[Trans] The Delusion of the People Who Live in the Kingdom of SM

Editor’s note: This is a translation of an opinion piece that was written by a fan. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of TheJYJFiles but it does provide some food for thought.

The Delusion of the People Who Live in the Kingdom of SM

파플즈 난데모네 작성
파플즈 usappi번역

(Written by Poplez Nandemone, Translated by Poplez usappi)

The Kingdom of SM has a unique business culture. Even though it’s a business run on contractual relationship just like any other, in a bizarre way, it claims to be a family. This is the reason why the residents of the Kingdom of SM can’t think of any other reasonable response to give except, “ungrateful jerk” whenever something like this happens. They say that it’s like betraying the father who raised you as well as the family unit.

But let’s think about this a bit. Where in this world is there a father who suffocates to death his children just because they have left the house?! No father in this world, no matter how strict, will do that to his child, no matter how obnoxious the kid. Does a person who rails against his children who’ve left the house, calling them traitors, promising revenge until his teeth are worn and cutting off all their means of livelihood, does such a person have the right to be called a father?!

Those who believe so easily that SM is a family are living in a delusion. Lee Soo Man is most absolutely not their father, and SM is most definitely not their home. It’s only within SM that such an ardent comparison to the family unit is being circulated, and so it’s only the people within SM who believe it. And all the while those in idol history who have managed to escape SM are testifying how detestable SM really was, are they not?

As I watched the residents of the Kingdom of SM parrot each other one after the other with “ungrateful this ungrateful that”, I immediately recalled a film I saw a long time ago, ‘The Truman Show’ with Jim Carrey as the lead actor.

There was a man called Truman. Unbeknownst to him, his life was being broadcast live 24/7 around the world on television. He was completely unaware that the life he was living was one big studio set, that the people he was meeting were actors, that the one who was really in control of his life was not himself at all. He was convinced that the fake life he was leading was in fact his real life. However, one day he finds out by chance the whole truth. He comes to realise that what he took for reality is in fact life in a delusion, in a ready-made studio set. The stage producer tries to persuade him, “There’s nothing beyond the set but a harsh and painful reality!” But even so, without hesitation, [Truman] runs into that lonely and harsh but real reality with all his might.

In truth, whenever I look at the loyal idols who live in the Kingdom of SM, more than anger, what I feel is pity. They, who believe that the SM that is playing the role of their father and acting the role of their family is their real father and real family, are a lot like Truman inside the studio set. And so, even if others point out to them that the lives they are leading, the lives they are so convinced are real, are in actuality fake they obviously wouldn’t be able to accept it just like that! It’s only natural that they would respond to such counsel with “What the hell do you know?” It’s because SM’s idols continually revere SM. This is why they can’t do anything besides parroting SM’s position with speeches on ungratefulness. On top of that there’s the connection/fellowship that naturally forms between kids who spent long trainee periods together as well as the staff who look over the kids. This much at least is something that can’t be denied! The true culprit here is the giant management company that uses these warm and precious feelings as a flashy pretext to construct ‘an ideology of the family’ that maintains and feeds the inequality and unfairness that have become its raw material.

Until recently, I thought JYJ were also Trumans inside a studio set. [Knowing nothing but] our father. Our family. That no matter how unequal or unfair they had to put up with it all for the sake of the family.

However, after going through a series of experiences, they came to see little by little the existence of a suspicious black curtain that was wrapped around their life. And eventually they came to know that beyond that black curtain is the beginning of the real world. Upon pushing aside the curtain, they came to realise that they had been living their lives on a studio set, that the person they thought was their real father was in fact an actor playing the role of their father.

The stage producer of this entire show is SM. “If you go beyond the curtain, I will never leave you alone. What awaits you out there is cold reality!” But they’ve already figured out that they were living on a studio set, so now how could they be expected to continue living their real lives aware of the fact that they’re on a set!

“Even if a sharp and cold wind blows, even if I lose everything in the process, I want to live a life that’s real.”

I think this is the real reason why JYJ left SM.

The reason why I support JYJ?

Because everyone has the right to live a life that’s real [and not make-believe].

Source: Poplez

Translation by: Jimmie of TheJYJFiles

Shared by: TheJYJFiles

Please do not Add/Remove credits

31 thoughts on “[Trans] The Delusion of the People Who Live in the Kingdom of SM

  1. “Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world–and never will.”
    – Mark Twain’s “Consistency” speech, essay

  2. Ah! now you mentioned About Truman, I also think that JYJ is like him.
    I mostly forgot everything about this Movie but I can difinitely remember the core theme of it.
    This is about Delusion vs Relatity-whether you like it or not, when the time comes you have to choose one way or another.

  3. Pingback: (TRANS) The Delusion of the People Who Live in the Kingdom of SM « jyj3

  4. Thought provoking, indeed and what a very interesting analogy.

    I guess many people use the word “family” with companies for the sole reason that they rear you. Somehow the kind of rearing SM have reminds me of Hansel and Gretel, being lured by candy, eventually being imprisoned and fed only to find out that you’ll be eaten in the end.

    Anyhow, I’ve tried so many times to put myself in their shoes. And as I tend to do when I want to understand it further, I compare it to my own life. As I am already working, I do know the trials of working in a company. Every company’s aim is earn profit, of course. But what makes a company great is that when they aim for that but in turn they know how to tend their employees’ needs as well. The company I worked for before gave me global projects, I was able to travel here and there and the projects I was in were interesting and have been very invaluable to my resume, and I am grateful of that. But there came a time when these things were not enough in comparison to what kind of headaches I’ve been getting from them as well. We had to fight and beg for the benefits we should be getting and deal with the awful and rude management, that you question myself, why I was allowing that to be done to myself? Was my reason for staying enough for such a treatment? So, I had done a lot of thinking and I quit. I think this kind of situation we face in our normal daily lives is also similar to what is JYJ is going through.

    Maybe some people need to have the same experience to fully grasp what others have gone through. Maybe some have higher tolerance for these kind of things and will never have know what’s on the other side of the fence. This is not wrong, but neither does wanting to aim for a good change from situation that had become hurtful to you. (I’m moving away from the topic again ^^;;)

  5. Yes I can totally relate the main line of Truman Show to JYJ, and so it could be related to EdTv with Matthew McConaughey. Even more when the main character decided to leave the show and how the company put in front of him so much obstacles and a lot of other things to stop him for leaving. You can see that movie too and understand what I meant. Thanks for the translation ^^

  6. Woo The articles here are always very interesting!
    thanks so much 🙂

    Actually, I´m really happy that JYJ has left that company, whatever the reason, I´m happy.
    I mean, anything inside there is real…
    Mmm… How to say this … It´s true that the artists there have their unique talents(some of them) and personalities, but they can not grow up, the company makes everything for them, the company decides everything… And because of the image of *unite group* that they need to show and because when they are together make more money, it´s really difficult to see those artists making solo activities or doing something that they want to do … Ok , they are part of a group and they need to think on the best for he group but, what about them? … They are not going be young and pretty forever … someday(maybe soon) the company won´t need them anymore and then … What are they going to do? (too much dependence is not goot at all…)

  7. I was nodding from start to finish! And the writer was right in saying that pity is to be felt towards the people who still choose to live their lives ‘the way they want it’ but in fact they are still trapped in the theatre that is run by SME. That is the reason why I feel so frustrated that Yunho who was the leader of the group has chosen to go to this route when he himself seems so determined, so capable of handling his life’s decisions…

    I sincerely hope that JYJ wins this so HoMin can break the chains of SME that they’re allowing to hold them down.

    I appreciate this article and I will repost this w/ credits intact in my Lj and FB. Thanks guys!

  8. it’s not only because SM’s artists revere SM. if life was that simple, then problems would have been resolved a long time ago. SM is more horrifying than that. in the contract, they stated through their supposed “confidentiality agreement” that whatever happens inside of SM stays in SM. and also that if an idol is to leave, he is to compensate with three times the investment and two times the expected revenue.

    what that means is that each and every idol, trainee, etc, cannot and MUST NOT say anything that can potentially deface SM as an entertainment company, regardless of how terrible the working conditions are inside the building. and if they cannot take it anymore and want to leave, SM automatically gets the money they have expected to earn in the long run anyways.

    what i believe is that these idols have no choice to say these things against JYJ, one, they want to prove their loyalty to SM in case of suspicion, and two, SM most likely wanted them to say those things in the first place. another part of the contract states that “the manager is in charge of the idols’ activities, and the idols have to work diligently”. whatever your manager tells you to do, you have to do it.

    they’re not so much delusional as they are bodies with strings attached to their limbs. it’s sad, really.

  9. cool~

    It almost make think abut sm artists as demented and lost people @_@ lol

    But actually It was a suitable comparison. These three guys, JYJ, are like.. entering the real world. we can feel that, what they say in interviews, shows, they are always saying that I’ts like they were starting everything. And I think that’s just amazing. Bu I just can’t help to worry about them. Because It also feels like , and It actually was this way, they were living in a bubble all the time they were in SM and now to face the real world themselves.. I bet It must be hard. And even worst havin all that crap against them.
    But anyways, Im still happy. they are having such a huge support from their fans. Now for their career that’s the most important thing.

    Thanks for share the article.

  10. This is why i really don’t like the concept of the company who have human as their product, their mindset is “Idol is my product, i can do whatever i wish to my product.” They tend to forgot their product is a “human” that bound with feeling, human right and so on. That is why i really glad JYJ found another way of partnership with C-JeS.

    Even big company like Nestle, they have a trial and error to their labor force in several countries and their concept to their stakeholder is already so advance yet they still have a problem with it. And a company like SM who have mindset, “the idol i rise is mine to take and destroy thing.” I really wonder how severe “inside” of SM. =_=;;

    And this “ungrateful” concept is so funny. The whole concept of “LSM is their father” and “SM is family” is really already being a doctrine for SM idol. Same with the writer i also pitying those talented people whose still in SM and bound with this doctrine. Sorry for my incoherent comment =_=;; Thx for this nice article and the translation…

    • well.. after read YC’s unnamed song lyric.. i now know, “how severe inside of SM”

      can’t say i surprise, it’s expected to be that worst..but to think the boys endured it long… gosh.. i hate it..

  11. Talking about being grateful or ungrateful, suddenly I rememver about loyalty when I learnt business

    The best kind of loyalty is when both parties are benefiting.
    — Scott Brooks, Gantz Wiley Research

    The lifetime employment contract was never the only way to build employee loyalty.
    — Donald P. Rogers, Rollins College

    ah I think those quote are right too …

    I had read about this : http://www.loyaltyrules.com/loyaltyrules/apply_overview.html

    and ever read about this?

    But even when you can’t retain talent, it doesn’t mean departing employees weren’t loyal. Indeed, another mistaken assumption is that loyalty has to mean “forever.” “One of my students expressed it well,” says Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill. “He said, ‘It’s like dating: You can be faithful to the person you’re seeing now while you’re involved with him or her, but that doesn’t mean you won’t move on to dating someone else later.'” Nor should companies strive to keep all employees forever. “You don’t want blind loyalty,” says Scott Brooks, an executive consultant at Minneapolis-based Gantz Wiley Research. “The best kind is when both parties are benefiting.” Leigh Grantham, VP of marketing and administration at DeFuniak Springs, Florida-based electricity provider CHELCO, agrees: “I’d rather have a star performer for three years than a dud for life.”

    source: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5000.html

    well that’s so true about JYJ’s decisions.

    • agreed wholeheartedly about the sentiment echoed in your comment and the article. i’m so tired to see non-fans of JYJ saying the boys are “ungrateful bastards” and that they “bite the hands that feed them”, when you know there were harsher reality behind it.

      i’m also against the notion of comparing JYJ’s experience in the company with the rest of its’ idols.they might have gone through similar things, but their take on what they experienced obviously varied. only they themselves could line out where their limit are – and for JYJ, their last straw was probably when they realized that they are not gonna be treated respectfully anymore by anyone from the company. it is naive to believe that in such a big corporation, favoritism and cronism don’t exist. even within the same group, one could have gotten better favour than others, just because. it’s human to be unequal and bias.

      i have no comment about the idols that stay in SME, because i believe they have their reason just as JYJ has reasons to leave. however, i’m upset that they can’t seem to let the boys go; as if breaking free is a mortal sin that needs to be punished with the harshest punishment possible. it is as if they are extremists, not knowing when to hold back and respect that others may not share the same belief. and such attitude is absurd considering we’re in the decade of empowerment and freedom, and that everyone is entitled to rights to control his/her own life.

      “The best kind of loyalty is when both parties are benefitting.” – love this. make me hope that whatever the reason is for the 2 to have stayed, it is something that benefits them and at par to what they deserve. 🙂

  12. Just finish reading the lyrics translation of Micky’s “Untitled Song”. Although I know these “dark sides” in the industry, I just can’t believe how bad it is in SM. It’s very cruel for them to use “family” as a bound.

    I’m very speechless at this moment. This is totally mental abuse. It is said very clearly in “Psychological Abuse; Discussion Paper” release by Government of Canada:
    (examples) not giving any credence to the person’s point of view; not validating the person’s feelings; and claiming the behaviour was meant as a joke, etc. It is very interesting to read. Psychological Abuse; A Discussion Paper

    This incident brings up a lot of “unknown” facts to the public and they are really disturbing. The more I see, the more I want to puke (excuse my language). This really makes me sick.

    Admins and writers on The JYJ Files, may I ask for a request? I would like to show the articles here to my professors from the Communication Department at school. I’m intend to raise the issue more to the public. This’s no longer a battle between SME & JYJ regarding contract, it involves more than that. Please let me know^^

  13. Just read a very interesting article from Korean Times:

    Quote: “…S.M.Entertainment, Korea’s largest talent agency, may be an exception. It had been in the red until 2008, but turned profitable in 2009.”

    Oh, really…?! XD Just want to laugh at this. Their accountants really know how to “polish” their account statement. Come’on, police, catch these evils!! They’re trying to run away from taxes!!

  14. I posted this in the other thread and also re-posting it here, I am just so shocked at the extent to which this so-called family treats its members. I knew SMEnt was overworking its artists but I never thought their violations of their artists’ human rights led to such an incident (increasing the IV drip rate to speed up the process, which is lethal). I wonder how many more of their artists had the same experience? Geez now I understand why this guy had been suicidal.

    Judging from the translated lyrics of YC and JS new songs, we can now understand what demented things went on within SM Town, and I bet what they said and this clip from Hangeng are just tips of the iceberg (youtube.com/watch?v=-y8q2-W3RJY)

  15. what a great article. I wonder will JYJfiles welcome an articles from reader like me. I actually starting collecting material about an issue for my own understanding of a certain matter related to the fandom. Im thinking of writing since reading all those journals and books i feel like putting it into words but i dont have the confidence though.

  16. this should be translated on Korean and should be linked to SM artists online accounts so that somehow they would wake up in their dream…. this is serious

  17. I’m very proud of JYJ. They take the unpopular and difficult path to fight for what they believe is right and create the better future. Even though it seems all doors have closed for them, I believe there’s still another door for them. In this case, all JYJ fans will become the “door” for them to continue their fight and survive. It’s been proven for a long time, that freedom and justice triumph evil.

    Everyone, let’s fight together to make a better world for humanity. JYJ fighting, fans fighting ^^

  18. Just tend to remember that there are more important things in life than them.

    This Discount jewelry is used for piercing the sides of lip in different patterns.
    Also, it does require that the piercer to have special skills.

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