October 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m Swedish, born and raised, still living in this northern part of Europe with it’s chilly climate and welfare state. I’m a man who just turned 30, a teacher and more important for now – I’m kind of a fanboy. In a K-pop kind of sense that is. Key(of SHINee) is so obviously my bias and I sometimes find it hard to understand how this works. What is it about that man/idol that keeps me captivated? Don’t know. Do I want to know?
Earlier this evening, Mis sent me the Key-gif to the left. Attached were the words: “Thought he was inserting snus from the beginning.” (Snus = Swedish snuff) Snus is the most macho kind of tobacco there is in Sweden and the layers of Key perhaps using that kind tobacco is mind blowing, the Swedish fanboy I am.
Key is in the fandom rather portrayed in a feminine kind of way then in a macho. His interest in clothing and the quirky personality his got makes this version of him understandable and a classic gay characteristic, which also is a common way to describe him. SHINee Key gay is by the way one of the highest ranking search terms at this blog. This is perhaps not for me the most exciting Key version I could think of. Rather, the wet dream of a fanboy like myself could be “Key doing “manly” stuff” and my reaction to this gif was instant and thrilled, even though both me and Mis could see that Key was probably not inserting snus after all…
Important to point out is that I do not want to rank a manly version of Key higher then a more feminine one. But as the clichés of him and being gay is usually twisted towards the later one I always find it liberating and awesome when things comes along disturbing the cliché. It could be him being pshysically strong in an old episode of Maknae Rebellion or the picture of him with his unshaved moustache as seen in the picture below in the middle. Also, being a man/or manly AND being feminine is another great combo if thats what is prefered.
The Future is Idol – L
btw. Key doing “manly” stuff could of course also be the wet dream of a fangirl, even if it might be rare.
October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
When I get too tired from worrying about idols, about their psychological and physiological health, about their love lives, about how they feel about what they do, about their economy, about their integrity, about the “race” dynamics between my (Caucasian) way of looking and theirs, about their attitude towards gender and sexuality, about their body image and their views on other bodies than their own, about what would happen if I actually met them, about what will happen if I never meet them, about their view on fans, about their popularity; in short, about idols in general, I sometimes really miss the days when I was just a bored, sad fifteen-year old virgin fangirl with idle hands and a huge obsession with Harry Potter.
No real people. None of the never-ending grown-up reflections that block my way today. Just me and my fiction, fanon and canon.
The following conversation just happened:
Me: Sometimes I wish being a fifteen-year old Harry Potter obsessed. It was so much less complicated.
Lars: You can never have that back.
Me: No. Never.
Footnote: BUT I WOULD NEVER EVER GO BACK IN TIME. NEVER. EVER. WOULD I GO BACK THERE AGAIN. NEVER. Because it sucked. But I can still romanticize it afterwards.
October 21, 2012 § 3 Comments
It’s not always the best songs on an albums that get promoted, which means that they are often missed out by casual listeners. One of these songs is, in my opinion, “Bubble Bath” from Orange Caramel’s first album “Lipstick” that was released about a month ago. This has been one of my most listened songs these past weeks. (Just sit through the first 30 seconds; for some reason the intro isn’t much to write home about.)
~*han bangul han bangul*~~hehe
October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
I just got home from beer-drinking at a bar and as usual I’m sitting down with my computer in the darkness. We spent the evening out talking about pop culture, South Korean and Western, stuff that we have recently seen or rewatched, Among my closest friends there is a huge interest in pop culture in general. To be both entertained and to make an analysis of it… Is there anything better? So much to do and so much to watch in front of me. Shinhwa Broadcast, favourite parts with Key from Raising Idols, Running man and Masterchef… Brilliant life.
For not a very long time now, I have been feeling like a grown up. This is interesting because this has also, finally, given me the confidence to decide what is important and fun to do. This evening, with beer and pop culture is very much one of those things, and I don’t care if the people at the next table thought that our conversation was weird or shallow. Because really, that is what most people think when it comes to pop culture, even if there are a hundred truths about everything in society to be told from it. Even if it gives you all the joy in the world.
To be a fan of K-pop as a grown up is also fun. In many situations you can realate to what the idols are going through, but with a bit of perspective, and as a grown up you also have the advantage of having money to spend and deciding on your own. These are very good things, especially when you want to go to a K-pop club in Stockholm, travel to another country for a concert or order random CDs (a few of these did just recently happen). And ok so also, I just found some pics of my apartment the day after the K-pop club(guess where that evening started and ended).
The Future is Idol -L
October 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
The other day a common friend (a psychology student) of The Future is Idol crew started talking about the lives we live inside our heads and the richness of that life – often, but not always, in contrast to the life we live on the outside. In that moment, Lars and I looked at each other and started laughing out loud, thinking the same thing.
I’ve said it before and I say it again: Kpop is an industry of dreams. Kpop deals in dreams, and dreams is what it sells. Something I find extremely interesting about it, is how it is not an industry based on selling dreams about the buyer, but about someone else. The clothing and make up industry sells dreams about yourself, the person you will become in those particular jeans or shoes or shades of eyeshadow. The furniture industry sells dreams about yourself, telling you that your inside is represented in your home. A lot of the technology industry is based on the want of the buyer to be cool, to have that awesome sound system or at least that hip new phone that everybody are talking about.
But kpop is about dreams about others. We might objectify our idols, and I know a lot of fanspazzing is downright dirty, giving explicit descriptions of what the fan would do were hir idol near, and of course we will fantasize about how it would be to share some kind of romantic vibes with our idols. But the vast majority of kpop fanfiction is about the idols with each other, as is a huge part of fanart. I personally believe that one of the reasons that so many straight fangirls ship their male idols together is that they want to see them in love, but without having to identify or compare with a female character in a world where, unfortunately, gender is expected to be one of the most major parts of one’s personality and the base of especially heterosexual interactions. I often find favorites among the idols I identify with, but have no interest in doing the things that idols do – I don’t want to dance, or sing, or participate in variety shows. It is not the possession of a skill that I want that make me idolize them, no matter how much I can enjoy seeing them perform it. I want to fantasize about them, about what they do, about what they think and who they love. When I buy their music, I’m not buying a dream about whom I could be. I buy a dream about whom they might be.
When I was a teenager, I loved a song called Happy People Never Fantasize. But I no longer think that’s true.
October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m always alarmed and worried when the meaning in words and actions are changed from politics to the conceptual level. This is what Miss A is heading towards using a banner with the words Independent Women and This Is For All The Independent Ladies, for their new promotional pictures. To make money out of a short promotional period on the very much so important issue of womens rights is indeed higly questionable. This is obviously so much of a marketing strategy that no one can be misstaken, but who knows, Miss A might turn out to be part of a newly born feminist movement in South Korea in the end…
Good idea or bad idea to use this concept? Does it make it better or worse that they look awesome in suits and other traditional “male” attires in the teaser MV?
The Future is Idol – L