profit distribution

[Article] Is TS to blame why BAP is not as big in K-pop?

Highlights of the truths laid down in this article include:

“B.A.P. is able to change and adjust to more than one dramatic style”

“Now B.A.P. has come back with ‘Wake Me Up,’ a title track song that is far more sociologically driven than any other song I have ever heard in K-pop. They are unafraid to perform about topics and issues that would be “unpopular” in K-pop but once again, it reaches out to a more international fan base as it touches their hearts and their minds.”

“So what happened that prevented B.A.P. from becoming big? I believe it is TS Entertainment.”

“In the case of B.A.P., TS Entertainment had ‘clauses that violate civil rights and go against what is outlined in the Fair Trade Commission.’ Not only that, the distribution of profit was unfair as it was stated that since their debut, B.A.P. made over $9 million, but only gave each member a measly $16,000. That is not even minimum wage!”

“Sadly, a whole year of no promotions, no music, no fan interaction hurt B.A.P. As for their reconciliation with TS Entertainment, K-pop fans were happy but cautious. It is possible that TS Entertainment would backstab B.A.P. and go back to their old ways that drove the wedge between musical artists and agency in the first place.”

“K-pop fans got to listen to some of the most entertaining and innovative music they have ever made..touching on subjects with a deeper meaning, we can only wonder how B.A.P. will continue to grow. For me, I will say just one to two more years. Give B.A.P. just that amount of time and they’ll be big if TS Entertainment doesn’t screw them over again.”

  • For complete tea spillage, read the full article here 
Super Junior's Hardship: Just because they are from a big company doesn't mean they had it easy.

This is just some of Super Junior’s Hardship
This is like a semi-long history of SJ. Basically SJ has been through a WHOLE TON of shit in their careers. They started as a 12-member project group in 2005 by their label that intended to rotate out members. They originally included a Chinese member named Han Geng and didn’t include Kyuhyun who joined in 2006. They were actually just a collection of leftover trainees from the group that didn’t make it into the original 5-member lineup of DBSK/TVXQ.

SM decided against their original plans and the members were finalized. Against all odds, they started becoming popular in 2006 and in 2009 they released Sorry, Sorry, which among others is considered one of the most well-known KPOP songs. Unfortunately, at this point Han Geng had been having a very difficult time and sued their label for a variety of violations including (unfair contract length, poor profit distribution, not giving him a single day off in 2 years which led to severe illness, and poor handling of his visas-which meant he performed covering his face for a good while and poor individual promotion, etc.). His last appearance in an MV is the Sorry, Sorry Answer video. Another member, Kim Kibum went on hiatus in 2009 to focus on his acting career and never returned; his last MV was It’s You.

In between this period of time we have several other horrible things. In 2006, Donghae’s father succumbed to his battle with cancer-there is an emotional video somewhere on YT where he dedicates their first music show win to his dad. On their way home from the funeral, Heechul was in a car accident and he broke his leg in 5 places and had rods in it for about two years. It’s unfortunate but in some of their live performances you see that he can’t really run and there are some dance moves he just can’t complete from that injury.

In 2007, our poor maknae Kyuhyun was in a horrible car accident with Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong. He was pretty much almost dead and in a coma, and the other three members were injured fairly badly as well (Leeteuk got over 100 stitches for glass in his back and eye, etc.). There is a whole long story about that incident as well and if you want to hear about it react to “Strong Heart Kyuhyun talks about accident” (just search it up and get the one with English subs).

Also in 2007, SM created a Mandarin subunit SJ-M with two other members-Henry (Canadian-Taiwanese) and Zhoumi (Chinese). Some fans were terrified that these two new members would ‘replace’ some of the original members (remember the original idea of SJ being a rotational project group?), so these ONLY13 fans protested and basically made Zhoumi and Henry’s lives a living hell (some still do). Fortunately, most ELFs (SJ fans) now consider them to be full members of the group (#Forever15) even though SM prevents them from performing anything except their solos and SJ-M activities at concerts.

In 2009, Kangin got a DUI and an assault charge (that one was later proven to be self-defense), so he became the first member to do his 2-year mandatory military service. In 2014, Leeteuk (the leader) had a pretty horrible thing happen. His father, who was struggling with depression and was under enormous financial burden to take care of his parents, Leeteuk’s grandparents, who both had dementia, killed the grandparents and himself in a murder-suicide.

And all of these awful things happened to them while they were under the stress of just regular idol activities like being overworked, having little sleep, trying to maintain their figures with dieting, and having various members do their military service, and constantly being scrutinized and criticized for being celebrities in the public eye.

Anyway, it’s a miracle that they are still around despite all of the challenge and are still producing and performing great music. They are considered one of the foremost groups in KPOP and are credited with leading the wave of K-pop style music into the western hemisphere.

Al Capone- inventor of milk expiration dates and all around nice fella

Although Al Capone is typically known as a gangster, to many people in his adopted city of Chicago, he was a modern-day Robin Hood.

Capone was the first person to open a soup kitchen to feed the poor during the Depression. At a time of 25 percent unemployment, Capone’s kitchens served three meals a day to ensure that everyone who had lost a job could get a meal. Soon, every city and town had a soup kitchen.

Capone did not only open them, but he would go to the soup kitchens and help serve the meals. These soup kitchens cost Capone thousands of dollars every day to keep running. It is said that Capone had a soft spot for people who were struggling.

It was reported that one of Capone’s family members in Chicago became ill from drinking expired milk. At that time, there were no controls on milk production or expiration.

This drew Capone’s interest to the milk business, and he saw several things: the milk distribution business had a shady character – and Capone was comfortable with shady businesses; he didn’t like to see people, especially children sickened by adulterated milk; he saw a potentially high profit in milk distribution; and with Prohibition soon to end, he had a fleet of trucks that could easily be used to transport milk.

Capone took two steps to move into the milk business. One was to acquire a milk processor, Meadowmoor Dairies. The other was to have the Chicago City Council pass a law requiring a visible date stamped on milk containers.

In 1930s Chicago, before refrigeration and supermarkets, milk was delivered by the milkman, a teamster’s union member. The union controlled the distribution of milk, whose freshness depended on how long the milk sat around until the driver delivered it.

The unions would only deliver local milk. Meadowmoor Dairies wanted to import cheeper milk from Wisconsin, and wanted it delivered by their own nonunion truckers.

With the negotiations at a standstill, Capone’s people reportedly kidnapped the union president and used the $50,000 ransom to purchase the dairy. The dairy was given as a present to Capone’s attorney, William Parrillo. Meadowmoor Dairies opened three months before Capone went to prison.

Following the Public Prosecutor Complaint

The Public Prosecutor has filed today a complaint against Cristiano Ronaldo and not a claim, which implies a substantial change.

The Public Prosecutor understands that CR is participating in an off shore structure, similar to that of other players, when most of the revenues were obtained directly by the player, without the participation of any of his societies. The rest of his revenues were paid to the player and declared in Spain according to the terms that the player’s advisors considered applicable.

There is no off shore structure for evading taxes. Tollin is 100% owned by Cristiano Ronaldo since its foundation in 2004. It was founded when the player arrived at Manchester United, six years before his signing for Real Madrid, and the net profits were 12.753.685,28 euros, distributed according to the following years:

  • 159.472,65 euros, in 2004
  • 571,69 euros, in 2005
  • 477.602,17 euros, in 2006
  • 205.285,55 euros, in 2007
  • 769.165,02 euros, in 2008
  • 585.588,20 euros, in 2009

When Cristiano Ronaldo signs for Real Madrid, he maintains the same structure he had in UK. NO other structure was created at that moment. Throughout all of the above mentioned years, CR never had a tax problem, contrary to what the Spanish Prosecutors insinuates. All contractual modifications to such structure have been made to guarantee that the incomes fully observe the Spanish tax regulation.

Cristiano Ronaldo signs for Real Madrid in 2009 under the Law of Impatriots, legislation in force and prevailing then, and he was taxed only for the incomes that were attributable to Spain. Therefore, the universal taxation is not imputable in this case.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that the player declared the income derived from the transfer of image rights as income from movable capital to evade taxes. The laws applicable to Cristiano Ronaldo are the Personal Income Tax Law and the Impatriots Law. In Articles 25.4 and 13.1.F3, respectively, it is clear that the player’s income for image rights is considered to be as movable capital, and will only exceptionally be income from an economic activity, without being considered a performance of a sport activity in any case.

The player declares to the Tax Authorities Finances 100% of the part attributable to Spain of Tollin’s income and his image rights during the periods 2009-2014 and 2015-2020. All this according to the criteria set by the United Kingdom Treasury to determine that part of the image transfer revenue was originated in that country, which shows that there was no intention to defraud.

No additional tax declaration was done, as the press says. The player declared when Tollin paid him, on 12/31/2014. According to the Spanish law, taxes must be paid when the income is required, and so did the player.

The concealment he is accused of, not having communicated to the Spanish Treasury all the image rights incomes, is not attributable to the player since the declaration of impatriot does not allow declaring any income obtained outside Spain. The player hides nothing at all and in fact, he voluntarily declared his property abroad by presenting the official tax document model 720. He was not obliged to do, but as soon as he was requested for inspection, he presented all his tax information. There has never been concealment, or the slightest intention to conceal.

The paragraph regarding the sale of image rights, from 2015 to 2020, to ARNEL and ADIFORE (Peter Lim group companie’s with which the player has nothing to do) is tendentious. There is no interposed companies or deferral. The player personally received the whole amount, and he fully declared taxes for it. There can be no deferral since, in 2014; he paid taxes for all the incomes to be received in the oncoming years until 2020.

Cristiano’s lawyers consider that regarding what the solution to this case ends up being – as well as their consequences- they should be confined to the administrative field rather than the criminal one. The discrepancy comes from a very complex legal matter, and it is clear that, at any moment, there is no bad faith to be attributed to the player. In his opinion:

The main discrepancy between the revenues and what the Prosecution claims lays in qualifying in a different way the image transfer earnings “obtained in Spain” and, in this matter:

The player declared the income as income from movable capital, the classification that, in general, foresees the Spanish law and which the Administration and the Courts have ratified.

The player quantified the part attributable to Spain following the criteria established by the British Tax Authority, which was more favourable to Spain than the one which derived from expert reports.

In conclusion: the declared amount can be discussed, but it is clear that the football player did not try to evade taxes.

The second discrepancy refers to when the image transfer rights from years 2011 to 2013 had to be declared and paid (since in 2014 there was no deferral). Neither can be presumed intentionality here, since:

This alleged deferral comes from the player’s full confidence that his contract structure was perfectly legal, since it had been followed since 2004 (six years before the player came – or was thinking of coming – to Spain) and was recognized and validated by the English Treasury (an EU country).

It was the usual structure among players in England. Today, about 180 Premier players operate with this

In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, no income was hidden at all, since the taxpayer settled and paid taxes at the time he collected the income (within the period legally established and previous to any tax inspection).

Having he declared in a yearly basis under the criteria his advisors considered legally in force, based on the English experience, he would have paid less taxes.

anonymous asked:

What's wrong with sm?

hello anon…are you new to the kpop world? then let me introduce you one of the worst companies in the kpop industry! 

you guessed it, sm entertainment!

to begin, here is a detailed list of controversies sm has dealt with in the last years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M._Entertainment#Controversies

as you might have noticed, sm has lost a lot of artists! why? they’re known for treating they’re artists like shit! an example is hangeng, the only chinese (now ex) member of super junior. he filed a lawsuit stating that there were “unfair profit distributions and an unfair thirteen-year contract that contained provisions in S.M.’s favour and that he was not allowed to revise or end.” 

he was also discriminated both financially, and management wise, and developed gastritis and kidney illness because of no proper rest in TWO years. to add, “han geng requested from SM for leave to return to China to rest but he was rejected every single time.”

but, sm has a reputation for disliking chinese members! in fact, exo has lost 3 out of 4 chinese members. kris left because:

  • he was being treated more like an object rather than an artist
  • sm would change his schedules without his opinions on the matter or take his health in consideration

luhan instead, had suffered from insomnia and his health was getting weaker, thanks to the little to no time of the rest they had.

tao left because he was forced to have a COMEBACK (so practice, dance and sing) with a hurt ankle. as in, he had broke it but did NOT get enough time to rest. 

to add!! as luhan stated in his lawsuit, sm has favored exo k over exo m. both in promoting them and financially.

oh but i ain’t done with exo yet!! :-) you’d think sm would’ve learnt from this right? WRONG! on october 11th 2016, the last remaining chinese member of exo, lay, fainted at the airport for lack of sleep. lay has some of the busiest schedules i’ve personally ever seen, and he literally IS the one to promote exo in china. alone. here is an example of lay’s schedule back in 2015. you can imagine that, with exo’s rising popularity, comeback, concerts, and his own solo debut, 2016 was even more chaotic.

im not done yet !! sm can be absolute shit also at promoting theyir artists and timing their comebacks. that is because of the amount of artists they have and they’re incapability of organizing everything correctly. 

let’s start with the timing: a great example is how in 2 weeks three different artists had a comeback!! jonghyun came back the 23rd of may, luna had her solo debut the 30th of may and exo came back the 8th of june, therefore jonghyun and luna only had ONE week for themselves because obviously with exo’s comeback, the other two artists were obscured.

in fact, moving on to the next point, they promoted both luna’s debut and jonghyun’s comeback very, very poorly. and it’s not the first time they do jonghyun wrong! what do i mean, you ask? jonghyun had two sm stations and NONE of the two had a music video. 

this leads on to the promotion shinee received for tell me what to do! they only had two weeks of promotion, very little hype/tease and no official album details or fanchants, fans had to do them. 

we all know sm favors very blatantly certain groups and artists, or treats certain groups or artists unfairly. a recent example is how red velvet, after over 2 years of having debuted, have not received a fandom name or a reality show when nct, a group that debuted only last year, has already had a reality show. 

another example is how f(x), a girl group that debuted in 2009, had their FIRST solo concert in 2016.

last example is henry’s instagram post from a few days ago: 

he’s pretty much saying sm won’t let him release music, or help him with it. if this isn’t heartbreaking af….

in conclusion, sm is shit and all they care about is money. yes, there have been some human acts made from them (for example delaying shinee’s 1of1 comeback to let onew rest after his injury) but this does NOT cover up all the shit they have done, and continue to do. hope i made it clear!

anonymous asked:

In regards to comics companies needing to find a different distribution model: do you think that Marvel could find a way to make chiefly digital, online-based distribution profitable? Or do the abundance of already-free, independently-made webcomics and the ease of digital piracy outweigh the benefits of brand recognition?

Shit, I guess I’m the comics guy now.

I think digital distribution is the way to go and Marvel and DC have both set up digital platforms for phones and tablets, buuuuuut… They do the same retarded thing every company does with digital versions: They don’t drop the fucking price. It costs them next to nothing to sell the things and there’s no limit to how many they can sell, but they insist on keeping the 4 dollar price tag for 20-or-so pages of stuff that may or may not be any good. On top of that, writers and artists change constantly, so a decent book may take a sharp nosedive between issues. Not to mention that Marvel is releasing so many books and every so often they’ll get this bug up their ass about spreading out the developments of a story in random books as a marketing tactic to get you to check out other comics, because they are producing dozens of the damned things and they need all of them to sell. 

And this isn’t even getting into the larger problems happening with Marvel’s storylines and their constant need to retcon, reboot, and replace things or the decades-long backlog of events and stories that made their comics the mess they are today. A lot of fans are already fatigued and wary of everything because of misleading covers, clumsily implemented annual events and crossovers, and the ever-present problem of preachy identity-politics-centric characters. God forbid they hand the reigns of a book over to some pretentious non-fiction author who wants the book to just be about superheroines gossiping in coffee shops and whining about the patriarchy.

So it’s too expensive, the quality is spotty, and many readers are cautious to the point of either not buying at all, or just pirating. 

First step: Invest some of that Disney money into a rock-solid digital distribution platform like Steam.. Or just team up with Steam. Either way, people need to be able to quickly and easily purchase comics with as little bullshit as possible. Trades and Collected anthologies need to be a thing and digitally assembled recap comics need to be free. Old, old classic comics should be free too. Give people a reason to come and use your service, for fuck’s sake. 

Second step: Drop that price to lower than $4, because people will be more willing to risk their money on something when the initial investment is lower. A shitty game feels less shitty when you pay 20 dollars for it, but a shitty game for 60 fucking sucks. I know I already mentioned Steam, but there’s a ton of devs and publishers out there who made more money selling their game at a steep discount than they ever did selling at full price.

Third step: Get your collective shit together, Marvel. Stop paying pretentious shitty non-comic authors to write politically retarded soap box comics where Black Panther fights police brutality and systemic racism, or the Champions tackle islamophobia in between trying to manage their brand. As much as certain websites would love you to believe that comic books are an important component of the wider social discourse, right now, they aren’t. People aren’t getting their political opinions from Spider-Man. Really, there’s just not that many people reading comics in the first place and the people writing them have no special political insight or opinions on the matter. In fact, they only make things worse by proving that they simply regurgitate whatever they saw on social media and think that they are helping the world somehow.

Fourth step: No, seriously, get your shit together. Trim the fat and stop releasing dozens of comics that all may or may not be happening in the same timeline. You’re one of the biggest comics publishers in the world and you can’t seem to figure out a decent system for publishing comics in clear, sequential order that tells a chronologically unfolding, shared universe story. Stop rehashing old events like Civil War and Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. Work on your goddamned worldbuilding and stop relying on “ripped from the headlines” writing, because your idiot writers already do enough whining about politics on twitter and on your website and at conventions. You’ve got a multiverse full of superheroes and geniuses and cosmic beings. There’s no reason your books should focus on retarded mundane shit that people get enough of in their everyday lives. If you can’t come up with interesting stories in a world where anything is possible, then you are creatively bankrupt, Marvel.

K-Pop 101: B.A.P

B.A.P: Best Absolute Perfect

Number of Members: SIX

Label: TS Entertainment (King Records: Japan)

Years Active: 2012-Persent

Debut Date & Single: January 26, 2012 - Warrior  

Fandom Name & Color: BABY / Matoki Green

November 27, 2014, it was reported that the group had filed a lawsuit against their label to nullify their contract due to unfair conditions and profit distribution; The group entered a hiatus. 

- B.A.P was formed and began promoting in late 2011!

Members: Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, Zelo

Stage Name: Yongguk

Birth Name: Bang YongGuk

D.O.B & Age: March 21, 1990 (26)

Position: Leader, Main Rapper

Fun Facts:

  • He has an identical twin brother named Bang YongNam, as well as an sister named Bang Natasha
  • Yongguk has Tattoos
  • He was not able to talk until he was five years old
  • Yongguk was a member of underground hip hop group called “Soul Connection” under the stage name of “Jepp Blackman”
  • Yongguk was the first member to be announced
  • His favorite colors are Red & Black 
  • Yongguk is the “Dad” of the Group
  • His Matoki is ShiShiMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTTClvmDr6A


Stage Name: Himchan

Birth Name: Kim HimChan

D.O.B & Age: April 19, 1990 (26)

Position: Sub–Vocalist, Rapper, Visual

Fun Facts:

  • He has one older sister 
  • Himchan attended National Korean Traditional Music High School and graduated at 17 with full scholarship
  • He was an MC for MTV‘s “The Show”
  • His favorite colors are Black, Gold, & Red
  • Himchan is the “Mom” of the Group
  • His Matoki is TatsMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roiMPFF48Lg

Stage Name: Daehyun

Birth Name: Jung DaeHyun

D.O.B & Age: June 28, 1993 (22)

Position: Lead Vocalist 

Fun Facts:

  • Daehyun has an older brother
  • He was the last member added to the group
  • If he could be another member he would be Himchan
  • He likes fluorescent colors 
  • His Matoki is KeKeMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5FoQ33DJ5Y

Stage Name: Youngjae

Birth Name: Yoo YounJae

D.O.B & Age: January 24, 1994 (22)

Position: Lead Vocalist 

Fun Facts:

  • Youngjae has one older brother 
  • He is a big fan of Jay Park
  • He said that he’d be the “Mom” of the group and not Himchan
  • He was a trainee at JYP for about a year
  • Youngja’s favorite color is sky blue
  • His Matoki is JoKoMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF3Fi8xd46o

Stage Name: Jongup

Birth Name: Moon JongUp

D.O.B & Age: February 6, 1995 (21)

Position: Main Dancer,  Sub–Vocalist 

Fun Facts:

  • Jong Up has two older brothers 
  • His favorite color is black
  • If he could be another member he would be Zelo
  • His favorite movie is the Japanese film ”Be With You”
  • His Matoki is DaDaMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f649vmRsDw

Stage Name: Zelo

Birth Name: Choi JunHong

D.O.B & Age: October 15, 1996 (19)

Position: Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer, Maknae (Youngest)

Fun Facts:

  • He has one older brother 
  • Zelo is the tallest (6′2) in B.A.P despise being the youngest
  • He and Yongguk formed a sub–unit called “Bang & Zelo”
  • If he could be another member he would be Yongguk
  • His favorite colors are Grey, Green, & Red
  • Zelo’s ideal type is a girl who’s good at English and has a pretty smile
  • His Matoki is ToToMato

Teasers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMHcTVz5qc4

RANDOM PHOTO TIME

Music Videos (some)

Feel So Good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shNpEirACDY

Young, Wild & Free: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZpBrdG3sDc

No Mercy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hzz4mGyehw

One Shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zRzl1d5vNU

1004(Angel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGolQ9LzbkY

Badman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLHY_7PgaV0

Please Love & Support B.A.P

(All Information gathered as well as Pictures belong to the rightful owners! <3)

Note: If any mistakes please feel free to notify me! <3

Other K-Pop 101 Post: ttp://over-n-dun.tumblr.com/post/144016438121/k-pop-101-vixx

Last Updated: 5/8/2016

You can make a disability stop being a disability without curing it.
Example: eyesight problems.

Before the invention of corrective lenses and glasses, people who had significantly worse eyesight than average were disabled. They couldn’t work, couldn’t learn, couldn’t even get around the house and do things like cooking and cleaning in some cases. Then corrective glasses became widely available and relatively cheap, and puff, it stopped being a disability. I mean, if we were to stop making glasses and lenses and destroyed all the existing ones, it would become a disability once again, but it’s probably not happening.

The reason? A lot of people need corrective glasses or lenses. The vast majority in some countries. More than 10-20 percent pretty much everywhere you go. Maybe not everyone needs them daily and at all times, but the majority of people will require corrective glasses at some point in their lives. Which is why the glasses/lenses market is huge, and making them is profitable. This is a kind of accommodation a lot of people need, so it has a big demand on the market, so it’s accommodated most of the time, so it’s no longer a disability.

Literally it would work with any disability. If the majority of the world would require mobility aids, suddenly the market would be flooded with wheelchairs, canes and other devices. If the majority of the world would need hearing aids, suddenly you’d be able to buy them in Target for a really low price. If the majority of the world was autistic, suddenly things like protective headphones, sensory friendly clothes, AAC devices and stim toys would be available in every supermarket. That’s how capitalism works.

So yeah, it’s totally possible to “cure” a disability without actually curing the person. Just make accommodations for that disability profitable to produce, distribute and sell, and that’s it.

The Working Class

The working class, or proletariat, are waged employees. They rely on this wage to survive.

They are hired to make money (surpluses) for their employers. In order to keep a job, workers must create more wealth than they receive in wages.

Employers collect these surpluses. Everything left after wages are paid is profit. Employers therefore receive more wealth than they create.

How profit is created and distributed (simplified).

Under capitalism, the wealth dynamic resembles that of older economic systems - lord and serf, or master and slave.

In each instance, those who work create surpluses, and in turn may receive enough to survive, but not enough to escape reliance on the exploiter.

The use of ‘exploiter’ is not moralistic. Under capitalism, individuals must be one or the other - employer or employee, exploiter or exploited. The relationship is systemic.

Wage competition between workers forces wages down.

When workers cannot live on the wage, the capitalist state subsidises the employer through welfare schemes.

If workers could not live, the market would collapse.

What Really Happened in SM Entertainment?

*In court on March 18*

Kris and Luhan’s side: Your Honor, we now provide you with evidence of grossly uneven profit distribution between SM Entertainment and EXO artists up until the time of our clients’ file for contract termination

Judge: 

Judge: Would the representatives from SM Entertainment© care to explain why the percentages varied so strongly between overseas promotions, domestic sales, profits from songs and other activities?

SM: *sweats*

SM: These data could be easily fabricated –

Judge: And can the representatives from SM Entertainment® explain why the company did not pay the artists in a timely manner, twice a year, and instead paid them only once again, at a rate of 3-5% of domestic sales to be split perhaps unfairly between all 12 members?

SM: *trying to retain composure, afraid to stutter* We’ll look into it, Your Honor. We will submit our findings in writing.

Kris and Luhan’s side: Your Honor, I would like to request another plea date to submit more evidence corroborating our claims. We cannot wait for SM to dilly dally and submit their written essay by 5pm who-knows-how-many-weeks from now. We assure the court that this hearing will be well worth the investment in time.

Judge: 

 Alright, you’ve got it. However this will be a final plea. I have other court cases to hear. The final plea date will take place on Friday, April 8th, at 11:30 a.m. I expect both parties to be in attendance.

SM: *sweats profusely* Yes, Your Honor.

Judge: *bangs gavel* Court Adjourned.

=======================

Later, in SM Headquarters™:

Some poor employees: CEO Youngmin! Your Grace, Your Honor, Your Greatness. We have bad news about the court hearing today.

CEO Youngmin:

What, what is it? If it was bad, you told them you would look into it right? Stall as much as you can make sure they get nowhere.

Same poor employees, now nervous: Yes we did but unfortunately the judge granted them another plea date! It’s supposed to be the final plea date, so this is our last chance ! It is theirs as well. 

More unfortunate souls: Yes, Your Grace, they plan to submit more … evidence relating to what they call “unfair profit distribution.” They plan to cite details from the contract about the differing proportionate figures the members received and they think it will help them win the case !

CEO Youngmin: Well, will it?

All unfortunate souls [in unison]: Yeah, probably.

CEO Youngmin: That is despicable. More despicable than our marketing practices. What can we do to keep this quiet in the public sphere?

Helpful Employee #1: We can divert media attention away from it, Your Highness!

CEO Youngmin: Yes that is a common tactic we employ. I love influencing the media. But we need to be proactive here ! A setup for losing to those traitors would be devastating.

Helpful Employee #2: Well, you could do both, Your Excellence. It depends on what tactic you want to employ. We have many artists with lots of activities going on, maybe we could hype those up perhaps?

CEO Youngmin: No. No I have a better idea. What’s the name of that boy group that those traitors left? EXID?

Everyone else: No, Your Grace. They are called EXO.

CEO Youngmin: Ah yes, EXO that does ring a bell. They have accounted for a huge portion of our revenue the past few years. Do they have any scandals going on?

Helpful Employee #3: No, Your Highness. They just finished a worldwide concert tour and are resting up for a big –

CEO Youngmin: Who out of that group did we find fit to date publicly in case we needed a media diversion?

Helpful Employees #1&2: Originally we considered Luhan, Baekhyun and Kim Jongin. They were free to date our ideal choices any time they wished so long as they kept it within the company.

CEO Youngmin:

 Well one of those is a traitor and we already used the other one. What about that Jong Un fellow? Is he dating anyone? Can we use that?

Helpful Employee Connected with Dispatch: Actually Your Grace, he is dating Krystal from our company’s girl group, f(x). The two did a photoshoot along with SHINee’s Taemin a while ago last year, and the public agreed with it well. They enjoyed seeing the aesthetics between the two. Luckily, my connection with Dispatch informs me that they already have photos secured of the couple waiting to be released for our own purposes.

Concerned Employee: Isn’t that bad though? We shouldn’t just expose them like that. They’ve been dating secretly for months!

CEO Youngmin: No it’s perfect. This is exactly what I want. They fit our ideal couple and they have no scandals or schedules right now. This is even better than Baekhan and Taecyeon.

Helpful Employee Connected with Dispatch #2: Actually Your Grace, we had to pay the outlet off. They wanted to release the photos earlier, but we arranged to pay them off until it would suit us to have the public know. We thought next month would be a good time anyway, since we plan on debuting that boy group next month too –

CEO Youngmin: That is what I like to hear. Give the public the dating revelation they want to hear. Generate attention to our company. Hype us up so we can debut our boy group (they are a boy group right? “Yes.” good.) even more successfully, and after the group has debuted and gained attention, the couple will be forgotten enough so we can orchestrate their returns later this year. All while deflecting attention from that nasty lawsuit hearing. 

- It is ingenious.

SM Employees: [clapping in awe at the brilliant plan]

Concerned Employee: Your Honor, when do you suggest we implement these plans? The plea date is set for April 8th, and that is the same day as EXO’s anniversary –

CEO Youngmin: You know the rule. Proactive measures are typically taken a week in advance. Make the couple announcement on April 1st.

Everyone else: That’s April Fool’s Day, Sir. No one would believe it is true. 

CEO Youngmin: Then have Dispatch release the photos and start the rumor. When the press asks for confirmation or denial, confirm immediately. We have no need to drag it out. 

Concerned Employee: Your Excellence, what about debuting the boy group? How soon after the 8th should that happen?

CEO Youngmin: Immediately. We need that quieted as soon as possible. Don’t make it obvious by putting it on the same date; debut them on the 9th or 10th, something like that. 

Concerned Employee: With all due respect, that places their debut date right after that of EXO, Your Highness! What about dissatisfaction and backlash from EXO L? Or other supporters of other groups who support EXO too ?

CEO Youngmin: That is a sacrifice I am willing to make. Some of them are bound to be dissatisfied with the dating announcement; we will give them a nice way of handling their emotional situation by giving them a new group to follow and anticipate as well. The dissatisfaction they may wield cannot possibly outplay the dissatisfaction with Red Velveteen’s debut date being so close to that of the Generation of Girls.

Everyone else: *nods understandingly*

CEO Youngmin: Besides, I have it here in my email sent out to the company in 2012 that Kai x Krystal is an ideal couple that the public will receive well. They will generate positive feedback from the masses, create publicity for our company, and set the stage for the spotlight to be on our next big money maker. This money maker will distract the public from the money we will probably lose, and hopefully the ideal couple stays intact in the background for us to continue to use to our advantage. 

Concerned Employee [last ditch attempt to bring some sanity to the situation]: Excuse me, but does no one remember how the fans and public reacted to the last couple involving an EXO member? They called one of our own most loyal a traitor on a live music show broadcast ! Another dating scandal could ruin the group’s image severely. Should not we exercise caution?

CEO Youngmin: No. This exodus group has already seen and surpassed three traitors and a dating scandal with serious backlash. They can withstand a little more pressure, no matter how obvious it admittedly seems we handle them differently.. If they can’t stand the heat, our new boy group will instead. That plea hearing is set for the same date as EXO’s debut anniversary anyway. We already cannot save them as it is.

Everyone else: Brilliant and measured! Your Intelligence knows no bounds, Your Excellence!

=======================

Later, in EXO’s dorm:

Manager: Kim Jongin, I have some bad news. [proceeds to tell him about SM’s plans to reveal his relationship*

Kai [outraged]: What the fuck *calls Krystal* Did they tell you already? Yeah I know what the fuck –

Baekhyun: [pulling on Chanyeol’s ears] What’s happening? Are you screwed now too?

Kai: YEAH I AM 

Baekhyun: Oh. Well that sucks. But you knew this was coming when they sent out that email – 

Kai: Man fuck that email.

Suho (in another room): Jongin, watch your language. What exactly is going on? 

Kai: [tells him]

Suho: What the Yifan …

I wouldn't mind all this if it wasn't so random and probably fake...

I am old enough to know that probably no OTP is real and when I reblog stuff about baekyeol or say something I say it in a humorous manner. I know that shipping two people is part of the industry and that entertainments are well aware of this whole thing, but allowing real true relationships between two men or women would be so not korea. I mean it’s still hard for “normal” citizens to come out of the closet as korea is very conservative and homophobic. So I doubt an idol in their teenage years would dare to come out and say he/she has a relationship with a band member. Most of what we fans see, we’re supposed to see. It’s called fanservice. Of course we want to see things that mean more. I too felt like baekyeol could be real, but just for the sake of fanfictions. If you know a bit about korea you might know that skinship between friends of the same sex is totally normal and adding the fanservice it might seem like a real love interest. But it actually isn’t.

Just like we will never know what’s really happening behind closed doors, we will never know what scandals and rumors are right or just made up. That’s why I am kind of feeling like this whole baekyeon thing is a scam. I mean, where did this come from all of a sudden? Why did they have so many pictures ready and SM being like “yup they’re dating” when SM is the first to always deny everything and cover shit up. Here we have it - cover things up. This scandal came right at the best moment. Kris is coming out of his hole and giving signs and that director is making it clear, that Kris will probably start an acting career in another entertainment - not so good for SM I suppose. Especially after he cost them so much money and rescheduling. It’s always a wise move to have another scandal (or two - Baek’s underage drinking) to surface all of a sudden to make the public forget about the worse scandal that is costing the entertainment a lot of reputation.

Why are still so many doubting those suspiscions? I mean this is not the first time something like this happened.

First case: H.O.T disbanding.

Money issues. Probably SM not paying them what they should get.

“H.O.T. disbanded in May 2001. As the members of H.O.T. neared the end of their contracts with SM Entertainment, it was rumored that financial issues caused the group to split. However, because the real reasons for the breakup were never officially released to the public, financial contract issues still remain an unverified rumor to this day.”

Second case: Shinhwa leaving SM.

It seemed like their contract just ended and they wanted to go a different way. But think about it - if you’re happy with your company and they want you to continue, wouldn’t you sign a new contract? But they didn’t. They even had to go to court to still keep their group name (as SM owns everything).

“With the expiration of the group’s contract, SM Entertainment offered them a second contract but the group rejected it and signed with new company, Good Entertainment. However, they had to go to court to retain the use of their name. Which they won and duly moved from SM Entertainment to Good Entertainment.” (wikipedia)

Third case: Hangeng.

He was the only one of his group to speak up about the scandalous and slave like contract he had been in and after he had endured this for years, he was sick of it. Which is understandable.

“On December 21, 2009, Han filed a lawsuit against SME to terminate his contract, citing that the 13-year contract was unlawful, overly restrictive, and unfair. His arguments include being forced to do things outside of his contract and being refused sick leave, which led to kidney illness.” (wikipedia)

Fourth case: DB5K disbanding and becoming TVXQ/JYJ

This might be the biggest issue up till today, as SM did a lot to hinder JYJ in doing their business. It feels like SM is some kind of mafia, trying to get rid of everybody who’s against them. Not to speak of the money issues all the time. As it is no secret that in korea it’s not Star - Staff - Entertainment, but Entertainment - Staff - “Star”. The Star/Idol works for the company and is just like any other employee and earns money FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT and NOT for themselves. Most of the kids who wanna become idols think about it as a way to earn a lot of money to help their families. We know a lot of idols who have a poor background and/or sick family members who need help. Of course a lot also want to become famous and well known in the industry, but the main reason probably is money. It’s always about money. And we know about a lot of cases where it was an issue. That idols weren’t paid what they were promised or that they wouldn’t get money at all from their company for certain things.

“In late July 2009, three of the TVXQ members; Kim Jaejoong (known as Hero), Park Yoochun (known as Micky) and Kim Junsu (known as Xiah), submitted an application to the Seoul Central District Court to determine the validity of their contract with SM Entertainment. Through their lawyers, the members stated that the 13-year contract was excessively long and that the group’s earnings were not fairly distributed to the members. Early termination penalty of their contract will cost them 2 times the profit that the group is estimated to earn for the rest of the contract period (over 11 billion, or around US$9.2 million). The news was enough to cause SM Entertainment’s stock price to drop over 10% on the KOSPI.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled in favour of the three members. They have claimed that the contract was unfair and the members were left out of proper profit distribution. In response, SM Entertainment called a press conference and claimed that the lawsuit was a fraud, stating that the lawsuit was not about unfair contracts or human rights but a scam motivated by the three members’ greed over their cosmetics business. The three members remained silent except to say through their lawyers that they hoped SM Entertainment would respect the court’s decision.

In response to the lawsuit, 120,000 members of TVXQ’s fan club, Cassiopeia, filed a petition against SM Entertainment’s long-term contracts with the Seoul District Court. Cassiopeia also filed for compensation from SM Entertainment for the canceled SM Town Live Concert, as both SM and TVXQ initially stated that the concert would go on as planned; the concert was canceled a week before its scheduled date. It was later announced in early May 2010 that the three members of TVXQ (Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu) will return to the stage as a sub-group. Their group is called JYJ representing the first letter of each of their names.

On February 17, 2011, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed SM Entertainment’s injunction against JYJ, filed in April 2010 for damage compensation. In September 2012, the final decision on the case was postponed indefinitely, by Seoul Central District Court for mediation under the justice department.

On 28 November 2012, during a voluntary arbitration at the Seoul Central District Court, SM Entertainment and JYJ have reached a mutual agreement to terminate all contracts between the two parties and not to interfere with each other’s activities in the future. Thus concluding the three years and four months exclusive contract lawsuit. A SM official is quoted as saying, "We made a judgment that we don’t have to manage the three members of JYJ any longer as they expressed their intention not to keep their activity as TVXQ” and further added that they have decided to end the litigation “to avoid bringing additional harm to U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin, who are active as TVXQ, and to avoid making any more unneeded issues”.“ (wikipedia)

Fifth case: Kris lawsuit.

We don’t know what happened - as we never know what’s really going on in the industry. It’s all glamour on the outside and darkness on the inside. What if Kris filed a lawsuit, just like all the others did, because he felt wrongly treated, and as a canadian he knows what’s his right (as korea is a bit far behind in terms of democracy, equality etc.) or what if he had health issues and needed treatment SM didn’t want to give him (probably because of money reasons). I mean you just read how Hangeng ended up having health issues, because he wasn’t allowed to have a break to get better. Maybe that’s also the case with Kris. And while he’s at it he thought maybe he could go somewhere else - feeling always out of place anyways - and pursue a solo career to really finally earn some money.

"In May 15, 2014, almost five years after Hangeng filed his case against SM Entertainment, Kris Wu Yifan of EXO filed a lawsuit to terminate his exclusive contract with SM Entertainment. It was first reported on Chinese news portal Sina, with various reactions from fans. Korean news sites TV Daily, Korea Herald, eNews, Nate, TV Report, and Daum followed suit. The side supporting Kris has stated that the idol is not being respected as an artist in SM Entertainment and is rather being treated as an object, with no say in the deciding of schedules. According to Kris’s side, SM never gave thought to his health or his opinions. The lawyer Cho Bum Suk of the law firm Hanbyul, the same lawyer who handled Hangeng’s case nearly five years ago, will be representing Kris.[65]

There is also a chance that Kris is suing for medical reasons. According to Chinese media outlet Sina, Kris is reported to have visited a hospital in Guangzhou, China when he returned from the ‘12th Korean Musical Festival’ in Los Angeles, California on May 2. The alleged report states that according to a medical professional, Kris has higher than average creatine kinase and isozyme levels, and is suspected of having myocarditis, although as of now he is required to go back for another examination as it is unknown whether he has a heart problem or not. A former SM Entertainment trainee, Song Byung Yang, also posted on Weibo, "As an old friend of [Kris], it wasn’t easy seeing him struggle due to the severe mental stress and fatigue. Because his body couldn’t handle it, he even developed heart problems.”“ (wikipedia)

It seems like it has become quite normal for us fans to know that idols live in dorms and don’t have cell phones in the beginning. But think about it. You want to become famous and well known and in western culture this means you’re the top of the cake, but in korea it means years of practice and being a trainee, hard work, no private life whatsoever, and when you finally have the chance to debut you have to sleep in a room with 5+ people 24/7 and you’re not allowed to have a cell phone. Do you know what it means to have no cell phone in this century? Can anyone think about not having a cell phone for just a day? Probably not. But they don’t have one for as long as the company thinks they "don’t deserve it”. Also the no-dating policy. Some kids are 12 or something when they start as trainees, meaning they spent all their youth in a company, working and not having a private life and probably not seeing their family, because they live far away. So how is it even possible to meet someone and fall in love. The only chance is a fellow trainee or idol of the same company, as you only know these people. Which leads me to the most recent scandal. Or more like - which leads to all the “repairing” SM tried to do with scandals and rumors. I mean which entertainment had as many scandals as SM had.

For example Jonghyun. All of a sudden he was dating someone openly and SM happily agreed - AS IF. SM always tries to block all the rumors. But suddenly it’s okay for a boygroup member (who probably signed a no dating contract) to date some girl. How convenient that Jonghyun was in the spotlight two months before their first SHINee World concert tour. And Shin Se-Kyung just was about to release her movie “Acoustic”, also putting her in spotlight.

Another example is SNSD suddenly revealing their relationships (not counting Taeyeon). It seemed like their comeback didn’t pay off as pleased and shortly after, it was revealed that 3 members were in a relationship. Of course that caused a lot of publicity, having SNSD back in spotlight. It probably didn’t help promotions, but as SM earns money from everything (probably even search engines and what not) it’s no surprise really.

Now onto the most recent “scandal”. Apart from all the fans (international AND korean) going berserk over it and bashing both Baekhyun and Taeyeon and also spamming Chanyeol with their delusional baekyeol fantasies, we still have to think about how convenient this is right now. First of all Baekhyun is the most popular member in terms of using him to portray EXO (radio shows, variety, whatever..) and he is the most popular among international fans (I think Luhan is most favorite in korea). Of course it will cause the most stirr if the popular guy suddenly has a girlfriend - and oh of course a girlband member of the same company that is quite popular. (No one thinks about fans going against them, but hey - publicity is publicity. And depending on contracts, idols have to go along with it.) And how convenient that the rumor came out right after the EXO concerts and Overdose promotions ended… And that they had a date in an open car with paparazzi having awesome access for pictures. This almost screams “POSED”. But who knows. It might actually be the case, that they like each other, but I doubt SM doesn’t have a say in this. They probably thought - oh great, let’s make it public so people forget about the incident with Kris! And while we’re at it, let’s pull out some underage drinking scandal to have even more focus on Baekhyun. And he’s standing on the side having to endure all this, just because one member wanted to fight for his rights.

That’s also why I think some of the leaking that has been going on in the past was also planned, because let’s be honest. Not all those sasaengs are professional hackers. And if you think about it, it helped SM make even more money. They “sue” someone unknown, the leak brings them popularity and publicity and fans will buy the CD’s even more because they want to show SM that they love EXO. I mean look at tumblr. This is just international fans and there’s so much going on here. Now think about all the korean sites. This is a hell lot of publicity. Rumors for the win! (Think about the movie Easy A. It’s just a small lie and it backfires so much she ends up being the bitch of the school. It’s so damn easy to have rumors circulate and make it a big issue - even though it isn’t one) And I predict a break up of BaekYeon already this year, either before SNSD’s or EXO’s comeback. And the headline will be “they were too busy and had no time to develope a good relationship”. I mean that has been the headline for almost every second celebrity relationship. It’s easy to just say it, because it’s reasonable. But if it’s really true - that’s a different story. Which goes for everything that is happening in this industry. The nicest people on screen could be the worst bitches and assholes and people who seem bitchy or bad are actually really nice. And in the end it’s just another company with their employees and not really families or whatsoever - it’s what they want us to see. Just like they want us to see baekyeol, so we have something to live for. It’s all show. And no one wil ever know what is really going on. If SM treats their people bad, if X and Y really dated, if this lawsuit is really rightful… we will never know. No matter how “accurate” your source is, we will NEVER KNOW for sure. And as long as the people involved don’t speak up themselves, I doubt every little word. That’s why my sources from wikipedia are also not a 100% accurate or proved. But I think I believe some of it, now that we have FIVE cases obviously there. Of course Kris could just be a dick and wanting to make a solo career. But I doubt it with this kind of company…

So what I want to say is: Don’t believe what you see or read, it’s what they want you to see. You will NEVER know what’s going on in this industry unless you’re part of it or your source is a 100% real and accurate. KPOP IS NOT THE SHINY PERFECT WORLD YOU THINK IT IS. It’s a money making industry. Nothing more, nothing less.

[Personal essay rant on all this shit happening around and in SM - END]

Can’t We All Just Get Along? 

Alright, time to talk about the DC Extended Universe. “Wait What?” You’re probably thinking. Isn’t this blog about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not the DC Extended Universe? Why yes, yes it is. That being said though, there are now three films in that later cinematic universe, which is a good sample size of the studio’s approach thereof, so naturally people are comparing the two universes, especially when one seems to be full of really great films and the other… well we’ll get into that in a bit. The title of this post is mainly addressing the fact that a lot of fans are placing themselves into two camps, those who like the Marvel movies and those who like the DC films, much in a similar way to how comic book readers have been picking companies to follow in their readings for decades now.

This notion of Marvel vs. DC has been around for quite a long time, but there are in fact people out there who like aspects of both, as well as groups of people who don’t really care a whole lot for either. The superhero/comic book adaptation genre of films has now become a pervasive part of cinema, and will not be going away anytime soon. When you have two very distinct approaches to making these films going on simultaneously however, it will undoubtedly invite comparisons between the two, and thus spark all kinds of debate over which is better.

What are these approaches exactly? Well given the nature of this blog, it only makes sense that I address the MCU first. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is developed by Marvel Studios which is a division of Marvel Entertainment. In its early stages of development (Phase 1), their films were distributed via Paramount Pictures (and Universal Studios in the case of The Incredible Hulk).

Not too long into it though, Marvel Entertainment was acquired by Disney, and thus thereafter, future MCU films (with the exception of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming) would be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, and after a corporate shake-up in 2015, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige would now answer directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn instead of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter.

From the get-go, it was clear that the execs at Marvel Studios had a clear vision of what they were setting out to accomplish, even if we couldn’t fully envision it in the same way they did. In 2014 Feige was quoted as saying that they’ve had plans for things as far forward as 2028 (twenty years after the release of the first Iron Man movie), and this year was quoted as saying they have a film roster currently plotted out up to 2025.

This shows that since day one, they have had a big picture map laid out, and that they approached each film with the mind set of: how can this film fit on that map, and is there anything in this film that will require us to make adjustments to that map. They were clearly playing the long game, and were making sure that each film would not only stand on their own, but work together as a collective unit, hence the idea of a shared cinematic universe involving multiple sub-franchises was born.

Moving on to the DC Extended Universe, things look a bit different. First there was the non-starter in 2011 that was Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan was the brightest day in the blackest night that was this over CGIfied mess of a film. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it was Warner Bros. attempt at creating a film that could potentially bring us a shared universe, but due to the film’s track record that never came to be, and we could say that that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

On the one hand, if they were going to treat all their DC properties in a similar way, it’s best that Green Lantern didn’t blossom into a cinematic universe, but if it was treated with care and respect, we could’ve gotten an awesome film that would’ve kickstarted a cinematic universe that might’ve even come to rival the MCU.

Ultimately, what’s been happening at WB in this instance has been more like what has been going on at Fox for almost two decades now: DC Comics has simply been a property whose film rights have been owned by the studio. There has been no DC Studios as it were, it was simply Warner Bros., and they have been making adaptations of DC Comics properties and their subsidiaries (e.g. Vertigo) for quite some time. With the success of Marvel Studios and the MCU however, WB felt the need to compete with Marvel and Disney in a fighting-fire-with-fire type scenario.

As such, in 2013 we got our first official DCEU film, in the form of Man of Steel. The film was met with mixed reception from critics and audiences alike. Many saw it as the “Nolanizing” of Superman, that is to say, giving gritty realism and darker tones to what some felt should’ve been a brighter film, both in visual tone, and in the context of the story.

Now while Marvel was expanding their MCU into the world of the small screen through shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil, WB chose the multiverse route, keeping their TV shows (Arrow, The Flash, etc.) separate from their movies, but creating connected universes within each.

This would be a double-edged sword, in that it allowed their shows to not be reliant on the events of the film to further their plots, but it also meant that the movies wouldn’t be able to benefit from the awesome storytelling structures the folks in TV land were offering; which caused the shows to thrive while the movies have been floundering.

Furthermore, instead of plans to release another film in 2013, or even two more films in 2014, and/or another two in 2015, they waited three full years before releasing their next DCEU films. This is largely due to the fact that, again, at the time, DC Comics was just one property, among various properties, that WB was releasing movies for, so their focus on creating a well connected cinematic universe was being treated as merely one project amongst many, which frankly is no good.

Marvel showed that a cinematic universe with multiple sub-franchises can work, but only if that is the sole focus. Marvel Studios was an entity solely devoted to creating and developing the MCU. That’s all they were doing, and that’s all they needed to do. Disney owned Marvel Entertainment at large, but left them to their own devices for the most part, and simply let the profits come through via distribution rights, and it’s worked out quite well in their favour, to the point that they’re now doing a similar thing with LucasFilm, creating a cinematic universe out of the Star Wars franchise.

Due to the lack of focus and devotion, we ended up with an approach to the DCEU that looked more like a game of darts than a well laid out map. They approached each movie one at a time, making adjustments as they went along based on events of and audience receptions to previous films, along with focus group screenings, the filmmaking landscapes, etc.; you know, the typical studios executive approach to film making. This approach frankly doesn’t work if you’re trying to be innovative in the way Marvel Studios has been. Man of Steel was honestly nothing more than okay, and failed in a lot of ways, even as a standalone outing.

Worse though, there was no real hint that Man of Steel was a part of a grander cinematic universe until three years later when they released Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was a film that frankly leaned heavier on the Dawn of Justice part of the title, but from a marketing standpoint used Batman v. Superman as a branding tool more than a plot driver (which made it slightly ironic that Batman literally branded criminals).

Both BvS and Suicide Squad placed the focus on too many things, and incorporated superfluous elements into their movies, mainly because, again, Warner Bros. was trying to compete with Marvel Studios instead of sharing the superhero genre corner of the market. They’re all superhero movies, people will go see all of them regardless of studios.

Instead of taking their time and building up the universe to the point where they could’ve released BvS and Suicide Squad without feeling contrived, they stalled out on making DCEU films for three years, leaving them with two movies back-to-back that tried to be too many things far too early in the scheme of this cinematic universe.

BvS was trying to be a Man of Steel sequel, a Batman setup film, a Justice League setup film, and a tool to be a comparison to/competition for Captain America: Civil War, given that both films share very similar plot elements and themes. The problem for BvS was that Civil War was the thirteenth MCU film, and executed those plot elements in a much more cohesive way, and while not perfect, honoured the source material well enough that you didn’t care about the minor plot holes.

BvS was only the second DCEU film, and a lot of the plot elements and character developments didn’t make sense because they were inconsistent; Batman showed powerful deductive reasoning, but not when it counted most; Superman showed that he had near godlike powers, only to not use them when it counted most. Civil War earned a lot of its plot elements and themes over the course of the past eight years, and used them consistently. The only consistency in the DCEU’s three films to date, was their inconsistency with their character motivations.

Suicide Squad had a generic third act plot point and a forgettable villain. It felt tonally, Like BvS, as though it was several films at once (the Harley/Joker origin story, the Deadshot origin story, throwing in backstories for most of the other Squad members, etc.), and it felt like at times it was trying to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy and/or Deadpool. The beauty of both GotG and Deadpool, was that while they were set in their respective cinematic universes, they were not beholden to them. They were made in a way that they didn’t rely on them; they stood more alone than most of the other standalone films from their respective universes.

While all three of these aforementioned films technically fit into the anti-hero category, they do so in different ways. Deadpool chooses to do good, but on his terms with questionable methods that you typically wouldn’t see a hero use. The Guardians of the Galaxy are outlaws, who are really good at heart, that choose to do good because they all have a common cause of not wanting to be out of some kind of employment/wanting to be alive. Taskforce X (a.k.a. the Suicide Squad) are villains and criminals, straight up, and they are forced against their better judgement to do heroics.

The former two lend themselves to more lightheartedness which is why those films had a slightly sillier, comedic edge, with a sprinkle of dark elements here-and-there since they are still anti-hero films. Suicide Squad should’ve been a darker film with its villainous characters, sprinkled with comedic moments to humanize them a bit because they’re still technically the protagonists of the story. However, in trying to be similar in tone to films like GotG and Deadpool, there ended up being too much comedy, making them feel like one big joke. Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy both knew how to balance the comedy with the darker and more emotional moments. Suicide Squad had tonally clashing moments throughout.

Now I’m not saying I hate the current DCEU films. If anything they were decent, but only to an extent. Unlike the MCU films, there’s nowhere near as much re-watch value. The problem is that Marvel Studios has given us a winning formula. Sure even they’ve had their misses (The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 & 3, Thor: The Dark World), but even those films have been fairly enjoyable or largely forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

The DCEU is just starting out and it might be a little harsh to be judging them so much this early in the game for their development, but they’re coming into it at such a late hour in the game with film quality equal to or lesser than that of those Marvel films I just mentioned. The MCU had such a strong opener with the first Iron Man film, and the first Thor, Captain America and Avengers films were all major highlights; the DCEU is frankly off to a very rough start.

Marvel Studios has been developing the MCU for eight years now. They’re releasing Doctor Strange, their fourteenth film on November 4, 2016, and they have eight more films slated for the rest of their Phase 3 (present-2019). They have clearly established their universe, so anyone wanting to do the same now has two options: follow the same formula and take their time to create a longstanding cohesive through-line narrative across multiple standalone films in various sub-franchises, or get as much material out as quickly as they can, and hope something sticks. The later is the choice Warner Bros. has taken, and it’s not working.

There is hope though. In May 2016, following the criticisms of BvS, WB announced that a new DC Films unit was being established within the studio, and that it would be headed up by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, the former of which is basically the current king of DC. He has been the Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics since 2010, and has had major writing credits in comic book arcs such as Brightest Day, Flashpoint, the New 52 runs of Justice League, Shazam! and Aquaman, and he collaborated on the graphic novel Batman: Earth One. He has also served as a writer and producer on the CW shows Arrow and The Flash. He was also an executive producer on BvS so he’s already in the mix of it, but given his track record…

Geoff Johns is a man who clearly cares about the comics and honouring the source material in his adaptations. Zack Snyder clearly does not. Snyder is a man who favours style over substance. Yes that worked for Dawn of the Dead and 300 because those had source materials that fit into his wheelhouse of visual spectacle storytelling. Watchman, Sucker Punch, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice… not so much.

Watchman was a cometary on a lot of the tropes in superhero comics, Snyder glorified the things being satirized thereof. Sucker Punch was meant to be an intricately told story that got bogged down by flashy special effects and poor pacing. Man of Steel and BvS followed their source material at a base level, but when it counted most, that material was ignored for the sake of spectacle.

Clearly Snyder was not the best choice to be involved with these pictures. This is a man who can’t take costumed heroes/vigilantes seriously, and that says a lot. Geoff Johns on the other hand has done great work in comics and the Arrowverse on television, so he’s versed in the source material and cares about it. He’s invested in these characters and he takes them seriously.

The signs clearly show too. Right from the get go, people had reservations from the trailers for MoS, BvS and Suicide Squad. However, when the trailers for Wonder Woman and Justice League dropped at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, people went crazy for them; clearly Geoff has gotten right to work and is starting to fix things for the better; the fact that Ben Affleck has been made executive producer on Justice League say a lot towards that too.

Several of the cast members expressed some reservations during interviews for BvS, whether verbally or through body language/facial expressions. However in recent interviews from the set of Justice League, all the cast, and especially Ben Affleck, have been highly praising Geoff Johns for his hand in the film and have shown great excitement making it. This all tells me that Wonder Woman will likely be a better solo outing than Man of Steel, and Justice League will be much more exciting than BvS, and that the DCEU will finally be moving in the right direction.

But is it too little too late at this point? It’s hard to say right now. Clearly they have an uphill battle, and they did shoot themselves in their feet with a poor opening approach to this cinematic universe, both from a creative stand point, choosing style over substance, and from a logistical standpoint, waiting three whole years between their first and second film releases, plus creating a lot of hypocrisies in their narrative.

However, since Justice League will probably be the last Zack Snyder directed film in the DCEU (at least for a good long while), allowing for a more diverse team of directors to be culled, and since by the sounds of things Snyder is being reigned in a little bit on this one, plus the fact that Geoff Johns and Ben Affleck are co-writing a script for a solo Batman film that will be produced and directed by Ben Affleck, I would say there’s still hope for the DCEU.

Does that mean, in the end that everyone is going to come to love the DC films the same way they’ve come to love the MCU movies? If we go by just the first three films to come out so far, probably not, but that isn’t exactly the fairest assessment. I think in the end Marvel and DC can work in harmony; it’s just a matter of the DCEU being able to hit its stride, and when it does, we’ll start to see the dynamic of the superhero genre shift dramatically.

In the end, DC will just have to blaze their own path, just as Marvel has done with the MCU. We can only hope that someday, the thoughts of bad DCEU films will be a distant memory. I for one believe we all can get along, because in the end, if all the superhero movies can be good, than we win. But as always, I want to know what you think. Let me know in the comments how you feels about the DCEU so far. What are you most looking forward to with the MCU and the DCEU? Also, as always, please like and reblog, and be sure to follow Me, You & the MCU.

cercletucker  asked:

What do you think about Third Worldism and the Labour Aristocracy?

I have no time whatsoever for the concept of a “labour aristocracy” which Lenin expounds in “Imperialism”, and less for the awful political positions which flow from it.

For anyone who doesn’t know, what Lenin says is that rich countries extract “super profits” from poor ones, and they use these to “bribe” the working class in richer countries in the form of higher wages, in return for complicity in their system etc

There are many things wrong with this formulation - wage levels are dictated by a complex interconnection of factors, employers have to pay enough for basic social reproduction, which obviously varies from place to place, as does the number of unemployed people, the “reserve army of labour”, which is a major factor in determining wage levels. Lenin also ignores the effect of the status of class struggle in determining wages, the stronger and more organised we are as a class, the higher wages we get. All capitalists pay the minimum they can get away with, and this goes for capitalists everywhere.

A while back I came across this excellent blog post, which completely demolishes this whole question using hard economic data as well as marxist theory, it’s worth quoting at length:

The individual capitalist rushes to market, intent on realizing his or her individual profit, and when the money materializes, claims it as his own or her own. But Marx knew better and the markets recognize no individual. Instead, the markets ration, distribute, the total profit. And what the capitalist holds in his or her hand, is a part of the universe of values. Whether the capitalist is large or small, whether the capitalism developed or developing, the distribution of profit by the market, by which a general rate of profit is established and through which more technically developed, more “capital intensive” industries are sustained, is the process by which capital makes whole the sum of its parts. When profit materializes it is through the appropriation of surplus value as a whole, not from the individual wage rates in the individual enterprise.

The establishment of a general rate of profit, and we have seen exactly that in the examination of the returns on US foreign direct investment and indirect investment, abolishes the notion of super profits, and with that, demolishes the claims of the “bribing” of layers or sections of the working class.

The disparities in wage rates, which preceded finance capital, are historical developments. Every industrial capital formation appropriates its surplus value on the basis of different wage-rates within the entire process of production and circulation. Does this mean that workers receiving a higher wages benefit from workers receiving lower wage rates? Do railroad locomotive engineers benefit from the lower wage rates of track workers and mechanics? To pose the question in those terms is a failure to grasp that the realization of profits is a function of the system as a whole, and that nothing in profits high or low, wages high or low, transcends the fundamental social relation of production that defines capital.

If Lenin was right, the massive increase in the extraction of surplus value in the third world over the last decades would have resulted in rising wages and better living conditions for first world workers. I don’t really need to point out that this hasn’t happened. Real wages are stagnant or diminishing in the first world while more surplus value than ever before is extracted from the third. Unless they are bribing us by paying us less, there is something clearly faulty about the whole idea.

anonymous asked:

I read the translation but I'm still confused I'm sorry :(

No you’re fine! Sorry I’m just now getting back to you, I needed to get some sleep. ALSO I’m sorry about the font size, but I don’t want to stretch dash boards too much. I’ll change it on my blog.

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As far as SM forcing him to leave, I can see why you’d be confused because… well, it just doesn’t make much sense. Kris questioned why a recording he’d practiced for for 10 days was deleted and I guess as punishment for questioning SM’s authority or w/e they sort of… forced a hiatus on him and blocked his activities w/ EXO for months. 

As many fans know, this inevitably lead to the unusual break in time between a newly debuted group’s debut EP/album and second comeback. Literally, Wolf was over a year after MAMA, and that turnaround time is not only unusual but extremely unwise given how saturated the market is and how EXO wasn’t really THAT popular in 2012. 

This appears to be the result of the “ unfairness, suppression” that was mentioned in the translation, as well as “other similar treatment.” It really doesn’t make sense and seems harsh that SM would do something like that for that reason, and even more so that Kris could only return “ after several negotiations with several parties,” parties and negotiations that of course went unspecified and detailed in Kris’ studio’s response. But typically, authorities that like to wield big sticks also like to “send a message” and theirs was clear: don’t question them and do as you’re told.

Now in regards to the manager, there are several things. First thing: Apparently EXO’s only female manager named Ahreum gets way too touchy with the members and in gross ways too like casually putting her hands on their thighs in an unsolicited and probably just down-right unwanted manner. She’s the only one with whom Kris has been frosty and you can see a post describing that here, but basically Kris wasn’t about to have her unwanted physical contact with him himself and probably strongly disliked it when it happened to the other members as well. Second thing: according to the translation, there was a manager who constantly discriminated against him as well. Now EXO has many managers so I’m not sure who in particular it was, though it could very well be several and not just one. However, if you look in that post I linked here, it also points out that back in 2014 Kris’s side said there was a female manager who discriminated heavily against Kris. Ahem. There is only one female EXO manager…. So. There you go. And she might have discriminated against him as revenge for refusing her advances :/ (Gross.)

Ah so beyond that the translation describes conditions Yifan had to go through including having to receive IV drips to maintain productivity / keep up with everyone (this lasted from July 2013 to January 2014 when he went to China and got a red flag for myocarditis), still facing discrimination, SM refusing to allocate proper medical treatment despite the fact that relying on IVs is a huge (!!!) red flag to even a layman, and SM’s blatant misappropriation of funds and improper profit distribution. Furthermore, we can confirm from recent member statements (source: radio interview around 24th-25th June), that SM does in fact keep their schedules floating in the air and only notifies them of what they’ll be doing last minute. This establishes that Kris would indeed feel like his future, particularly in regards to his entertainment career, is uncertain, especially when considering how little promotion time EXO M got after 2012. ((Personally I think SM held EXO M back on purpose because they were getting too big for their britches; SM never intends for groups marketed to China to become very big and especially not bigger than Korean groups, but EXO-M was becoming more popular in China than EXO-K was in Korea, so yeah SM didn’t like that and pulled the plug on that real fast.))

From here on I’m going to quote from the translation and the quote will be set off by an indentation; if I include my own words within the indentation, they will be set off by brackets like these [[ ]]:

The limiting of his development, the lack of future development plans, and other actions also caused Kris Wu to thoroughly lose trust in his representative for his entertainment career.

^^^^^ That’s basically how everything ended up as it is. All the factors combined to make him say enough is enough and he filed lawsuit.

On May 14th, 2015, Seoul Central District Court made a judgment (compulsory mediation decision), confirming that SM must give all “management rights and exclusive management agency rights” of any regions outside of Korea to a third party of Kris Wu’s choice. 

[[I talked about this and made a couple posts about it when it happened. Kris’s side accepted the compulsory mediation’s resolution, but SM opposed it as follows.]]

Our side accepted, the mentioned compulsory mediation decision was relatively reasonable. However, after a long period of a year of mediations, SM used the reason that it was unacceptable to take the contract dispute back into process, intentionally delaying Kris Wu’s contract termination and further hindering Kris Wu’s normal arrangements of his personal life and artist career. 

[[This refers to the fact that in light of SM’s countersuit, SM has basically denied all consideration of the contract dispute and is instead focusing on them them them and trying to “make Kris pay.” This is of course damaging Yifan in the short term and potentially long term as well because SM is apparently suing everyone who affiliated with Yifan in terms of business…. again…. Adidas is a company involved…. I don’t see this as feasible in any way but okay SM. Okay.]]

So at this point, Kris nor his studio will be giving further statements personal or otherwise, and it is all relegated to the Korean-Chinese legal team he has recruited for this case. Kris remains grateful to everyone who has helped him get this far and does not forget his roots, and therefore he is not the ungrateful traitor antis keep painting him as. He will respect the court’s decision, but he and his studio will remain quiet from now on.

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I hope this helped! Sorry about the length~

{translation used by shuaijerks (link to post)}

I genuinely believe that if EXO was to debut as originally intended, EXO-M to promote in China while EXO-K in Korea and only be put together in concerts, the lawsuits wouldn’t have happened. One of the three reasons as to why they left was not enough promotions or activities in China, another one is profit distribution. More activities in separate countries with a smaller amount of people would mean higher profit.

anonymous asked:

Any recs for meet the parents fics?

yes yes. yes. some may have the meeting the parents part a little later on, its like one plot point among many, so i hope that’s okay

Put On A Slow, Dumb Show For You by starclipped

James Buchanan Barnes is about to be deported. The only solution is to marry his assistant, Steve Rogers. It should be easy. It’s not.

[The Proposal AU]

The Proposal by The_Nerd_Alert

Steve Rogers works as an executive assistant for his demon of a boss James Barnes, at Pierce Publishing. Everyone HATES working with James Barnes, the epitome of Satan himself in every way possible. But when his Visa for immigration is denied, James quickly hatches a plan and drags Steve into a plot to thwart the United States Government into thinking they are engaged to avoid deportation. Thus follows the weekend from your wildest imagination as boss and employee learn about themselves and what it means to be truly happy.

Critical Feline Mass Kryptaria, rayvanfox

Adjusting to civilian life is hard for any military veteran — especially for one ex-sniper with a cybernetic arm, a classic Harley, and friends who keep trying to ‘help.’ When Sam Wilson at the VA sends Sergeant Barnes to rent a room from the hottest guy in the DC area, Bucky thinks maybe civilian life is worth it after all. And then he finds out Captain Rogers is everything Bucky’s not: a real hero, a Medal of Honor recipient, and an all-around nice guy. Bucky doesn’t have a chance in hell with him.

Sam was a huge help to Steve Rogers when he left the military. In the spirit of ‘pay it forward,’ Steve decides to rent out his basement room to a vet in need. But when Sergeant Barnes shows up on his doorstep, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble. Barnes is exactly what Steve never knew he wanted, from his bedroom eyes to his wicked innuendos. And he’s Steve’s tenant.

A love story in twelve chapters, including two Harley-Davidsons, a guardian angel, multiple snipers, the only woman who can scare them into behaving themselves, spontaneous kittens, and one attacking sheep.

Schrödinger’s Romance by InTheMiddleOfNowhere (underage, rape/noncon)

“It could be a relationship, it could not be. You can assume either until you see for sure the results.”

We all know those moments. Those moments when your family all gathers around you and asks “So, do you have a boyfriend yet?”. Bucky knows these moments all too well and, quite frankly, he’s sick to death of them. Unfortunately, being a 21 year old college student makes it harder for him to come up with excuses, and with Christmas coming up he needs to think of a way out fast. A chance encounter with a stranger through an old library textbook could just be the kind of miracle he needs to make it through the holidays with his last shreds of sanity intact.

Captain Ahhh! Merica by UndergroundValentine

Bucky, despite standing in the back of the store staring at an entire wall of DVDs, still couldn’t quite fathom how he made it into a porn shop.  Then again, there were a number of things that he couldn’t quite always imagine himself doing, and yet he happened upon such situations regardless.  However, the porn shop was a new and—still undecided whether or not it was wanted—impressive feat.

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters, settings, plot lines, concepts, or terminology as created, used,  and owned by Marvel Entertainment, LLC ®. This is a work of fanfiction (Disclaimer borrowed from ohcaptainmycaptain1918 in light of the recent thievery by ebooks-tree.com, in which this work and others posted by myself and countless other authors of this and other sites have been taken without knowledge or consent for profited distribution).

Is It Pretending If I Already Want You? by OhCaptainMyCaptain

Based on prompt: Pretend Boyfriends AU where one of their families is always wondering why they’re never in a relationship, so the other offers to pretend to be their boyfriend for some family event"

 Basic Steps to Getting Yourself In a Pickle With Both Your Family and The Guy You’ve Secretly Crushed On For Five Years (A Guide):

STEP 1: After being perpetually single and constantly making up excuses to your family, give in and lie about having a boyfriend.
STEP 2: Agree to bring said boyfriend to the family cottage for a week so he can be your date to your parents’ wedding anniversary party.
STEP 3: Panic.
STEP 4: Say ‘yes’ when your best friend and closet crush - who you’re convinced isn’t interested in you that way in the least - offers to be your pretend boyfriend.
STEP 5: Try your best not to fall in love with them during the trip.
STEP 6: Fail miserably.

Americans want guns without serial numbers. And apparently, they want to make them at home.

On Wednesday, Cody Wilson’s libertarian non-profit Defense Distributed revealed the Ghost Gunner, a $1,200 computer-controlled (CNC) milling machine designed to let anyone make the aluminum body of an AR-15 rifle at home, with no expertise, no regulation, and no serial numbers. Since then, he’s sold more than 200 of the foot-cubed CNC mills—175 in the first 24 hours. That’s well beyond his expectations; Wilson had planned to sell only 110 of the machines total before cutting off orders.

To keep up, Wilson says he’s now raising the price for the next round of Ghost Gunners by $100. He has even hired another employee to add to Defense Distributed’s tiny operation. That makes four staffers on the group’s CNC milling project, an offshoot of its larger mission to foil gun control with digital DIY tools.

“People want this machine,” Wilson tells WIRED. “People want the battle rifle and the comfort of replicability, and the privacy component. They want it, and they’re buying it.”

While the Ghost Gunner is a general-purpose CNC mill, capable of automatically carving polymer, wood, and metal in three dimensions, Defense Distributed has marketed its machine specifically as a tool for milling the so-called lower receiver of an AR-15, which is the regulated body of that semi-automatic rifle. The gun community has already made that task far easier by selling so-called “80-percent lowers,” blocks of aluminum that need only a few holes and cavities milled out to become working lower receivers. Wilson says he’s now in talks with San Diego-based Ares Armor, one of the top sellers of those 80-percent lowers, to enter into some sort of sales partnership.

For now, milling your own AR-15 lower receiver at home is legal. A California bill to outlaw the homemade firearms without serial numbers—what the bill’s creator, state senator Kevin De Leon, calls “ghost guns”—was vetoed by governor Jerry Brown Tuesday.

The last time one of Defense Distributed’s inventions led to such a popular frenzy was the release of blueprints for its “Liberator” 3-D printed pistol, the world’s first fully 3-D printable gun. That free file was downloaded 100,000 times in two days.

The sales numbers for the Ghost Gunner may be far smaller. But at $1,200, every sale helps fund the activities of Defense Distributed. “I’ve never felt more optimistic about the ability of Defense Distributed to become an installed part of the future, and to help create an expansion of the second amendment,” he says. “There’s hope that Defense Distributed can become a significant civil liberties organization…That’s the ambition, the wildest dream of this entity, to have a marked material effect like that.”

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/1200-machine-making-untraceable-guns-just-sold-36-hours/?mbid=social_fb