Saturday, August 27, 2011

Korea banning songs. Again.

   It's not the first or even tenth time I read about this ever since I got into Kpop. Long time ago (ekhem, 2009), DBSK song Mirotic (yes! THIS Mirotic) was banned for using "I got you under my skin" expression as inappropriate. Funny thing is, when they had to appear on a music show, they promised they would sing something else, but the moment they had to, they reversed to the banned verse. Oh the havoc they created.
But lately the Ministry of Stupid Decrees, I mean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is more than active, banning here and there, left and right. 
Maybe, instead of banning songs, the Ministry would do something more useful, like, I don't know, make women's situation at workplace better? Or explore Korea's growing multicultural society and help those kids from such background? Prevent family violence? Or maybe admit that there are gay people in Korea? I don't know, the sky's the limit.
This reminds me of every election time in my country, instead of talking about real problems politics pick from their pockets only abortion and gays just to stuff the public opinion. Because it's easier to give something to be shattered by the mob and is reaction-prone than talk about real problems that need to be fixed. Like unemployment rate etc. 

   So yes, the game of banning the songs is just a childish play. If you can't harm someone, you just draw his picture on the wall with a great penis sticking up his/her face. That's all I see it. Immature, low and personally offending me and those millions who listen to songs. Why?
I have my own brain, and I, this girl from Bad, Menacing West, feel highly uncomfortable when someone tells me what I feel, how I feel, and when. This is why I hate psychologists (oh, show me your ball-pen and I tell you what kind of person you are). How do those twats know what people think?
I listened to Placebo songs, full of sex and drugs memories. I didn't became slut (well, kind of, ekhem, damn you Kpop!! Damn you to hell!!), and I never did drugs. Why? Because there were songs, some other person's words, experiences and memories. I don't need to do everything what I hear or see. As Queen avid fangirl I should probably went slightly mad, or rock someone with a real rock this time. Nothing like that happened. Listening about someone's smoking doesn't move me toward smoking a bit. Because I do know that this is a bad habit and I'd like to grow older seeing how mah boys and men grow older as well.

   So, what's next? I say, let's ban dramas. Look how many people drink in those, man, this ain't just right! Let's pretend ideal people don't drink at all. Ideal people don't drink (even pepsi), don't smoke, don't dance (cause it's highly provocative), don't smile (cause it's enticing and rape-inviting), don't read (cause it prompts brain's growing), don't have -god-forbid- sex. They may eat, but not strawberries and only something looking like natto (puke).
Oh yes, and only holding hands, otherwise all nation and all planet (bah, planet, the whole Galaxy even!) will turn to sluts and hustlers.
And although I do find some of girl-bands clothes and moves really oversexualized (is this even a word?) I have my own solution to that - I DON'T listen to them. Simple as flail construction.
Oh I see BTD song on the list soon, they have "I'll be there by your side" part in the lyrics. Isn't it harmful, inappropriate and introducing a highly sexual context?

The  Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is a Korean government’s media watchdog. It frequently monitors songs and strain videos.
Last month, a method criminialized BEAST’s “Rainy Days” and Baek Ji Young’s “I Can’t Drink” carrying allegedly referenced celebration in a lyrics.
On a other hand, After School’s “Funky Man,” Jay Park’s “Don’t Let Go” and Heo Young Saeng’s “Out a Club” were criminialized for being purportedly sexual.
Also criminialized by a Ministry were MBLAQ’s “Again,” DJ Doc’s “Joy and Pain,” Song Ji Eun’s “Going Crazy,” and Kang Seung Yoon’s “You’re My Heaven.”
Last week, 4-Minute’s Hyuna stopped a TV graduation of her strain “Bubble Pop” after a Korea Broadcasting and Communications Review Committee ruled that a singer’s choreography and outfit were intimately suggestive. (but I agree on that, plus, she weighted 39 kilos, which is a normal weight for girl aged 10-12, but not for a grown up girl).
One of those criminialized is a strain video of “Before You Go” by K-pop twin TVXQ, this, supposedly, for containing scenes relating to assault as good as gambling. The method also criminialized Kim Hyun Joong’s “Please,” Homme’s “I Was Able to Eat Well” and a Faces’ “Accept Me” with lyrics that impute to smoking and drinking.

Quoted from The Ministry website:
Increasing environmental factor that intimidates sound growth of the youth
-Increasing harmful media with violent and obscene contents and the expanding addiction to the Internet game
-The rate of youth drinking and smoking increases and the number of publications harmful to the youth also increases.
※ The rate of youth drinking in the middle school and high school: 36% in 2005 →53.7% in 2008, youth smoking : 8.8% in 2005 → 10.8% in 2008
-Increasing cases of sexual crime, violence in the school and abuse against the youth
※ Number of sexual crimes against the youth: 5,460(cases) in 2007 → 6,339 in 2008 → 6,782 in 2009 (National Police Agency)
※ Those under 13 years old among the victims of sexual crimes against the youth : 23.1% in 2004 → 32.7% in 2007 (Korean Institute of Criminology)
-Weakened physical and mental health caused by declined basic physical strength and severe stress

And the article from JoongAngIlbo:

Beginning this month, young Koreans will be banned from listening to pop songs with lyrics such as “I drank soju last night” or “smoke up.”

That might seem like an impossibility in a cosmopolitan city that has gotten rid of many of the restrictive censorship laws that characterized the authoritarian era. But this month the Juvenile Protection Committee under the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family released a list of 24 songs designated as “harmful for teenagers.”

The list not only includes current hits such as “Hands Up” by 2PM, “Americano” by 10cm and “Please Accept Me” by indie band Jang Ki-ha and The Faces, but also “Truth Revealed by Drunkenness,” a song released 15 years ago by the now-defunct duo Jeollamhoe.

This is not the first list of songs the ministry has released. In the first eight months of the year, the ministry released a list of 169 songs it deemed “harmful,” a figure that is almost triple the tally for the same period last year.

When asked the reason for such a drastic increase, a spokesman with the committee said, “While we are seeing a decreasing number of songs with violent and sexual lyrics, there are more and more songs that mention alcohol and tobacco.”

The committee, established in 2006, consists of nine experts including music critics, TV and radio station producers and songwriters. The group meets once or twice a month to review whether songs contain maleficent elements and decides whether the songs should be added to the “harmful” list, as well as overseeing a rating system for music.

Songs listed as harmful are banned from the airwaves during two periods on weekdays - from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. - and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Under the rating system, there are two categories for music sales: people under 19 and people 19 and over. Also, an album with a song on the list must carry a sticker saying that it cannot be purchased by anyone under 19.

The Korean Film Rating Board oversees ratings for films, DVDs and television, for which there are more subdivisions for age: all (suitable for everyone); children 12 and older; children 15 and older; and adults 18 and older. TV shows are rated in similar categories.

“Words such as ‘alcohol’ and ‘cigarette’ may not be harmful to high school students,” said Lee Young-hee, a member of the committee. “But because the restriction for those under 19 also includes preschool children we have no choice but to apply stricter standards [for albums].”

He also noted that the government should further divide the age classifications for music.

Since its introduction five years ago, the rating system and accompanying restrictions have faced strong resistance from music fans nationwide.

Following the release of the new banned songs list, a large number of Internet users started posting messages on the ministry’s Web site saying that the policy infringes on listeners’ freedom of expression.

“I urge the ministry to review traditional and contemporary Korean literary works again,” said a netizen named Na Hyun-soo. “A countless number of works in Korean literature texts refer to alcohol and cigarettes.”

Lee Jae-wan, another netizen, posted a sarcastic message on Tuesday asking the ministry to put restrictions on references to rainy days, because rainy days “make me want to drink.”

On that day, the ministry announced it was working on “more detailed standards for reviewing albums in order to improve the system,” and said it would review the banned songs list in January 2012 to decide whether to keep or remove certain songs on the list.

But the comment further angered netizens, who paralyzed the ministry Web site with messages yesterday. From 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., the site had a notice saying, “The Web site will be closed for system repair.” At 2 p.m., the site said the “connection is being hampered by an excessive number of visitors.”

K-pop music critics have proposed that albums be regulated by an independent body. In Japan and the United States, civic groups are in charge of reviewing albums.

“A government-led review of albums could have consistency issues,” said Im Jin-mo, a pop music critic.