Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's Only a Paper Moon

Hello, readers.

A singer in Korea, ALi, wrote a song about a young girl being raped. This young girl was named, or at least known as, Na Young. You may read about Na Young's story here.

It seems that many people criticized Ms. ALi for writing such a song. The song's lyrics are as such:

The sound of the light and wind, falling from the sky
It rides the leaves and it rides the snowstorm 
The deep sounds of the ocean from the ends of the earth
It shines on the sun, it shines on the sky
It's hard even to be alive and to breath
So she waits for the sun to set
She doesn't try to run away anymore
She stands there and waits for the moon to rise
The gray light that seeps out of a young girl's wet eyes
You threw away your youth, selling your body, selling your soul
Your pitiful life has been taken away from you
In this dizzy world, when you hope for a warm and brilliant love
Can you feel - can you feel it?
In the soiled heart, when you want a true and pure love
Can you do that - can you do that?
Looking here and there but you still can't believe in this world
Even if the world flows by so quickly, even if time leaves us
Trust your mind, trust your mind

It was unclear from the discussions and posts at allkpop or lancerlord, whether more criticism was directed at Ms. ALi for "disrespecting" the victim by bringing up painful memories, or because her lyrics ("you threw away your youth...") implied the victim was at fault.

Many commented that Ms. ALi should have asked permission.


Ms. ALi held a press conference to apologize. This wasn't enough, apparently. So, she held another press conference where she could apologize some more, disclose and discuss how she was raped at around the same time as the young girl, and then ask for forgiveness, once again, for "causing so much worry and trouble..."

You should take a moment to read what she said. It is translated, so it's hard to say, precisely, what may be getting lost.  That said, here are some quotes from allkpop:

On being raped:
In June of 2008, I was raped by a hoobae I knew from a group I was a part of. I was cruelly abused. I was hit in the face with a fist and suffered a broken cheekbone, needing four weeks of rest to recover. I was taken somewhere in a cab while unconscious, and I was raped. That hoobae, that criminal was arrested and taken to court. During the 1st round, he received a prison sentence of two years (suspended for four years) along with 200 hours of community service. However, due to the fact that there were no witnesses and evidence, he was deemed not guilty on the charges.
On how she felt:
At the time, I was going to keep it a secret for the rest of my life like my dad had said. However, the bitterness in my heart was not erased, and I believed that ‘Na Young’ (who had become a victim of rape around the same time) would share the same thoughts as me. So, I wanted to console ‘Na Young’, and I wanted to raise awareness about the crime of rape. That is why I put this song, which I had made during that time, on this album.
On what she wants from the man who raped her:
I still haven’t received a single word of apology from that person, so there is currently a civil suit going on. I believe that the best treatment for rape is to receive an apology.
An appropriately indignant commenter wrote a very long comment. You can read it on the tumblr of ancientrelic.

Here's what Kurt Cobain had to say:
What else could I write?
I don't have the right.
What else should I be?
All Apologies.
I hope Ms. ALi does not blame herself for what someone else did to her. I hope she doesn't blame herself for what a society of people is doing to her. But, it seems she does.

I wish, perhaps, she had talked to the family before naming her song what she did. But, then again, perhaps she wanted to tap into the shame and silence of a story that her country's people, for good or ill, very much would rather forget.

Many people, of course, would rather not be reminded that such things occur in their society--especially that they might be endemic, generally glossed over, and often only focused on in the most grisly of moments when said society might feel free to dip into their reservoir of han, that pool of suppressed anger and raging powerlessness, and righteously direct it at that one true, obvious horror, as in the case of Na Young, and, having done their duty, shut their ears, eyes, and hearts, ignoring the all-too-frequent and mundane horror of a woman being ignored because no one but her witnessed the "shame" done.

Alas, they must be reminded. You cannot look away. Things happen whether you believe in them or not. They continue to happen mostly because people choose to not believe in them. Or to ignore them--which amounts to the same thing. It's enough to make a girl wonder what's real.
Looking here and there but you still can't believe in this world
Even if the world flows by so quickly, even if time leaves us
Trust your mind, trust your mind


No comments:

Post a Comment