Let’s talk about beauty

The beauty industry was something that, to a tiny, chubby, poor girl with limited artistic talent, seemed rather unapproachable. There seemed to me a certain limit to beauty, and if you go beyond it, it’s simply not beauty anymore, but becomes humdrum or “fucking weird” and while beauty is subjective, even if you openly deny the traditional ideas of beauty in your particular culture, you still know what they are.

Thankfully, even something seemingly as set and unchanging as the ideas of beauty get a facelift, as over the years we’ve seen ethnic faces in the crowd become the norm of any fashion show, and plus-size models take the runway and the covers of magazines. The acknowledgment of the beauty of the transgendered in huge “traditional” places such as Barneys New York.

Read More

Musical plagiarism, misuse, and KPop

http://www.businessinsider.com/korean-singer-yoon-mi-rae-suing-sony-for-using-her-music-in-the-interview-2014-12

Basically, Tasha (legally, Yoonmirae, but I know her as the stage name Tasha and I like it), an old-school KPop/KRap star from the US is suing Sony for the use of her song “Payday” in The Interview. “Payday” is a great song, so I understand why they used it, and it makes sense in context when you read the lyrics. But, of course, the issue is that they didn’t get permission, and I’m pretty sure no SK star wants to be associated with something as belligerent to NK as The Interview. Especially if they don’t even technically have a stake in it, because Tasha is a quarter black, a quarter white, and from the US.

There have been a few weak responses surrounding this, including that she samples “a” Jackson5 song in “Payday”, and that Sony owns the rights to Jackson5 music, but I’m pretty sure, since no one I’ve read so far has been able to identify which song, it would fall under fair use because what’s sampled is too little to prosecute.

And anyway, music companies don’t even go after South Korean anymore because of the 2011 Korean Copyright Act, which opened up seemingly all copyrighted music to be used without the copyrighter’s permission. Whether or not this is only in-country (which I’m leaning towards) or not is unclear, though I’m sure it makes much harder for indie groups to succeed, which is unfortunate. This, of course, does not apply to Sony, because Sony is a Japanese company and the movie is a US movie; they still have to comply with international fair use laws and whatever they have in their system, and since the US is one of the only countries to fully recognize fair use, well.

With that in mind, there’s one more KPop-related scandal I wanted to touch upon. I’m not quite sure what the intention of the allegations are, since allegations against KPop stars don’t usually work out, and it can’t be publicity because taking on KPop fans is a bad idea (Mr. Bullock’s single is now rated 1 star on iTunes), but apparently YG is taking countermeasures against the allegations and it’s going to be fun to see a small guy take on one of the big three. It’s usually just Sony.

Gay Gaming Characters

The PBS Youtube shows are just so good! I don’t even play that many video games and this channel is incredibly intriguing.

This isn’t an issue I’ve ever even thought about, and now I’m  a little upset because it’s  obviously such an overlooked problem. I’ve only vaguely read about the social issues within the gaming world as it is, and part of that is that I’m not a gamer. It’s interesting, but it follows the pattern: nerds are really insular. Even now, when nerding is a big trend, there are people that try to keep themselves encapsulated: the backlash against “fake cosplayers” and “gamer girls”, brony culture, “filthy casuals”, haha. I can see the big patches of people who put up the red tape, whether or not they realize it or not. I mean, the whole stereotype of the gamer in their mom’s basement eating junk food and lacking a job is based on the notion that gamers don’t like social change/”growing up.”

The lack of acceptance top-down? Makes sense business-wise. It’s risky. The community is loud when it wants to be.