A Cosmetic(s) Discourse, Part V:
Closing Remarks on the Pathologically Disturbed
In the preceding parts of this series, we deconstructed and analysed the argumentative structure of the cosmetics discourse, as well as the origin of those arguments in the grander scheme of historical, intellectual, psychological and moral human development or evolution. In most, if not all, of these areas, we found the ideas and arguments posed by this discourse lacking. In this final part of the series, we will synthesise, as succinctly as possible, all that came before and address any remaining issues from the discourse that have yet to be addressed.
In spite of all the criticisms leveled at the cosmetic discourse by this series thus far, through which the author admits to experiencing a certain amount of irreverent glee, there were moments in the discourse that showed true promise of saving itself from its own half-bakedness and underdevelopment. More than a couple of times, the discourse came close to asking interesting questions when addressing the JYJ v. SM Entertainment lawsuit…only to deflate into ridiculousness again in its classic circular and predictable manner.
Inasmuch as the cosmetic discourse is severely ignorant of the law and the functions of legal systems, to its credit, it makes relatively accurate assessments when it comes to the subjects it is truly obsessed with: money and brand value. It is entirely plausible that the departure of the three from SM caused the public’s perception of Dong Bang Shin Ki’s brand value to take the proverbial nosedive and consequently led to SM losing substantial sums of money and the members themselves facing a huge public backlash. Perhaps this is why the discourse itself seems to have a difficult time comprehending why the three members of DBSK would throw in the glove at the peak of their brand value. Why, at the height of their fame, would these three risk public backlash as well as damage to their brand and marketability by walking out of SM in such a dramatic and irreversible manner? Why, oh why? And for what? At this point, the drumroll is gathering louder and louder in the background and the anticipation is climbing for a truly stupendous answer that will make tabloid reporters and paparazzi weep grateful tears of joy.
And what we get is…a cosmetics business. The stupendous answer we’ve all been waiting for, announces the cosmetic discourse, is a cosmetics business that even the discourse’s supporters acknowledge to be ‘not very big’ or remarkable.
Seriously?! The three members of JYJ walked out of SM into certain hostility and career death…to sell women’s face cream?
Furthermore, at this point the discourse has already attributed the cause of the lawsuit to be the cosmetics business, but it now wants us to believe that the cosmetics business was the objective of the lawsuit also. One thing—the cosmetics business—as both cause and objective? One thing as both the point of departure and the point of arrival? This discourse spins itself in more circles than a merry-go-round in a sad Korean soap opera.
Not only does the discourse deflate itself after actually displaying promise but it comes frustratingly close to asking the question that naturally follows from the above, the question that is really at the crux of it all, only to drop the ball(s) in the end. Why did the three feel the need to pursue unguaranteed monetary gains in the first place if they were already at a point where it’s in their interests (as much as it is in SM’s) to protect their image and “brand”?
Forgive me if I find the answer of ‘SM’s unfair, Korean-Civil-Code-Article-103-breaking-13-year exclusive contract’ to be a more consistent and logically less dizzying answer than ‘the cosmetics business’.
Through the Looking Glass
What the discourse lacks in logical clarity it tries ever so hard to make up in shiny baubles. It drops suggestive phrases like “backdoor listing” and “multi-level company” but conveniently forgets to define them or define them accurately in order to use them as hypnotic distractions. After so many of these shiny, hypnotic phrases, the discourse takes on the appearance of actually having depth and sophistication.
The strategy is much like the effect created when two mirrors are placed face to face. When one stands in between them, it looks like the space on either side continues forever. Yet, despite the appearance of depth, the entire thing is an illusion no deeper than the fingertips.
Perhaps the one time the discourse came close to displaying depth was when it fiddled with the idea of equating Dong Bang Shin Ki—the group as well as the individual members—with SM Entertainment, both legally and substantively. By extension, the discourse was then able to deduce and push forth the idea that Yunho and Changmin, as the members who remain under the management of SM Entertainment, represent perfectly SM…that Yunho, Changmin and SM Entertainment are one and the same. Unfortunately, any depth to this idea is based on a chronically uninformed conceptualisation of the law as Part II of this series has painstakingly demonstrated. It is both a legal and physical impossibility for Yunho and Changmin to look in the mirror and see SM Entertainment staring back.
Additionally, how is this idea—that Yunho and Changmin are nothing more or less than their management—supposed to be flattering to the U-know Yunho and Choikang Changmin that this discourse claims to protect and support? It is in fact denying them their personhood and reducing their humanity, with all the legal rights and obligations thereby attached, as well as their musical talents to the level of a faceless, fleshless, talentless corporation. Thus, the cosmetics discourse that claims to speak in defence of Yunho and Changmin is in fact the source of greatest insult to them. It is time for true fans of Dong Bang Shin Ki (all five of them) as well as fans of Yunho and Changmin to understand that the most viable way to protect Yunho and Changmin right now is to support the three members of DBSK who are active as JYJ, because the only way for Yunho and Changmin to gain any recognition of their rights as artists and human beings is if JYJ succeeds, not just in court but in all of their artistic endeavours. Indeed, we are already witnessing the positive spill-overs of JYJ’s fight for the two, such as better working and contractual conditions and increased negotiation power even whilst remaining under SM Entertainment. Ultimately, the cosmetics discourse seeks neither to defend nor protect Yunho and Changmin but to utterly nullify their inherent worth. And that should strike horror into the hearts of all who claim to be fans of Dong Bang Shin Ki and the two.
Hypocritical Victim Card
So it can only be with the cruelest irony that those who champion the cosmetics discourse claim that their words and actions were undertaken out of love for Yunho and Changmin and a desire to protect them. This was the most popular excuse used by the Hotel Girls who were apprehended, not for the purpose of invoking or asserting Yunho and Changmin’s legal and human rights (or even for acknowledging the two’s personhood) but to get themselves out of an arrest that would put an ugly dent in their criminal records. In the end, as is typical of moral reasoning stuck at stages one and two of Kohler’s psychological development scheme, even the victim card dealt by the cosmetics discourse merely exists to benefit self-interest and not the people it purports to hold in high esteem.
At this point, those who defend the Hotel Girls might want to entertain the thought that these girls were in fact genuine victims, that they were bullied into writing confessions and apologies by the Korean police just because they loved and defended DBSK. Indeed, supporters of the cosmetic discourse claim there is no difference between JYJ fans criticising SM to defend JYJ and the Hotel Girls accusing Crebeau in order to defend Yunho and Changmin.
On the surface, this argument might seem logical, but upon comparing the known and confirmed actions of the Hotel Girls with the known and confirmed actions of JYJ fans (fabricated and distorted evidence of JYJ fans meeting in a spy thriller film set to plot the downfall of Yunho and Changmin don’t count, so sorry), it becomes clear that the two cases are nowhere near close. The Hotel Girls fabricated evidence and falsified existing information with the intent to defame an innocent third party. This is a crime demonstrative of malicious intent, whether or not the girls did it out of love for their idols. As far as this author is aware, JYJ fans have yet to commit felonies on this level for the sake of protecting JYJ.
Thus, this idea that the Hotel Girls, in the enactment of their malicious intent toward Crebeau, are somehow comparable to the JYJ fans who are using legitimate channels of expression, such as the Korean Fair Trade Commission, is in actuality a mockery of Korean law and the Korean law enforcement system. In fact, it’s a mockery of the very concept of law even. There’s a reason why no modern society or legal system in this day and age accepts at face value the argument, “I had to hurt an innocent person/entity who has never hurt me in order to save the face of someone I love.” Such an argument actually turns the definition of victim and aggressor on its head (most likely what the cosmetic discourse seeks to do anyway) and is the starting point for the pathologically disturbed. Crebeau eventually dropped the charges against the Korean Hotel Girls out of pity for their young age and snivelling immaturity, but if the company wanted to truly exercise mercy to the wider Korean society and its citizens, it would have requested that these girls be sent off to the loony bin.
The Remarkable Thing About the Internet…
Thus, it should be clear by now that the true purpose of the cosmetics discourse is not to make reasonable arguments in order to protect Yunho and Changmin but to further SM’s agenda by inciting hatred against the members of JYJ. For reasons I will not repeat here but that have already been explained intelligently and professionally by other writers featured on this blog, SM needs JYJ to fail. And so the cosmetics discourse was promulgated. The precedent in Korea has already demonstrated how damaging it can be, in spite of its vacuous arguments. In Korea, it has led to the phenomenon known as the Hotel Girls, whose online presence is comparable to the Bubonic Plague. At least one major Korean fansite still has scars from the viruses to prove it. And now that the cosmetics discourse has crossed over into the international DBSK fandom, one wonders if it will bestow on the international fandom its own marauding horde of Hotel Girls—Hotel Girls 2.0.
Developments in the past few days suggest that things are not only following the Korean trend but building upon it. Whereas before, international supporters of the discourse were satisfied with parroting Korean Hotels and inciting hatred against JYJ, now they have gone one step further and have started to attack JYJ’s fans and even parents. One wonders if it will go to the extent of cybercrime and incitement to violent acts against innocent parties. Considering that the Hotel Girls don’t view the harming and defaming of innocent third parties as anything to be condemned, it’s perfectly plausible. At the same time, the impunity that these people think they have simply because they operate through the Internet is rather amusing. Do they really think that once they enter cyberspace their persons are not subject to laws, obligations and consequences for their actions? Do they really think that incitement to hatred is a less serious of a crime online than offline? Do they really believe that just because they delete their hateful posts that it’ll disappear forever, never to be brought back to be used against them?
The remarkable thing about the Internet, or so an acquaintance at the Centre européen de recherché nucléaire (CERN), an organisation instrumental in the inception and construction of the World Wide Web, liked to remind me, is that nothing on it is ever truly deleted. As a result, plenty of unscrupulous characters—such as the apprehended Hotel Girls—have found out the hard way that there’s hardly a better tool in this day and age than the Internet in proving malicious intent.
Written by: Jimmie of TheJYJFiles
Shared by: TheJYJFiles
Please do not add/remove credits