Article Response #3: The T-ara Mystery


Author: “MountainMadman”

Title: CCM announces Hwayoung will leave T-ara

Main topic: explanation of what happened surrounding a member’s dispatchment from a popular Korean Pop girl band


I don’t read that many newspaper-styled articles. But, if there is one thing I know from my small scope of knowledge on the subject, it is that they are often so overfilled with biased opinions and exaggerations to make the content seem scandalous be read, that the facts are often buried under the mountain of connotations and fancy words. Thusly, I am glad to see that this article, written by someone who goes by the username “MountainMadman”, has chosen the formal “let’s not offend anybody” approach. Although I am not exactly thrilled with this style of writing, I think that it is at least much more respectful of everybody involved to not try to skew up the facts in favor of someone.

As Simon and Martina explained in their video “TL;DR – T-ara’s Break Up Scandal and What It Means To Kpop”, no one really knows what happened to trigger the splitting of Kpop band T-ara. Unless you’re a member of T-ara. Then you probably (hopefully) know what happened. It is the same situation in everyday teenager’s school lives. If two friends have an argument, or a fight, or a misunderstanding occurs, rumors can fly about it all the way to the opposite end of the school even before the lunch bell rings. Meanwhile, the story gets chewed over so much on people’s tongues that by the time it reaches the last pair of ears, it goes from being something like “Tony dropped a sandwich on the floor” to “A sandwich ate Tony!” while the actual story really goes something like “Tony almost choked on his sandwich and had to be rushed to the hospital”. Unless you were there, you have no evidence that what you heard about whatever it may be is true.

People are gossipy creatures, and it is perhaps our boredom that makes us want to stick our nose into everybody’s business (and change the facts around a little too). I think that it is rather unfair that celebrities are so often the targets. Because celebrities are widely known, and the media has nothing better to do, they pick at every little string and piece of lint found on the celebrities until it becomes a bulging monstrosity. “Omg, so-and-so gained so much weight!” “Wow, can you believe what she said??” “Ha-ha, he tripped and fell walking up the stairs.”. Wow! Everyone makes mistakes, we can all say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment, life goes on! But for celebrities, recovery takes much longer, or it doesn’t at all, because the media will take just an instant crawl all over an incident, pick it apart, reassemble it, and slap everyone in the face with it.

(Now, I realize that is part of their job. But sometimes it is way overdone. My protests stem from that scope of the media, not necessarily all of it.)

This article focuses on the T-ara split up, and there are two sides to the argument; one being that Hwayoung was being wrongfully bullied by the other members, and the second that she was being a B-word to them and deserves to get the booty kick out of the group. This article doesn’t express favoritism for either theory, and the only thing I have here to add is that what happens between T-ara is only T-ara’s business, and if the rest of the media had a bigger sense of respect for celebrities who are also human beings, they would not pretend to know all the facts when clearly they don’t. “MountainMadman” was to my relief very polite and plain about addressing what happened, but many other news and gossip media sources are not; and I am not just talking about professionals or people with diplomas. Anyone is capable of pompously assuming they know what they do not. I think especially news reporters could learn a little from Socrates: “There is but one thing I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

It is with this in mind that my eyes met this article’s relay of the events with much ease. A member of T-ara left the group. That’s all there is to say. Good luck to her, and good luck to the rest of the group, and good luck to the Kpop fan-world out there for not tearing themselves to shreds over it.