Park Wan-Suh – Stolen Poverty (ramblings)

I just wanted to talk a bit about the story referenced in the track Strange of D-2 Mixtape, in this line.

The wealthy even covets poverty, in a greedy way.

This part doesn’t really add much to the interpretation of the lyrics, but I just like this story, so I wanted to ramble a bit about it.   Please feel free to skip this part if you’re not interested.

“The Stolen Poverty (1975)” by Park Wan-suh is a story about a young woman who is newly and proudly living a life of poverty.  It is written in her point of view.

She grew up in a family that was well off.  When her father was laid off, her mother couldn’t give up the appearance of affluence, so she pressures the father to start up businesses so she can play the role of the CEO’s wife.  Until the family blows all their money and ends up living an impoverished life in a poor neighborhood.

The girl cannot understand why the family cannot still live a good life.  They have no young kids or elderly to take care of.  Her parents, brother and herself are all of age to make an income and she sees other poor people around her living poor but reasonable lives.

She returns from home from work one day to find that rest of her family have committed suicide together.  I don’t know if it’s a coping mechanism, but she embraces poverty after this.  She thinks that while her mom looked down on poverty, the truth was that her mom was afraid of the poverty.  And she herself is able to be comfortable and embrace this thing that her mom was afraid of.  She is proud of this.

At this point, a young man enters that she likes.  He is also poor.  She invited him to live with her, with “saving money” as the excuse, although in truth she really likes him.  She tries to teach him how the poor must help each other, within their means.  One time, his co-worker is coughing up blood and gets laid off.  She tells him that he should help his friend a bit… only to find out in shock that he had given all his wages to his friend.

This is the first indication that something is not quite right.  The boy doesn’t care deeply for the sick friend –  he’s just given him money because he wants praise from the girl.  Nor does he care that he’s given all his wages away as if the money didn’t matter.

Then he disappears, only to turn up some time later to claim that he is actually son of a very wealthy man, who wanted him to learn about the world by experiencing poverty.  He tells her how he thought it was so interesting that poor girls would be willing to live with men for such a small sum of money.  He offers her a job as a maid in his home, in his attempts to be helpful.

She swears and yells at him and kicks him out.

It ends like this (translated quickly so not terribly accurate):

“I see you’ve unfortunately gone insane,” he mumbled as he picked up his shoes and ran away, but I’m sure he’ll forget me very soon.  Just like he easily forgot about his sick friend.

After I chased him off, I came back to my room, showing off how proudly and bravely I had protected my own poverty.  But my room was no longer my room from a moment ago. The drooping and stained wallpaper, the luggage with broken zipper, the wobbly table, the transistor radio with large battery, and the dented pots and dishes.  While these were still in same place as yesterday, they were not the same as those of yesterday.  They were merely meaningless and ugly.  These things were components that busily made up my poverty yesterday, but they were ugly meaningless clutter now.  Just like when houses are demolished and the slates, mud, cement bricks and doors become a pile of garbage, the objects of my life had become deserted dirty clutter.   And I didn’t think I could save these things again.  In my room, there was no longer even poverty.  I finally realized that he had stolen the poverty.  I ground my teeth in anger.  But my poverty, how could I get the meaning of my poverty back?

I know from the fall of my own family how greedy the wealthy are.  I know that even if they have 99 things, they will greedily covet even the one thing others have. But I had never imagined that they would covet the poverty.   That it wasn’t enough that they had shining education and experiences, that they had to steal poverty to make their already interesting lives more interesting.

I felt the darkest despair when the poverty was stolen, that I had not even felt when we had lost everything.

As if to add to the pile of garbage, I threw myself in the middle of the meaningless devastation and gave myself to the bone chilling cold. 


The story is referenced when people use something more painful and complicated, in a superficial way for their own benefit, just like the boy used the poverty to gain life experience.  I actually don’t think the boy is bad – he just didn’t understand the depth of pain and complexity, which made him overly confident that he could provide a quick fix.   This is a fairly common phenomenon.

dunning1

In a way, if the girl was not so freshly hurt by her poverty or had personal feeling involved, she could have guided him to have more experience and understanding of poverty, as long as he was interested in doing so.   Maybe he could have grown up to be a man who could have helped society in many ways.

Personally, I’m actually not all that keen cancelling the overly enthusiastic people, just because they really don’t understand the issues, as long as the intentions are sincere.  Because you really can’t get to 90% understanding without going through 10%, 20%, etc.  In that way, I find the characters of this story to be a bit unfortunate, as I feel neither really meant harm but were just not ready to tackle this complex issue together.

Recently, the idea was getting referenced when people claim they’re hikikomori when they’re not, for whatever reason (eg. to feel cooler, or to have excuse not to find jobs, etc).  This made people who actually were hikikomori feel like the term was appropriated by others, and made trivial.  Quite often, when this story is referenced, it is used to indicate that it is very bad to be trivializing a complex issue that causes people so much suffering.

Quite commonly, the idea is referenced when politicians take photos with the poor, for their own political gain.  This is especially so, if these politicians have not consistently done anything helpful for the poor, but only use them for the photo-op.

But then, there are actually some politicians who do want to help, but may need a bit of guidance.  Sometimes, you need to give people at least some benefit of the doubt.

I guess it comes down to the motivation.  If they’re sincere even if they’re not deeply understanding of these issues, all you can hope is that these people will increase their knowledge over time.

BTS – Ji Jin Jung (English Sub and Ramblings)

 

The original V-Live, “BTS Live:  Eat Jin + chimchim + kook is here.

 

It’s not just the Rap Line.  Why do several minutes of the Vocal Line bickering and goofing off practically require Coles Notes?

I just thought it was funny how many random things they crammed into their talk.  And some of these random things are really old and completely unrelated to each other.   Why do these things pop into their heads?

Continue reading “BTS – Ji Jin Jung (English Sub and Ramblings)”

BTS – Spring Day (English translation and Ramblings)

Spring Day – You Never Walk Alone, track 15.

Written by: Pdogg, Rap Monster, ADORA, Bang PD,  Arlissa Ruppert, Peter Ibsen, Suga

Korean Lyrics from Naver Music.

 

UPDATE:  May 2018.
I’ve added a blurb about the Little Match Girl at the bottom… so anyone interested, please see bottom of this post. 

 

I’m not gonna talk about the obvious references in the MV in detail since I’m sure a lot of other people have done so.
Spring Day theory by Dreamteller
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
Sewol Tragedy
-Little Match Girl (vid, wiki)
Personnes by Christian Boltanski
safety pin against discrimination
yellow ribbons

Reading the lyrics, I noticed a lot of movie references including the obvious Snowpiercer (Rap Mon!!!!), so I thought it would be kind of fun to read/write about them.   They’re not super obvious so I could be just reading too much into the lyrics, but the films that are (possibly) referenced are really famous in Korea..so I hope it’s not too great of a reach to say these were referenced….

I wasn’t gonna do this song because lyrics are fairly straight forward…so I blame this on Rap Mon and his movies.

There seems to be a lot of missing those who are gone, in the movies and this song – some due to death, others not.  I don’t think the song can be pinned down to one type of good-bye.  It also seems like everyone wrote their own section based on their own feelings or experiences, based on what Suga says in this article.  The song does seem to be unified in overarching comforting feeling of coming to terms with loss and missing that person with fond memories.

I haven’t actually watched these so these are based on summaries I’ve read.  Someday, I’ll have time and I’ll try to watch them.  ^^

SPOILER ALERT!!
Continue reading “BTS – Spring Day (English translation and Ramblings)”

Short Translation Requests

I check this blog sometimes daily, and sometimes not for few weeks.  But if you don’t mind the unpredictable waiting, I figured I’d offer kind of informal translation service for short things. ^^

Please feel free to request in comments:

-translation of short excerpts  (eg.  less than 10 lines please)
-clarification of translations that may have multiple meanings
-cultural connotation around something

BTS lyrics related is fine, but if you have anything that you would like clarified (like some of my ramblings that are not lyrics related, or from an article or something), those are fine as well.

If there are requests that are super complicated/interesting, I’ll see if I can make it a full post.

 

RM + Zico – Fuck Cockroachez (2008)

Fuck Cockroachez 
Mixtape?  Just something they did for fun?  I don’t know.  Just came across it.  It’s very cute.

original song:  DMX – X Gonna Give It To Ya

 

This was done in 2008.

RM would have been..13-14.    Zico would have been 15-16.  Why does Zico sound so pre-pubescent?  ^^

 

Continue reading “RM + Zico – Fuck Cockroachez (2008)”

BTS – Reflection (English translation and Ramblings)

I’m probably NOT going to do Suga’s song because it’s so straight forward.  The only complicated part is the point of view – where he’s having a conversation with the piano.  If anyone know a good lyrics video that clearly show this, please tell me and maybe I can just link it.

Rap Monster’s Reflection (Wings Album track 7)

Korean lyrics from Naver Music

Lyrics by:  Rap Monster, Slow Rabbit
Song by: Rap Monster, Slow Rabbit


 

In the “Wings” Preview Show (at 12:40)”, RM said that he goes to “Ttukseum” when things are hard for him or if he has a lot on his mind.  He says he wrote this song sitting at “Ttukseom.”  The background noise that he recorded on his phone there is in the song at the beginning.

Continue reading “BTS – Reflection (English translation and Ramblings)”

BTS – MAMA (English Translation and Ramblings)

J-Hope’s song, MAMA (Wings Album track 8)

The songs from this album are fairly straight forward, but I guess I’ll translate just a few songs.  Starting with MAMA, which I thought I could add the most rambling….

Korean lyrics are from Naver Music.

 

Lyrics by:   Primary, Pdogg, J-Hope.
Song by:  Primary, Pdogg, J-Hope.

 

Time travel to year 2006
I went crazy for dance and made my mom’s belt tighten.
The days when I jumped into it daily, despite my dad’s opposition
The boat of dreams that she floated for me, unfazed by it all.
“To tighten one’s belt” is an expression used to “tighten one’s resolve to work for a greater ideal than appeasing hunger during time of limited finances.”  Essentially, if there is not enough money, instead of buying food, you tighten the belt to try to hide the hunger… and use that money for something that you think is more important than food – in this case, her son’s love for dance.
But I didn’t know that my mom’s great contribution
Was not the wide short-cut
But this path of dream, holding onto debt.
(Always) the problem was money, and finally mom
(Go away) far away to work. 

Continue reading “BTS – MAMA (English Translation and Ramblings)”

Hitting the Wall – anime/drama trope

I was going to write on Gender Issues, but it became too long….  so I’ll write a little bit about “Hitting the Wall” instead.  AKA:  벽치기, 벽쿵, etc…

Most of info and pictures are from Namu Wiki.  (They have a whole section on this.  Scroll halfway down for the one relating to boy/girl – as opposed to boy/wall relations).

 

I’m sure you’re fairly familiar with this meme/trope/cliche if you’ve been a fan of Asian dramas or Anime.  It’s quite old.

But when they re-enacted it in Boy In Luv, people seemed quite shocked…so I’m posting this, to show the origins of this trope.

From Boy In Luv: (or “moya-moya song” as my kindergarten daughter calls it)

wall4

From Pinocchio (K-Drama from 2014)

wall pinocchio

Continue reading “Hitting the Wall – anime/drama trope”

RM, mentions on SPIN, and other ramblings.

 

Edited Feb 2017.  

This post was originally done in June 2016, when I was really angry after reading what Spin had written, when they chose RM as one of “The 50 best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015”, while making some accusations of him that was unwarranted.

However, I really do NOT want this to be a debate blog of controversial issues…. mostly because I am very lazy….and I want this blog to be a low stress thing.

Continue reading “RM, mentions on SPIN, and other ramblings.”