There isn’t a point in complaining about something when the only things listening are a brick wall and a parrot.

Hey, all! It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here, but, as the saying goes: Life waits for no one. With college, a part-full-time job, an unpaid internship, becoming an officer for a group on campus, and trying to budget for the new year, I’ve gotten myself up to my ears in work of all sorts.

Today’s Music Junkie Focus

However, I have had some time to do my music thing: making it, loving it, listening to it, and analyzing it. Today, I wanted to analyze a group of people whom I have joined, being K-pop fans. K-pop is the popular culture in Korea, consisting (mostly) of music and trends set up by famous labels and performers. The big labels I’ve seen and studied are the Monster 3: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment. These three labels release many of the top-ranking artists in the Korean music industry, training them from young ages and making groups to then perform in a conceptual fashion.

Crazy K-Pop Fanatics

As I’ve said, K-pop is simply Korean Pop Culture, just like American Pop Culture consists of trends aesthetically and musically. But, K-pop performer fans (or fandoms) like to take things a little too far sometimes. Here is what I mean. K-pop music fans grow fond of certain groups, and within those groups choose a bias (or favorite member) to cheer for during the group’s endeavors. If something happens to the bias member that the fans don’t like, they complain and rant and whine to the record label as if their pleas and crying will be taken into account.

I’m not saying that I don’t react when my favorite member of a group gets fewer lines than the others in the song; because I do. What I don’t do is comment on the internet with the hopes that my complaining and dislike will fix the already produced product of the song or album.

I will use a few music groups that I know from the industry to demonstrate my point. The first is a group best known for cutesy concepts that portray the members as playful and childlike for their title tracks, while their B-sides are more sexy, powerful, seductive, and edgy.

TWICE: JYP’s Cuteness Bombshell

A 2-year-old group that is popular because of its vocal variety and catchy, cutesy Title tracks, TWICE (트와이스) is normally considered the girl group to beat. Musically, they have a diversity of voices and each of their title tracks has reached number one within no more than a week.

TWICE’s latest release is called SIGNAL. The lyrics translate to the members trying to get noticed by a crush but don’t understand how they’re not taking the hint. People got mad over this song simply because of how much each member participated vocally.

The top three (label-ranked) vocalists of the group are JiHyo, NaYeon, and JungYeon. JungYeon’s vocal style is different from the other two, having a bit more bite to it than a cutesy sound; and so, she frequently has fewer lines than JiHyo, NaYeon, and another vocalist, Mina. SIGNAL did the same pattern as the rest of TWICE’s title tracks: Jungyeon got 4th place in line distributions, but it’s not because she lacks the skill or anything. She simply just doesn’t have the sound that JYP (the vocal director) is looking for, and so she has fewer lines. This same situation works for Tzuyu. Her voice has a very mature feel to it, and so it doesn’t always fit the song in the way the vocal director would like. Her lines are often few in the title tracks, except for SIGNAL.

However, people go berserk (and I politely did so) over the fact that JungYeon consistently gets fewer lines in title tracks, but always has that one song where her voice shines as a B-track in the album. Fans don’t have to like the product, but businesses sell what the market wants. And that’s where it ends, I have to say.

BLACKPINK: YG’s Rookie Rocket

This 4-member girl group, BLACKPINK (블랙핑크), is a very hyped group with a fanbase that exploded upon their debut in 2016. Their latest song “As If It’s Your Last” (마지막처럼) is a mix of tropical house music and thumping baselines. As If It’s Your Last is vocal heavy, with a catchy chorus that is very repetitive and an English Rap part. One of the Vocals, JiSoo, had a smaller vocal exposure in this single than in others of the past. And out of 5 songs, she has never had the most lines, which has caused an uproar in BLINKs (the fan base).

But not only does this song have fans in a fit; so does the member line-up of the group itself. YG Entertainment only lists the general parts for each member, meaning the performance or idol category they have been trained in or are assigned to do/be. The line up is as follows (Written in the English fashion, not Korean fashion):

  • Jennie: vocal, rapper
  • Rose: vocal, dancer
  • JiSoo: vocal, visual
  • Lisa: rapper, dancer

So as it can be seen, the girls’ respective parts are considered general instead of the crazy lead vs. main crap that I’ll explain in a different post. But, it is the particulars that have the BLACKPINK fanbase in a civil war: who is the best? Who is second? Who should do what? How should YG arrange the parts? It’s all stuff that is uncontrollable by the audience, but yet has them screaming and fuming. It’s pretty ridiculous.

I also disclose the fact that not all fans of K-pop groups are idiotic and have tunnel-vision for their biases. Many, though, fall into the stubborn and unrelenting category from my personal observations.

Again, I can’t say that I’ve ALWAYS been logical, but I keep my opinions to myself. I do this because I know that the record labels aren’t going to listen my opinion whether it is alone or coinciding with a group’s. There isn’t a point to complaining about something when the only things listening are a brick wall and a parrot.

2NE1: Disbanded, but Still Standing

Another YG Entertainment girl-group, 2NE1  or 투엔니원 (said like the English number 21), was a ferocious and powerful in-your-face group with immense vocals, unique dancing, and experimental music styles. Though, most of 2NE1’s songs were a mix of R&B and House/Dancehall music, the group nevertheless was a big money maker for the label. A similar problem like BLACKPINK and TWICE appeared in this group as well.

The 4-member, currently disbanded, girl group has vocals, dancing, modelling, TV, and music down to a science. Each member has her own cute charms that makes her desirable to the public. Bom, meaning spring, has an interesting R&B voice that is both powerful and entrancing (though now she is not with the label). CL, standing for Chae Lin, has a distinctive voice that catches rhythm like a spider web does insects and seemingly flawless English-speaking skills. Dara has an impeccable mezzo-soprano register with beautiful projection and can rap. And finally, Minzy has a great, husky voice for R&B and can dance like she lacks a skeleton. (Seriously, her dance skills are crazy, sometimes I forget she has bones.)

However, one of the biggest complaints was that YG showed favoritism when creating the group’s songs, down to the title tracks. CL almost always got the most lines or the most memorable parts of the songs, with Minzy usually taking second place or tying the position with Bom. Also, it came down to Dara’s voice being so edited that it sounded alien or inhuman, and Bom’s register being forced to perform higher than its natural comfort zone.

No one knows exactly why this group disbanded, but needless to say, fans of YG Entertainment don’t want what happened to 2NE1 happen to the label’s new and only girl group BLACKPINK. Many 2NE1 Blackjacks (fans) have supported BLACKPINK and wish them the best. But YG Entertainment doesn’t have the best track record for employee treatment (and frankly, neither does JYP Entertainment).

That’s A Wrap

To conclude, my point is that if you are ever watching a YouTube video that’s K-Pop or K-pop related and you read the comments (like I do), this has been your warning. The rants and whining will begin, and even if they are heard, another group will consequently rant and complain. This is a never-ending cycle. But you don’t have to take part. Just enjoy the music you like and PLEASE try to keep a level head. K-pop is still a business at the end of the day.

This is Ocie signing out. 안녕! 감사합니다!

Another Music Junkie Post

Hey all you NERDs and G33Ks! I’m a music junkie, and I’ll admit that I am in love with Paramore. A lot of my friends are, too. I don’t think people should really be judged or humiliated by what bands they do or don’t listen to. I like punk rock, grunge, post-grunge, and metal, and finally.

I find it funny when my classmates or family members try to predict me listening to only country music, because it’s not true. They just don’t want me to grow up yet. Ha. I feel like any of you have felt that way at least once: people judging you by your music tastes, or trying to predict them? It’s bogus. Humans are, in majority, NOT telepathic, so why should we try to be?

I’ll go out and say that the bands who have helped me out the most in life seem like polar opposites; they are Rascal Flatts and Paramore. Being a Flatthead I know that RF is a country/soft rock band by category under the label Big Machine Records; however, being a Para-whore (because I’m obsessed) I also know that Paramore is a punk-rock band with a bit of a pop twist as of their self-titled release from the label Fueled By Ramen.

I try to make these post entertaining and often inspiring, because I feel that people like us–the misfits–take way too much crap, and therefor see no reason in trying to reduce our status to the equivalence of mere slugs. I also know that there are people out there which similar, if not the same, interests as us Misfits.

I listen to hard music, and I sing along with it even if my vocal styling doesn’t quite match. Why? Because I believe in the uniqueness and authenticity of people should be allowed to be existent, not just hoped for. I know I am only one person, but I try to encourage this because I have been down that rut and I hope none of you readers have to, or that I can help you with it. After all, :), we have to stick together, don’t we?

Yours, OcieOMG

Reading Fiction is a Social Experience

Holy shizz-biscuits, nerds and bookworms EVERYWHERE! This article i s freaking amazing! Check out the link below about an Emory student’s science experiment about the psychological affectations of reading Fiction-like novels. It also explains why literary fiction is better psychologically than popular fiction!

via Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction – Mic.

Admin Ocie

NEW STORY! Generation: C.Y.B.O.R.G

Hey guys! Sorry for the time gap. School really keeps you busy! But somehow in that time I’ve managed to create a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story. (I know that topic is a bit cliché, but it just happened.) I’ll give you the prologue and I want FEEDBACK! 🙂 Please. Criticism is what a writer needs!

Prologue: Destiny Calls

I don’t have much memory of my past or why I’m like this.

All I know is that I am considered superhuman. Yet I am no superhero.

I am a drone working for the tyrants in the government building, designed to serve without question; I am machine and human being.

This is my story: one of rebellion, beginnings, and teamwork.

——

Emilie

I guess one could call me a rebel—a vigilante if you will—when it comes to government… I’ll admit that laws are necessary, but lawmaking is arbitrary to my sense of mind since I understand the laws and the authority they hold.

But now I’m in a holding cell for my treason against my creators… I remember be socially normal for a time in my life—it’s a very faint memory—but I’ve been cybernetic for so long it has come to be my normal. I know what the consequences of treason are: shut down, reprogramming,and parole—strict parole.

This has become a routine for me because when society finds something that defies its rules, setups, or starts questioning its authority it immediately shuts it down as soon as it can strike. So the jail cell that has been perpetually reserved for me has been sealed with the latest improvement upon Plexiglas that is scratch-proof, shatter-proof, and virtually temperature-proof; within my inescapable chamber exists an electromagnetic wave-set that messes with my superhuman capabilities. That means one of two things: they have finally stopped underestimating me, or they have reached the nadir of human intelligentsia where we AIs are actually superior to their “creators”.

The director’s face appears on the other side of the glass. “E-119,” she begins, “this is the fifth time I’ve seen you in here over the past two weeks. I must ask why are you being so problematic?”

I bare my teeth in utter disgust. “I don’t have to tell you anything you know,” I reply snidely. “I do have freedom of speech.” I start balling my gauntlet-clad-hand into a fist, readying my muscles to fight. “You may have my cybernetics on lock down, but not my attachments.” I set the gauntlet’s heat gun onto the appropriate setting. Is your wall heat proof? About to find out. Firing directly at the glass at point blank I fall back, my head slamming against the opaque glass behind me and feeling my structure beginning to crack under the pressure from the inertia.

The director rolls her eyes. “You’ve truly become like our ancestors: primal and instinctual. You rely on emotion more than rational theory, which is strange for a cyborg… “ She sighs heavily in disappointment. “This is why you need to be permanently reprogrammed. We have no choice but to relinquish you from your freedom until you have learned that we know what is best for your survival and mankind’s existence. Perhaps if you learn that lesson early, you will be re-assigned to field work alone. But until then, you must be put on parole until you have understood what your place in our new society actually is.

That cold face is the last thing I see before I black out.

Shut down.

—–

Branch One is filled with operatives that do aggressive fieldwork for the government: military combat, etc; Branch Two is the Tactician Unit, providing the strategists, generals, and such of the like; Branch Three is the reconnaissance: ninja, stealth, snipers, hackers, and smiths. This information is elementary when inside the CYBORG institution. All cyborgs are sectioned off into certain battalions (B) that are organized (O) to perform specific military tasks; each cybernetically enhanced soldier is not only a soldier, but a law enforcement office. The soldiers during enhancement are probed mentally throughout the physical operation, wherein a psychiatric analysis is performed upon the thought process of each individual cyborg: how they process information, their unique strong suits, how they react under pressure.

This information is then processed to create the most idyllic mindset for the unique programming, taking in aspects like how they once learned and operated as a regular life form. The groups of technicians that form the pulse reactors that replace the former nervous system take the factors into account when referring to the control of the internal mechanisms of the artificial intelligence.

During the reprogramming process, the electrical systems are temporarily disconnected and the memory banks are replaced with a “faculty” set. The faculty set is then given the default foundation of code compilation for the unique assets of the soldier’s retrieved skill set. Once the skill set has been (re)created and consulted for, the cyborg is reactivated and monitored via a remote headquarters to see why the cyborg needed reprogramming. This headquarters records all found data, compiles it with the previous data in the soldier’s universal file in the database of the mainframe, and analyzes it.

By monitoring the actions of the parolee, the researchers can collect information on the subject’s actions and thought processes to formulate a conclusion about the internal reaction to the plague of the cyborgs: free thinking. Cyborgs are meant to be AI, artificial intelligentsia, that listen to the superiority of the mind of mankind that which created its existence. Why? All people of our generation know that humans are superior because of their adaptability, resilience, and quick/critical thinking.

After the slim survival of the human race, cyborgs were invented thanks to the safe housing of cybernetic technology, components, and their required manufacturing materials; these materials were then used to rebuild and modify losing human life forms in the battle between life and death. These new non-adaptable machines were designed to help the adaptable species survive, acting as survival tools proposed by the CYBORG Foundation after the event of the apocalypse.

—–

An alarm sounds in G-427’s domain, a small red light blinking on his dorm’s task screen. It shows simple police work is needed down in the market sector about twenty minutes off. He slips on a holster for a .45 and slides open the door. Cautiously he checks the sleek halls to make sure he doesn’t wake any unneeded help. It’s late after all: 22:30.

Sadly, he’s caught by the rebel girl. “Where you goin’ Tommy-boy?”

He tries to politely shoo her away, but she just pulls on her boots and gauntlet insistently. Sighing, he allows her to tag along on such a simple mission.

——

The mission was a trap. The girl was captured by the authorities and brought back under C.Y.B.O.R.G’s watch. He was not fined or punished, seeing as he knew nothing of her. He doesn’t quite understand what happened to this day but he made a note to stay out of her sight so as to not bring up trouble.

He can’t ruin what he worked so hard to achieve.

On Writing Strong Female Characters (Make Them Human)

This is amazing

Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks

harkavagrant Couldn’t resist. Copyright Kate Beaton at Hark! A Vagrant.

I have a lot of thoughts about how to write strong female characters, but first I wanted to address the idea of “strong.” For female characters, strength tends to be equated with physical prowess. Think of “strong female characters”, and most people will immediately list the Buffys and the Xenas, because they are warrior women with superior fighting skills. But in creating strong female characters, it’s also important to look beyond the physical. The Sansa Starks of fiction are not any less strong than the Arya Starks just because they can’t pick up a sword and slay their enemies. There are the Felicity Smoaks of the world who find strength in their intelligence, and the Cersei Lannisters who use manipulation and cunning to drive their enemies to their knees.

To quote Neil Gaiman on this subject:

The glory of Buffy is…

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Published Book

Hello world! Admin Squeak here! So, i’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on here that I’ve published a book on Amazon titled Memories, well here’s what it’s about. It might sound a bit cliche.

Synopsis

Monty is a young Demon, his kind is blamed for the five century long War that broke out in his homeland Draeona, the land of the Dragons. Demons in Draeona are considered low-lives, unable to comprehend the moral capacity of most human-like beings in this alternate universe to Elure (the land of Equals), deemed untrustworthy and masterminded; the stereotype drives him nuts.

Even he, with his ex-con mindset, wishes for the war to end already and have an era of Peace. It does good for no being, but nobody in the Capital chooses to believe him due to his racial factors. Somehow the Capital City (Tumbletown) has a top-notch school that accepts him due to his high IQ and response to the interview with the head mistress; in this institution he is confronted by a spunky young female (a rather popular one) whom is a new student from the Mortal Realm fascinated by the thought of a “mythical”
concept following Natural Law and the Laws of Physics. These two are polar opposites in every way, but she is the only student who believes wholeheartedly that he knows how to stop the leader of the Dark Army–the true head, not the figurehead.

This leader has an ego to match their blood lust, and they don’t agree with the peace concept: they want to see the world fall into a black abyssal cloud full of insanity and pride… They want anarchy. She is the definition of the stereotype, and knows what makes Monty tick as his former comrade: she is the embodiment of evil essence, and she has immense power and strategy.

Can Monty and his friends stop the gaining empress? Or are they just fighting a losing battle?

Story Posts

Hiya people of the creative and oh so passionate N.E.R.D community! This is Squeak and I’m gonna throw a little curve ball into this rather dull sight, seeing as I haven’t posted very much. I have an idea for a story and I want some public opinionated feedback. This is a chapter for the story and I want to know what you think, guys! 🙂

Zombies raced at the PC gamer “Chase” from Brooklyn, New York; he bashed in their heads covered in rotting flesh, blew them up with bombs and rockets, and blasted them with his double-barrel pump-action shotgun. He was an excellent gamer with skills honed tediously and strenuously after school work had been completed. At the top of both his class and his zombie assassination team, his pride should be through the roof. It wasn’t. He recognized the superior skill he had and accepted it with humility; he had earned his game ranking via discipline and experience without the use of cheats or mods. Chase—as his gamertag states—was an impeccable student of academic and technological skill.

His name is Jeremiah Connelly, a Junior and valedictorian at East Annan High School, living in one of the many brownstones in the heart of the Brooklyn district of New York City. He didn’t know that his massive knowledge of weaponry, wars, ammunition, and tactical maneuvers would assist in the growth of his hidden, inherited, innate power; he was completely oblivious to his strength.

Now, Jeremiah lives with his parents and one sister, Ginnifer (aka Gen). His parents are often out on business ventures, leaving him and Gen to fend for themselves in one of the world’s most populated cities. Gen got a job once she turned eighteen, being the elder of the siblings; she is now a twenty-year-old student mentor only kept at E.A. to keep Jeremiah in check who took on the role of being his motherly figure. The two protected each other, each of them studying a genre of combat styling—Ginnifer learnt jujutsu while Jeremiah practiced taekwondo.

The story begins in the depths of Brooklyn’s brownstones[1]. The two siblings have been left alone again by their workaholic parents to prepare for the oncoming school day.

“Jay!” Ginnifer calls out excitedly, “C’mon let’s get going! We’re gonna be late!”

“Coming Gen. Wait up!” They drop their boards and take the alleyways as means for a shortcut. “We need the shortest route possible. If we take the connector at 53rd then we should make it!” Jeremiah calls over the wind in his ears.

Gen fuels her board again, her scruffy coffee-colored hair moving in the wind and purple bangs tickling her freckled face. Jeremiah notices that even though they are four years apart (him being sixteen and her twenty), they were more like best buds than they were siblings; other than the preferred hobbies they did everything together: school, sports, music, and even television options. They hardly ever parted ways on anything.

The school of East Annan High was a huge building entirely of cinder block and brick, flat faced with windows on both floors; it was an amazing institution in academics, sports, and any other regions of competition. And with Gen having already graduated a couple years back and now participating as a student teacher, she heads to the English room in the Freshman Hall; Jay goes to the Junior Hallway for the first class on his schedule.

The intercom turns on with a subtle crackling noise. “Jeremiah Connelly please report to the dean’s office.” The dean is like their principal, but stuck up and hardly ever searched for details when it came to claims against the students.

The whole classroom turns and looks at him; noted as an intelligent troublemaker, this announcement can mean anything, really: detention, suspension, referral, even expulsion. There is a laundry list of possibilities as to what Breaves could do to the smartest and most dangerous student in East Annan. His peers watch as he stands quietly to make his way through the uniformly arrayed desks; once inside he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “What have I been accused for the time round the block, Mr. Breaves?” he asks quietly.

The dean looks at the star pupil of his establishment with a hard, disappointed glare of disgust. “Jeremiah,” he began with his snotty tone. “It is to my knowledge that you live with Ginnifer and the Connelly household. And they have raised a very bright young man, but recently you’ve been said to be skipping class and going to the bar four blocks down.” His voice scratches at Jay’s ears like a knife on fine china.

“I haven’t,” he starts calmly. “Ask Gen, Tyler, or Dan. This shit is getting real old real fast Breaves!” His tone escalates quickly as his fists form tightly at his sides. Breaves got on him for use of foul language. “Don’t even try it. Sir, with all due respect, you can place me in detention and even juvenile hall, but I have never in my life been intoxicated due to alcohol or drug use! Now, I have taken your arbitrary and ridiculous options of punishment for things you had no proof of me doing for the past two and a half years at this school without questioning once. However, you’ve just gone ten leagues too far this time, Breaves!” He slams his fist in the fine wood desk he sees about every two months.

The truancy officer barges through the door. “Calm down, Connelly. Let’s not do this dance again, please.”

Jeremiah glares at the officer and swings blindly, ably landing his fist into the man’s jaw. “Get the hell outta here. The dean should fight his own battles, goddamn it.”

The conversation plays on loudly over the intercom’s speakers, catching all students and teachers awestruck at the intensity of one of the school’s most intuitive pupils. Gen steps forward from her place in the back of the classroom and glances at the teacher for his nod of approval. Jay, I’m coming, she thought frantically as she bolted through the door.

She bounces off lockers and walls through the chase of her brother’s panicking tantrum; the struggle of Jeremiah and whoever else in that fight blasts through the speakers with emphasis on the crashes, breaks, and thuds alongside the upsets of screaming. This is the first time that his outbursts have erupted into violence of this magnitude, and the first time one has been on display publicly in any sense. Damn, this is gonna embarrass him… Gen gets through the door of the dean’s office at last; she sees that Dean Breaves has his hand on the microphone button and gestures to stop, when he does stop the transmitting she goes to the truancy officer calmly. “Stop, you’re scaring him worse, officer Dupré.” The policeman tries to argue but reluctantly releases his hold of the boy.

She approaches Jay without scorn. “Jeremiah.”

No answer.

She sighs heavily and kneels down, gripping his shoulders tightly. “Jeremiah Mathias Connelly,” she says slowly, “can you hear me in there?” She looks directly at him, hands behind his back and eyes red as blood. He hasn’t pulled through the phase yet…

Gen’s voice sounds in his head. “Gen?” he panics. “Ginnifer?”

A smile paints her lips as she jerks him into a stern, loving hug. “I’m right here… You’ll be okay, Jay… I promise.”

One hand reaches behind her, asking for the key to the handcuffs; she releases him once she’s given it. And hearing the clink of metal on tile, he hugged back in fear, body shaking and muscles tensed from his street-defense skills used in the fight.

“Jay, you’re okay. No one is trying to hurt you,” she says softly, stroking his hair. “Dean, I’m going to have to ask for Jeremiah to be excused from the rest of his classes for today. I’ll catch him up at home on what he missed. Think of it as outside tutoring.” Helping him stand up, she leads Jeremiah to the door. “I’d like it if you would have your facts straight before you accuse those with high-wired feelings, this way we can avoid any sort of injuries.”

She flips open her mini-computer and pages for a cab. The intercom clicks on again. “Attention all students, the previous fighting you heard was nothing but a simulation led by our one and only Jeremiah Connelly. It was a scripted event. Carry on, now.”

Simulation my ass, Jay thought angrily, his eyes turning red as brimstone.

First Round: Music

Okay, I am going to be completely honest folks, who I am is a true music junkie. It’s my life. Also, I make music and I write about mythical creatures and that nonsense. Even published a book on Amazon if you want to check it out, but I’m off topic. (Memories Paperback and Kindle Version in case you wanna check it out.)
Anywho, I’m down home old school, I steal my mom’s cassettes from her stash (and return then, of course, rewound and such), pop then into the stereo in my room and play then while dancing around like an idiot on drugs or something! 😀 Inside and out, I’m even one for the gold tracks.
Recently, I finished a good book after a total amount of four hours over a week. It’s about someone making their dream in music on community radio, with a few connections. The book felt like I was reading the life of an ordinary teenager, but it actually had me gripped! No blah blah baloney like in Harry Potter Book 4: Goblet of Fire. So what is the name of this book, you might ask? In relations to my Junkie Page, it is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. Look it up, it’s a well worth read for all you retro listeners and new age too!

Ocie Marie