Friday, April 25, 2014

The deal with: Avril Lavigne - Hello Kitty

Disclaimer thingy: The things I'm saying are my opinions, you can disagree, but there is no use in attacking me. I only respond to politely stated comments.

The netizens have awoken and reunited, people who haven't shown their face in forever have resurfaced and collectively flooded Facebook and many other places with comments expressing their opinions:
Those are only some of the thoughts that have been expressed by netizens. But what is it that caused this major uproar? Well, strap in and prepare yourself for a ride because the unimaginable has happened: Avril Lavigne has released a new video clip!

I know right? Very shocking. But since there has been so many reactions all over the place and I could hardly partake in all the conversations, I'm going to revive this blog instead and express my opinion in a different way than usual. 

First of all I would like to wonder, is it really such a surprise? I've seen many people react with absolute shock to the appearance of this video. But the more I think about it, the more predictable this video seems to be. After all, here we are, talking about a girl who I haven't heard of since 2008 (that's 6 years ago). Her popularity has been decreasing in the western countries, while she is still going strong in Japan. She's covered songs for One Piece, and sang some of her own songs in (partial) Japanese and the fans there love it, because American pop music is just the shit in the Asian part of the globe. 
So, considering that your home base isn't providing well, and there's this country all to willing to embrace you as an artist, what would any professional singer do? Right, sing songs to cater to that country. And that is what Avril Lavigne did. She made a song for her Japanese fans.

While we keep this information in mind, let's revisit the accusations that are thrown her way. So first of all, is this video racist? When I first looked at this video, the word honestly didn't really pop in mind, but that's just me, so I decided to look what other people had to say on the topic. In general the consensus seemed to be that it was racist because of the stone faced Asian girls dancing in the background, the overly colorful settings and props, and the poor use of Japanese.
This made me wonder, are these things actually racist? How do I determine such a thing? Well, first of all I went to and looked up Racism, just so I knew what  I was talking about. This is what popped up:

So let's break this down. Does this video have anything to do with inherent differences among various races? Does this video make one race appear more superior to the other? In my experience it doesn't. Does this video discriminate between those who are Japanese and those who aren't? Doesn't seem like it? Is there hatred or intolerance of a race? Didn't pick up on that either.
To be fair though, I think the main issue people had was with how Japan was depicted in this video. But is it really that bad? Is it really worse than what most Jpop idols do in their videos? Just imagine that this video had a Japanese idol in the spot where Avril is. Do you think that people would still complain about it not being an accurate representation of Japan? According this article it's somewhat realistic anyways.

I'm sure that's what the Japanese postal services are like.

Another part that people seem to have an issue with is he pronunciation. But is that racist? I dare say that if I were to sing a song in a language I don't speak I wouldn't pronounce the words very accurately. Kpop artists who do Japanese covers of their songs often struggle with this problem, even if they have been educated in the language. Is that something to get angry about? Sure, maybe Avril could have put some more effort into her pronunciation, but I think that most of her Japanese fans will already be happy with the fact that she's trying. And at the end of the day, those are the people she's catering to. Not the critical Jpop fans that think that nothing but perfect pronunciation suffices. And let's be fair, pronouncing Japanese correctly is quite the task for most native English speakers. And the Japanese aren't always very talented at English either.

Then, the last 'racist' aspect of the video. The girls dancing in the background. People have somehow decided that it's racist to have 4 Japanese girls dancing in the background with blank expressions. I haven't yet figured out how this logic works. But let me just tell you that there is such a thing as Harajuku girls in Japan, and they are quite common.

Now lets move on to the second accusation that has been thrown at Avril's head. It was said that she is behaving childish, and does things in this video that no 29 year old should. First of all I would like to respond with the following:
Because really, why should you care? Why do we have to behave a certain way just because of the amount of years we have walked around on this earth, and in what way does it affect anyone that Avril doesn't stick to those rules in this video. With racism I could understand how it could be an issue if she was spreading hatred. But I really can't see the harm in acting childish in a video. It doesn't seem like something you should get your panties in a twist over. I thought I left behind the teenage phase where everyone wants to appear to be adult and grown up anyways.
Secondly though, I would once again like to gesture at all the Japanese idols that behave childish without being judged. And let's not forget that this video was targeted to the Japanese audience who probably don't care and are used to it.

The final accusation that was being shouted around was that Avril was being a sell-out by doing this. That she was just profiting of the fact that she has many Japanese fans and is trying to get money out of this. And well, it's probably true. But the same is true for most of the entertainment industry we know. Every entertainment company in Asia that I'm familiar with does anything they can to make more money. It's never about showing off talent, or the artists having a good time with their fans. It's all about money, and same goes for most artists in America. It's nothing new, many would do the same in Avril's situation, and it's really nothing to get worked up about without trying to change the whole entertainment industry. 

Totally not doing it for the money.

So, now that I have cleared these things out of the way people might ask me, "So you think this video is actually good?" And to those people I will say no, it sucks. The lyrics are poor (just like with most pop music), the music sucks and the video hurts my eyes. There is no way I will ever enjoy this video and I don't want to imply that anyone should. All I want to say is that instead of bitching and pretending it's the most offensive video in the world, we should just treat it the same way we treat all bad music. Ignore it as much as we can and hope the hype blows over sometime soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hyuna (현아) - Bubble Pop

A while back I was so lucky to receive a nice package in the mail which made me happy. What made me more happy, though, was that the object that could be found inside the package was wrapped in bubble wrap. Just like any other person who likes to enjoy the simple things in life every now and then I started to pop the bubbles as a maniac. That is when this lovely song came to mind. I naturally started playing this song as some background music while continuing my popping activities.

Even though Gangnam Style is kind of looked down upon by some Kpop lovers I know because it doesn't properly represent Kpop as a whole I must say that it has introduced me to many songs. In this case it went a bit different though since it wasn't because of remix but because of a guest appearance. As I was watching the video I became curious about who the girl in the video was so I decided to have a look on Youtube to see if she had some songs herself and this is the song that I ended clicking on. At the time I wasn't too impressed by the songs but as it happens with catchy songs it kept popping up in my head until the day that I finally gave in and decided to give it another shot.

Well, first off I only heard the song and I concluded what I had before: it's extremely catchy. What I hadn't remember were the little suggestive noises that Hyuna seems to make throughout the video. Now I am not someone to dislike a song because of that. If anything, it made me curious about the video so that is what I did: watch the video. And well, I can confidently say that I find the video very fitting to the song. It is bright, colorful and Hyuna does her ultimate best to highlight every sexy part of her body to the point that it seemed like a human anatomy lesson. Never before have I seen a music video where a girl has her hand between her legs so frequently.

Hey guys, let me tell you a little something about my body. It's damn gorgeous.

Lets start off with my gorgeous armpits. They're the best part of my body, though not everyone seems to agree.

They are generally distracted by amazing birthing hips.

Or my amazing skill to close just one eye!

OMG, pop art in bubble pop! I get it :D

I also have an amazingly sexy stomach.

And such smooth thighs. Their smoothness still surprises me whenever I touch them.

Oh yeah, and I have legs too!

Yeah, I have the best damn body out there!

I also have amazing arms~

And beautiful boobs.

They look even better in this top.

Sometimes boys try to touch me over there though...

So then I'm like, 'what are you doing?', and they are like, 'I dunno.'

Then they will be all like 'will you call me?'

So then I have to point out that this isn't a phone but just a hand.

But everything turns out alright once I point out that my boobs are amazing.

Just like my gorgeous eyes.

So, what else can I tell you about me?

I have a great ass!

Every part of my body is great.

One day I was daydreaming about my body, since it's so perfect and all.

I kinda forgot that I was supposed to meet up with a friend.

And then I remembered!

Luckily everyone forgives me after I do my cute cat imitation.

And off we go!

Anyways, did I tell you I have amazing feet?

What? This lollipop isn't a part of my body! My shoulder is though!

Don't ask me crazy questions, they confuse me!

Why don't you just remain seated right there.

While I continue my story!

So I went shopping with this guy some day.

And I showed him how amazing I looked.

He obviously loved it.

Then we went to a swimming pool!

And he tried to steal my attention!

Take that you jerk!

No one dares try looking better than me!

This body is unbeatable!

You should all worship it.

My luscious legs,

my perky ass,

my gorgeous mouth,

my sexy stomach, 

my soft thighs

and my lovely lips.

And now I know for sure that this lollipop is definitely not a body part, you silly person.

So yeah... These were my least exciting screen caps ever. Sorry guys! This doesn't take away though that I love this song and it's video. I'm glad I got to know this before I did