Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This precious gift - In memory of EunB and Rise

[Updated after Rise's passing]

Remembering EunB and Rise, I see a lot of people saying to "not miss your chance" because you don't know when something will be taken away. I find that is a slightly selfish understanding, yet also accurate, even if perhaps an incomplete perspective that we should take away from such things.

Take a look at this page on Elvis Presley. He also died too soon, although he had more years in his work than EunB and Rise, years at the top. Even so, here is one of the biggest names in all music history and a massive influence upon it, someone who attained about everything a person who enters the field could ever dream for... and yet it is all so simply summarized here, on one page of a website.

The fact is that everyone, even those who live out their lives to the fullest thought as possible, can only live so long. So everyone who makes their life in sharing art is pouring themselves out with their moments, just as EunB and Rise have, though their opportunity ended so suddenly. We know that a summary on a website doesn't capture all that is "Elvis" in this world, not the full legacy or impact or experience. The same is true of EunB and Rise with their short time as active idols, and of anyone still working as one.

When we share in the arts, even if somewhat cynically produced to appeal to as many people as possible, we are looking into the potential of the human imagination. We look to the dream, the hope that there can be a more beautiful kind of existence, and draw out of our desire and creativity to make it happen, even if but for a few moments on a stage. Performers are rarely wholly responsible for the music, the design, and dance at once, but they do always function as windows into that more beautiful place existing truly only as something longed for in the human heart.

As far as we know, we are the only beings around to appreciate the universe; plants don't even grow anywhere else of which we are aware. Without us to view it in our wonder, the wonder of this world would not be, and just as we bring wonder, we bring that dream of something even more wondrous that we struggle to convey and can yet never truly fulfill in full. We are not only the one small bit of the universe that can be aware of itself, but the only bit with a notion to try and make it better.

So while one can look at things in common views, taking things for granted in the matter-of-fact standards and ideas of comparative achievement we have in civilization, I think in matters of life and death we need to stop and look at the simple fact of our rare and unique existence and the precious gift that it is. In looking at this, we can see what grand gifts EunB and Rise gave to the universe through their work, even if cut short, and yet also through understanding that, to more appropriately appreciate the gift of art from all performers and our chance to celebrate this effort of crafting a more lovely or meaningful existence.

In these dark times with international conflicts, economic and environmental strain, terrorism, corruption, and more problems, a person who makes the whole of their endeavors to bring something lovely and enjoyable to others is a noble sort. Likewise, looking at the unique nature of humanity to create art, to express ideas and feelings, to be an actual living impact on existence, we see the whole of a person isn't limited to their time of sharing, but is also truly in what they shared and where it goes. It is not just a cheesy sentiment; EunB and Rise have left us with a part of themselves in the songs and videos and memories and feelings they gave.

Let us hope that Sojung can recover well along with Ashley and Zuny after this traumatic event. Whether or not the girls will be able to perform again, this all applies to them as well. All their past givings are already, indeed, the past, and yet living with us. So our concern for them is in regard to the future, yet whether there remains opportunity for more from them or not, the preciousness of their gift does not change. The same is true of every gift we share and celebrate.

Let EunB and Rise's passing remind us of how valuable every moment and song we have to experience together truly is, as all things must pass and are even now passing into what is next.


  1. Well said. I feel bad because I just today heard "I'm fine, thank you" which obviously after yesterday took on a new meeting. But it is a beautiful song. I really hope EunB is fine in whatever capacity and I hope Rise and Sojung will be as well. I feel like this in ident has made a lot of people do some soul searching.

  2. I know it's highly unlikely, and I don't want it to be, but god, I hope the k-pop community and South Koreans learn from this in the way they treat and regard celebrities. Let them experiences their lives like any other human being instead of caging them up as if they exist only for the sake of entertainment.

  3. I adored Sojung and EunB, and I've liked all of Ladies Codes releases. When I heard of her death, I was in shock and a little denial (like maybe it's just a rumor.) And it hurt a lot to see that not just one, but two people in that accident didn't make it out. This post is very comforting and I think anyone who's down about her passing should read it. Thank you Ajussi.

  4. I gotta admit this hurt me way more than it should. I never thought I would feel this bad over someone I never met in person. And trust my, in 30 years of my life I've witnessed any kind of shit. That's probably because I've loved all of their lead tracks and I had great expectations about the group, or maybe because the cheerful image built all around them distorted reality so much that when something so obvious and inevitable as death was put into context , although that happened so suddenly and unexpectedly, it was even less acceptable.
    Another option is that I'm spending too much time on the internet lately, and eventually became that kind of "delulu fan" I used to mock... I should really take a break from it.
    Sorry I used this space to share my stupid otaku rants, feel free to insult me :)

    1. I don't think your feelings are necessarily "delulu." If anything, it's entirely understandable. I think in this time of grief we can all admit that for all our ragging on these idols and the culture surrounding them - we admire them for a reason and part of that reason is the "the cheerful image built all around them." There are times where the image is a facade for the sake of the camera, but once in a while you see either on stage, on this or that show, in the practice room or recording booth... that there's at least one person in a given group that genuinely loves what they do. On the outside looking in, we may wonder how anyone could love their lives being micromanaged, goofy concepts, 3 hours of sleep a night, and stalker fans that know them more than their parents do... but they love what they do because it brings happiness to others. When someone who genuinely loves their work and bringing happiness to others loses the opportunity to do so (esp. someone so young who hasn't grown cynical and bitter about their choice to be in this business), it is saddening and it does hurt.

    2. I feel the same way. I've been going through this cycle of coming to terms with her death, almost forgetting it, remembering, and then being on the brink of tears. I really had such high hopes for this group and their upwards climb was cut short by this tragic accident. I keep going back to articles and searching for updates. That reddit thread on the accident has basically become a permanent tab on my browser. It just feels so unfair. EunB (and the rest of Ladies Code) had such a bright future. May she rest in peace and may everyone involved/effected come out of this event as whole as possible.

    3. I felt exactly the same way you do and for the same reasons. I was awake at the time of the news, went to sleep in shock, and analyzing quickly the situation, while knowing Sojung and RiSe were still fighting for their lives. However, I didn't want to press myself to think about how much it sucked that a group I had high expectations on, was over like this. And it's not my first time. I just didn't want to put the idol over the person, because I hate to see young people die, whether they are attatched to me or not. And the fact itself was too sad to even consider the group factor. Then, I was also reacting like most of the fans whom are as sick as me to read on reports about car accidents in SK. Their safety measures are so poor, this shit happens too often, and EunB isn't the first celebrity to die on the road in that country, due to poor traffic laws and penalties for unsafe driving. Despite all their idol songs about driving safe.

      I think this things will affect you whether you spent time or not. I wasn't even able to track their newest come back, because I'm busy with other stuff now. I followed them, but I wasn't as obsessed as with other groups, maybe. Yet, even if I hadn't been into K-Pop for a while, the news would feel sad to me.

      And what makes me more uneasy, is to know how much it will afect the remaining members personally, that RiSe and SoJung are still in critical condition (now RiSe only, it seems) and if, it hadn't been for that tragedy, a lot of the people mourning them, wouldn't still know about such a promising group. Those things make me feel sad. Although I appreciate the sympathy and support of non-fans yet K-Pop fans, for the families and their followers. So far, everybody has been really respectful. The last gesture of making an all-kill to fullfill EunB's wish, was pathethic(in its original meaning) and emotional.

  5. Well, with all those years of training,
    And all the schedules that she had to endure,
    She must've been very tired.
    May she rest in peace.

    I honestly still feel shock after all of this. It's really so sad to see that there are still people so insensitive about the death of this young girl with so much potential. She really is a flower that couldn't finish blooming.


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