Friday, August 31, 2007

F4 disbands, tears fall, hearts break.

Taiwanese sensation: The F4 (or Flower 4) are officially going to disband in October, according to CRIEnglish news. The band actually started as part of a Taiwanese drama series based on the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango (Flowers Before Boys.) The F4 have enjoyed enormous popularity in the last 7 years, and each member has good prospects to maintain their celebrity status on their own. Good Luck Guys.

JYP - in New York?

Producer/singer JYP (Jin-Young Park) has set his sights on the US. In the recent events it's a bit surprising. His biggest star, Rain, has announced his split from the music "mogul" upon his return to Korea. Yet, JYP decided to continue with his own plan to try and make a go of it in New York City. Apparently, he has a little trainee under his wing, ready to test the waters with him when he gets there. I don't know about anyone else, but I wonder if there is going to be a bit of a power struggle when he gets here. Rain has already announced his intentions of making his album hear in the next year, and he will be coming to the US after settling things with JYP and signing with another company. I wonder how this news will affect both parties. Apparently, Billboard is taking notice of JYP, as he was on the cover of their most recent monthly magazine issue. Check out the full article if you are interested - here.

(I actually like his vocalizations in Rain's music, I'm not sure how much I'll miss them though, we'll have to see in Rains' first album without JYP)

Fair or Unjust?

Jacky Zhu, of Taiwanese band 183 Club fame, is in the news again. After being fired from Jungiary earlier this summer, Jacky is back in the tabloids facing a "pot problem." I was shocked. Not about the fact that he has a "pot problem," more about the fact that they have such a negative outlook on this. I really do understand the differences in common celebrity behavior an tolerances of that behavior in the US versus China/Taiwan. But, is it really something that they have to force him into rehab for, and take him into another embarrassing bout with the media? I guess that I'm just so American that I don't see this as a major problem. No, I don't smoke pot. I don't have any wish, or need to. But, that doesn't mean that I see it as such an unforgivable act. There are rumors that he was using ecstasy while abroad as well. Ecstasy, on the other hand, scares me. I know that a wide majority of the youth in my country have experimented with this and other "recreational" drugs, but I don't think that this drug is safe at all. It's manufactured in unsafe and dirt locations and you never REALLY know what you are taking. So, if it was ecstasy and not marijuana I understand the scandal a little more. I have friends, and family members who have, or do use marijuana and I have to admit, I don't think that it's that bad. ::sigh:: I might be inviting controversy to my front door with this one, but I have to express my wish for the hard smack-down on poor Jacky to stop. He is a Canadian-born Chinese. He sees things in much of the same light that I do, so I suppose he is having a hard time living up to the standards that Chinese people generally expect their celebrities to adhere to. He already lost his position in the band, and his contract with his management company, now he is in trouble with the law because of drugs. I hope that he can swim through this mess and get out on the other side and reclaim his position in celebrity society. His voice is great. I hope for the best for him. Good Luck! Jaiyou!

Rain Plane!

So, if you've been following along, you know that I'm a Rain fan. I found this while cruising the vast abyss of eBay last night.

A miniature model of the private jet Rain used for his "It's Raining - World Tour." I would buy one, but I am currently 'between jobs' so I don't have spare money. I thought it was a bit strange, but I saw that there are models of all kinds of planes in the same vein as this one, so I just kind of think it's interesting now. Up, Up, and away!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Great Happiness?

The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Theif is a documentary by Jake Clennel. Thanks to Lisa over at TokyoMango for this video. I watched it the other night and I was appalled, fascinated and intrigued by the entire thing. If you click on the link you can watch the entire film with sub-titles. If you know nothing about Japanese culture, I'll give you a quick run-down. There are bars in Japan that are called Host Clubs. Generally, they are a bunch of attractive men, entertaining women. Not like a strip-club, but a little higher-classed clientèle are generally in attendance. The men tell jokes, sing karaoke, and talk to women who pay by the hour for their attention. There are, of course the opposite of these clubs for men, but they are even more varied. Women's clubs tend to favor to sexual needs more than the Host Clubs, but not always so. There are even bars that are just cosplay. However, this documentary is a pretty realistic view into the lives of the men who work there, and the women who come to see them. I was unaware of the symbiotic relationship that the workers and the clients had. The women are basically local prostitutes that have taken on this line of work in order to afford going to see the hosts. It's a round-robin type of life that seems draining, physically and emotionally. I don't know where the cynicism starts for the hosts, but I do feel sorry for them. They all say that they really want to fall in love and find the "right girl" but that being a host has had a numbing effect on them, and they don't know when to trust their feelings anymore. And the girls are falling for guys who know how to woo women professionlly and have no intentions of dating, or marrying any of them. So the process goes round and round - where will it end?