BTS in America – The Only Interview that Matters

Kpop-khop () has already done a pretty good job breaking all this US media regarding BTS down. I’d like to just add my two cents using my own words.

I wasn’t too thrilled listening to some of the US interviews so far. In fact, I cringed at some questions. I felt if they did their research, they would have been far more respectful. I know I’m being naive – that’s what media is supposed to be about, right? Pushing the envelope? So perhaps my frustration lies more just with the downward spiral of media in general for awhile now.

It was just a missed opportunity for most, I felt. The BTS-mania has really been crazy while BTS traveled to the states to be guest performers at the American Music Award (and yeah – they slayed it!) Leading up to this monumental event, with all the BTS excitement, they had a great opportunity to ask some questions which would help non-BTS-fans understand and learn more about them. I wasn’t asking for hour long, in depth interviews. But would a couple of insightful questions have hurt?

Below is the only US interview that matters so far. The only one that didn’t ask lame questions – i.e. wanting to know if they would start producing full English albums, who their celebrities crushes are or trying to get a negative spin on some of the crazier fans. The only interviewer who actually did his research, talked about their social message of their music, spoke about how they are breaking barriers and boundaries to non-Korean speaking fans who don’t need English lyrics, the only person to talk about their biggest announcement where they are now close to $1M in donation (combination of their own $500K donation and sales) with their #LoveYourself and #ENDViolence UNICEF campaign which will continue for the next 2 years with direct 3% of their sales of the Love Yourself album and merchandise. I don’t know who Zack Sang is. He’s not ET or Hollywood Access. But he’s obviously very good at his job. Can he be our BTS media-ambassador for whenever they come to America?

As you can tell from the interview, Zach goes against the grain. Rather than inquire if they will start producing more music/albums in English, he is saying music transcends language and in fact is it’s own language. He respects they are able to communicate through their music to so many non-Korean speaking fans. And the reaction BTS continually gave Zach for all his questions and understanding was just so wonderful to watch.

I get what he is saying. I did have a friend ask me if it matters that I can’t understand Korean. I told him that it didn’t. Granted, I do go online and quickly read BTS’ lyrics but I’m not one of those fans who memorizes the lyrics in Korean and learn exactly what each line means in English. Over time I do sing along in Korean just from listening to their tunes so often. My curiosity allows me to get the gist of the meaning but most times, I find, I’m not completely off base of what their song means just by the feel of the music alone. Honestly – BTS’ music is so different in a good way. Why would I allow language barrier to take away my pleasure in listening to their music? That would be ridiculous. And shouldn’t we bring this concept to our every-day-lives? In a community and global sense? Language barrier should NOT be such a great obstacle as to divide us.

In fact, I don’t really know if I want them to produce more in English. I’m fine with the collaboration pieces in English but even with some of the ones that could come to reality in the future (especially after the AMAs), I’m hoping they throw in some Korean language, too. Full albums in English, though? Well – I’m such a huge supporter of theirs that if that truly makes them happy, then I’ll continue listening to them because at the end of the day, they’ve got talent.

But these Americans who are asking for English albums are missing the point – BTS is kpop. They’re asking BTS then to be something they are not. //END RANT

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Confessions No. 14 – Black Sheep of the Family

Maybe it’s because from the get-go, my MIL pushed her ideas on me about the norm of a proper wife and mother. Maybe it’s because, as much as I do care about them, I find them so much more conservative than I am that I feel suffocated after visiting them for a mere two days.

Maybe I’m just a shit-disturber. And I enjoy seeing people squirm.

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RED!

When my 13-year old daughter used semi-permanent red hair dye I couldn’t help but take a photo (making sure it was in sunlight to really bring out the red) and email it out to my in-laws.  I included an image of one of her k-pop biases, too. Because her red sort of matched his. And he’ll be every image of not-conservative, bad-ass (to them) and just all wrong for them. And because I’ve been annoyed that they’ve treated her like a little girl, not listening to me to stop buying her children’s clothes that are childish and pastel, I just wanted to shove it down their throats… she’s NOT a baby anymore.

She’s an individual. She’s becoming her own person. And if they want to remain close with her, it’s better to accept it. Embrace it! And enjoy this time because it won’t last long. In a blink of an eye she will be an adult. She will really then being living her own life. And it’s better to try and get to know her as she goes through so many changes because this is, I feel, a critical part of her development of who she will become later down the road.

Went to T-Bay and Got My Ass Chewed

I dedicate this post to The Shameful Sheep – because if you have never visited her hilarious blog before, at least start off with this post like I did. I write the following post with her in mind.

Last weekend, we flew up to my in-laws’ northern, Ontario city for a weekend visit. Well, I stayed for just the weekend but my husband and daughter stayed for a week. And you will soon learn why I keep my stay short.

I care about my in-laws a great deal. They are, at the end of the day, people with good intentions. I believe they care about me though I’m quite certain it started off with a very rocky start (one where my MIL told my mother while Doug & I were engaged that I “really knew how to spend lots of money” and where my PIL didn’t hide his distaste for my city, Toronto). 15 years later, I’ve finally come to terms with the way they are. Not that I encourage it nor agree with it, but as they are thousands of miles away from us, I know it doesn’t affect my daily life, that I’m not about to succeed in ever changing them and I sure as hell will not change myself for them.

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A view I enjoyed – for about 10 minutes.

So what is it about visiting my husband’s hometown which makes me, well, cringe a little. Hmm… lets see, is it because there’s nothing to do? No, not really. There is a lot to do. They have amazing camping there with beautiful trails waiting for us to climb.

But, I don’t get to do that. Normally whenever I’m there, we are hanging out at some one’s home because my MIL has invited half the town to come over and visit with us or I’m stuck at home because my husband is helping out his dad on some work around the house (granted my husband’s choice but it leaves me bored out of my mind).

Their foodie industry is starting to develop with great farm-to-plate restaurants. But I never get to try those out either – nor can I even suggest it without that “Toronto people like to spend money, look.” So my husband and I spend part of our afternoons shopping for the RIGHT kind of food and cook the RIGHT way for everyone. Yeah, okay. I admit that we’re a bit snobbish when it comes to food but for cryin’ out loud, whenever I stop to buy a nice bottle of red wine, I have to always stop my MIL from putting it in the fridge! YOU DON’T EVER PUT A NICE BOTTLE OF VINTAGE RED WINE IN THE FRIDGE!!!

When we go to their cottage (a cute, rustic-like cabin powered only by solar – it IS a very cool place), I do enjoy the view. And we did visit for the day on the Saturday we were there and I brought my Kindle in hopes of catching up on my reading. I never got to – every time I found a quiet spot, I was joined by the rest of them within 5-10 minutes. Which is fine – but they never ask how I am doing or even care to understand or truly know me. I indulge them by listening to their rants and complaints but it’s never really about me. So once again, I’m bored. And I don’t have the piece and quiet to read.

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My only friend during my visit.

I did, however, really enjoyed meeting my husband’s one aunt I had not met yet because she had moved to B.C. when she was very young. She was, as my husband said, the cool aunt. And now I know why! She and her long-term boyfriend (more like common-law as they’ve been with either other for 25 years), with their cool hound-mix dog in tow, drove their camper across the country to visit with the family.

I asked my hubby why she was so different from the rest of his family. His response was simple, “Because she moved away from this place a LONG time ago!”

So there you have it. The people in their small city probably wouldn’t be so grumpy or so jaded if they just all had moved out before the gloominess of the city all go to them – economically, it’s been struggling and I’ve noticed their population on a decent ever since I first visited. Every time I go, I hear the same old rants and raves. It’s like I picked up from where I left off each 12 or so months that I visit with them. My husband has become immune to this T-Bay syndrome but he is fully aware of it. I am just starting to get it – yet it’s hard for me to be around for more than just a weekend. I wish we could stay in a hotel but that would be the death of me if I ever suggested that – a true slap in their faces.

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Home sweet home!

When I left on the Sunday afternoon and stepped on the ferry from our city island airport – I watched the city line of Toronto before me. One thing is for sure, whenever I go to visit my in-laws, I am reminded of how grateful I am to live where I live.

Oh – and what does this have to do with The Shameful Sheep’s post here?

Well, while there, I got attacked by mosquitoes, black flies and some other kind of bug that likes to take a chunk of human flesh out with each bite leaving itchy and painful welts that supposedly take a month to heal, I got 2 bites right in the top crack of my butt. I got it while using the cottage outhouse.

On the way back home, I tried not to scratch it because it would have looked like I was picking my bum.

And that’s why I had The Shameful Sheep in mind when I wrote this post. I’m sure she would be very proud of me if she read this.

And the Rest of #Canada150 Weekend…

I always come back to work feeling content after a good weekend well spent. I do. I feel like I deserve a pat on the back or something. Because that’s the kind of ego I have!

Granted, some weekends are very “nothing” weekends. Ones where we are just lazy. And that’s okay – I think we need those types of weekends every now and then. Then there are weekends where we are booked with social events. These are the weekends I try to avoid – It’s one thing to spend an evening with friends or family but it’s another weekend where every single minute of our day is spent socializing.

And, no surprise, these types of weekends happen not by choice. We’re about to approach just that type of weekend when we visit my husband’s family in Thunder Bay. My MIL has this weird obsession of making sure the entire city has a chance to visit with us when we arrive – something no one in the immediate family cares for. But she INSISTS. Which is why I always stop at the liquor store and stock up for such weekends.

I’m almost positive there are rumors going around that my poor husband is married to an alcoholic. Fine by me… just give me my red wine!

So due to this impending weekend of doom approaching fast, we’re making sure this weekend is going to be one of those nothing-weekends. Today, yeah, I did play around with the idea of a hike but I have too much to do with laundry and stuff at home as it is. So I’m going to just throw in the towel and stay home. I will, however, enjoy our patio just to say I ‘got out of the house’ – how about that? Does that count?

And I’ll have a martini whilst I’m enjoying our patio.

Last weekend which was the #Canada150 long weekend, we had one of those very fulfilling weekend where we saw no one but did a lot as a family. Chaeli and I did participate in the July 1st festivities, but we also made sure to spend the rest of the weekend doing things we love to do (and take advantage of good weather)!

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Crawford Lake Hike – 1 hr 45 min

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Our first raspberries of the season

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Late afternoon stroll by the lake

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Hobbes the Dog was a happy pup!

Why “13 Reasons Why Not” isn’t THAT Bad

I was skeptical at first. Really skeptical. And not because of all the controversial talk about how the series glamorizes teen suicide. I wasn’t worried about that – mainly because after doing my own reading on the internet, most articles who claimed professional psychiatrist stated this show could spur real life copy-cats, no where did they even give any reference of credibility of such professionals or case studies. Once again, alternate facts looms over us again.

And of the few supposed copy-cats that surfaced on the news after the series aired, there was no direct cause-and-effect relationship tied to show and real suicide victim. And the fact is – leaving a suicide note is not a new thing. Of course, with modern-day technology, letters are, I suppose, old school. Video and/or audio recording is probably more realistic these days.

The show, 13 Reasons Why, was not a great show and had mediocre acting (though I will say the main actor, Dylan Minnette, who’s character, Clay – who we watch as he unravels the mysteries from each tape – was my favorite). It captivated my attention enough to get me to watch all 13 episodes. Yet, 1/3rd into the show, I really was just wanting to get to the end so I could find out what lead to her suicide (the tapes gradually explained how they were all connected – but there appeared to be this looming doom which broke her soul at the very end).

Why I continued to watch the show was basically because of this:

While the suicide was a main focal point of the show, the issues that surrounded it was what people should be talking about: drugs, alcohol abuse, bullying and rape.

Especially the last two – bullying and rape (or assault of any kind).

So while the masses are upset with the show, fearing teens will be easily swayed to end their lives in a dramatic, revenge-like “trend”, I ask this… Would our teens feel a need to even consider suicide if they did not have to go to an institution day in and day out, facing such risks? When they go home, with social media being such a huge part of their lives, can they even escape it when they are not at school?

What are we as parents, the community and the school doing to prevent this warped, criminal behavior from happening? I say this because before this show even existed, this sad reality has happened before. The one I can’t get out my mind was the teen girl who was gang-raped by four of her classmates. The rapists took photos during the act and the photos went viral. Shortly after, she was bullied. Like 13 Reasons Why, she was called a slut and her reputation from good, sweet girl, flipped 180. Just like that. This poor teen suicide victim not only endured a horrible and criminal act, but then went through significantly, cruel bullying.

So for all the parents out there, outraged by this show, I ask this – what are WE doing to try and prevent this from happening in real life? If the issues on the show were not a real concern in our society, would there even BE such a show? Did we shape our culture/society to basically, give birth to the plot line of 13 Reasons Why?

I’m a bit dumbfounded why everyone seems to be pointing fingers at the show, stating it is too dangerous for teens to watch and lacks any accountability of the message. Yet what about the discussions this show has cultivated? Are we going to continue and point fingers at a fictional show (or novel which it was based off of) and ignore the fact that we have the power to make a change in society? What about the good that has come from all this controversy? What about the teens who created a project called “13 Reasons Why Not?”

People are also upset about this fictional teen leaving tapes – as if she was being selfish.

She was in pain. People who commit suicide are not thinking logically. They are not behaving normally. To blame the victim (for victimizing others in the aftermath) is a moot point. However, let me ask this – what if those tapes stop these people from making the same mistake to others? What if it is enough to bring charges down on the rapist(s)? What if it saves another life?

Honestly, before I watched the show I did not have a strong opinion of all the controversy surrounding the topic of 13 Reasons Why because it sounded like a pretty bad show. I don’t mean bad in that the subject was a horrible subject. I mean… it just sounded like a really bad show!

And, while it was not as bad as I imagined it to be, yeah, it was still bad.

I am not too swayed with this fear of teens glamorizing suicide. If they were in a suicidal state to begin with, the problem was there way before even watching this TV series.

The topics, however, were important to me. As a parent of a teen who has started discussing this show with friends (even though she has not seen it yet – she told me she is not interested at this point), I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to know what exactly happens so when she has questions or want to talk about it, I am hopefully, more ready than not.

Perhaps this show sort of sucked – but the topics are very real. We must stop the ignorance and get to the root of this problem. Increasing teen suicide rates are NOT due to this show. And we need to do something about it.