08 March 2013

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About Scumbags and KDrama Viewing Pleasures Turned Sour (Part I)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 08, 2013
I have been wanting to write a post on KDrama viewing methods for a long time. In fact, a first draft has been sitting on this platform for weeks. It would have been mainly light-hearted and innocent, as most of my posts are. Yes, KDrama should be fun and make us feel good in multiple ways - it is a form of wonderful and addicting escapism that has enriched my life for the past three years.

But KDramaland has turned ugly recently.

This here is Part I of a personal account of my somewhat sad waking-up from this sweet, sweet dream. At this moment, I just hope I can go back to sleep and delve into this fantasyland as lightheartedly as before.
... and because this post is about ugly things, I decided to festoon it with pictures of Kim Ji-hoon. Who is definitely NOT an ugly thing.
Part I is about the Park Shi-hoo rape case. I do not want to write too much about any of the details of it, because there is far too much being said already. The absurdity of it all could amuse me, only there is nothing even remotely funny about it. I am disgusted with it all - and I mean it all, the potential deed, the potential lie, the media, the fans, the comments on the various blogs I'm following. Disgust it coupled with a deep sadness. Expressing exactly what I feel, Amanda from "Outside Seoul" said the following: 
"This news about Park Shi Hoo just makes me incredibly sad. Sad that there are people who rape, sad that there are people who lie, and sad that it’s so hard to tell what’s true. No matter what, an innocent person’s life is going to be forever changed—whether that person is an unjustly accused Park Shi Hoo or a faceless girl who was horribly taken advantage of by someone our society led her to admire."
But wait a minute ... this has nothing to do with me, right? This is not related to me or the life I am leading. I may have liked PSH (as an actor) in the past, but my goodness, I am a mature woman who is fully capable of distinguishing between the image of an actor that I like and his "true" personality! We do not often have to actually think about the second - but if we are confronted with it, well ... let's not be too surprised that these people are people like everybody else; they fart and poo - and some of them are scumbags or even criminals.
but surely not him, right?!

Yes, all this is true, but ... I cannot help but be affected on a more substantial level. Apart from making me all too aware of how disgusting human beings can be, the PSH-case has also really soured my KDrama viewing pleasure. It forced me to have a good and long look at the Korean entertainment world and I do not like what I am seeing. This is a world in which is is normal that human beings are groomed to please and then exploited by corporations, a world in which an actor better have a good agency and stay on friendly terms with it for all his life if he wants to survive, a world in which almost nobody can exist without altering their appearance through plastic surgery, and a world in which it is the norm to shoot dramas for weeks without more than a few hours of sleep. It is a world of truly crazy and scary fans, of incredibly invasive media, and of sometimes mindless netizens with far too much power.
But you get to sleep enough, yes, "oppa"?
I am sorry if there are cultural insensitivities in my statement. But this world is wrong on so many levels, it scares me. And it also scares me that I, fully knowing all this, continue to simply and mindlessly consume what this world gives me. I, who only buys organic and/or locally produced food because I know about the problems of global food production, I, who tries to buy clothing made from organic cotton, not produced in some obscure country ... I don't feel good about it anymore at the moment. Because I know - was forced to know and acknowledge that I know. Do you remember that feeling as a kid when you first found out that the Easter Bunny wasn't real? Kinda like I feel. Very disappointed - and stupid at the same time.

I'll just look at this guy then, until I get over it.
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