This post is a long time coming, and probably has been in the making since Super Junior first started promoting in China.
Hallyuism at this stage in the game is all about the money. Korea is a place where trends catch on in a millisecond, and people have caught onto the fact that K-pop can make money, and a lot of money at that. So I get it: it’s a cultural product worthy of pride, and it’s an important national export.
The thing that drives me nuts is the extent to which the people exporting their pop and their business in pop have so little consideration for the cultures and countries that they want to export to. I’m not going to call the kettle black, because I understand that I, as an American, come from a country that is notorious for disregarding the cultures and sensibilities of other countries when it comes to forcing our media and culture onto others.
But I obviously have a horse in this particular race, which is why I feel the need to call K-pop out on this. I work and deal with K-pop, and as a non-Korean observer of K-pop, seeing things happen in K-pop that affect me on some level trigger certain reflexes and emotions. At a moment when K-pop is being so highly self-lauded and whose output is being so aggressively marketed outside of Korea, it disgusts me that it will on the one hand pay so much lip service to the markets and countries it’s trying to pursue, and then on the other hand exploit the shit out of it while maintaining fake deference.
And this rant will be primarily about inklings of things I hated when I watched Super Junior M promote, and now stirring me once again with Exo.