More Adventures of 90’s K-pop

A while back, I randomly reminisced about a K-pop group, UP, who was immensely popular in the summer of 1997 when I visited Korea.  It is… well, kinda stupid music, but it’s harmless and hilarious and sounds like Sesame Street.  I decided I would like those songs because of their happy-sounding ridiculousness and the fact that it reminded me of my childhood.  It’s even more funny that somebody I know used to be in the group and is now masquerading as a 22 year old even though she’s around 30:

Yep, same person.  Also, I got a couple of other people to translate the song, where we found out what we already knew:  It is a very cheesy song.

In any case, even though I spent two whole months in Korea that summer, I do not remember any other artist besides them.  However, I have been recently introduced to a few more gems from that time period, and we shall discuss their unique contribution to music.

Apparently, there was a very popular boy band called H.O.T. that was considered awesome from 1996-2001 (so they were popular when I was there in ’97, but I have no memory of them).  We can already laugh at a couple of things:

-I mean, come on, it spells out “hot.”  Like, really?  How corny is that?

-It’s even funnier when you realize that the name is an acronym for “High-Five of Teenagers.”  Not only is that awkward English, it implies that cool (or hot?) teenagers high five each other… or other people.  Or that their group symbolizes a collective high five to society.  Whatever it  means, it’s goofy.

Of course, one cannot fully appreciate them without listening to their music.  Behold, their famous song “Candy,” which is about as manly a title as one can come up with, for sure. Continue reading

Why it is not wrong to criticize Jefferson’s Bethke’s “Why I hate Religion but Love Jesus”

It is popular to blog about viral videos, and since I want to become part of the popular crowd who gets invited to all the cool parties, I too shall write about it.  Actually, not really.  Rather than discussing the video in detail, I want to talk more about the reaction it got among Christians as well as the concept of criticism.  Basically, when it comes to discourse, I have a very simple principle I try to go by:  If you’re willing to dish it out, you better be willing to take it.  Bethke dished out criticism in his video, and much of it is correct, but it is criticism nonetheless.  Criticism was subsequently directed back at him, and thankfully, he seems mature enough to accept it.  Many of his newly found fanboys and fangirls, however, did not show such maturity, and threw a hissy fit when guys like Kevin DeYoung critiqued the poem on his blog.

For those who do not know what I am talking about, Bethke recently released a video of him performing Spoken Word poetry, which is basically pseudo-rapping and ranting about society’s problems.  I am not sure how recent his video is; I could have sworn I saw it a long time ago well before it went viral on Youtube, but whatever.  In any case, Bethke’s poem is about how Jesus is awesome but “religion” sucks, or at least, how “religion” is defined in the poem, which is essentially a legalistic, judgmental way of life that vainly tries to merit enlightenment or salvation.  Bethke argues that this is not what Jesus wanted and that he came to “abolish” religion while presenting a new way of life in him.  It is not exactly a new concept; Christians have had such cliches for many years, such as “Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship” (remember what the Teacher says:  There is nothing new under the sun).  However, the creative and blunt way Bethke delivered this message garnered much attention, from believers and unbelievers alike.  Some loved the video and thought it to be a devastating critique of the Church; others found it obnoxious or inaccurate and said so, making the former angry, who came up with retorts like “Why don’t you share the gospel rather than try to destroy another Christian’s work” and the like.  Isn’t the Internet a fun place? Continue reading