Tuesday, August 4, 2015

WYMBFOS 4: Reaction Videos

Why is it that I have to add "-reaction" to the search every time I look up a kpop song? Very rarely there might be a "my friends who don't know about kpop" one, which could perhaps offer a slight insight into where cultural perceptions presently stand (even though we all know what it will be unless maybe you're showing girl groups to guys), but most of them are someone recording themselves. Here are the reasons this practice is shit:

1] Nobody gives a shit how you reacted. Nobody knows who you are, you aren't even youtube famous or a live streamer or anything, so your feelings are not important to the general public. The only people who could possibly care are friends, who could just watch you react in person or on Skype or something.

2] That probably isn't your real reaction. You see, when you set up a camera to watch you react to something so that others can see it, that has a psychological effect that at best makes you self-conscious to hide things that you may perceive as unflattering, and at worst makes you fake react more obnoxiously than a JAV star getting her cooch stuffed.

3] The fact that a fake reaction is more likely because you set this up to record yourself stems from a larger issue: This is a practice of pure vanity done for attention and likes. That is not only groundless (Point 1) and disingenuous (Point 2) but obnoxious in it's own right. When you want to interject yourself into the public sphere (in this case, search results and recommendations) to take up people's time and attention and possibly even make a little money from it, you should be offering something meaningful like a review or commentary. This is not something meaningful because...

4] Reactions have nothing to do with genuine reception. The only thing they are good for is marketing evaluation to figure out if it's the kind of thing that makes people buzz to get your product attention. Every single time you react to something, it sinks in a bit more, and then you discover your true feelings about it. So these videos are not only an imposition of something that is and ought to be a more personal social experience, but it's a personal social experience that is only worthwhile for the emotional bond that the shared experience would inspire, as right afterward only the memory of that first contact with the material that is shared with others remains and then the true thoughts and feelings about the material develops. So you are literally trying to elevate to substantial meaning something that is really only worth the sentiment of a memory had it been shared with friends, which it was not.

So if you make these videos, care about them, and/or regularly interact with this phenomenon among the kpop fandom as if it matters at all, congratulations! You are participating in a completely meaningless, utter waste of time. You might be full of shit.

27 comments:

  1. There was one up for 'So Crazy' less than 10 minutes after it came out.

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    1. some youtuber actually don't like to react to tara on purpos every time a song comeout they are the most known kpop youtubers you propably know them better then methey lick the shit out of snsd and bigbang and even react to all the new groups but still don't react to t ara you propably know them better then me

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    2. USE INTERPUNCTION you lazy fuck.

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  2. Unfortunately, there are people thinking that they care about such crap. Some of those worthless videos have several 10k views.

    I saw two black dudes once being introduced to some K-pop by their friend and that was pretty damn funny how they reacted.

    Of course, there is also the other way around, Korean people reacting to western music:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejY-SSI_1-0

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    1. Well keep in mind that youtube is doing free advertising for them. When an official MV has like 5-10 million views, I wouldn't be surprised if 10k was people flippantly clicking on a suggested video or search result and going "What is this? ...Wow, this is incredibly dumb."

      I think the ones with the Korean girls are cultural commentary more than anything else. The interview format asking about particular things from particular angles is what makes them (aside from dimples girl).

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  3. My favorites are the creepy old white guys who react with love struck eyes to girl group videos. I delight in the creepy deliciousness of it all. The really effeminate gays who probably fantasize about being in T-ara or GG because they want to wear pretty outfits and strut are entertaining as well.

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  4. I completely agree with the faked reactions part. Sometimes I watch certain reaction videos and can't avoid how fake and two-faced they are. I wish they showed their true selves without playing a character.

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  5. there are a few videos where youtubers actually break down the songs and analyze them musically which is pretty interesting, but those are usually far and few between

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  6. I can't stand the exaggerated faces most "popular" reaction vid people make. And they always use the most punchable one for the thumbnail.

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  7. I couldn't stand a lot of reaction videos, but I really like Mrjkpop. He obviously knows A LOT about music, and analyzes it in a way that I'm not capable of doing myself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg0G24h9sJM

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    1. As someone who understands and analyzes music regularly, I really can't stand his videos lol
      He'll say something like, "The syncopation here is genius" and it'll be some basic clave present in a bunch of songs, or like in his review for Black Swan, he was criticizing the "space" and tempo changes when the synths and changes that make the song's atmosphere were probably the best things about the song.

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    2. well music reviews are opinionated in the first place. I may not agree with all of his reviews (though most of the time our tastes coincide to varying degrees) but the fact that he is making an attempt to create more analytical kpop reaction/reviews instead of ye olde fangasm reaction vids that this article shits on is worthy of respect.

      Mr JKpop almost is like a more PC/positive version of Kpopalypse/some of the other reviewers at AKF; goes through the song and analyzes the content in a more technical manner, but less likely to straight up call out a song for being a steaming pile of shit.

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    3. He does reviews. You don't need to give numbered scores for it to be a review.

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    4. I guess I just don't care much for what he finds innovative in a Kpop song. The only genius thing I've heard in a Kpop song recently is SNSD's Express 999 when they sang and dance in odd meter. It kinda just feels like he's trying too hard to find musical intricacy in Pop music. Granted Kpop is significantly more interesting musically than a lot of Western Pop imo, but still, I feel like just gets too much sometimes. Nothing against liking his reviews though.

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    5. Oh I definitely agree that is what he is doing, and it is a rather silly thing to conflate intricacy with merit or quality, however there is an inherent value to understanding what you like about what you like because the people who make these songs have to think about these things and make choices.

      For instance, you probably never really think about hammers in an evaluative sense, you just think they are some random things for pounding things. Yet I bet if you were doing some construction project for a while, and then borrowed a hammer from a very experienced construction guy, his hammer would be way higher quality than whatever shit you were using. If you stopped to analyze why it was just simply better, you'd come into awareness of a small world of hammer craftsmanship where certain choices are made that you'd never even think about unless you took on the task of making the best one you could. If you gained familiarity with these things, you'd better be able to know and articulate what you do and don't like about different hammers.

      With music, it is often the same, except music covers such a wide range of purposes, it would likely be more comparable to any type of hammer in existence. The point is, many people receive it thoughtlessly but there is a lot to it, and those who make the music think about these things and make choices and have certain goals in mind for each project. With analysis, even if you don't need music for the purpose intended, with better understanding you may at least be able to get and appreciate what is going on with it. So people like Mr JKpop may be up their own ass a bit, but their habits are at least in an effort to respect and appreciate their fellow man and the work of artists in a more genuine sense, but reaction videos are of the superficial mindset that initial emotional impressions are the important thing and music is just thoughtlessly used and tossed away for serving this like toilet paper.

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    6. Ooh, okay I get you. That makes perfect sense. And now I can appreciate his videos a bit more, epecially since I understand everything he says

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  8. I like 2minjinkjongkey tho (Cortney and Jasmine.) They're fun, and a lot of the time, their reactions are just them staring into the screen, which is pretty genuine, and afterward they do a little chat, mostly about the styling, dance, context, and general music stuff. I think because theyre one of the more popular channels and have been doing it for quite sometime, their reactions are less fabricated and mostly just their personalities on a camera and because theyre funny and interesting, people like watching them say stuff.

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    1. I honestly can't stand those two girls. BUT I like watching their reaction videos to EXO or Teen Top because it's just damn amusing. They be thirsty is fuck. Like literally, they're everything you imagine a fangirl to be.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGbCGR6LFQw

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    2. Lol true, but idk, I just find them more entertaining than the typical rabid fangirl. Like in their reaction to Red Light and Luna was on another level and they were catching their life. Moreso videos like that.

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  9. I admit to liking stuff like "Let's Plays", mainly because my computer can't handle games for shit, and I have a select few Lets Players I like, but I agree, reaction videos are a bore. A stupid, stupid bore. Not a smidgen of entertainment to me. If I wanna watch the MV i'll watch the MV, not some idiot reacting to it.

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    1. The only things that I could say I care about that fall even NEAR the music video reaction category are the Music Monday videos that EYK used to do, but even those are more like fuckin' reviews than reaction videos.

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  10. The best ones are the ones who react to every video the same way, don't even say what they thought of the video at the end and get a lot of views, I mean what?

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  11. My problem with them is- what's the point of watching a reaction video? Why would you care about someone else's reaction; can't you just enjoy the music video by itself? The only reason I can think of would be because people want to know if they SHOULD like the song or not. They want to fit in with their crowd, and don't want their tastes to be criticized, so they see how others are reacting. Well maybe another reason would be to learn more about the technical part of the songs, but people just use that to pretend like their taste in music is superior to other's.

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    1. or if they're entertaining: funny or whatever

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  12. I hate these UCAADs. I can't search a kpop video without reaction videos appearing on search results. Nobody gives a fuck about your clickbait videos UCAADs, just fuck off.

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  13. What about using it as a marketing tool? I think it's a great way of expanding the reach of the K-pop genre. K-pop is growing in worldwide popularity, and I even see it increasing here in the U.S. I'm working on a concept to try and introduce to K-pop to those who aren't familiar with it. What would you do to make it better? What's the best way of bringing it to a more broader audience? I would love to here your suggestions!

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