Many opinions, a few biases.
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Anonymous asked: infiniteupdates(.)wordpress(.)com/2014/06/09/eng-sub-full-140604-kbs-kiss-the-radio-sukira-with-infinite/ Here's the KTR that you mentioned you did not see the entirety of, and 2014/06/04/vidfull-140604-kbs-kiss-the-radio-sukira-with-infinite/ is the SSTP from the same day. That one isn't subbed, unfortunately, which is a shame because it has the full fight story. But KTR has somewhat of a lead-in for it (it happened on Sungyeol's birthday!).

Whether you are the same anon from earlier or not, you are a darling.

(No really I keep saying this, because I want to make sure y’all hear it: I wake up — or, rather, I wake up and putter around and try to get coffee in me and then hear the kids waking up and realize I’ve gotten nothing done — feeling drained and overwhelmed sometimes, and then I get to Tumblr and learn that some person I probably don’t know, somewhere, has read my stuff and went to the trouble of finding my ask page and reaching out to me and expressing an interest in my Infinite-related ramblings, and it lifts my heart. It really does.)

Based on the GIFs I’ve seen of late — like the one of Sunggyu’s interview where he discusses his post-Another Me funk, or the one where they’re talking about who cries when — Woollim is apparently feeling a little more confident about letting them express less predictable, more human emotions.

shinwoo:

amazing

(via idolspeculation)

(Source: kimseoulgyu, via aerintine)

b1a4gasms:

[HD] 140723 Show Champion — B1A4 내가뭐가돼 | SOLO DAY | 1ST WIN

YASSSS I KNEW WE’D GET INTERACTIONS W/ INFINITE THIS COMEBACK

(Source: bethe1all4one)

female idol friendships → for anonymous

#HOW ISN’T THIS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING EVER

(Source: femaleidols, via woohyuniehyung)

stopmoving asked: i have no advice on leasing a car (i'm from london, what even is driving) but i found nicole cliffe's recent "how to buy a car without interacting with a human" blog post (on The Toast) a great read because she TRIUMPHS in the face of HAVING TO DO SOMETHING STRESSFUL AND HARD -- you might find it a nice solidarity read, while you are negotiating the whole complicated business?

How to Buy a Car Without Interacting with a Human.

Thank you for the recommendation! Editor Nicole is admirable.

When I bought a car last year, I threatened to leave over a $200 fee while carrying my then-1-year-old; the salesman caved rather than have to get the damn car seat out of the car. (For the curious, it was Dave at Gunther Volkswagen Mall of Georgia, and while I have nothing but good wishes for him — and for the nice woman in the gift shop who ended up helping me find my chosen tattoo artist — the dealership itself has a ’60s-retro theme, which translates to a great deal of cartoonishly misogynistic art on the walls.)

Anonymous asked: There was a post a while back asking people not to conflate Berber w/ Amazigh bec the former is a slur. I've been trying to read up on this, find stuff online but honestly there's nothing besides the same links that are getting recycled. I get the general reason for not using it but tbh I'm just confused because no one in Morocco has ever asked me not to use the word, people use it quite freely, self-identifying with it. I've been living here for a while so want to learn more about this.

Hi, anon! You’re talking about this post.

I honestly know absolutely nothing about whether an individual person would prefer “Berber” or “Amazigh”. Here’s the “Amazigh” tag of the person who originally wrote into medievalpoc; that might help.

Good luck! And I’m curious to hear about living in Morocco — I’ve never been to the country.

noaesthetic asked: re: "where was the damn thing filmed", the answer is apparently... Incheon! also the site of Psy's "Hangover" MV. so the Cyrillic is mostly decorative, but probably can be read in other ways. i'm not sure if their drawn-on tattoos are also in Cyrillic or if it's roman alphabet but the stylists are really into writing random phrases on them lately so i wouldn't be surprised either way.

There’s yet more Cyrillic projected onto the back wall behind Dongwoo (I didn’t notice it until watching the behind-the-scenes footage).

Haven’t looked at the tattoos yet, though. Clearly this is something that is going to have to be explored in great video-pausing detail.

Anonymous asked: I couldn't help but notice your one tag on some of your posts (infinite: a study in cracks showing) and was wondering if you've taken the chance to watch some of their most recent radio interviews. They're a gold mine in terms of meta seeing "past the facade" as it were -- ie, Infinite not celebrating Woohyun's bday with him, the biggest fight ever being between Sungyeol and Myungsoo (THAT was an interesting story), things like that. They're really fascinating to watch and listen to.

Anon! You are catching me on a day when I need to forgo researching a topic of great interest to me (Infinite) and concentrate on researching a topic of great stress and nail-chewing (how to lease a car). So I cannot catch up at the moment.

The only radio show I have watched with subs of late was I think the “Kiss the Radio” one with everyone except Woohyun right after Season 2 promotions started, and even then I couldn’t see the whole thing. I am quite behind. (Total amount of High School: Love On watched so far: four minutes.)

You have already done me a mitzvah, anon, so accept my hugs in return; if you have time to do me another one, I will be most grateful for direct links.

(Also, if you have any advice on leasing a damn car, I am all ears. It is apparently even more confusing and potentially costly than buying one. I did not think that was possible.)

abusedmember:

abusedmember:

I’ve just seen Infinite’s Be Back teaser and their new image blew my mind away. Seriously, I couldn’t even stop squealing and it’s already midnight here (I hope my parents weren’t up to hear me crying out the fact that Sunggyu shaved his head/sides of his head). 

But what actually intrigued me was the mural on Hoya’s part. When it was Hoya’s turn to get his share of the lime light, I couldn’t help but notice the symbols that were painted on the wall behind him instead. It was oddly familiar to me. Then it hit me, those ‘symbols’ look similar to the work of LA-based street artist, RETNA. His graffiti work consists of symbols that derives from Blackletter, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Arabic, and Hebrew calligraphies (watch him at work here).

Now, I’m not assuming that the mural behind Hoya IS a work from street artist Retna, but they both do have several similarities. Form-wise, I find several symbols similar to what Retna usually makes, but with slight alteration. Composition-wise, the mural behind Hoya has been arranged too distant, where as Retna’s usual composition are by arranging the symbols close together to fill its work space and has a feeling of fullness to it. The more reason to believe that the mural behind Hoya is not really Retna’s work. 

I’ve been a fan of the said artist’s work, since I’ve never seen such unique way of using scripts in a work before. So, when I saw the teaser, I was surprised to find something like this. Bringing this issue aside, this new song they’re bringing is definitely making me wanting for more. They’re trying on a completely different concept from Last Romeo and truthfully, I kinda anticipate this one a little bit more (maybe because they’re not wearing lacy curtains anymore). 

Any way, that’s just a short (not so smart) analysis from me. I love Retna and I definitely love Infinite, so this wasn’t me trying to point out mistakes or anything. But I would love to listen to your opinion on this. If any of you out there are familiar with Retna, what do you think about this?

Oh! Now that I’ve had my sleep and a little bit more sober (though it’s still 5:00 AM), I noticed something that differs the two murals again. 

The fact that the mural behind Hoya was created with a spray paint (not 100% sure though) is also what makes it different from Retna’s. Based on how the paint glisten, it shows traces of spray paint usage (or just a really rough usage of paint). If you look closely at the symbols, the edges are a little bit rounded also a little bit faded, and you can see the the body is a bit wobbly too. Where as Retna’s works are usually made using paint brushes and diluted paint to maintain straight clean lines. This can be seen clearly on the circles and the diamonds. You can clearly see that Retna’s circles are clean and almost perfectly round and that the diamond’s edges are pointy enough to assume that it is indeed made using brush. On the other hand, like I’ve stated before, the diamonds in the other mural are a little bit too rounded on the edges to be made by a one stroke brush.

Again, this has been a (not so smart) artsy fartsy analysis on Infinite’s Be Back teaser from a not so sober artsy fartsy art student. 

I really wanna see Kpop x artsy fartsy artist collaboration again in the future. It’s really interesting to know these kinda stuff and fun too. 

Interview with Retna.

In case there’s any room for misinterpretation: I don’t believe Retna actually worked on “Back.” At this point my speculation is that the video-making team wanted graffiti in the background but didn’t want to risk anything that could be read and interpreted (hence the use of Cyrillic in the background during the rooftop dance) and went looking for examples of less-evidently-legible graffiti art. (Contrast to the deliberate use of legible writing in “Without You.”)

(Or I’m way off, and somewhere in Korea is a group of cranky Serbian taggers.)

(And: yay for interesting analysis and bringing new knowledge sources to the table!)

thorawa asked: abusedmember on tumblr had a post about the artwork in Back! so you can check her account and oh my god her own artwork is literally orgasmic i strongly recommend that you check it out!

Thanks for the recommendation! It took me a second to find the post you were talking about but I’m about to reblog it.

yunbyeol asked: #you all give the impression of living in this magical world of creativity and dance and friendship and happiness#i want nothing but joy for the five of you#except possibly for gongchan#and oh hello gongchan#I did not just timestamp your moments of looking suggestively at the camera#that is not a thing that happened#you can go on with yourself now#this tumblr is not for dignity#sigh#b1a4#lonely I've been crying bc you have the same feelings than I do, and you tried to bring Lauren in too. ♥

yunbyeol:

brainsister:

Was it a good cry? I hope it was a good cry! I hate to think of anyone crying sad tears over B1A4.

It’s funny: with Infinite I keep trying to poke at the cracks, out of the (quite possibly mistaken) impression that the gentlemen themselves are not as happy with the status quo as they should be, or want us to believe they are. But with B1A4 I take the myth almost completely at face value. I mean, I know CNU has spoken of his struggles with his father and Sandeul has publicly grieved his aunt and all has not always been sunshine and roses between CNU and Jinyoung, or between Baro and the rest of the group, but I persist in marking these not as Evidence of Deeper Problems but as Obstacles Overcome by Love and Teamwork and Lyric Credits and Shared Dinners Heavy on Barbecued Meat. Bipo has become my happy place within my happy place.

(All radio-palava's fault, I swear.)

To be honest, I agree with you. I don’t know if it is 99% media play, but at least, if it is, they’re doing it well. Of course, there are things that seem wrong, like for example members repeatedely mocking Sandeul’s weight, and things like this, but I really believe in them being good friends and really like a constructive relationship.

I do like Infinite too, they’re in my top three bands, but I see what you mean. What is making me feel so ill at ease recently is how we see all the cracks and the things they possibly have hidden all of these years. It is normal for a group to start feeling more about their own situation rather than the band situation when you get to the point where you have fame. That is what I had the feeling of for Infinite, once they reached the goal they had, it somehow just started going to solo activities, and with recognition, the band slowly drifted to little groups. But I guess that’s probably something really normal. They are 7, and it’s like hard to keep with everyone. In a 7 group person, you rarely like the seven person equally.

I really think some people in B1A4 are closer than others (like Baro and Sandeul are an obvious evidence), but I still nurish the thought of them really going through their carreer and the things all together. They bring me so much joy to be honest, and I don’t think you can calculate every little tweets, or every little supports in everyday life. I just believe that B1A4 are so much like brothers that, whatever happens, they’ll stick together through the end. And their aim at doing good music makes them even better to me. I think they think mainly about the team before themselves, still.

I remember, one of the most moving things recently to me was how Baro and Sandeul went to help Gongchan in diving for his natation show, because he was afraid of doing so. I just rely on things like this and go forward. No matter the problems of CNU with his father, no matter the grief and pain of Sandeul for his aunt or his grand father, and the bitter memories of baro towards his childhood and his younger sister… I think they’ve gone through hard times together and hope that they will keep going through it all together.

Sigh, god, what B1A4 did to me…

You get me.

The only clarification I feel like making is that when I talk about “cracks showing” with Infinite, I’m talking about the entire setup that gives us Infinite: the members themselves, the staff, Woollim/SM C&C. I’m not convinced that pursuing solo activities would necessarily strain the relationships between the members themselves (except, like I speculated earlier, when they might be directly competing with one another). If anything, solo activities might make it easier for them to be friends, give them some breathing room and accomplishments they can claim for themselves alone. But I say that having been raised in a more individualistic culture.

And for what it’s worth, I also tend to not want to question the narrative of B1A4 as creator-dols who get space to contribute to concepts and write songs. That, too, could be media play — everyone seems to be on the “Oh, our idol is totally helping write!” bandwagon of late* — and God knows there’s plenty of room to manipulate credits in the music business. But I want it to be true.

* Hyuna apparently contributed lyrics to some of the songs on her upcoming album, and I hope those lyrics are fantastic.

maddieloveskpop:

Infinite, “Back”. Both the song and video feel like classic pre-“Chaser” Infinite (compare: the orchestral sweeps of "Tic Toc", the ambiguous ending of "BTD", or "Paradise" for both); “I want you back” is a classic boy band lyric, and the instant-classic chorus is a perfect setting for it. The structure of this song, however, bewilders me:

(AA’ BB’) CC A’ BB’ A’ CC

where the part in parentheses is the part before the beat drops and CC is the chorus. The first part is over a minute long in a roughly 3:30 song; after a few listens, I can get into it, but only because I know “I want you back, back, back, back, back” is waiting for me on the other side.

Today’s Inkigayo stage, I think, had the right idea by inserting a huge break between the slow part and the beat; if nothing else, this allowed us to hear what the song might sound like if it just started at the beat drop, i.e. much better. I think the advantage of the current symmetrical, CABAC structure is that it gives us enough of a taste of the chorus without killing it, but I’m curious as to how one more chorus in the middle might sound. Or maybe I’m just addicted to that rhythm.

As for the video, it’s the group’s best since "The Chaser", though the “save the girl” plotline did make me go back to F.CUZ’s “NO. 1”, where a (strangely faceless) woman with a sword single-handedly saves all of the bloodied, beaten members - not that it’s mishandled here, though, just tired. However, with that said, the fact that they (seem to) fail to save the girl is refreshing. Purportedly, part 2 is coming tomorrow, but as it is, the open ending made me like it better immediately. In fact, the real triumph of this MV is that it makes the intro seem necessary: it bends the opening action sequences past “Acting!” and into full melo mode.

I agree, I don’t need a triumphant conclusion. (I am tempted to read this as the Infinite dichotomy at work: they’re suave idols // but they’re dorks // who try to save the girl // and fail // but look dramatic and handsome // as they get, as Strong Bad would put it, the snot, the tar, and the everloving life out of them.

A query: where was the damn thing filmed? Or, rather, who came up with the graffiti on the back wall during the blue-clad dance sequence (pause the video at 2:25 and you’ll see what I’m talking about)? I see “Serb” written twice and what looks like Cyrillic: “собои” and “тавая” and I have no idea what either of those two words mean. I guess they didn’t want to use anything that might be read in Korean and misinterpreted. Or someone on the production staff has a crush on Novak Djokovic. Or the whole thing is actually a metaphor for the Balkan wars, and Sunggyu’s little sister is Sarajevo!… man, I hope not.

Enough hope-killing confounding geopolitics! There is drama, true drama, afoot. This is astounding. I do not know how they can top it.

For one, there’s the extreme economy of the storytelling — establishing shot of Girl in Peril; establishing shot of villains in tattoos; establishing shot of BikerGang!Infinite; FIGHT. (I recounted this to my husband and he said, “So it actually has less setup than Double Dragon?”)

and then Sungjong actually does attack with an an umbrella

And then BikerGang!Infinite turns out to be terrible at fighting: after taking their opponents by surprise and winning the first round (against the red shirts, natch), they allow themselves to get split up and pummeled

pummeled so thoroughly, in fact, that the tattooed villains manage to actually knock the gel right out of Sungyeol’s hair

fortunately for Infinite, their formidable opponents specialize in strikes to the shoulder rather than the head, which can be easily recovered from once one has spent enough time lying on one’s back and looking tragically determined

and somewhere in there is choreography

the song? It feels like it’s all over the place, even more than “Destiny” was, which is odd, since “Destiny” had more obvious variations. But “Destiny” also had some breaks for breath-catching, whereas after the long intro “Back” just goes from high note to high note to high note. (And given all those high notes, it makes even less sense than usual that Sungjong is underused.)

also during the live performances, with the camera whizzing from one member to another, I keep thinking of the "Whicker’s World" sketch.

suffice to say I am enjoying this rip-roaring melodrama and I hope the gentlemen are too.

queenofattolia replied to your photo “Full disclosure: I admire Jenny Diski’s writings a great deal. See,…”

It so hard to figure out who to trust and listen to. All I know is the whole situation makes my heart ache.

I thought of what you said this morning, while reading a Ha’aretz article — I think this one, though now I get a please-pay block when I try to load it — that stated that the IDF is now saying that they believe that concrete let into Gaza for civilian reasons has been used to create tunnels for Hamas military use.

Now, this could be absolutely true: it would not surprise me at all to learn that Hamas was withholding what little building material Gaza residents are allowed to use for attack purposes. This could be completely false: It would also not surprise me to hear that the IDF was choosing to say the worst of its sworn enemy now and factcheck later. It could be that some concrete was used for tunnels, but not all; it could be that, in the absence of a blockade, a much smaller percentage of the concrete would be tunnel-bound; it could be that, in the absence of a blockade, the tunnels would be larger and capable of receiving much more from weapons dealers. From here, any of those things could be true.

Making things worse, one’s view of the truth, one’s political read of the situation, and one’s moral stance are all intertwined. If you feel that Israel is hell-bent on demonizing and exterminating Palestinians, you’ll read the concrete story one way, and if you feel that Israel is defending itself against a ruthless, heartless, nihilist enemy, you’ll read it another way. I know I can’t separate emotion from reason when talking about Israel; I assume that holds true for many people, even if they’re not Jewish.

(Ha’aretz, by the way, is regarded as the most left-wing/critical of the Israeli government, among all the Israeli national newspapers. More background.)

So that you know where I’m coming from, I’ll admit to major confirmation biases in my reading: as in, I gravitate towards opinions from people similar to me — Jewish but unhappy about the settlements. (If you think I’m defensive now, trust me: there is no better way to work me into a foaming, inarticulate, unconvincing, hysterical rage than to say the word “settlements.”) My go-to source is Jeffrey Goldberg, who is American but an IDF veteran, and one of those people who’s not right-wing enough for the right wing and not left-wing enough for the left wing. I am probably more pro-Israel than is Peter Beinart, but I admire his work, and I hope he gets another chance to speak in Atlanta someday. In general for Judaism and social-justice issues, I favor Rabbi Josh (who would be my rabbi if I practiced regularly, and if I could get down to Clairmont Road on a Friday night) and Rabbi Andy Bachman, who is currently transitioning from Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn to secular social-justice work.

(As I reread that paragraph, I’m struck that it’s so male-dominated; I’ll have to have a think about the major female voices on this conflict.)