dreamer_easy: (*cosmic code authority)
내면에 감춘 분노들을 말해 봐

I really shouldn’t be posting when I’m hypomanic, but I can’t be the only 미친 여자 out there who has had an episode triggered by a Kpop song. I once turned up at a doctor’s appointment exploding out of my skin after listening to FT Island’s Hit The Sands on the bus. This afternoon it was VIXX and Hyde. I was abruptly so absurdly high that I had a little trouble functioning in the supermarket.

I’ll be OK: this is just the cumulative effect of jetlag, anxiety, PMS, and, above all disrupted sleep. But I realised there was another factor at work as well - which inevitably led to an explosion of thoughts, which I’ll try to get down here.

Now, VIXX’s MVs are sometimes at odds with the lyrics of their songs. For example, the six-voiced protagonist of 저주인형 (VOODOO DOLL) threatens his ex’s faithless lovers - “Open the doors of hell / sinners who made her cry / (you will) cry tears of blood”, but the band themselves portray those sinners. In Hyde, the narrator (once again a single character shared between six bodies and voices) puts up a tormented struggle, verbally and physically, against his own aggression - but at the end, those big, black wings come bursting out, and he displays them without shame to the faceless girl, who holds him, wings and all, in her heart.

It’s tempting to smile or even laugh at the melodrama of it all, but adolescent feelings are real and overwhelming, and what’s more, teenage boys are surely both the most alluring and the most dangerous - literally - things in the lives of most heterosexual teenage girls. Songs and MVs like this (and fan fiction, too) must be a place where young women can safely work through some of their complicated feelings about young men.

More importantly, they may be a place where girls can work through their own negative feelings, especially feelings of aggression, which we are taught to swallow, not show. The boyfriend of VOODOO DOLL is willing to endure his lover’s anger, without ending the relationship: “Sing the curse song of / tell me the fury hidden inside you / my body is an offering to you / I’ll devote myself to your happiness” (and the one in Chained Up (사슬) is willing to be the recipient of dark sexual fantasies). The protagonist of Hyde protests over and over that he is not a bad person, but ultimately he admits and owns the “other person inside me who is not me” (as we see in LR’s Beautiful Liar, he can control :), and that person is accepted and loved.

You can be a bad person, and survive! Even a kimchi-molesting pervert like me. XD No wonder my mood jumped through the ceiling in the space of three minutes and twenty-one seconds.

To conclude, I wanted to mention the line in Hyde I was thinking about the other day. It’s this: 겁을 먹어버린 그 눈빛 이러지마. You’ll see it translated around the Web as “Don’t give me those scared eyes”, but (disclaimer: my Korean sucks)  the adjective 먹어버린 is “eaten completely”, so it might be better rendered “Don’t give me that fear-devoured glance”. Wow!
dreamer_easy: (Default)
Continuing to process the latest Unpleasantness. (Which I am feeling OK about, now, to reassure Jon, who just looked over my shoulder and was worried by that first sentence.) As I mentioned, I'm pretty sure I was hypomanic when I made the posting in April last year which triggered the trouble just now. Here it is:

ngl: as a white Western Kpop fan, it’s a constant challenge not to fetishise Koreans and Korean culture (and, by extension, all Asians and Asian culture). All these horrible crushes lend a sexual aura to ridiculously non-sexual things: I’m all too aware that learning Korean, reading about Korean history, and even trying Korean food are all frequently accompanied by a pleasant erotic frisson. It’s exactly the effect advertisers are hoping for when they create an association between idols and fried chicken. Anyway, all I can do is try to catch myself falling into fetishisation.
Now you should read my follow-up postings as well, but in short, I figured out that I wasn't fetishing Asian people or culture - I was just worried that I was, due to the connection with sexy, sexy Kpop.

The chief reaction was one of horror at the implication that I was sexually aroused by eating Korean food, but there was also much hilarity over the phrase "pleasant erotic frisson", as is the Internet's wont. (I suspect a majority of memes begin as the mocking echoes of the dogpile.)

One reason I suspect hypomania is that the posting is so terse: the last sentence shows I'm concerned about the implications, but not enough to slow down and think or talk them through. I just sort of throw my undeveloped thoughts out onto the net, where they sit, ticking like a time bomb. The other reason is the lurching between registers. I open with the onlinespeak of "ngl" ("not gonna lie"), but then I'm into that tongue-in-cheek, slightly old-fashioned style - some of those phrases would not look too out of place in Punch magazine, a Clive James TV review, or Douglas Adams. (At least I didn't go for Molesworth.) Plus there's a dose of earnest Internet social justice self-consciousness - "I'm all too aware", "all I can do is try to catch myself".

There's no reason that American teenagers would recognise that dry British humour*, and tongue-in-cheekness is very difficult to convey over the net, although one reader did wonder if I was being "sarcastic". In fact, this confused mix-and-match style has got me into trouble more than once online, not helped by the tendency when I'm up to include references without footnoting them (after all, they make perfect sense to meee). (Good grief, even the use of "Unpleasantness" in the first sentence of this posting is an unfootnoted reference - it's an expression I picked up from Michael Green's 1964 book Coarse Acting, along with the infinitely useful phrase "All is ease and comfort.")

I suppose the only cure for it is self-awareness, ie, not posting when I know I'm having an episode, or at least going back and doing some rewriting when I've come down. But that's obvious; what's interesting to me is the way that language works - in fact, there's a link between these clashing registers - informal/formal/humorous/earnest - and the wordplay around hierarchy and politeness levels which I mentioned in my previous posting.

* All right, I admit it. The girls going "hurr hurr hurr, you said erotic frisson" sound like fucking idiots.

dreamer_easy: (Default)
Sitting on a plane a couple of hours out from Sydney. I've just finished reading "My English Name" by R.S. Benedict (Fantasy and Science Fiction May/June 2017), and wanted to rave about it a bit. The little note at the start of the story explains that it's drawn from the author's three years of working as an English teacher in China. It has that particularity that gives a fictional setting its power - the details that tell you the author really knows this place, these people. Benedict draws on both the interaction between Western culture and Chinese culture and between Westerners and Chinese people in a story that's about passing - as human, as straight, as gay, as white. I think the title may be drawn from the adoption of an English name by Asian immigrants, as English-speakers, typically monoglots, can't get our mouths around Asian phonemes; but the story's main character and narrator isn't even human, and works hard to pass as an Englishman. This mimicry is reflected all around the narrator in the Chinese culture he negotiates, from the designer knock-off scarf which helps hide his true self, to the use of bribery to gain fake qualifications, to the "rent-a-whitey gigs" he takes that reminded me uncomfortably of accounts that the only qualification you really need to teach English in Korea is whiteness.

The bribery in particular reminded me of the relentless corruption in Ha Jin's short stories, of the pressure on gay men and lesbians in China to marry (described in Benjamin Law's Gaysia) and of the obligation to "pass" as a Chinese citizen with the correct political opinions (I was struck by this in watching the reality show "Takes a Real Man" - the would-be soldiers must pass political tests as well as tests of their actual military skill). Now that brings me to something that's been preying on my mind since it happened. I have a side Tumblr, aegyopoisoned, in which I stash images of my favourite Kpop idols. It's an unremarkable blog with few followers - there must be tens of thousands like it. However, last April, I made a rather oddly written posting (I'll just bet I was hypomanic at the time) in which I confessed my worries about fetishing Korean and/or Asian people and culture as a result of Kpop's sex appeal. I was bewildered by yesterday morning's hate mail ("kill urself" is not as clear a message as it may seem) until we got home from the airport and I was able to locate a series of outraged responses.* In writing a much clearer response this morning I've worked through those concerns to some extent. (Now I just have to worry about the fact that my boys are half my age :).

Almost the first word of Korean I ever learned was 막내 maknae - the youngest person in a family or group. Taemin, my bias - that is, the Kpop idol I most swingeingly desire - is the maknae of the boy band SHINee, and this was the first fact I learned about him. It was also my first glimpse of Korean culture - specifically, the strict hierarchy by age, gender, and position which modern Koreans have inherited from their neo-Confucian forebears. When I learned the word maknae, I literally couldn't find Korea on a map. Now I have some grasp of the language and a rough idea of Korea's two thousand year-plus history, ancient and modern. I knew nothing of the Korean War, or the Opium Wars, or anything about the Suez Canal. I have a shelf overflowing with unread books on the Koreas and China. Sex was the starting point, not the be-all and end-all of my interest.

In recent years I've been reading SF by Chinese authors in translation - short stories, and of course Liu Cixin's mind-snapping, Hugo-winning Three-Body Problem trilogy. (I'm extremely keen to read Korean SF, but haven't found much.) R.S. Benedict's story is told by a Westerner, about being a Westerner in China - an outsider's POV, but an intimate engagement with the culture: her portrait of China is a matter-of-fact, sometimes unflattering one, but it's authentic. In adding Korean settings and characters to my own SF, I'm acutely aware that I'm a 외국인 waegukin, a foreigner, whose contact with Korea is mediated through, erm, the media - I don't have Benedict's first-hand experience. What's more culture (the West in general and Australia in particular) has a history with Asian peoples - colonialism, racism against immigrants, yellowface - which gives me complex responsibilities. My viewpoint characters, therefore, must also be waegukin, and my research as careful and accurate as I can make it.**

* "Why are you so proud of fetishization"?"asked a young white woman whose Tumblr proudly proclaims "Jonghyun is my dad", which may indicate I haven't absolutely cornered the fetish market. (She's also a fellow Lay fan. I'll bet she saw that awful Jackie Chan film too, just because he was in it.)

** I'd love to write something set in historical times, which would make including a Western character more difficult - but I have years of reading to do before I'll know enough to pull that off.
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Spotted in the latest issue of Scientific American Mind: Some People Suffer from Face Blindness for Other Races.You won't be stunned to hear that the study in question was about the failure of white Australians to recognise Asian faces:

"They asked 268 Caucasians [sic] born and raised in Australia to memorize a series of six Asian faces and conducted the same experiment, involving Caucasian faces, with a group of 176 Asians born and raised in Asia who moved to Australia to attend university. In 72 trials, every participant was then shown sets of three faces and had to point to the one he or she had learned in the memorization task. The authors found that 26 Caucasian and 10 Asian participants—8 percent of the collective study population [9.7% of the white people and 5.7% of the Asian people] —did so badly on the test that they met the criteria for clinical-level impairment."
It's not hard to imagine why white people in Australia, where the population is overwhelmingly white, might be less skilled at telling Asian faces apart: we seldom have to bother. Not only are there few Asian faces around, so we don't get much practice, but the consequences of a screw-up are less likely to be serious - not true for an overseas student who fails to recognise their lecturer or tutor. (The other studies mentioned in the SA piece tend to back this up.)

Before Kpop, I'm sure I would have been one of that 9.7%. For a start, I'm not too crash hot at remembering white faces. I once shared a hotel room with someone who, as part of a costume, donned a wig; when she started talking to me in a hallway, it took me long, confused minutes to work out who she was! In TV shows, I persistently confuse white actors and forget their characters' names in TV shows. Thank heavens for Jon or "Game of Thrones" would be incomprehensible. This problem spills over into my writing - I don't know how to describe faces, so I use other descriptions for characters, like their hair or clothing.

Kpop forced me to learn how to tell Asian faces apart. Even now, when I see a photo or a video, my brain whirrs into action. How many boys? Five? That's probably SHINee, then. Next a scan for my favourite member, Taemin. Wait - or is that Onew? I tend to confuse them when they have similar hair. No, look at the width of the mouth, and the size of the eyes - that's Taemin, all right. And there - those cheeks could only belong to Onew.

I'd been doing this quite automatically for a long time when Jon and I happened to sit down and watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of Mighty Jack (a Japanese series edited into a movie by Sandy Frank, who also brought you Battle of the Planets). I was startled to realise that my tell-the-Asian-boys-apart neurons had kicked in: I was sitting there memorising which uniformed, short-haired young man was which.

The most interesting thing is, perhaps, the sheer variety of Asian eyes: Minho from SHINee's are large and "double-lidded"; actor Lee Joon-gi's eyes are long; Onew's eyes vanish when he smiles. Looking at fan edits of the band's faces, showing just their eyes, it's simple for me to tell them apart. But I didn't become consciously aware of this until I very recently read Describing Asian Eyes and followed some of the links there.

To sum up, although I think I'm not good at recognising faces in general, I've learned to recognise Asian faces (well, the faces of young Korean men, mostly) as a skill. That bodes well for my ability to remember peoples' faces in real life, and to describe my own characters better.

(One thing I'm not sure of is whether the six faces used in the study were only East Asian. In Australia, this is what we'd usually mean by "Asian" - Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and so forth.)
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
I've been watching a Chinese Web drama (老九门 "The Mystic Nine"). There must be countless places where an important piece of information, something that would be obvious to a Chinese viewer, goes right over my head. I think this is one of them: a character wears red at a funeral. I knew that white was the colour for mourning, so it struck me as a little odd, but I've only just found out (from Wikipedia) that red is a celebratory colour which is forbidden at funerals. So the character's outfit is actually huge deal.

SPOILERS for The Mystic Nine )
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)

1. Just as Red Velvet sang ecstatically "Shine on me, let it shine on me!", I saw my first jacaranda in bloom for the year. :) (Would that I had felt the presence of the Divine, but that's why I'm seeing the shrink tomorrow about reducing my meds if possible.)

2. I am now the proud owner of a copy of 곰돌이 푸우는 아무도 못 말려, a translation of A.A. Milne's most famous work, the title of which I believe means "Nothing Stops Winnie the Pooh". :) (I'm sorry to report that the heffalump, instead of turning into a hepaleompu, has become a mere elephant.)

3. Many moons ago in this very lj or its predecessor, I puzzled over a line from the theme song Nightmare from the anime Death Note: "孤独も知らぬ Trickster". Online translations put this in English as "I'm a trickster who knows no solitude". What I wondered was how the line could end in the word "trickster". I now know exactly how you'd do it in Korean, and since K shares some of its grammar with J, I wonder if it's the same trick - turning a whole phrase into a single noun. An only-knowing-solitude trickster.

4. I also wonder if the Korean requirement for a boy to address an elder brother or older man as "hyeong" has a Japanese equivalent, and if so, that's the reason Alphonse Elric always addresses his brother as "brother" but not vice versa. (Similarly Rom and Quark in Deep Space Nine.)
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
I shall pay for this later. But for now:

ETA 4. I forgot to mention! I understood the first line of a Kpop song just by listening to it! Admittedly all it said was 제발 하지마라 "For goodness' sake, don't do it!" but nonetheless I am proud. :D

1. I picked that the composer for Ouran High School Host Club also did some of the music for Death Note: Yoshihisa Hirano. In fact, I'm not sure that the music accompanying serious scenes (often to bathetic effect) in Ouran aren't in fact from the Death Note soundtrack. (If you're not familiar with these anime, one is an intricate dark fantasy psychological thriller, and one, erm, isn't.)

2. Vampire Knight. These two are totally doing it:


3. A fellow Tumblrer just suggested that we can learn sensitivity from Tumblr: "... every time somebody gets slapped down, you think, hm, better not do/say/think that." I must dispute this. The Onion invented the phrase "seriously uninformed discussion", which describes most "social justice" blogging and comments perfectly. In fact, let's say that 99% of people posting about racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, et al, are seriously uninformed*.

Now if that's accurate, as I believe it is, when someone performs a smackdown, the odds are that they are almost exactly as ignorant as the person they are smacking down. All they've learned, and all they can teach, are the correct opinions and buzzwords.

Two case studies. A few years ago I discussed the fact that I was gender non-conforming** as an adolescent and as an adult fan. This attracted a few comments deriding me for trying to impress boys and for offending transgender people. That was partly my fault for expressing myself clumsily; at the time I didn't know the term, or the concept, "gender non-conforming". But neither did the angry commenters.

In South Korea and China, apparently for historical reasons, lighter skin is seen as prettier than darker skin, leading Kpop idols to sometimes tease their darker-skinned friends. Naturally this is very painful to darker-skinned Western Kpop fans, particularly African-American fans, who bear the brunt of a long, damaging history of colourism, the legacy of slavery. When an idol makes one of these hurtful comments, part of fandom will call them racist while the other half will defend them on the grounds that it's a different culture's beauty standards, causing the former half to label them racists*** as well. Neither side will discuss whether or not darker-skinned Koreans face discrimination, as darker-skinned African-Americans do, nor the impact of colonialism and globalism on Asian beauty standards, nor even the indirect harm caused by beauty fascism, because they haven't got the first clue about any of these fucking things. And neither, to my great irritation, have I.

* Having now read a little in these areas, I would say I am about 95% uninformed. (For example, I get a few more of the references in We Didn't Start The Fire.) ETA: Here's one explanation for why people think they know what they're on about when they don't - the illusion of explanatory depth.

** My gender non-conformity has oft attracted fangirl ire, alas. Apparently there is a wrong way to be a girl. Or there could be another explanation: when I did a bit of feminist analysis of gendered activity in fandom, one irritated person remarked, "I don't see gender." ETA: Part of the problem may be the inability to imagine fandom not numerically dominated by women.

*** They are racists, of course. So are the people calling them racists. So am I. We apologise for the inconvenience. My point is that there is little point in dividing people up into racists who have been caught with their feet in their mouths and nice people who haven't. Racism runs a lot deeper than the occasional unacceptable remark, and we should treat it that way.
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Have some more random things from Asia.

Social media, compare and contrast: I read today that that idiots on Twitter thought the SFO crash was a hilarious opportunity for racist jokes. But I also read about the immediate response of SHINee's Key when his blunder in tagging an Instagram from Japan was pointed out by a fan.

The first time I summoned the courage to speak to staff at Morning Glory - long before my Kpop addiction - they were at pains to explain they were from South Korea, not North Korea. Being a historical and geographical ignoramus, I was puzzled at the time. These days, Tweets about how the crash was a North Korean attack come as no surprise. (Even better were the tweets a while ago about how the US should take revenge on the DPRK for Pearl Harbour. You'd think patriots would at least know their own country's history.)

Anyway. I continue to absorb small morsels of Korean culture, mostly by watching silly TV shows and reading possibly dubious online things (like many "international fans" I am dependent on other peoples' translations.) While boys touch each other affectionately with great freedom (to the delight of Western fangirls!), there's still a lot of reticence about boys and girls showing affection where others can see.

In fact, there is such a thing as "manner hands", where a young gentleman holds a lady while keeping his paws off her. Two examples from SHINee are Onew, in a sports competition thing, piggy-backing a young woman while making his hands into fists to avoid holding onto her thighs. He was praised for his chivalry. Poor Taemin, however, was teased mercilessly for putting an arm around his reality-show "wife", but hovering his hand above her shoulder.

I think that, through South Korean eyes, the West must look not just relaxed but downright sleazy. Here's an interesting account of Korean-American comedienne Margaret Cho, her tattoos, a health spa, and some unimpressed ladies. (There's a happy ending.) OTOH, in the West, certain tatts on women are called "tramp stamps", indicating that old-fashioned Korean ladies are not the only ones with issues about sex and class.

Here's an article about "westernising" cosmetic surgery actually written by An Asian Person (specifically, Chinese-Australian Benjamin Law). It's insightful and also very funny: Law quips that his asymmetrical eyes mean he "can give that David-Tennant-as-Doctor-Who quizzical look without much effort" and "I've got one of those classically flatter Chinese noses, the kind that makes it hard for me to wear sunglasses."

Also from Australia: Artistic expression helps overcome years of repression. "'Mum, I'm not Chinese, am I?'"

NetizenBuzz warns us: Don't look at strangers in Korea. Since staring is also considered a threat by Westerners and IIUC most of the great apes, I am not quite sure where this is coming from. Alas, Google Translate makes an absolute dog's breakfast of the actual article.

Finally, a small but poignant moment of Korean colourism as Kai gets fed up with the friendly teasing. (Keep in mind I'm reliant on someone else's translation and interpretation of events here.) I'm still trying to figure how just how serious it all is. Are the cracks about Kai's colouring on a par with gingerism (ie annoying but pretty much harmless), or do darker-skinned Koreans suffer prejudice and discrimination, as these remarks from a TV talent show judge suggest? (I'm partly cautious because if you simplistically cut-and-paste one country or culture's experience of racism onto another, you get confusing and misleading results.) (ETA: Cf the similar preference for lighter skin in Kenya.)


May. 13th, 2013 09:45 pm
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Korean puns - and there are a lot of them - blow my mind. Not that I can make sense of them without plenty of translators' notes. Here's a good one: with poor Jonghyun still recovering from his car accident, SHINee have been promoting as a foursome. Now, in Korean, the English word "shiny" is spelled out like this: 샤 이 니, "syah-ee-nee". "Four" is 사, "sah", and people is 인사 "een-sah". So leader Onew referred to the current lineup as 사인이 - "sah-een-ee" - "four people". If I'm understanding it correctly, the wordplay isn't just changing the beginning of the band's name to mean "four", but involves reversing the syllables of the word for "people" as well. (But this is strictly guesswork. Imagine how dangerous I'm going to be when I actually know what I'm talking about!)

The Face

Mar. 23rd, 2013 05:55 pm
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Waiting to be posted for lo, these many moons: Loo Brealy's piece on performing nude as Helen of Troy. It's beautifully written - what is it with these literate British actors? The bit that struck me in particular was this:

"Exposing myself to 75 strangers a night has made me think a lot about what psychologist Susie Orbach calls 'body terror', the chip in your brain that tells you your body isn’t good enough but if you buy this cream, eat this thing, do this exercise, you can look like Rhianna and you will be happy. The idea that to be beautiful you must have one specific body: poreless skin, endless legs, tits that would get stuck in a champagne glass."
One specific body. One specific face, too - what I call the Face, the identical mask you see on the cover of the magazines at the supermarket.

As it so often does these days, my mind travelled from these thoughts to the magical world of Kpop, which challenges the white fan to learn how to tell Asian faces (and bodies) apart, something we've probably never had to bother doing before.* To borrow Loo's words, Kpop idols are "bleached, waxed, sprayed, toned, sliced, photo-shopped", and their every expression, gesture, and word is picked, edited, packaged, and analysed, by the entertainment media and the fans alike. It can make you intensely aware of how much it's all appearance and performance. A surprising number of fans, though, swallow the illusion whole.

*Jon and I are watching a Kdrama called Chuno ("Slave Hunter")**, a terrific, award-winning show in which everyone is wearing historical Korean dress. Which means I had two characters confused for a while because they were wearing the same kind of hat. (I feel slightly less a dim-witted Westerner when I remember that I can't remember who half the people in Game of Thrones are, either.)

** Try to imagine Monkey with no magic and a ton of swearing.
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
1. Some technical thing prevents non-English characters from displaying correctly in SHOUTcast's player. As a result, earlier today I listened to a song called "Virginity (?????????)".

2. I am now listening to a song called "Coconuts" which is essentially a Korean cover of "Kokomo". What the even fuck.

3. Jocularity
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Here's a complicated little knot of wordplay. In two languages.

G-Dragon's latest single is called "Crayon". The refrain is "Get your cray on". So first you need to know that "cray" is slang for "crazy"; he's singing about partying.

G-Dragon's stage name is itself a piece of wordplay: his real name is 권지용 Kwon Ji-yong, and 용 Yong is Korean for dragon. Geddit?

The lyrics of the song are a mix of Korean and English, not at all unusual in Kpop. When I looked them up, though, I was puzzled by the Korean version of the title: 크레용. That doesn't spell out "crayon", it spells out "crayong".

And then I got it. Cray Yong. *facepalm*
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Wikipedia: "Mirotic" is a newly coined term... that combines the Korean miro (미로), meaning "maze", and the English suffix "-tic".

Oh my gawd - it means "labyrinthine"! With cheeky echoes of the English "erotic", of course. A sexeh title for a sexeh song. (So sexeh, in fact, that it famously earned the ire of the South Korean censors.)

Fairly basic video. Plenty of of boys being tied up and tormented, though, if you like that sort of thing. (The band is DBSK, or TVXQ!, or Tohoshinki, depending on where you are and which language you're using. Apparently they could've instead been called "The Whale That Eats Legends" or "The Five Viscerae", so I think they lucked out there.)

ETA: "Labyrinthine" is a great word, and so is "mazy". Somewhere in a Tanith Lee novel she uses "styxy" instead of the more usual "Stygian", getting in connotations of "sexy" and perhaps "stinky" the same way "mirotic" hints at "erotic". Try this at home, kids.
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)

A classy and well-shot performance gives a lift to SHINee's Love Like Oxygen, a pleasing but unremarkable song.

Looking at Taemin in this - well, here's what he looks like these days (GIF not mine):

By coming in late I've missed years of mushroom-headed baby!Taemin, instead discovering him as "the young man poised on the brink of maturity, a time that the Greeks saw as the apex of masculine perfection." Even now, with only Taemin-ah still in his teens, the band will switch confusingly between sexeh namjas and non-threatening boys as required. But as a dirty old woman, I have an advantage over the fangirls in their teens and twenties: I know how handsome Taemin is going to be at forty. And seventy.

And so, in conclusion (GIF not mine):

dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English. Looks like objections to "Britishisms" are based on their higher status (and thus pretentiousness) and not their lower status, as with Americanisms.

In the absence of proper language study I continue to squee at puzzling small things out - for example, the relationship between the Korean jjang, "boss, best" and the Mandarin Dui Zhang "leader". (The Duizhang himself, Kris from Exo-M, reportedly talks in his sleep in three languages. How cool is that?!) Speaking of Exo-M, they were amongst several Kpop bands who recently performed in Jakarta. The press call was a tasty salad of languages, including Korean, English, and Bahasa - you can hear Kris speaking a little of the last two here, much to the delight of the crowd (and the commenters on YouTube :).

ETA much later: the slang 짱 jjang may come from 장, as in 사장 "boss", and 장 in turn comes from the Chinese 長 zhǎng "chief".

Moar stuff:

http://catb.org/jargon/html/index.html (The Jargon File)
http://www.mandarintools.com/pyconverter_old.html (Chinese Romanization Converter)
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
I'm pretty sure I missed a dose of the mood stabiliser a couple of nights back - just one of those silly things where I was mucking around online and not paying attention. Yesterday I was propelled into the atmosphere by music. Well, to begin with, merely by thinking about music. By the time I got around to actually listening to Tohoshinki's "ANDROID" I was flying. But I guess there was still enough of the stuff in my system to prevent gravity from losing its hold on me all together. Big crash afterwards, though - not depression, just monumental fatigue. (ETA: I spoke too soon. It's pointless to be high, 'cos it's such a long way down.)

"ANDROID" knocks "Mr. Roboto" into a cocked hat, btw. Even if the music video is basically, "Look at us / We're robots / It's so cool / That's a groovy ceiling". If I'd seen this as a kid I'd have died of the awesomeness.

(For complicated reasons I own the Japanese version of the song - the band is also called TVXQ and DBSK. Welcome to the larger part of the planet, in which multiple languages lie cheek by jowl! Say, I oughta dig up some statistics on that.)
dreamer_easy: (Default)
I've already harassed a couple of people with this - might as well inflict it on all of you! XD

One band of twelve (Exo), two teams of six (Exo-K and Exo-M)! Twice the languages (Korean and Mandarin)! Twice the eye candy! Twice the superpowers! Twice the annoying cartoon saga cell at the start! (Scan forward to 1.20 to skip it.)
dreamer_easy: (*waaaagggh)

This is a "fancam", so the quality is rough, but quite watchable. The fan has had the good idea to film the big screen, getting an excellent look at the performance. The sound is live and peppered with screams. The song is Internet War by Seo Taiji, and if I understand the lyrics correctly, the boys are singing about lewdness aimed at young women, even as they demonstrate it. Cheeky little devils.
dreamer_easy: (*ZOMG!!)
THE INCIDENT has just been repeated - like, about five minutes ago. I know this because of fans tweeting from the concert. What a way to experience porn - in the form of brief text messages in multiple languages. GIFS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN

ETA: Literally seconds later: http://twitpic.com/akwr29

ETA: OMFG http://preciousontae.tumblr.com/post/29687079015

ETA: Tumblr is flooded with delicious snaps. I'm storing them here: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/aegyopoisoned http://aegyopoisoned.tumblr.com/


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