The Usual Introductory Post

If you’re reading this, hi. Thanks for putting up with me.

I had no intentions to make the whole world read everything I put here. Well, at least, now I do.

Now that you’re here, I guess I should welcome you and warn you to be ready.

Be ready for too much anger, too much love, too much sadness, and too much silliness. Be ready to cringe, laugh, and maybe cry with every word you see in this blog.

Hello, friend. Welcome to my home.

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Love Yourself: Tear (a messy review, part two)

1. Intro: Singularity

  • Tae’s silky voice fits this kind of sound so well.
  • The backing vocals near the end…i love.
  • Would a V x Sabrina Claudio collab be too much to ask? Lol

2. Fake Love

  • The guitars!!!
  • Kim Seokjin’s voice is a gift from the heavens.
  • LOVE YOU SO BAD LOVE YOU SO BAD
  • The hook is so so so so catchy.


3. The Truth Untold ft. Steve Aoki

  • So far from what I expected from a song featuring Steve Aoki, but it’s a good surprise.
  • Vocal line slaying as usual.
  • IT HURTS SO MUCH OH MY GOD
  • How JK sang “You know that I can’t / show you me / give you me”. It’s heartbreaking. Like he’s devastated. It’s so good I want to cry.
  • Play this live with an orchestra + those A+ vocals = an ocean of tears
  • I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH
  • JK’s adlibs pls


4. 134340

  • I WANT TO GO TO THE BEACH
  • The flutes!!!
  • Reminded me of Childish Gambino’s Kauai, a lil bit.
  • The lyrics tho!!!
  • This song is kinda a big mood.


5. Paradise

  • 2000s RnB I love
  • I NEEDED THIS SONG SO MUCH THANK YOU BTS
  • I wanna tattoo the lyrics on my forehead. It’s that good.
  • MNEK is part of the production of this song. Need I say more? I love him sm okay


6. Love Maze

  • ANOTHER 2000s RnB BANGER
  • Perfect for karaoke nights, tbh
  • I can easily imagine Mariah or Ariana singing along to this


7. Magic Shop

  • First of all, I want to thank Jeon Jungkook for making this song possible.
  • JHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE
  • I can’t move on from Hoseok singing.
  • JIMIIIIIIIIIIIIN
  • We’re each other’s Magic Shop. I’m. In tears.


8. Airplane Pt. 2

  • AAAAAAHHHHH TANGO YAAAAAAS
  • If this is the song in our ballroom dance topic in PE class, I’d gladly dance (and give my dignity up).
  • HOSEOK’S VERSE PLS
  • EL MARIACHI EL MARIACHI EL MARIACHI


9. Anpanman

  • A HYPE SONG AAAYYYYEEE
  • So cute :((((
  • The references I love it
  • Attack on Bangtan vibes ✨✨✨


10. So What

  • HOUSE AAAAYYYYEEE
  • Another hype song I love it
  • I’m living for the pre-chorus
  • I kinda expected a bigger drop. But. The gentle drop is good.
  • NAMJOON’S VERSE
  • This song is perfect for rave parties!!
  • I used to listen to a lot of EDM before, especially house, at a point of my life that’s nice and simpler than it is now. And. This song reminds me of that, so it’s an instant feel-good song. Also the lyrics!!! It’s a lift-up song. I love.


11. Outro: Tear

  • IT GOES SO HARD
  • RAP LINE DID IT AGAIN
  • YOONGI IS SINGING!!!!!! OH MY GOD (also that backing track in some parts of his verse??? I love.)
  • So good what the heck
  • The lyrics. It’s sad and angry and resigned all at the same time??? Like, you saw the real me and I knew that you wouldn’t like it if ever, that you’ll leave but it’s still hurts. And like the music is masking that hurt with anger (bc that music is intense and it goes hard af) but yeah, it still shows the sadness and vulnerability.


General comments:

  • Singing an octave higher esp. Jin (Paradise, Fake Love)
  • The lyrics. Boy, it’s beautiful. Most of them are vulnerable. And sad. But it’s still beautiful. Especially with Fake Love, Truth Untold, Outro: Tear—it’s giving off this vibe that “I can’t show you the real me, I want to still be with you, I know you’ll leave once I show the true me, but still.”
  • The references in the lyrics and MV—the magic shop, anpanman, and 134340. Aaaaaaahhhhh
  • RAP LINE SLAYS, AS ALWAYS. They showed a variety of styles and flows in this album.
  • This group have seven vocalists, no one can change my mind.
  • THE “SUGA” WHISPER BEFORE EVERY SUGA VERSE OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU SO DISRESPECTFUL!!!! Lol love u
  • Despite the genre-hopping, it still flows so smoothly. It’s a crazy af emotional roller coaster ride, though. *insert JHope VLive system shutdown gif here*
  • The fact that they had producers—producers that are well-versed in the songs they helped produce—are nice. It shows that they gave careful thought and are considerate, especially to the cultures the genres they delved into are included in. It’s respectful and also made the songs sound more authentic.

My top 5 songs (after a lot of deliberation, bc damn it’s hard to pick favorites):

  1. The Truth Untold
  2. Singularity
  3. Paradise
  4. Outro: Tear
  5. Magic Shop

I see comments that they think Bangtan are losing their creative control in their music because they had a lot of other producers come in. That they sound “American”, whatever that means, and that they’re changing, losing the “Bangtan” sound, whatever that means.

For the creative control and producers thing, see the last bullet on my general comments. That would suffice, I guess. 

For the last part, they’re venturing to different genres and sound, because why the hell not? They’re artists. It’s natural to try out different stuff. And to be honest, those who want Bangtan to sound thesame album after album after album are the ones not giving them creative control. There, I said it.

And lastly, this album is such a joy to listen to—a roller coaster ride, a buffet with variety of choices, and is vvv relatable, tbh. 

We show different sides (or masks) of themselves to different people, depending on what we think appeals to those persons. And then sometimes, we wonder, “would they still like me if they I show my other facets, too? Or would they dislike it and leave?” It applies to every relationship we have—friends, family, lovers, etc. It’s a fear maybe most people have, and for it to be expressed and somehow, give this vibe that we’re not alone in this fear and for the album to give a little reassurance, it’s a big thing. So thanks. ❤️

So yeah, I’m done rambling. If you’re reading this, thanks for reading through all of this. If you disagree with anything that I said, sorry then lol. Taste is subjective, after all. Remember that before you attack anyone lololol.

Ok now I’m really done. Thanks.

Talk soon. xx

a love letter

bangtan sonyeondan

I’ve started stanning Bangtan a year ago, in March 2017, shortly after Suga’s birthday, I think.

I started listening to their songs, not knowing anything about them. I can match the names with the faces by April. I can match the voices with the names by May. I still fall in love every day.

My kpop enabler recommended me songs from other groups, but Bangtan is the one group that stuck with me. They made me decide that hey, maybe this stanning thing isn’t that bad.

Because:

Their music videos are good.

For someone who has a communication degree and really likes films, I can’t really watch something without nitpicking the technical stuff in everything I see on tv or the Internet. Spring Day was the first MV I watched, and shit, I was in love. Everything about it was beautiful, down to the sound, esp that part before the song began, with Tae on the train track. Literary and film references, good coloring, framing, just everything about the MV.

 

It’s been a habit of mine to read music reviews of artists I’m slowly getting into, and Kpop groups are no exception.

It’s just that there aren’t so much /reputable/ music websites out there that review Kpop (PLS GET WITH THE TIMES, MUSIC MAGAZINES AND SITES WHAT THE HELL) except for Dazed (just sporadic articles though) and Billboard (thank god for their Kpop section, really).

I’ve read all the music reviews I can find of the groups I’m thinking of really listening to, and so I see an old review of BTS’ songs. I see that they write, compose and produce their own songs.

I know that it’s a rarity in the Kpop industry. It’s one of the reasons why I initially didn’t want to get into Kpop. I really respect musicians that write their own stuff. And I see that Bangtan is writing about social issues, mental health, and heavy stuff. Some of the things they sing about are even taboo in Korea, which is really brave of them. I really liked that.

And also, anyone who can use the 52-hertz whale is a metaphor for youth’s feeling of loneliness and alienation is a goddamn genius.

They’re genuine.

What you see is what you get. They’re kind, goofy, funny, not afraid to look silly in front of cameras. The fact that they look gorgeous is just the icing on that really, really good cake. When I found out all the hardships they went through, as my stanning progressed, I felt–feel–fiercely protective of them. Like a momma tiger with her cubs. (Which is okay, kinda weird, because they’re grown-ups who can take care of themselves. Esp if six of them are already older than me. Lol) But yeah, I feel that.

They change, but not change.

I know it’s confusing but stay with me on this. Change is inevitable, of course; everyone changes as they grow old, grow up. They’ve been through all kinds of shit in their career, even pre-debut. But that didn’t deter them. They made it out as better and stronger people. Not just as a group, but as people. But the core–the seven boys who want to share stories, who are passionate, who love music, dancing, their families, each other–it didn’t go away. And I think that it’ll never go away. I wish.

They make mistakes but learn from them. Especially Namjoon, with his older lyrics (kinda still wanna scold him for it tho lol love you haha). But the most important thing is he apologized, learned from his mistakes, and does his best every day to not commit those mistakes again. Which is more than I can say for other celebrities. But yeah.

They make me want to become a better person.

To be more passionate about the things I like. To work harder to achieve the things I want to achieve. To be strong in the face of adversaries. To smile every day, if I can. To prosper. To not let my abilities go to waste. To love myself. (The loving myself part is hard as hell, and I don’t think I’ll manage to do it anytime soon, but I swear, I’m working on it.)


 

I never really thought that I’m gonna be in love with a Korean group, or with the genre in general. Most of it really felt artificial to me before? And that it didn’t really feel genuine? But many things changed my mind. Bangtan definitely helped a lot.
I overcame my preconceived notions about Kpop, and I’m discovering good music every day so I’m really glad.

So here I am, listening to Spring Day on loop, writing this. So I can really thank you, the boys of Bangtan. It’s been a hard year for me, really. A lot of changes and challenges came, and sometimes I’m not sure if I can keep up and succeed. But having you guys around made it easier. You can make me laugh. Your music is what I listen to when I feel happy, sad or angry. Your music makes the days more bearable, really.

Most importantly, you made me dream again. You made me realize that I shouldn’t give up on my dreams that easily. That I should strive harder. I will always thank you for that. For making me realize that I’m the only one that can make my dreams happen. I’ll always, always be thankful for that. You made me love music (and life) more.

Thank you. 🙂 ❤

[insert title here because i couldn’t think of any fuck this shit]

I remember a book I read a long, long time ago. Back in college, I think. I haven’t picked up Looking for Alaska in a long time. I haven’t picked up a book in a long time, period. I should do something about that I guess.

But yeah. Like John Green said in that book, life is a labyrinth. Or is it suffering that’s the labyrinth? Or is life that’s a labyrinth of suffering? Or is that what Gabriel Garcia Marquez said? My memory fails me sometimes, really.

Well (why does this word sound so condescending sometimes?), the way I see it, life is a maze. A maze that has different sizes and levels of difficulties, of course.

Life itself, however, is the Grand Maze. Well, because it’s the Grand Suffering. It deserves the capitalization, the little shit.

And this is the only way I can rationalize this thing we call human existence, I guess.

The small mazes, there’s always a way out. In, around, under, through. There’s always a way out.
The Grand Maze, however, is a different ballgame.
Because the Grand Maze, you can say, is the big boss you always have a hard time defeating in video games. It’s a lot more difficult to get out of. And it’s different.

In the Grand Maze, you can go out with a bang, a whimper, a small wave, or with nothing at all.

You can always get out any time you want, really. The catch is: you can’t go back.

Find a way out. That’s all I want to do, to be frank.

Before, the method really isn’t important. What’s important is I get the fuck out of the maze.

But sometimes I don’t distinguish the difference between the small mazes and the Grand Maze.

This happened so many times. So many fucking times.

Thought about it…thinking that maybe, it’s for the best. That maybe I’m not cut out for the Grand Maze in the long run.

It’s just really fortunate that I’m fucking terrified of oblivion.

It made me think. How can one decide that it’s the best for them to exit the Grand Maze entirely? That getting out of different mazes every single day is just…not okay anymore?
That getting out entirely is the best–the only choice? Choice has always been important in these kinds of things. And the sad thing is, I guess we’ll never know.

Sometimes, I wonder which is worse. Staying or going. Finding a way out of the smaller mazes, or going out of the Grand Maze ultimately.

Fuck if I know. But yeah, I guess it’s not time for me to find out.

I guess it’s just making the choice of defeating the monsters and riddles on every maze and get out. By hook or by crook.

Doesn’t matter if I crawl out, dig myself, swim, or run screaming and crying. What’s important is, I get out. And get out ready for the next fucking maze.

That I choose to get ready for the next maze, and all the mazes I could face in the time I exist.

I just hope I make good choices every day.

even though each puff will take us further from together

I first saw her at the university rooftop, smoking a cigarette.
“Can I get a light?” I asked her, since I was an idiotic smoker who forgot to bring a lighter.

“Sure,” she said. Tossed me her lighter. I lit my cigarette.

“Thanks,” I mumbled as I gave it back. She just nodded.
I did my business quickly, since there were tons of projects waiting for me at the time.
But I couldn’t get her face out of my mind.

She was smoking again when I saw her next.

I went to the rooftop again to smoke, but that time I have a lighter with me.
She saw me get in. She just nodded at me then turned back to looking at the expanse of the city.

I took my time, savoring every drag. I didn’t have anything urgent to do then. And I wanted to see her face more. I wanted to figure out what it is about her that drew me in.

That she’s pretty is given. Button nose, pouty lips, big eyes. Complete with the image of her hair gently swayed by the wind, she looked like someone out of an ad.

When I finished my cigarette, she was still there. Looking at nothing–everything. I had nothing else to do, so I left.

One thing I wished I saw? Her smile.

“Hey, would you mind if I play some music?”

“No, I wouldn’t.”

That’s where it all started. We sat down on the floor, side by side, smoking cigarettes, listening to music.

The songs on her playlist were easy to listen to. Chill beats, relatable lyrics–when I can understand it, because most of the time it’s in another language. Something about slowing down time, remembering moments, thinking about someone late at night, and–the funniest one–cigarettes being used as a metaphor for love.

Her playlist looped back to the first song. It was almost dusk when I forced myself to get up and leave.

“Thanks,” she said with a small smile on face.

I was right. Her face looks more beautiful when she smiles.

“Do you think that we really have a purpose in this world?” she asks me one time. That time we’re looking at the cityscape and just shared a stick.

Up until that point, we never talked about anything except to ask for a light or if we wanted to play some music.

I didn’t know how to answer her. But it looked like she didn’t need any, because she continued talking.

“I mean, okay, we’re here. For what? Do we have a grand purpose? Or we’re just really organisms that just BAM! we’re here and we’re going to make this planet our bitch.

“If it’s just like that, why do we even try? Why do we even make an effort to make something for ourselves? Connect to other people? Dream? If all of this,” she gestured to the blinking lights before she continued, “will just be for nothing after we die, why are we even here?”

Right then she looked at me, clearly expecting an answer.

“For me, we make our own reasons for being here. We’re born and we’re stuck here until we die. So while that’s not happened yet, we have to make our own reason to exist. To be here. Every person’s reason may be different, but that’s okay,” I said with a shrug.

I didn’t expect her to hold my hand and put her head on my shoulder.

The routine is set after that. We smoked, we listened to music, we talked about deep shit. She held my hand sometimes. And then I realized that I never asked her name.

So I asked.

She answered.

Then we went back to talking.

In hindsight, I realized that she didn’t even ask for my name. Well, that should’ve been a hint. But my heart wasn’t the best decision maker then.

I saw her for the last time. We’re not on the rooftop but in front of the school. Now that I’ve seen her in another place than the rooftop and that I know her, it made sense to approach her.

“Hey,” I said once I reached her.

“Hey,” she said back.

I thought about asking her out to coffee but seeing an arm wrap around her shoulders stopped me.

A guy looked at me, then looked at her and asked:

“Babe, you know each other?”

She didn’t spare me a glance as she shook her head. “Oh, no. We just met.”

As they went on their way, the guy nodded at me. She looked back and stared at me. I didn’t give myself time to figure out what that look meant.

Even after all those talks, I realized that I knew nothing about her. At all.

I didn’t go to the rooftop again after that.

from the sea to the shore

the waves

undulating smooth swells

consistent in the unpredictable

reflecting tumultuous–

colors

feelings

thoughts

the skies a cocktail of colors

red 

black yellow  

pink purple orange 

white blue 

grey
as day succumbs to night

as the sun succumbs to darkness

nose of the boat pointing to the right direction
lights from afar

from home

twinkling one by one

guiding wandering souls

waiting for them to come

to the place they were from

This is Elon Musk’s fault (or whoever invented AI robots in the first place)

This may sound morbid and weird but AI robots have it better.

They’re deemed special and smart right off the bat. They’re granted rights and citizenships so easily–rights that actual, livingbreathingthinkingfeeling humans, for some fucking reason, can’t easily get.

What’s better is that they can be switched on and off. Blink in and out of existence with just a flick of switch and some whirring mechanisms. Then, turned on, with a welcome tone and message, like nothing happened.

Is it bad that I want that for myself sometimes?

I just want to take a break from everything, sometimes. Recently it just feels like I’m swimming (read: treading water) in the ocean–I have my life vest, in all its ugly neon orange glory–but the waves come. One after the other. You intake water, lose precious air, in fighting the waves. To not be swept up. To not drown.

Fuck this. I want an on and off switch, too. But of course, like all other things, this universe doesn’t know the word fair–I’m starting to think that only humans have invented that word. Well, like most things that exist right now. Like AI robots. So we lose the battle and the war. There’s no winning.

But I don’t know. I try to be hopeful, most of the times. That the waves will stop coming soon. That I’ll experience the calm sea soon. That the life vest I’m wearing is enough to safely bring me to shore, in all its ugly neon orange glory. That I’ll stop wishing that I’m an AI robot instead.

Fuck. Being human is weird.

this fucking universe will never let us win

When I think about it, the only way you can go through this world–this life–without bursting a vein in the head or tearing your hair out or spiraling down into madness is to just feel everything not too intensely, build walls around your heart and brain, internalize.

But I think, now, that method won’t help at all. Even when you feel things intensely or force apathy and heartlessness, you can’t get out of feeling. One day, everything will just pile up. Overflow. Flood out. Explode. Or implode. The walls you’ve built will be torn down with the force of that flood. Or explosion. Whatever.

The three things I mentioned earlier: bursting a vein in the head, tearing your hair out, spiraling down into madness–it would still fucking happen. No matter what you do. You can’t win. The universe will never let us fucking win.

It’s funny that I only write in this blog when I’m really sad. Lol. Whatever.

Talk later.