So after last week’s rather short random musing, where we did a quick review of the new season “1 Night, 2 Day,” we are once again back to normal services and will once again be providing our usual coverage of interesting news stories over the past week and provide some of our own opinions. Got some interesting news articles to cover this week so let’s get started.

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JYJ Saesang “Fans,” why the term fan isn’t being used correctly here.

We’ve had a lot of articles over the past week about the issue of Saesang “fans.” It started off with accusations that JYJ verbally and physically abused a fan, which was then followed up by an account from the Saesang fan that recorded the audio clip and an article where JYJ opened up about verbally abusing said fans. We then had a list of actions that Saesang fans have done over the years and how Yoochun got slapped in the face by a Saesang fan and finally a rather scary photo of Junsu and his Saesang fans.

Yeah taking a photo of a celebrity while they sleep in private is perfectly normal fan behaviour /sarcasm

Saesang Fans, when you actually try to translate the word you get the definition “Fans that seek out a celebrity’s private lives,” or if you want to just cut to the chase the English word we would use is “Stalker,” with the Oxford Dictionary defining stalker as “a stealthy pursuit of someone or something.” I think calling these people “fans” at this point is being rather generous in terms of word usage. A fan is a supporter, a supporter’s role is to encourage and support a person or idea. Going around slapping celebrities, sneaking into their apartments etc is in no way encouraging or supporting a person or cause. In this case I believe it’s only right that we label them correctly and the correct label for these sorts of people is “Stalker,” someone that obsessively follows someone around for no better reason but to satisfy their own desires.  

According to some clever maths, there is a high probability of stalkers in this picture.

Also it kinda seems like JYJ/DBSK seem to suffer the most from stalkers. My memory isn’t as great as it used to be due to the large quantity of caffeine surging through my system but I believe DBSK was also involved in an incident where a fan gave them a drink laced with some sort of poisonous super glue. It’s a bit of a curiosity of me, why JYJ/DBSK seem to have the most stalker related incidents. Do they really have a lot more stalkers per fan compared to other groups or do we as the media just focus on them a lot more than other groups? Frankly I don’t think it’s the latter, say what you will but stalker incidents for any celebrity is bound to get a lot of interest from readers and it’s in our interest to cover every stalker incident but to do so requires that these celebrities actually get involved in these sort of incidents, no incidents then no news coverage. The naturally conclusion then is that JYJ/DBSK just seem to get involved in a lot of stalker incidents relative to other celebrities.

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You don’t need stalkers when you happen to be this good at shocking fans yourself

Everyone knows how big Cassiopeia  (DBSK fan club) is, their numbers might have dropped a bit due to the group split but I would guess that they are still one of the biggest fan clubs around. But I hardly think E.L.F (Super Junior Fan Club) is that much smaller in terms of pure size, yet they don’t seem to get involved in as many stalker incidents. So it does seem like DBSK/JYJ just seems to have more stalkers per fan but why? Why would one group have proportionally more stalkers than another group? Personally I think the reasoning might come down to marketing. I was comparing DBSK with Super Junior just above and I think that’s an interesting comparison to make. Here we have two extremely popular groups yet they seem to have a different fan composition. The main difference I see between the two groups that might explain this discrepancy in stalkers is how the groups are marketed. DBSK/JYJ has always been a bit of mythical group, SM Entertainment has always been rather careful about how DBSK is portrayed and marketed, starting with their grandiose names and how TV appearances were tightly controlled to maintain their image of rarity. Super Junior on the other hand have always been rather open ended, they have their mythical members like Choi Si Won but then it’s offset by more free going members like Kim Hee Chul, Lee Teuk, Kangin, Shindong and Eunhyuk.

You don’t see DBSK/JYJ doing these sort of programs

This issue of approachability is what I think is the key reason behind the reason why DBSK/JYJ has more stalkers attached to them. Their air of mystery means that there is greater desire to find out what they are doing, whether it be for personal satisfaction or to show off to others. Super Junior on the other hand has avoided some of these issues by dealing with fans in a more personal level and exposing a lot more of themselves through frequent TV appearances. I think it’s just natural tendencies; you tend to desire something more if you know it’s harder to get. It’s more challenging to deal with DBSK/JYJ and hence it becomes more “rewarding” to pry deeper into their lives since the information gained from this would be “more valuable” then information from a more open group. Or I could just go with the conspiracy theory train of thought and go on about how all of these Stalker incidents were planned out by someone to de-value the JYJ name but that’s a bit extreme isn’t it? Whatever the case I think it’s time we stop calling these people “fans” and call them what they really are, stalkers and a menace to society.

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Exclusive Soompi Content, your feedback is crucial.

So much nice exclusive Soompi content this week, we’ve had exclusive interviews with MBLAQ, a 2 part exclusive interview with FT Island & CN Blue and part 2, an exclusive interview with BEG’s Miryo and our exclusive coverage of SBS MTV’s Music Island and we even run a Soompi Talent Competition under the name of Soompi Idol 9.  It’s all part of our commitment to provide our readers with fresh content on a regular basis, content that you cannot get from other places.  However there is a caveat in all of this.

Our lovely editor interviewing MBLAQ, amazingly i’ve yet to annoy her.

There is no way of knowing if you actually enjoy this sort of content unless you provide us with feedback. If you look on our side bar at the most commented news articles, not one of them happens to be one our exclusive content articles. While we can also gauge interest in other ways, one of the best ways for our readers to help us is to write some comments, perhaps telling us that the content is good, how we could improve or what you would like to see next. Even a simple thanks will go a long way in telling us that you appreciate the content and we should continue to expend a lot of effort in organising and providing this sort of content for our readers.  I would love to see one of our exclusive content articles in the most popular news article side bar next week. I think that would mean a lot to everyone on the team.

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SHINee Teasers, um…yeah I’ll let the pictures do all the explaining.

Umm….yeah…uh…the SHINee teasers…seriously what can I really say about them? There is that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words but in this case the pictures evoke a strange silence and some awkward coughs. We had Key’s teaser, Jonghyun’s teaser, Taemin’s teaser, Onew’s Teaser and Minho’s Teaser and all of them seem to be aiming for a sort of artistic nudity concept. Unfortunately I think the resulting images strayed a bit from that vision.

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I don’t feel comfortable looking at this photo

Look I’m not homophobic or against some artistic nudity, male nudity can be done rather tastefully if done correctly and seeing the naked upper body of a male idol isn’t a rare sight, 2PM seem to take off their tops at the slightest provocation but while I don’t feel anything weird looking at 2PM exposing their muscular chests, seeing SHINee’s tender bodies gives me a strange sense of guilt and dirtiness. It’s hard to explain, it just seems wrong in a way that is hard to articulate with objective words.  They look like the type of private photos you would see leaked onto the internet whenever a celebrity has one of their numerous electronic gadgets hacked. The worst offender is Taemin, I actually had to double check that I wasn’t on 4chan for a second after seeing that photo.  For the briefest second I actually did think that I was looking at an underage naked kid. To be honest Minho’s teaser isn’t much better in this regard.

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Probably the most “normal” teaser picture released

I think the issue I have is that they seem to have excessively sexualised the pictures for either shock value or some other agenda that I have yet to figure out. The expressions, the slight haziness of the picture, their actions etc all of it seems to be designed to maximise an image of sexuality and it’s personally rather distasteful. It also seems to be a complete departure from their standard image and while change is good, one must question their agenda here. Are they really trying to drastically change their image here or are they going for a one-shot shock value treatment, before going back to their standard image? I just can’t seem to figure out what they are planning with this? If anyone can help me answer this I would greatly appreciate it.

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Article Post Mortem – Why I should never call a girl “Chubby,” and the issue of scripts on Variety Shows.

Thought I would try something new for this week, I think there is a lack of opportunity to address some of the comments that people have regarding some of the articles we write. Obviously I can’t address issues for articles I didn’t personally write but I can address some comments I have seen in a recent article I wrote about how Eunjung was looking chubbier on a recent WGM recording, and while we are on the topic of WGM, we can talk about the issue with scripts and how Eunjung denies there being any issue with scripts.

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Look! Her thighs are about 2 pixels wider than before!

Let’s address the first issue, my usage of the word “Chubbier” to describe Eunjung’s physique. I actually thought about what word to use for quite some time, I didn’t want to just write “OMG Eunjung is fatter,” since that didn’t seem appropriate however I still wanted to convey the message that Eunjung appeared to have gained a kilo or two around her legs. I chose the word “Chubbier” as I thought it was a much nicer and less extreme way of describing perceived weight gain compared to other words such as “Fatter,” “Plump,” “Hefty,” etc. I really did think “chubbier” would be a nice cute way of describing what I perceived in the pictures but that intention obviously wasn’t well communicated.

A good example of both being healthly fulsome and broadcasters not following set naming conventions

As for my perception of weight gain, that is a subjective thing. I watch a lot of “We Got Married” and watch a lot of things involving T-ara so I do tend to see Eunjung on TV quite often and compared to what I saw on TV in recent episodes (Which were actually recorded a few weeks back), she really did look slightly more rounded in the pictures in the articles. Like I mentioned in the article it could just be a function of camera angles but that really was my subjective opinion of the picture. Some people also seemed to presume that this meant that I viewed this as a bad thing, which is hardly true. My worry was that her recent injuries have meant that she has been unable to exercise in recent weeks and I mentioned that in the article. Being extremely skinny is obviously not healthy but then again neither is being plump. You don’t just suddenly gain weight without it negatively affecting your health. I would also like to see female idols gain a bit of mass and look more fulsome but I want that fulsome to come from muscular gains rather than fat gains, which means you have to exercise and if Eunjung hasn’t been able to exercise due to injuries and has thus gained weight in fat then that’s a concern.

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Still my most popular article, Who Wore It Better: G-Dragon vs. Lee Hyori

Finally some people tend to question news worthiness when articles like this come up. I would like to ask one question, what do we classify as news? If I go to the Oxford dictionary once again, it defines news as “newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent event.” Under that definition an article about some new pictures of a celebrity would fall under the definition of news. I know that’s not the definition people think of when they ask if something is “news.” Obviously when people question whether an article like the above is “news,” they are asking if we should be spending time and effort to cover what they believe doesn’t really need explaining since it’s just pictures with a bit of commentary. But the thing about celebrity news coverage is that 80% of the time there really isn’t any major news stories. In some ways the celebrity news media is “boring” in that there really isn’t that much significant news stories on a day to day basis. If we were to cover just significant news like press releases, new album previews interviews, etc. Then we would be writing less than half the articles we are currently writing at the moment.

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Someone somewhere appreciates this article about Choi Si Won

But the special distinction with celebrity news is that fans desire to see as much as possible of their celebrities on a day to day basis, which significantly increases the importance of even basic Twitter picture news posts. For every one person that questions the news worthiness of such an article, there is a dozen others that like to see that their favourite celebrity is revealing something about themselves, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others. Our job as writers is to make sure we cover such details no matter how insignificant it may seem. We are not the judges of what is important or not, that’s the readers’ job and if they really don’t want to see these sort of articles then they won’t read or comment on them. Yet articles that some view as non-news worthy like “Which celebrity wore it best” or the numerous twitter posts are some of the most popular articles and get a steady stream of readers. As long as readers constantly want read these articles, we will keep writing them to satisfy the vast majority of readers. Think of it this way, what is best? Covering as much as possible or being selective?

And finally the issue of scripts on real variety shows, I touched on this subject briefly in a previous article I wrote about “Infinity Challenge” and what it means to be a variety show but it’s been on the news again with reports saying that “WGM” was “scripted” and Eunjung denying these claims. First of all saying “WGM” was mostly scripted is overreacting a bit. The picture in question is above and involves one of the scriptwriters writing on their notepads  “Let’s try the coconuts.” Which some presumed was like a drama script and the couple had to say it exactly as the script says. The thing with Variety Show scripts is that these Scriptwriter notes are mainly there to provide guidance for the cast members. They are in every show, next time you watch a show pay close attention to those brief moments when the camera shows something behind the camera line, you will see a line of scriptwriters with notepads writing stuff on their notepads and showing the notes to the cast members. These notes are stuff like “Move onto next question,” “Ask question no 1,” or quickly responding to a change in scenario, example of which would be if a guest said something and the scriptwriter wants the MCs to expand upon that. They would write a message asking the MCs to ask a question regarding what the guest just said. In simple terms a variety show script is in no way similar to a drama script. Variety Show scripts are just loose guidance notes to help cast members while drama scripts are expected to be followed line for line. Saying that this incident proves that “WGM” is “scripted” in a way that implies it is like a drama script is just overreacting and shows a lack of understanding for what a scriptwriter does on a variety show.