Lonely English-speaking foreigners living in Korea!
Take comfort in the small certainties:
- You're not short
- Your music isn't nearly as wack
- Your Mother tongue is the most widely spoken in the world
Speaking of music, I've more or less kept up with the general buzz from the world of kpop. I figured learning Korean through music might be more pleasant than books. The website popseoul is entertaining sometimes in just its general sarcastic tone.
It's a subject for a much longer post than I have the resources to write right now, but it's really interesting looking at the subject of masculine and feminine ideas in Asia. For example, most male pop stars in Korea, their look would be considered "gay" in the states--and a great deal of their music too, would simply be interpreted as a derivative imitation of what's already done in the states. Hence my skepticism at any native Korean pop music artist *ever* making a big breakthrough in the West. I could see perhaps a rap artist like that dude from Drunken Tiger (because he's good and can actually speak English), or some kind of indie rock group. They though, would still have to somehow be exiting or unique. But pop? the West is already drowning in enough mediocre pop acts of it's own--we don't need anyone else's.
Er...though, I'd have to admit that most of that gender role stuff is true. America is so...obsessed with the swaggering, chest beating, crotch grabbing, cap-popping kind of aesthetic. *everything* not full of this attitude is considered gay. Meanwhile a lot of Asia's pop culture seems to be obsessed with young men and women who look like delicate dolls. Personally, I find sometimes that simple fact to be a welcome break. Ultra femininity over Ultra masculinity for a change of pace.
I'd like to hear some Korean indie music outside of the usual processed, prepackaged stuff one hears around, but it's hard to find. And what's with the Korean music industry making it so hard for non-Korean fans to get a hold of their music? You'd think you'd need all the fan base one can get.
Typical example, this video by the kpop group SHINee, Sansogoteuneo (Love Like Oxygen). Only their second single and they're already doing a cover. A cover of a song that the "original" songwriter already stole mostly from Michael Jackson:
SHINee--Love Like Oxygen
And the "original" song performed by Martin Hedagaard, Danish singer, and winner of the televised singing competition, "X-Factor", Show the World
Sigh. How derivative can one get? Although, in defense of music today, I don't think that there's anything left to accomplish that hasn't already been done.
To end yet another entry on a tediously trite note; it's all just a little bit of history repeating.