Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dear Kalliope: A Kpop Advice Column

Dear Kalliope,

I have been a big fan of kpop for many years, even though I don't live in Korea or speak Korean. However, my friends all think the music is dumb and shallow, and that I'm some kind of creepy Asian fetishist because I think kpop idols are hot. What can I tell my friends to convince them that I'm not a dumb creeper? 

-Totally Angered by Rude Assholes

Dear T(-)ARA,

Okay, first of all, you are not the racist one if your friends think it's creepy to be attracted to Asian people. If you phrase it like that to your rude friends, I bet it'll shut them up real quick. Hot people are hot, regardless of their race.

If your reaction to this is negative, you might be a racist.
Plus, though kpop gets a lot of flack for schoolgirl outfits and cutesy stuff that lots of Western people automatically assume makes kpop fans a bunch of borderline pedophiles, Western music is just as bad, if not even worse. Plus, that last video is racist as fuck.

So now we've dealt with their claims that you're a creep for liking kpop. What do you say when your dumb friends accuse kpop of being inferior to Western music? Well, first of all, most Western pop music is fucking appalling.

Secondly, kpop is, yes, pretty derivative of Western pop music trends (see: Ailee's extremely thinly veiled ripping off of Beyonce), but it also draws on an incredibly diverse range of sources including Indian and Western classical music, doo-wop, discoreggae and multi-car highway traffic accidents. Yeah, kpop is derivative as hell. But it takes Western pop trends at their peak, wipes all the dirt of them, ties them up in a pretty bow and makes a bunch of incredibly well-trained and super sexy people perform them. Plus, if you're not a Korean speaker, that means you get all the excitement of English-language pop music minus the insufferably stupid lyrics. Sure, if your friends would rather to listen to two ugly people screech the incredibly poetic lyrics "let's Marvin Gaye and get it on," they can be my fucking guest. But they should consider ... not doing that.

Most music is terrible and there's no way to actually objectively evaluate music quality anyway, so you might as well watch a bunch of hot girls dance while you enjoy their incredibly complex harmonies and unique vocal deliveries or what the fuck ever. So, in conclusion: listen to whatever music you want, and don't listen to a bunch of discriminatory under-educated dickwads. Good luck!

Got a question (kpop-themed or otherwise) that you want me to give you some mediocre advice about? Leave it in the comments below and I'll answer it in a future installment of Dear Kalliope. 

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. How do I cope with the rise of schoolgirl concept trends, I was always someone who really like KPOP because it had funk, hip hop and the kind of music I listened to back in High School because I prefer that over rock music. But all these new girl groups reminds me of those shitty idol groups from Japan.

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  3. Aerosmith's Crazy has such a great music video.

    While I don't like either of the two western pop videos you picked out for being "fucking appalling", I think there is MUCH worse shit out there.

    I was really awaiting Catallena as the Indian music. lol

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    1. Yeah, I agree, but I intentionally chose songs that hit #1 in America so that it would be sufficiently representative of pop music tastes in the West.

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  4. Someone at school once accused me of having yellow fever for liking kpop. I didn't even know what that was until I had someone explain it to me via twitter and when I hear what it meant I was in shock. How does the genre of music you listen to along with the fact you find those people correlate to some weird race fetishizing?(I know I butchered that spelling.) Genre's of music outside of mainstream Western music and especially in Asia aren't the most diverse because not every country is the USA and it seams that they just can't comprehend that.

    That said, we've all come across some fans that actually DO fetishize K-pop idols for being Asia, but it's incredibly rare.

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  5. I like skinny hot chicks that dress well and have at least some talent - nuff said.

    Kpop is a feast for the eye's and well musically - nothing really too breakthrough but usually well mixed and easy to listen to. Jpop is just plain weird although Perfume is damn good, E-girls are tolerable and when I need a laugh well AKB48000 (must be by now) and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu are there. Weather Girls, Popu Lady, Supergirls etc. had/have some game and there are some lookers but they just don't have the polish musically or visually of Kpop - yet.... The influx of the C-lines and J-lines into Kpop is a good thing and will likely raise or change their game back home. Good time to just enjoy it - haters and labelists be damned....

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    1. Not really, there is simply no place for J-lines back in Japan. You are doomed to flop unless you are a dancing robot from the soulless idol machine in Japan

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    2. Oh Unknown, never change, never stop mindlessly hate on Japanese music.

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    3. I agree that right now the the J-lines are not really Jpop material but what I was trying to convey is that if they keep losing talented lookers to Kpop and if Kpop keeps increasing market share in Japan (and other countries) the local music scenes will change and adapt. Yes the Japan music scene is actually bigger but Kpop is growing there and as people age, past biases and butthurt will be forgotten - hell the Twice J-line is a hit in Korea. Will be interesting to watch unfold.

      Will Kpop trot out gravure idol mags - probably never, will Jpop trot out more girl groups of talented babes - probably will as the younger demos are all over the kpop scene and will likely start to demand it at some point....

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  6. I introduced my friend to K-Pop a couple months ago and she loved it, but as I tried to get her interested in some of my favorite girl groups, she'd always lean towards trashy boy group music i.e. Exo, BTS. How can I convince her that BTS' fake aesthetic concept is shit and that Jungkook looks like a 12 year old biker chick lesbian? She is my awkward straight friend, but I need someone who will worship Sooyoung and Momo with me

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    1. Some people are just weird like that and like boybands. Gotta accept it.

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    2. Girl groups are marketed towards men first and foremost.
      Boy groups are marketed towards women first and foremost.
      It's not set in stone that you HAVE to like either or, or that it's against the rules to like both (like me.) However it's not rare to find that majority of girl group stans are male and majority of boy group stans are female because that's just how it was planned out. If anything, I'm the weird one for stanning both equally.

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    3. Yeah, I'm in the minority of women because I exclusively pay attention to girl groups. You friend probably likes boy groups because she likes boys. Some people have strange opinions!

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    4. I would say that girlgroups definitely have a way higher percentage of female fans than boygroups have male fans.

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    5. Yeah, the popular girl groups actually have more female fans than male fans (i.e. SNSD, 2NE1 [zero male fans], A Pink, Twice, etc.)

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  7. I am a fan of a number of new and emerging Western Artists .However most just lazy, bad or boring, with nothing to look at, no tune to get excited by, no choreography of note . For example one of these is a parody , or should that be both are parodies ?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n0eR0npvGaw
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qDRORgoZxZU
    I also included Lips are Movin' ! because the irony is lost on the A̶r̶t̶i̶s̶t̶ Chubby Squealer. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qDc_5zpBj7s
    PS Most modern Male sound like this to me.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=akL23VhXptc
    I like a performance and KPop has this in Spades.



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    1. Meghan Trainor is particularly awful, I agree.

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  8. I have a question, you can cover this in the next editions if you'd like: Whenever I give an honest opinion about someone's bias' apparence, I always get bashed for being mean and hateful, but I'm just trying to tell what I like or not. Since looks are important in K-Pop, I believe everyone has the right to talk about their preferences. But I don't know how can I tell this to them.

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