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hellothrice:

My blog, my rant.

I’m really fed up with the constant attempt to prove Jaejoong is some sort of victim. He’s achieved so much and had so many successes, that I would hope more fans would acknowledge that he is fully capable of making his own decisions and taking care of himself. He is after all…

I am a huge fan of JYJ and it's tough being their fan when all their activities are being blocked. It's frustrating and it kind of makes me angry at SM. We all know they are blocking them and they lie to the courts they are not. What do you think about SM using their resources to block JYJ? I personally think JYJ did nothing wrong with their break up - I mean why else would you go to court during the height of popularity if something wasn't severely wrong.
Anonymous

angrykpopfan:

djbullock:

suuzaaa:

angrykpopfan:

suuzaaa:

angrykpopfan:

Hi there, thanks for stopping by!

You should be angry - SM is a bully. There is nothing fair nor moral about them using their overbearing influence and resources in the industry to block JYJ and their continued pursuits. It’s also cowardly, as they are well-aware of JYJ’s popularity and are basically perceiving it as a threat to their own standing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - what SM is seeking is a monopoly, to essentially be the sole K-pop industry by buying (or ‘weeding out’, in JYJ’s case) competition. As a fan, I want to know exactly where my energy and my money goes when I ‘fangirl’; and furthermore, it’s all about having the power to choose, having room to maneuver between practices and values I agree or don’t agree with and investing support exactly where I want to. It is disempowering when all the music I listen to and all the idols I follow are from the same company; and from a company who likes to play it dirty, apparently. Screw that :( 

It’s surprising to see the usually level-headed angrykpopfan so willingly accept and promote the ‘truth’ that it’s all SM’s doing blocking JYJ from doing activities, effectively claiming all those others industry professionals are just pawns in SM’s hands (but only when it comes to stop other artists, not for promoting their own?).

It’s also surprising to see angrykpopfan advocate the idea of SM wanting to create a K-pop monopoly (!), when there is little to no evidence supporting it. If SM had the resources to single-handedly block a big group as JYJ from all music activities in order to create a monopoly, why wouldn’t they block other popular groups as well?

There are more - and bigger - bullies in the Korean entertainment industry, which opens up for the possibility of SM not being the one and only source of grief for JYJ fans. Maybe that doesn’t matter to some people, but it should matter to those who want to try looking at the bigger picture.

Hi suuzaaa,

I appreciate this critique a lot and the legitimate questions you ask. I will do my best to address them and elaborate on my opinion; and I do admit that I have a bias against SM Entertainment that is based on the accounts I have read and heard over the years.

With that said, from what I am aware, SM was indeed the common denominator in the blocking of JYJ’s activities. I refuse to invest too much trust into the KFPCAI’s claim (and that of many other bodies) that they didn’t side with SM when they too issued all those blockage requests to numerous broadcasters and album distributors. And AVEX is an SM affiliate. It’s undeniable how huge SM is in the K-pop industry, and when odds happen to be in their favor, in my eyes that is enough to assume strings are being pulled somewhere, whether directly or indirectly.

As for SM not playing their influence to promote their other artists, the sole fact that SM artists are among the biggest and most internationally promoted in the industry is evidence of their influence and star power, both passive and actively played. BoA in Japan was not just a happy accident, EXO has an enormous fanbase for a reason (even before they debuted), and SNSD would not have appeared on American television if SM didn’t know a few somebodies. 

SM wanting to create a K-pop monopoly is my own little conspiracy theory, because if we zero in on the nuances, of course K-pop is not a monopoly per se as you still have the other “big two” (or “big three”, if you count Cube Entertainment), as well as the other labels. But I have a bone to pick with SM for ‘merging’ with Woollim Entertainment, a label I believe had potential to join the higher ranks if it remained on its own feet; as well as partnering with Samsung to create another sub-label. At the very least, SM is seeking to be a major music company with all these ‘merges’ and partnerships; and that’s a smart and tactful strategy from a business perspective, for sure. As a consumer, however, I don’t like how this label is becoming all the more widespread in the Korean cultural industry, not just in K-pop (they have subsidiaries in the travel, technology, and drama industries; and the one out of the “big three” with the most subsidiaries); and apparently, in many other music industries in Southeast Asia. Again, it’s great for them and for SM artists, having access to ventures and opportunities beyond the music world. But as I wish to be in control of my consumer choices, I find it unnerving, unnerving enough to call it a pursuit towards an industrial monopoly. 

For SM to attempt blocking other popular groups the way they blacklist JYJ would not be a smart move, from where I see it. It is too risky as they place themselves head-to-head with labels and star power with the brawn to match theirs. Blacklisting and blockage involves measuring power differentials and taking advantage, which was the case with JYJ (and even the SNSD brand controversy from 2011, when the company tried to sue some person who had shares in the group’s trademark. In my opinion, they could have just offered compensation). It does not mean that SM will not challenge other labels and groups, as they’ve arguably done recently with YG (as YG with SM), when 2NE1 and SNSD returned to the scene in the same cycle. That is a fair way to play, not blockage nor blacklisting; and I call SM a bully because of what they did to JYJ, in believing they did have enough of an advantage to successfully pluck JYJ right out of the industry. Maybe they are not the sole players - and you are right, there are other (and bigger) bullies in the industry, but that does not diminish the unfairness of SM’s actions.

I understand there exists loopholes and unconfirmed speculations in the JYJ case (and perhaps in many others involving SM), but it is my conscious choosing to establish a solid opinion and express it when asked. Besides, isn’t almost everything clouded with a bit of uncertainty? With this issue, I essentially decided to navigate through the uncertainty with my own reasoning, which again, is my own. Everyone has the right to disagree, as we all have our own perspective of the issue; and it doesn’t mean I will not be flexible when presented with contrary views. It may just be so that I did not happen to come across those views. As always, I invite you and anyone to drop by and continue the discussion wherever you see fit. 

I guess we differ in that I see no rational reason to believe KFPCAI and others inside the Korean entertainment industry can’t have opinions of their own, regardless of what SM thinks and wants. Just as there are fans who don’t think JYJ handled things in an elegant way, I’m willing to believe there are people in the industry who share that same opinion. I actually suspect industry insiders are more likely to shun individuals who publicly criticize what’s going on in the entire idol industry - ‘the unique and succesful Korean way to do things’. The KFPCAI banned Jay Park from appearing on music shows for saying Korea was gay. In all honesty, it seems you don’t need to rock the boat very much to become a persona non grata in the Korean entertainment business. The public broadcasting companies ban celebrities who are deemed too vocal about social issues. It’s not right, but it happens. And as far as I know, it can happen even without some power player pulling strings in a personal vendetta.

With that said, I don’t mean to say SM are innocent, but I do think they have only done what is common praxis in their environment. Could SM have been more graceful about it and sent off JYJ with a smile, a wave, and a tear twinkling in the corner of their collective eye? Yes, of course. But that’s just not what you do in the corporate world.

As for your conspiracy theory, I too think Woollim were doing great with Infinite, and could have continued to do even better. However. If Woollim was in a financially vulnerable position (and ‘lack of money’ sure has been a theme throughout the years) there would have been a risk of losing everything. You can’t buy something that’s not for sale, and you can definitely not merge with someone who isn’t willing. Regardless of the reason, Woollim’s boss decided a merger with SM would be in his and his company’s best interest. Maybe he did it for completely selfish reasons, but at the end of the day, he did it. I don’t see why the ‘blame’ should fall only on SM in this case.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to further explain your standpoint, and as always, I appreciate and applaud your contributions to the international K-pop community in encouraging healthy discussion around various topics.

I’m inclined to side with AKPF’s opinion… SM’s hand, whether direct or indirectly is still all over this JYJ block. IMO there have been enough commenters within the SK entertainment industry (albeit anonymous for understandable reasons) who have validated SM is the source behind the issue. And let’s be honest… SM does have a tendency to act like a butt-hurt teenager when something upsets them. (Past: Mnet/MAMA; More Recently: Music Bank B1A4 Suspected Sajaegi Controversy.)

For me, suuzaaa’s argument that broadcasting companies ban celebrities all the time is weak in that news of JYJ activities and/or their individual pursuits in other areas of the industry (i.e., dramas, music videos) have not been banned from being shown on these same broadcasting channels. When a celebrity is put on a broadcast industry blacklist, it’s global… not selective.

Thank you both suuzaaa and djbullock for your responses! Both reasonable arguments and offer a healthy range of insight into the same issue.

I think I continue to side-eye SM in the JYJ case, based on the same reasoning as djbullock’s, but I can agree with the motivations suuzaaa see of other players involved, in that they have similar interests (despite the potential for those like SM to pull strings) to keep the status quo because it benefits all of them. It is fair to consider that other industrial players retain some agency to decide their plan of actions for themselves (as they themselves are power-holders as well) and a possibility to consider when similar situations arise in the future. As for Woollim, I also agree it was a business strategy more than anything to shake hands on a merge. It just rattles me that it had to be SM…… anyways.

With only press releases and the media to depend on (as well as those anonymous commentators djbullock mentioned), we can only continue to guesstimate what really went on (and is going on) behind the scenes; and we should allow ourselves to depend on our own compasses (whatever they may consist of) and share our views with one another because that’s pretty much all we have.

With that said, many thanks once again for an enlightening debate thus far (and thank you suuzaaa, for the kind words towards the end of your response - it’s definitely not without fellow fans like you who are willing to add to the discussion!) Feel free to continue; and of course, anyone and everyone is welcome to hop on. 

I am a huge fan of JYJ and it's tough being their fan when all their activities are being blocked. It's frustrating and it kind of makes me angry at SM. We all know they are blocking them and they lie to the courts they are not. What do you think about SM using their resources to block JYJ? I personally think JYJ did nothing wrong with their break up - I mean why else would you go to court during the height of popularity if something wasn't severely wrong.
Anonymous

suuzaaa:

angrykpopfan:

suuzaaa:

angrykpopfan:

Hi there, thanks for stopping by!

You should be angry - SM is a bully. There is nothing fair nor moral about them using their overbearing influence and resources in the industry to block JYJ and their continued pursuits. It’s also cowardly, as they are well-aware of JYJ’s popularity and are basically perceiving it as a threat to their own standing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - what SM is seeking is a monopoly, to essentially be the sole K-pop industry by buying (or ‘weeding out’, in JYJ’s case) competition. As a fan, I want to know exactly where my energy and my money goes when I ‘fangirl’; and furthermore, it’s all about having the power to choose, having room to maneuver between practices and values I agree or don’t agree with and investing support exactly where I want to. It is disempowering when all the music I listen to and all the idols I follow are from the same company; and from a company who likes to play it dirty, apparently. Screw that :( 

It’s surprising to see the usually level-headed angrykpopfan so willingly accept and promote the ‘truth’ that it’s all SM’s doing blocking JYJ from doing activities, effectively claiming all those others industry professionals are just pawns in SM’s hands (but only when it comes to stop other artists, not for promoting their own?).

It’s also surprising to see angrykpopfan advocate the idea of SM wanting to create a K-pop monopoly (!), when there is little to no evidence supporting it. If SM had the resources to single-handedly block a big group as JYJ from all music activities in order to create a monopoly, why wouldn’t they block other popular groups as well?

There are more - and bigger - bullies in the Korean entertainment industry, which opens up for the possibility of SM not being the one and only source of grief for JYJ fans. Maybe that doesn’t matter to some people, but it should matter to those who want to try looking at the bigger picture.

Hi suuzaaa,

I appreciate this critique a lot and the legitimate questions you ask. I will do my best to address them and elaborate on my opinion; and I do admit that I have a bias against SM Entertainment that is based on the accounts I have read and heard over the years.

With that said, from what I am aware, SM was indeed the common denominator in the blocking of JYJ’s activities. I refuse to invest too much trust into the KFPCAI’s claim (and that of many other bodies) that they didn’t side with SM when they too issued all those blockage requests to numerous broadcasters and album distributors. And AVEX is an SM affiliate. It’s undeniable how huge SM is in the K-pop industry, and when odds happen to be in their favor, in my eyes that is enough to assume strings are being pulled somewhere, whether directly or indirectly.

As for SM not playing their influence to promote their other artists, the sole fact that SM artists are among the biggest and most internationally promoted in the industry is evidence of their influence and star power, both passive and actively played. BoA in Japan was not just a happy accident, EXO has an enormous fanbase for a reason (even before they debuted), and SNSD would not have appeared on American television if SM didn’t know a few somebodies. 

SM wanting to create a K-pop monopoly is my own little conspiracy theory, because if we zero in on the nuances, of course K-pop is not a monopoly per se as you still have the other “big two” (or “big three”, if you count Cube Entertainment), as well as the other labels. But I have a bone to pick with SM for ‘merging’ with Woollim Entertainment, a label I believe had potential to join the higher ranks if it remained on its own feet; as well as partnering with Samsung to create another sub-label. At the very least, SM is seeking to be a major music company with all these ‘merges’ and partnerships; and that’s a smart and tactful strategy from a business perspective, for sure. As a consumer, however, I don’t like how this label is becoming all the more widespread in the Korean cultural industry, not just in K-pop (they have subsidiaries in the travel, technology, and drama industries; and the one out of the “big three” with the most subsidiaries); and apparently, in many other music industries in Southeast Asia. Again, it’s great for them and for SM artists, having access to ventures and opportunities beyond the music world. But as I wish to be in control of my consumer choices, I find it unnerving, unnerving enough to call it a pursuit towards an industrial monopoly. 

For SM to attempt blocking other popular groups the way they blacklist JYJ would not be a smart move, from where I see it. It is too risky as they place themselves head-to-head with labels and star power with the brawn to match theirs. Blacklisting and blockage involves measuring power differentials and taking advantage, which was the case with JYJ (and even the SNSD brand controversy from 2011, when the company tried to sue some person who had shares in the group’s trademark. In my opinion, they could have just offered compensation). It does not mean that SM will not challenge other labels and groups, as they’ve arguably done recently with YG (as YG with SM), when 2NE1 and SNSD returned to the scene in the same cycle. That is a fair way to play, not blockage nor blacklisting; and I call SM a bully because of what they did to JYJ, in believing they did have enough of an advantage to successfully pluck JYJ right out of the industry. Maybe they are not the sole players - and you are right, there are other (and bigger) bullies in the industry, but that does not diminish the unfairness of SM’s actions.

I understand there exists loopholes and unconfirmed speculations in the JYJ case (and perhaps in many others involving SM), but it is my conscious choosing to establish a solid opinion and express it when asked. Besides, isn’t almost everything clouded with a bit of uncertainty? With this issue, I essentially decided to navigate through the uncertainty with my own reasoning, which again, is my own. Everyone has the right to disagree, as we all have our own perspective of the issue; and it doesn’t mean I will not be flexible when presented with contrary views. It may just be so that I did not happen to come across those views. As always, I invite you and anyone to drop by and continue the discussion wherever you see fit. 

I guess we differ in that I see no rational reason to believe KFPCAI and others inside the Korean entertainment industry can’t have opinions of their own, regardless of what SM thinks and wants. Just as there are fans who don’t think JYJ handled things in an elegant way, I’m willing to believe there are people in the industry who share that same opinion. I actually suspect industry insiders are more likely to shun individuals who publicly criticize what’s going on in the entire idol industry - ‘the unique and succesful Korean way to do things’. The KFPCAI banned Jay Park from appearing on music shows for saying Korea was gay. In all honesty, it seems you don’t need to rock the boat very much to become a persona non grata in the Korean entertainment business. The public broadcasting companies ban celebrities who are deemed too vocal about social issues. It’s not right, but it happens. And as far as I know, it can happen even without some power player pulling strings in a personal vendetta.

With that said, I don’t mean to say SM are innocent, but I do think they have only done what is common praxis in their environment. Could SM have been more graceful about it and sent off JYJ with a smile, a wave, and a tear twinkling in the corner of their collective eye? Yes, of course. But that’s just not what you do in the corporate world.

As for your conspiracy theory, I too think Woollim were doing great with Infinite, and could have continued to do even better. However. If Woollim was in a financially vulnerable position (and ‘lack of money’ sure has been a theme throughout the years) there would have been a risk of losing everything. You can’t buy something that’s not for sale, and you can definitely not merge with someone who isn’t willing. Regardless of the reason, Woollim’s boss decided a merger with SM would be in his and his company’s best interest. Maybe he did it for completely selfish reasons, but at the end of the day, he did it. I don’t see why the ‘blame’ should fall only on SM in this case.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to further explain your standpoint, and as always, I appreciate and applaud your contributions to the international K-pop community in encouraging healthy discussion around various topics.

I’m inclined to side with AKPF’s opinion… SM’s hand, whether direct or indirectly is still all over this JYJ block. IMO there have been enough commenters within the SK entertainment industry (albeit anonymous for understandable reasons) who have validated SM is the source behind the issue. And let’s be honest… SM does have a tendency to act like a butt-hurt teenager when something upsets them. (Past: Mnet/MAMA; More Recently: Music Bank B1A4 Suspected Sajaegi Controversy.)

For me, suuzaaa’s argument that broadcasting companies ban celebrities all the time is weak in that news of JYJ activities and/or their individual pursuits in other areas of the industry (i.e., dramas, music videos) have not been banned from being shown on these same broadcasting channels. When a celebrity is put on a broadcast industry blacklist, it’s global… not selective.

I am a huge fan of JYJ and it's tough being their fan when all their activities are being blocked. It's frustrating and it kind of makes me angry at SM. We all know they are blocking them and they lie to the courts they are not. What do you think about SM using their resources to block JYJ? I personally think JYJ did nothing wrong with their break up - I mean why else would you go to court during the height of popularity if something wasn't severely wrong.
Anonymous

angrykpopfan:

Hi there, thanks for stopping by!

You should be angry - SM is a bully. There is nothing fair nor moral about them using their overbearing influence and resources in the industry to block JYJ and their continued pursuits. It’s also cowardly, as they are well-aware of JYJ’s popularity and are basically perceiving it as a threat to their own standing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - what SM is seeking is a monopoly, to essentially be the sole K-pop industry by buying (or ‘weeding out’, in JYJ’s case) competition. As a fan, I want to know exactly where my energy and my money goes when I ‘fangirl’; and furthermore, it’s all about having the power to choose, having room to maneuver between practices and values I agree or don’t agree with and investing support exactly where I want to. It is disempowering when all the music I listen to and all the idols I follow are from the same company; and from a company who likes to play it dirty, apparently. Screw that :( 

elizeboo:

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Bohemian Rhapsody (Vocals Only) | Queen

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His voice was actual perfection.

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They just don’t make them like they used to.

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