I got educated the silly way. Some random person online asked me why BTS doesn’t speak English, and why Koreans don’t speak English. I responded that I didn’t know what BTS was, but that Korea may not do well with English, but they are trying to speak English. I proceeded to explain what Korea is doing to try to learn to speak English and why it is difficult for them. The response of my comment about BTS was crazy.
After I did that, my email was flooded with messages from random people saying, “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you know who BTS is? ” Every one of them proceeded to tell me all about BTS. They thought that just because I live in Korea, I should know every K-Pop group. I am not 13 years old. It is the 13 year olds in Korea who listen to BTS, not the adult population. It is teenagers from all around the globe who listen to them, not 64 year old American women, even if they live in Korea. My daughter laughed when I told her and said the BTS Army had come after me, a group of radical teeny boppers who have their heads in the clouds who bother people online about their heart throb Korean idol group.
Even my Korean son in law who is a young man doesn’t listen to BTS. He calls them an idol group. His favorite music right now is the music from “Mama Mia.” My daughter is also very young, and she teaches children in Korea. She is in her early twenties. She knows who BTS is, but she doesn’t listen to their music. She said the only reason why she know who they are is because kids at her school listen to them, and one of them had their poster in their locker. She has heard about the BTS Army because they are on the internet, and they go after people on the internet. They are a militant fan group of kids. I sent out a message that stopped them.
People don’t seem to realize that K-Pop is not what all of Korea listens to. It was created by the Korean government to make people know that Korea is here. They want people around the globe looking at Korea, and they are looking at Korea. The Korean government has succeeded. However, those K-Pop groups are like they come out of a factory. Lots of Koreans can sing. The people in their K-Pop groups fit into a mold. It is not all about good music. It is about who can be popular with the girls or with the boys. They train these young people to sing their songs and to do the dances. The young people are not the artists who create it. They are the puppets. They fit into cookie cutters. If one of them drops out for any reason, no problem, they can find someone else just like him or her.
The thing that is really popular in Korea that doesn’t get exported is the Indie Rock groups. I know about them, but I am 64 years old and really don’t care about them either. I’m the lady who listens to the golden oldies station in the States and can sing every song that comes on the radio. My CDs are classic rock, Elvis Presley, Abba, Barbara Streisand, the Carpenters, Queen, the Beach Boys, Moody Blues, the Eagles, Christian groups,etc. The Koreans love rock music played by bands that have guitars and drums. They love to listen to it as loud as they can get it. I like rock music,and I have been to a few of their concerts, but I don’t know one Indie Rock group from another. I just like music.
I have a K-Pop CD in my car. I tried listening to it. I even tried to learn some of their songs because people like to hear me sing, but I just really didn’t get into the K-Pop songs. They are better than Heavy Metal. I could never get into Heavy Metal either. I like rock music. I like some Country music. I like Jazz music. I like Christian music. I like Classical Music. I like artistry. I don’t like Heavy Metal because it just sounds like noise to me. I tried one of their concerts in the States too. K-Pop can be cute, but its isn’t not seriously that astounding. The first time I heard Barbara Streisand was on a talk show in America. When she sang, I was amazed at her voice! I never got that reaction from anyone in K-Pop. Elvis Presley has an amazing voice, and not only that, but he had all the fan popularity that the K-Pop groups have. Girls really were melting at his feet. The Beatles really had a different sound that was good, and they had the girls trying to tear their clothes off. They were teen idols like the K-Pop groups, but their music was also artistic and real quality, and it lasted. Many groups have been like K-Pop groups. They are transient. They don’t have enough quality to last. They are catchy for the young people, but will people still listen to them in ten or twenty years? Its okay if I don’t know who BTS is because I have quality music to listen to and don’t need a teeny bopper group of pretty little boys jumping around on the stage trying to get my attention. Let the twelve year old girls swoon because the twenty year old Korean girls aren’t swooning. The Koreans in their twenties are listening to Indie bands and music from other countries. Real grown ups have heard it all and pick and choose. Real grown ups don’t swoon at anyone’s feet.