News and a speech
The official announcement that went out recently about 2PM’s ex-leader’s Jaebum’s withdrawal from the group has, if you have not noticed, created huge waves within the industry and amidst the fandom – it’s created a huge sort of drama that the Sister and I unabashedly pored over, while providing our own (snarky) commentary.
I like the group, and so does the Sister, but we can’t help feeling outraged that the leader has been so unequivocally pulled from his position, without even a clear explanation. The group may have gotten away with the September debacle because, unofficially, it seemed from various peoples’ perspectives that they were waiting for him to come back, except, suddenly, they aren’t. Many of the Hottests have deemed this a ‘turning of their backs’…a betrayal of sorts. Certainly, they didn’t help matters when they held a conference where many fans left, chilled by what they were perceiving from the group; ironically, many of the Hottests have now turned ‘Coldests’ (anti-fans – who are, by their definition, an oxymoron onto themselves).
The Sister and I are…Lukewarmest, according to someone from Omona. The drama’s highly entertaining, but K-pop fandom isn’t fun, as I can attest to, and I think we both sort of faded away from that – the vitriol that goes around can be rather nasty. So, we’re keeping an eye on it, seeing as how the Sister likes 2PM and I’ve always sort of burst out laughing whenever they appear on variety shows, but I don’t see us investing too much effort into this. I mean, I don’t know? I see both sides of the story – why the fans are so angry and lashing out at them, but at the same time, why the group just wants to carry on (and obviously there is some MAJOR story behind the scenes here that we are not being told, and being told that we aren’t being told isn’t helping to calm the waters. Obviously JYPE needs some new marketing / PR people), so…I’m staying out of this storm. Somehow the two years in which I’ve spent in K-pop hasn’t been the best of years for various groups for various reasons…
For some happy news, Kim Yuna (S. Korea’s most famous female figure skater) has just pulled off a fabulous gold medal for the Winter Olympics with an ankle injury just a month before the competition. Congratulations to the pretty 19 year old for her gumption, brilliance, talent, and perseverance in the face of pain and competition like you wouldn’t believe it.
In other news, just caught J.K. Rowling’s speech (the full transcript is here, for the interested) on Fashion Nation for Harvard’s Commencement Address 2008 (don’t ask me why it’s only been brought up now – my only excuse is that 2008 was an abysmal year for me so I barely recollect it, and may have thus, missed out on the fabulous speech by one of my favourite children’s authors. She is, certainly, one of the better ones, on par with Eoin Colfer, author of the ever witty Artemis Fowl series, even if I had amnesia during her fifth Harry Potter book, and never bothered with the sixth or the seventh, having had such trouble with the fifth). Her experiences are humbling – one day, I wonder, will I ever write like that, and put words to what people think without ever saying? …I can only hope so.