Article Response #3: The T-ara Mystery

Article: http://www.allkpop.com/2012/07/breaking-ccm-announces-hwayoung-will-leave-t-ara

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.

A Ballroom Ballad (updated)

For those subscribed, I know I posted this already, but I needed to make a few adjustments to make it more a ballad, hehe. (Namely with repetition – I hope it doesn’t drone on now :S) Here is my revised version!

Please leave feedback 🙂

 

A Ballroom Ballad

A shiny, wooden table stretches wide across the room;
The window shutters closed, the mood’s immersed deeply in gloom.
The polished floor is waiting, the bright streamers are in full bloom;
Incense sticks emanate the soft scent of perfume.

It mixes with the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

Everything is waiting for the guests of honor to arrive;
Awaken this still standing scene, make the atmosphere alive.
Here they come now, elegantly stepping down the stairs;
Entering the room, stirring the sweet scented air.

The chatter’s starting up, and finally the fun begins;
The children follow in, adorned with cute childish grins.
Bows and ribbons in their hair, shyly clutching their mom’s dress;
Glancing curiously about, trying not to make a mess.

They gather under the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

The table fills, getting heavy with bowls warm and cold;
Tummies rumble for the delicacies that they hold.
But all the pastries and hors d’oeuvres arranged on shiny plates;
Are left untouched for now, as dinner starts only at eight.

The music springs a melody, and feet fill in the beat;
Songs mingle with laughter, carrying all through the street.
Children skip around the room and everyone will dance and sing;
A celebration with no reason, just to mark the start of spring.

They mingle with the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

Dress shoes and tall high heels clack over the floor;
Silk and satin pleats give final touch to the decor.
They wave around, brushing on the dark tuxedo suits;
A sharp contrast of bright and black, but pleasant without dispute.

Bodies glide around, everyone in moving synchrony;
Heads bow humbly down, homaging the cordial symphony.
Jewelled beads adorn their necks, making smiles shine;
They circulate the room: the night will surely be divine.

They dance beneath the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

The evening moves on, and the time comes at last
For the guests to settle down, for dancing time has passed.
Each one takes a chair, the din slowly dies down;
The food and drinks get quickly passed all around.

Plates are heaped full, stomachs slowly fill as well;
The food is so inviting: a delicious, lovely smell.
Not one person there has hunger that they cannot quell;
The night has arrived, the room under its twinkling spell.

They sit below the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

The night grows old, at last the guests begin to take their leave;
The mood still remains joyous, like that of Christmas Eve.
Saying their goodbyes, their dancing feet still sore,
They collect their coats and slowly stream out the front door.

The table now stands bare again, but it’s lonely no more;
For holding this feast was for it far from a chore.
The happy mood did well to quench its own hunger too,
While all around it, sparklers and confetti flew.

Alone now with the rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

There’s not much disorder, but cleaning’s left for the next day;
The owners are dog-tired – there is nothing left to say.
The day was a success, and the night now serves to rest;
The shining moon and soothing farewells leave them feeling blessed.

Noise drifts off to silence: the bustle ended, so it seems;
But through the night, the happiness lives on in peoples dreams
The table stands still, wishing that it too could smile
It knows the calm won’t last; there will be more parties in a while.

Covered with sweet rose petals, as down they calmly fall;
Softly settling down, collecting in the party hall.
From the ceiling chandeliers, rippling to the floor;
Spiraling the room, a gentle albeit short-lived soar.

 

 

 

Note: I know the repetition taken literally isn’t fully logical, because well then the room would have to be full of rose petals, but I was just trying to carry out a sense of calmness and beauty and elegance throughout the whole poem.

Writer’s Notebook Exercise

Date written: September 25

Target audience: Teens and young-middle aged adults 

Possible place of publication: Used in a lighthearted older children’s story (for pre-teens)

You know those days when everything just seems to revolt against you, and you want to go hide somewhere and avoid everyone? Today is one of those days. Everything seems to be happening very weirdly, and I’m the only one that sees it. The animals have decided it’s finally their time to take over the world. Not that they have announced it or anything, but, I just know. It’s always the little stuff you have to watch out for.

My first hint was this morning, during the outdoor zoo drive-through my family went on. We are on vacation and my little sister wanted to see some animals. So we got in the car and slowly inched through a thickly forested area with animals roaming more or less freely. You’re even allowed to feed some. When we neared the llama enclosure, my dad rolled my window down, and said, “Why don’t you say hi, Joshua?” So I tentatively stuck my hand out, kind of scared to touch the robust animal that was sauntering up to our car. Apparently it wasn’t scared of me at all because it stuck its head into the window and burped right in my face. Everyone else ignored my yelps and shrieks and just sat there laughing while this llama attempted to chew on my hair. They finally rolled the window back up when I nearly sat on my sister trying to get away from the rude animal.

I cowered in the back seat until my parents finally gave up and decided it was time for lunch. We went down to the lake by our hotel and set up a picnic blanket. I had just barely shaken off this morning’s trauma when a squad of ducks waddled into a circle around me and started pecking on my shoes. I immediately knew what was coming, and I leapt off the ground, screaming.

“What’s going on?” Mother asked me, but I didn’t wait around to explain. I knew that the ducks were after me, and I had to act fast. I tripped and fell on a tree root on my first step, so the pain emanating from my ankle slowed me down considerably. When I hobbled into our hotel, just two minutes away, the ducks were right at my heels. The porter ogled them, befuddled, and stammered-yelled something at me, but I was already furiously jabbing the elevator close-doors button. The doors shut right in the ducks’ beaks, barely missing them. Thankfully I made it to our room alive, but only then I realized that my parents have the keys. So I’m crouching in front of our door, sneaking glances left and right, wondering if even the germs on the wall are participating in the “let’s mock Joshua” game. I’ve always known this would come eventually, right from the day that our cat Mitsi started hiding my socks all over the house. For years I fooled myself thinking it was just a kitten’s sock hide-and-seek. But the animal kingdom’s air of nonchalance and innocence is just a cute facade. I have no idea why they choose to pick on me – maybe I was dropped onto an animal as a baby, and that plus my series of unfortunate experiences with pets and tamagotchis has fuelled their resentment over the years. I really don’t have a clue. But one thing is for sure. Today is the day that the llamas begun to rebel against me.