Just recently, KBS showed in their Sunday broadcast the one man everyone’s been talking about—2PM’s former leader Park Jaebeom’s life in Seattle, just two months after his MySpace controversy broke out.
It took me a while to write about this because I simply did not know where to begin. To be quite honest, I’m a bit desensitized from it all. So many things have been said, and is still being said about Jay. From conspiracy theories, “secret codes” detected from the other members’ Cyworld entries to the boys’ slightest gestures in their TV appearances. There was even someone [or know someone] who claimed to have seen Jay in Canada, while another person claimed to have some information that Jay came back to Korea. No stone is left unturned. The whole thing seems like the friggin’ The Da Vinci Code! It’s exhausting! People saying this and that, the media and netizens digging out stuff like they’re on a manhunt—it’s ironic how this same situation was the exact reason he was driven out of Korea in the first place.
Like many who have watched the clip, I had mixed emotions about it. First, with the media’s method of going about their “search for Jay” and second, with their treatment of the whole issue. The first part showed a PD/interviewer going around asking Koreans in Seattle if they knew Jay or if they knew where he lived. After successfully locating his house, they kind of lurked there and asked neighbors, even coming across the familiar bearded neighbor named Mike who was interviewed by Komo News. Then they went to Jay’s church and got a decent interview with the pastor, who shed some light about what kind of person Jay is and some of the Korean’s perceptions on Korean-Americans. They even showed the church’s photo-board that had Jay’s childhood pic on it. Luckily for KBS and unfortunately for the Park family, the media caught Jay’s dad as he was about to come into their house where he said he “didn’t want his child to be an issue anymore,” and got a minute of talk with his brother, Jaehan who said Jay was doing fine. It even seemed like they chased Jaehan in the dark! Then the moment they’ve all been waiting for came—Jay was filmed attending a dance event where he met with his friends.
First of all, I was glad that KBS interviewed the DJ who met Jay and explained his words in his controversial MySpace comment, saying that it was not anti-Korea and that it could have been a phase every Korean-American goes through as they try to find their identity. And second, I admit as a fan I am relieved to see Jay again and that he is slowly trying to get his normal life back on track by seeing his friends. That, and the fact that he went to a dance event meant that it’s still important to him. But again I can’t help but think that the whole thing was an exploitation of not only Jay but also his family and friends’ privacy. I mean, there were also kids there who were just going about their way and next thing they knew, their faces were being shown on Korean TV! But more than that, it has only been two freaking months! What did they expect? That Jay will come running to them with open arms and give an hour-long interview?!
What’s even more ironic is that the interviewer’s [the bald guy] face was not shown throughout the whole thing. I don’t even know what to say or think about that because I’m not familiar with how networks in Korea work. But it seemed like the interviewer had MORE privacy than Jay. The whole Korean media and entertainment market in general are pretty skewed on using Jay to garner more viewership and sales. I’d like to say that we should leave him alone for a while and just let him breathe. We can show our support in may different ways, and it doesn’t mean that we’re giving up on him. But even we, as fans can sometimes overdo it too. All of us are guilty.
I’ve been listening to Tasha [Yoo Mi Rae] a lot lately and the message of the song Memories seems fitting for Jay.
I won’t give up, and that’s my word
If I fall five times, I come back on my sixth
Even if I’m knocked back a bit I won’t give up
If I’m knocked 7 times, I come back on my eight
7 times and 8 times until my life ends
Now knowledge of self thru the pain in this world
I won’t give up, and that’s my world”
And temptation reaches out to me
I want to taste the opportunites I couldn’t have as an innocent child
That time has gone, my hopes and dreams are gone
I want to escape from this place
Tears fall, fall, fall as I climb onto the roof and shout
I am going crazy, but…
My words echo back to me
I am alone and sad and feel blank
Then suddenly I feel like spreading my wings
And I want to fly to freedom”
Leave the cruel world behind me
I’m looking for my precious times
I’ll go as high as space to look for the things that can’t have again
And I search my memories for those things I have lost
I want to play with my friends
Lie down on the ground and look up at the wide open sky”
I’m tryna figure out how to set all of my pain free
sometimes I wish that I could turn the hands of time back
so I could rewrite the wrong and put ma life back on the right track
I want to take back what I’ve lost… Life goes on…”
“All the memories of hate and the lies
don’t you know eventually we’ll pay the price
all the hopes and the dreams will survive
reunite we got to keep our faith alive”
Missing your wacky ways…