September 2023 Directory
Links to all the articles and podcast episodes from the past month!
Episodes of 17 Carat K-Pop
Naomi Klein, “NEXUS,” and New Worlds: Naomi Klein has an excellent new book out called Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. It’s about the existential angst that comes with being constantly mistaken for an “Other Naomi,” who says and does things to which Klein is vehemently opposed. Klein’s writing explores much more than the emotional effects of getting a reputation for what someone else says and does, though. She questions how solid her own identity is if people can easily mistake her for someone with only surface-level commonalities, and she takes readers with her down a research rabbit hole into the ways a “Double” has appeared throughout book and movie plots. I explore these references through a new lens: the “SMCU”! aespa’s digital alter egos, U-KNOW’s dimension-hopping “NEXUS” short film, TAEMIN’s and KAI’s multiple selves… the SM Entertainment Cinematic Universe is filled with examples of clones! Part book review, part pop-culture-history-meets-psychology-meets-philosophy course, and part "SMCU" theorizing, I explain why uncanny resemblances are unnerving, what one’s “shadow self” symbolizes, and how pop culture can be a tool for better understanding both one’s self and one’s anti-self!
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K-Pop Merch History: The past, present, and possible future of K-pop light sticks, photo cards, cup sleeves, and more! I provide both a guide to K-pop merchandise and my takes on the best and most creative K-pop album packaging and light sticks ever sold!
Loossemble (LOONAverse Talk, Ep. 9): Through both song lyrics and the “Sensitive” music video, I cover the many ways Loossemble keep the symbolism of the "LOONAverse" relevant, the music video storyline ongoing, and the overall spirit of LOONA alive and well!
ALWAYS YOURS (Seventeen Talk, Vol. 14): How do SEVENTEEN manage to incorporate nods to ALL of their previous musical eras into one new music video?! How does “Ima” both continue their music video story and offer hints about its future? And how do their characters live like crosses between Don Quixote and Truman Burbank?! I answer these questions by breaking down the lyrics of SEVENTEEN’s new songs and symbolic moments throughout the “Ima” music video! But first, I take some time to share personal reflections on how SEVENTEEN’s musical story resonates with me as an autistic person.
Best New Music: August 2023: After a ranking and review of the twenty best new releases of August, I share a TON of honorable mentions!
Sources and Further Reading
Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein
The Second Body by Daisy Hildyard
The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
Operation Shylock: A Confession by Philip Roth
The Double: A Petersburg Poem by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“The Shadow” by Hans Christian Andersen
“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Sigmeund Freud and his definition of “The Uncanny”
The brand-creation-related AI project made to influence a South Korean election
Doppelgangers in German films