Oh look. My first official blog for 2015…

…is about Korean entertainment. Some things never change. :glee:

Topic No. 1:

I saw this post at Netizenbuzz this morning and I just have to comment on it because it’s so close to home.

[Instiz] Why fans decide to turn against their bias

“When fans turn against their favorite celebrity, it’s not because they’re dating, or they disrupted society, or they had a long hiatus, or because they got married. It’s when fans realized that while all of the above was going on, they never once thought of or considered their fans in the process.

It’s indeed true that fans will do anything for their favorite artist and that their love is one-sided but interaction of some level is needed. Fans are not asking for each and every one of them to be recognized. Fans are merely asking for a basic sense of respect and gratitude towards the very people that gave them love and helped them get to where they are now.

People always ask fans “aren’t celebrities human too?” and fans have no problem with celebrities living their life how they choose to. It’s just that they need to have a sense of respect to the fans who laid down the foundation and all the pillars for their career without expecting anything in return. Fans aren’t asking for much.”

At first glance, the theme of the statement seems to be geared towards idols losing fans once they get involved in dating scandals as evidenced by the numerous comments from both K- and I-netizens who totally missed the point and lamented at how they have always thought that the love messages from their idols were for the fans but actually it’s for their girlfriends and the corresponding comments berating these lamentations as being “overly dramatic” and “feeling entitled”. But if you analyze it in a broader perspective, it’s really more than just the issue of betrayal of trust.

Having experienced this in the past, and no, I’m not just talking about Rain because – surprise! – I haven’t totally left the fandom yet (hey, I still have hope for this fellow, though admittedly, the hope is diminishing at a very alarming rate every day), I understand what this person meant by fans merely asking for a basic sense of respect and gratitude. It’s not just the constant “we love our fans” lip service from the idols because, let’s face it, at some point it’s really just that: lip service. The only thing that the idol owes the fans is the constant assurance that the next album, drama or movie is worth the fans’ money. A series of half-hearted performances, or a slew of consecutive projects that constantly suck? That’s not just disrespect towards the fans, that’s an insult. Treating us like dirt, or even like criminals, during public appearances while being *nice* to selected potential cash cows? Would you call that gratitude?

Once the fan realizes that she is simply being treated as a living, breathing ATM machine by her idol, that’s the time when she would seriously consider leaving the fandom. The decision hastens when she realizes that there are other artists out there who gives his/her supporters the respect and gratitude that they deserve.

This was the exact reason why I ceased becoming a bandstalker. This would also be the exact reason why I would leave my current fandom. Contrary to what some people think, ie., that the reason why I’m “bashing” him is because of his personal choices. :rolleyes: Excuse me, I’ve been “bashing” him since 2005, which is the year that I became a Cloud. I have this entire blog as my evidence.

At first I thought this is something that every fan would know by default. But seeing that it still has to be explained and the explanation was still met by comments that missed the point entirely, I guess I was wrong.

===

Topic No. 2:

One of the current big issues among K-pop circles is about K-pop boy group B1A4 being accused of “sexually harassing” a fan during their fanmeet in Malaysia. Basically, the incident in question is basic skinship between idol and fan, ie., a simple hug and a kiss on the cheek (on the shawl, actually).

An outsider, that is, someone who (1) is not Malaysian; and (2) is not a Moslem, would find it really weird that it has become a big issue. It’s just a simple hug, a friendly kiss. Yet the idol was accused of sexual harassment, and the fan was being called names that she won’t be able to swallow.

My friend Bambiina, a Malaysian and a Moslem and a big fan of Korean entertainment, has put it all in a proper perspective though a post on Facebook regarding the issue. If you’re puzzled about the big hoo-ha regarding the incident, you may want to check out her musings to get a clearer view on the topic.

I do want to raise a few points regarding the issue:

1. Was the management of B1A4 properly informed about the rules in Malaysia? Reports say that B1A4’s agency claims that the fan gave her consent, that’s why the artist did it. However, if the artist is fully aware of the rules, he wouldn’t even dare ask the fan for consent; he would simply not do it even if the event MC coaxed him. If the artist is clever enough, he would find a way to give some cute fan service that’s within the rules. That’s just the right thing to do, especially if you’re a guest at a foreign country.

In Rain’s World Tour, Malaysia was the only stop wherein he did not take off his shirt during his Nan number. That was because they were informed beforehand that it was prohibited in Malaysia. I think, every responsible person who visits a foreign country should be aware of the rules before even stepping onto that country. Was B1A4’s management responsible enough to know that?

2. A few accounts say that the activity or game in itself was pretty bad that the audience already knew at some point that it would come down to this. Therefore, it was the organizer who should be at fault for even including it at the fanmeet. But aren’t the organizers Malaysian? Don’t they know their own rules? :shrug:

3. What I find amusing is that Korean entertainers and their agencies are pretty well-known to be ‘stubborn’ when it comes to their own rules. That is, even if they are outside their own country, it should be their way or the highway. They will not bend down to the requirements of their host country.

Everyone knows that ‘skinship’ is a no-no between Korean stars and their fans. A customary handshake or a light hug (sometimes using floating hands) is more than enough. Kissing, even if it’s just a light beso on the cheek, is a definite NO. Do any of that to your idol during a public appearance and expect to witness a Korean road manager seething with rage.

Therefore, isn’t it amusing that an incident like this had to happen in a country like Malaysia which has rules against public skinship among unmarried couples, and the “culprit” is a Korean star who has its own rules against skinship between idols and fans?

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It’s the best time to be a Cloud.

I feel like slapping myself. When Rain was sorely lacking in fan service, I complained. A lot. Now that he’s going overkill on the fan service, I am still complaining. Guess it’s something that needs a little getting used to…

Ultimately, it’s all for the fans. And they deserve it. :clap:

SBS Inkigayo early morning pre-recording today, 19 January 2014 (all photos from various sources, as posted on Twitter and DC):

Today is Rain’s last day of promotions before flying out to the USA to discuss another Hollywood project (or to film more scenes for The Prince, or maybe both; his press releases tend to contradict itself over time). His pre-recording schedule is at 6am, which means that fans who want to watch had to line-up all night. Outdoors in the street. In way-below zero temperatures. :nailbite: After doing the same thing for the past two weeks. These fans are HEROES, I tell yah. :arrow: Anyway, to show his appreciation, he held another mini-fanmeeting and provided breakfast to all attendees.

This is something that is, frankly speaking as a long-time Rain fan who sees things as it is, totally unexpected coming from Rain’s side. We’re seeing a massive transformation here. Finally, having a Cloud ID now means something more than just bragging rights. It’s the best time to be a Cloud.

Maybe I should re-consider registering for Cloud 9th? :think:

But… what if after I registered, he goes back to Mr. Grumpy, No Fan-Service Rain? :err:

I am such a pessimist.

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Did we just witness a transformation?

When I wrote this blog entry on 27 December 2013, I wrote it with a broken heart. One, because it was a rant against Rain. Two, because I know I said some really harsh things to him again. Even if I know that he won’t read it, it still pains me to say it. Some of you might think that I’m just doing this for fun or to get blog hits, but actually, as much as it’s too cheesy to admit it, I do care for the guy. And it hurts whenever I had to say or do some painful things just to get the message across.

Over the past few days that Rain has been promoting his 6th album, I noticed a sort of transformation coming from Rain and his management. His schedules have been released. Surprise, the Cloud 8th ID finally had some use. The benefits were not limited to Korean Clouds (who get benefits by default, since the events are in Korea) and Japanese Clouds (who had to pay an insane amount for travel packages that include access to broadcast recordings and such). And even those who are not (yet) registered can still get an opportunity by simply presenting a physical copy of the album. Again, no restrictions as to the person’s nationality. Sure, the end-result is still the fans lining up outdoors in this insane winter weather for hours and hours just to gain entry to the venue, but it’s true for fans of ALL artists, not just Rain. Be that as it may, whenever I see updates from fans (of the non-embellishment kind) saying that they’ve had little to no sleep and had to wait in the cold for days upon days just to become an audience to his performances, all I can think of is, “damn, you gals deserve a freakin’ medal for your tenacity.”

Then, the transformation from the man, himself. In the beginning stages of promotion, he still has that classic ‘Rain smile’, that is, a thin line forming in his face that is not quite a smile but more like, “cameras are on me, I must smile’. And he’s still wearing his glasses even at night.

Then, at the fanmeet last Friday after KBS Music Bank, there was a breakthrough. Rain met the fans without his glasses on. He was smiling sincerely. And they allowed fans to take photos, an act that was strictly forbidden in his past mini-fanmeets especially those outside of Korea. Granted that he just had back-to-back wins in music shows so he’s probably still high from winning, but it’s not like it’s his first time to win, ever. He wasn’t like this before.

At the fan signing event today, fans who have followed him for years (again, the non-embellishing kind) witnessed history unfold. Again, no sunglasses. Again, no ‘thin-line smile’ from him. He signed anything that the fans presented in front of him, when the usual norm is only the CD being promoted will be signed (in all fairness, this policy is true for fansigning events of all artists, even non-Koreans). The biggest surprise is, he allowed fans to selca with him during the fansign something that is, again, unheard of even for other artists (except Filipino celebrities; saying ‘no’ to people asking for a photo-op or a kiss is simply forbidden here, unless the artist wanted to be tagged as a first-class snob).

Normally, Agent P would ask, “who the heck was the person at the autograph event? That’s not the Rain I know.” But I know what the fans went through these past few days. Rain probably – hopefully – knows it, too. For once, I appreciate this show of appreciation from him, because I know those fans deserve it wholeheartedly.

Suddenly, I don’t feel too bad that I wrote that scathing blog entry. I’m not saying he’s following my advice again (sorry, delusional Agent P mode just had to make a short appearance); I’m just saying, I think he finally learned that there is more to the success of his career than just the support of Korean fans.

But it brings me to this question: Apparently, Rain knows how to dish out fan service. Why did the fans, particularly the non-Koreans, had to wait nearly a decade before they had to experience it? He could’ve done it before, when he was still on top.

Maybe it’s true. Sometimes, a person had to experience how it is to truly hit rock bottom before he learns to be humble and appreciative.

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Update:

I read this, and I’m floored. :shock: Did I just do some damage again? :err:

Memo-Rain: [Eng trans]14-01-12 Rain at his signing event for fans.

#DelusionalAgentPMode

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WTH was that??

I’ll try to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was lost in translation. AllKpop is kinda known for it, after all. But if this speech was accurately translated from Episode 2 of Rain Effect, then it only confirms what some of us – some of us whom the “loyal” Clouds have been hating for the longest time – have been saying all along: Rain DOES NOT CARE about non-Korean fans. AT. ALL.

[AllKPop] Rain explains in a sweet speech why his fans have the right to criticize him

Last paragraph of the article:

Lastly, Rain said, “I am working harder for those people who love me. The public are my parents. They gave birth to me and allowed me to eat and live. The people who created me as ‘Rain’ are the Korean fans. They definitely have the right to criticize me and they also have the right to like and love me because I have enjoyed a lot of happiness over the years.”

Dear Mr. Rain:

I hope you will remember your non-Korean fans when your album gets released and it turns out, most of your sales will come from Overseas Clouds. After all, your comeback performances after your infamous stint in the military which were highly touted as ‘successful’ happened in Korea, with the support of your Korean fans. Oh no, wait. THEY DIDN’T. They happened OUTSIDE Korea, with your non-Korean fans.

A little dose of gratitude towards ALL of your fans, equally, regardless of nationality, will go a long way. After all, they were with you, too, during your difficult times.

I know you probably will not listen to me. I am not a Korean fan, after all. And according to you, only Korean fans have the right to criticize you. I just want to let it all out, on behalf of all non-Korean Clouds who felt left out after hearing/reading your statement.

Sincerely,
AgentP

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Update:

OK, I’ve slept on it and has calmed down a bit. Other articles have come out without the word “Korean” preceding the word “fans” so now I don’t know what to think as far as that topic is concerned. What I do think now is this:

Clouds like me have always been criticized – no, have been mauled and called names by other Clouds, whether in my face or behind my back (which is always the case) – because I’ve been highly critical of Rain these past few years. I don’t mean to be cocky about it, but Rain himself has now declared that his fans have the right to criticize him. If you still believe that the word ‘supportive’ only means saying nothing but so-called positive things about Rain, then you’re such a bad fan, yourself, because you don’t listen to what Rain himself has to say.

Interesting to note that this has always been the case as far as Rain is concerned. I’ve heard him say those exact words from even way back the time I became his fan in 2005.

Update 2:

According to someone who has watched the clip, he did say, “Korean fans”. OK then, I rest my case. :hopeless:

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