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Kris...

1. Kris's decision to leave

Maybe it's my fan feelings toward him that sway my opinion (so these are just my thoughts and not necessarily meant to be taken as fact/truth), but I do believe that Kris left not for his own ambition, but because of conflicts with SM's management. If he had wanted to be a successful solo Chinese celebrity, I would have thought that he would have waited until after he had at least scored a solo acting gig and established a bigger presence in China first before breaking away. I think chances would have been pretty good that SM would have arranged an acting opportunity like they did with Luhan. Kris, Luhan and Kai were the only ones who got real acting roles in Wolf drama MV, so I don't think Kris's previous absence would have affected his chances. But maybe all the stars aligned just right and a Chinese company or companies offered him a lucrative deal. Only time will tell. But in general, with the exception of Hangeng, I don't feel most of the idols who have broken away from SM have ever achieved the amount of success (i.e. JYJ, JTL/HOT, FTTS) they would have if they had stayed with SM.

2. Kris's selfishness and hurting the other members

Yes, I think the timing is terrible and although there is no 'good' time to leave, it would have been easier on the other members to leave after Overdose promotions were over. Yes, I think that what he did was in his own interest. But I choose to believe that his timing was not done to hurt EXO members, but to send a message to SM. I choose to believe that he thought about this for many months and understood that his actions would inevitably alienate him from the rest of the members, but that he was so unhappy and fed up to the point that he would be willing to give those relationships up. To give up years of training, years of being away from family and friends, years being in a foreign country where you can't speak the language, and career 'success' says to me that Kris felt he was in a situation where he felt trapped and could not endure or be happy in no matter what the sacrifice. I choose to believe that this was not an easy decision for him and if he could, he would have done it in a way to spare his fellow members from this pain.

But I don't know him, I will never know him, and so these are all speculations on my part.

But beyond speculation, at some point you have to live for yourself. Life is too short to waste in situations where you will never be happy. A job is a job. For the vast majority of people, their job isn't their life or what defines them. In the end, only you will be looking back on your life thinking, "Was my life worth living?"*. Not your family, not your friends, not your colleagues, not your boss, not your fans. Being an idol requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work. You're rarely allowed to see your family. You work long hours. You have very little control over your own career. You will always be in the lower ranks in the company hierarchy because you are ultimately a product they are trying to sell. It is very difficult to date. You can't start your own family. At a certain point in time, you will have outlived your popularity and usefulness. Your fans will leave and move on with their own lives. For some people, the fame and fortune may not be worth it. I hope it's worth it for the remainder of the EXO members. I'm happy for Kris if he came to the realization that there are certain things in life that are more important than others to him. I want Kris to be able to look back on his life with satisfaction. I want the other 11 members to look back on their lives with satisfaction.

As far as why he didn't talk to his fellow members beforehand, I feel like I can't give an opinion on it. Maybe he felt isolated and alone in feeling he was the only one who didn't want to part of SM anymore. Maybe he didn't regard any of the members as good enough friends to consult with. I don't think he was wrong for not telling his fellow members, but I don't think he was right either. There are just too many unknown variables for me to judge him on his actions. Career-wise, though, I think EXO will do fine. DBSK and 2PM didn't suffer too much after their respective scandals. However, I don't think they will split up as EXO-M and EXO-K anymore, though, due to the imbalance. Likely it will just become OT11 and mostly Korean promotions like Wolf/Growl.

3. The argument that international fans "don't understand Korean culture" when they are criticizing SM

SM is the only company out of the other big Korean idol companies where idols have sued the company for unfair treatment and poor working conditions in the past few years, and many have left the company in the past without renewing their contracts when they were still very popular and could have continued to be popular under SM. I'm not saying that other idol companies are without their faults, but to say that those criticizing SM for treatment of their employees is 'not understanding Korean culture' doesn't make any sense when this issue with multiple lawsuits are pretty much only endemic to SM vs YG/JYP/Cube. There is something about how that company is structured and how it treats its employees that is toxic and harmful, whether it be physically or mentally or financially, to the point that people are willing to throw away years of hard training and being part of the most powerful and successful idol company in Korea. In comparison, I have not heard of a member that has willingly left in the middle of a contract against company wishes (at the height of popularity, no less) from any of the other 3 companies.

4. My personal feelings throughout this event

Honestly, I have not been particularly emotional throughout this entire process. But in general, although I spend a lot of time and energy fangirling, I don't get very emotionally attached. For example, when Yixing was injured/sick, yes I hoped he would get better. But I never dwelt on it or felt particularly distraught over events like this. I just can't relate to them; their world is too different from for me to really empathize with them beyond a superficial level. I'll get teary-eyed for my patients and their families. But I try not to let my fangirling life overlap with my personal life because I am not comfortable with that.

However, whenever I see Kris, I do feel little....wince of nostalgia? Not true sadness. But something like the feeling you get when you see someone you knew from years and years ago. You were childhood best friends, sharing everything, and then over the years, your relationship drifted apart over time, life and distance. And then you run into them at a reunion or party and think to yourself, "wow...you played such a big role in a good portion of my life." You miss them, but things have changed. You've changed. He/She's changed. And you walk away without initiating conversation because you want to preserve those good memories the two of you had.

I honestly can't say whether or not I will stay interested in EXO. It's not that I don't want to be; I still want to like EXO, I still want to like Yixing. But from my experience being a NEWS fangirl in the past, I have generally quickly lost interest in that group despite wanting to return to fandom and never having had any negative feelings. Perhaps it's because the illusion of idoldom once dispelled, can never be brought back, or perhaps because I feel the member dynamics will never be the same. I've always been pretty fickle with my interests, so the fact that I have been here since History is a very long time for me already!

5. Good-bye, Kris

I selfishly want to continue to support you in the entertainment industry as the successful and bright 'Wu YiFan' even if you are no longer 'Kris from EXO', but whatever path you choose, I hope you're happy, healthy, and loved.

I'll miss your amazing anime-god-like features.

I'll miss making fun of your rapping.

I'll miss your dumb jokes

I'll miss your adorable awkwardness

I'll miss your greasiness

I'll miss your smile

I'll also miss my delusions of swinging off your dick like Tarzan <3


* Erikson's stages of psychosocial development for all you nerds out there

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
missingmisnomer
May. 17th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
This was all very well put. I wish I was as eloquent and composed as you are in this post, but I am still hurting. I am also somewhat selfish in that I hope he will become very famous in the Chinese entertainment industry if only so I can follow him some more and support him more easily due to high visibility. But like you said, regardless of what he does, I mostly just want him to be happy.

And I'm slowly but surely moving away from k pop fandom too... but I'm trying to take it slowly. Maybe by the end of the year I'll be out of it completely.

Good luck in everything to you. Btw, is your twitter still active?
momomoing
May. 19th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not sure if it just hasn't completely hit me that he's gone yet? I think when we start seeing performances of OT11, it'll finally get to me that he's really gone.

You, too! No, I deactivated now for school. I'll reactivate in a couple of weeks!
destinyofme
May. 18th, 2014 05:34 am (UTC)
Me, when the first time heard about this issues, chose not to believe. But when the days passed by and everything seems to be more serious, I rethink about it again and again.

Yes, I'm basically being biased, since Kris is my sole reason to attracting into EXO, but I do feel bad for the rest of the members too. In other way, I think IF it's the way Kris trying to defend his band members, he stands up and speaks for them not to being treat badly for the future. Whatever it is, as I said, I'm basically biased.

And I do agree about point 4. I feel so mixed up rn, not knowing how this fangirling side will going in the future. Being a fangirl is one thing I treasured in my life when most of people not choose to. I've been through the state why I stand for being a Kpop fangirl. I'm proud of it.

As on Kris' case, I and maybe mostly many many fans out there, believe that everything will be settled, for better or worst. We're all aware of the high chance of him leaving the group and live being 'Wu Yifan' instead of 'Kris from EXO'. But as nothing is confirmed yet, up until this moment, could we hope for the best first?

Hey, sorry for rambling much /shy/, I think I just need to speak to some matured EXO fans out there. Thanks :)

Edited at 2014-05-18 05:36 am (UTC)
momomoing
May. 19th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! It was interesting to hear your thoughts too!

I never realized how much I liked Kris until I left ;~;. *sigh* I'm starting to miss him a lot. But I guess we'll see how this whole situation pans out.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )