cleaner the next morning with instructions on which AV network to leak it to. But I don't actually give a shit, and in the meantime the picture proves nothing of the sort (unfortunately).
Here's more "evidence", the notorious "Boram broke Hwayoung' umbrella" screencaps, and I hesitate to even post these because the T-ara scandal is so boring and played-out, but it's a good example as any other and I think my mum would be proud that I finally covered this:
Here's what this screencap makes evident:
- Hwayoung is holding an umbrella, which is broken
- Boram is behind her at one point
The umbrella was clearly broken already, before Boram even came up to her. I knew my mother wouldn't do a thing like that. All of the T-ara "evidence" is just like this, easily debunked once put into context. Yet people still call it "evidence" or "proofs" anyway - let's hope that they don't consider a career in the legal profession.
These "evidences" although inconclusive at best (like with IU) and downright lies at worst (like with T-ara) are still powerful because they only show part of the picture, and they leave people's imaginations to do the rest, and people's imaginations are hugely powerful things, especially when we're talking about young and dumb k-pop fans. The important thing to remember here is when you look at "evidence" look at what is actually happening, not what you imagine could possibly be happening, lest you look like a fool and Kpopalypse makes fun of you with a post like this and holds you up to contemptuous ridicule. If you see anything like the above pictures paraded out as "proof" in future scandals, you're probably being massively lied to, so you know already to be wary and get that bullshit-detector on full alert.
3. Laughable netizen "detective" work
I always chuckle to myself when people talk about "netizen CSI" - it's an apt description, but not for the reasons that people think. Comparing netizens to CSI makes perfect sense only because CSI is complete fiction and absolutely unlike the kind of work that police investigative units actually do in reality. Really, netizens are the most shit detectives ever, and how they got a reputation as even vaguely competent at detective work is anybody's guess, because they fail time and time again to meet even the most basic standards of logical processing of information. I bet they couldn't even do common police work like write a GUI in Visual Basic to track a killer's IP address.
Let's look at IU again, just because I'm too lazy to think up a more recent example, and also I generally like looking at IU so why the fuck not:
The top photo is Eunhyuk's bedroom (apparently). The bottom photo is IU's eye from the pajama photo before. Supposedly, the light reflected in IU's eye is the light from Eunhyuk's bedroom. This is a pretty typical example of "netizen CSI" at work - obsessing over tiny details while failing to grasp what they might mean in the bigger picture, like a retard suffering from high-functioning autism who can count playing cards in a deck but can't stop getting his drool all over them to the point where he'd get kicked out of the casino before making any money from his card-counting abilities. Here's what we know about this collection of pictures:
- There's something square and bright reflected in IU's eye
- The light in Eunhyuk's bedroom is square and bright
- Maybe they're the same light. Or maybe they're not. Maybe there's more than one square light on a ceiling in the whole of Korea. Maybe it's the same model of light, in a different room. Maybe all SM artists get the same standard-issue square lights for their bedrooms, which would actually make sense because why have different fittings for each room if you've got a ton of rooms that are exactly the same. Hotel rooms don't have different light fittings in each room either, and the better SM dorms seem like hotels. Maybe IU and Eunhyuk were in Shindong's room having a threesome.
- The two square lights don't seem to be quite the same shape, but maybe it's the angle that's a factor - diagonal in the bedroom photo, straight-on in the IU selca.
- Maybe it's something else square and bright reflected in IU's eye, like a window opposite. It certainly seems to be rather big and vertically long suggesting typical window dimensions rather than a ceiling light fitting.
- If it was a ceiling light fitting, why would it be reflected in the middle of IU's eye suggesting an object placed on her horizontal plane (like a window), rather than the top of her eye as one would expect from the angle of a ceiling being... you know, up? But then maybe IU is lying in a weird position so that's what makes it look that way (remember Eunhyuk might be grimacing because he's uncomfortable with IU's insistence on taking such an awkwardly-angled selca).
- Why the fuck is there a weird teddy bear in Eunhyuk's room, and why is it staring straight to camera? Is this Five Nights At Freddys, SM Edition? Why aren't the netizens onto this? If I were them I'd be concerned.
Congratulations netizens, you have correctly identified a square thing as being square and another square thing as also being square. While it's good to know that you were paying attention to shapes class in pre-school, perhaps the world of hardcore detectivism (that's a word, because it's my blog and I said so) is beyond you and you should spend a little more time there identifying stupid-looking hip-hop jackets before venturing out into the big bad world you fucking losers. In the meantime, let's not kid ourselves that these people have any special abilities beyond being exceptionally obsessive-compulsive. Whenever you hear "netizen detectives" are on the case, be prepared for some major bullshit... yes they might be right, but a drunk person pissing in a pub toilet while blindfolded also might get most of his piss in the bowl, that doesn't mean he's a fucking genius with a PhD in urology and fluid dynamics, it just means he stumbled around with his dick out and got lucky.
So that's it for me, kids. Remember next time you see a scandal developing and want to know who is feeding you bullshit, remember:
- Kpopalypse has it covered
- Use your brain
- Nobody cares, especially not Qri
- Lists with dot points are cool