I often worry for some of the more emotionally distressed in idol fan culture. There seems to be a prevailing need to overreact to every event no matter how insignificant. An idol breaks his/her nail and it’s off to the Internet to cry how they are being worked too hard and are malnourished because of their hectic schedules. That of course is an exaggerated example.

But let’s get to to the one event that causes the floodgates to open, and that is idols and dating. More specifically female idols and dating. Males seem to get a pass most times when they do it. I barely follow male idol groups so it is beyond my expertise to speak about their fans’ brand of crazy, but they have their own issues as well when it comes to dating. But let’s focus on the ladies.

Recently I received a comment about my rant on Selective Hearing Radio 171 in regards to the Minegishi Minami scandal. The gist of it was that I am someone who is devoid of empathy for my fellow human beings for not taking Minegishi’s plight seriously and that I suck for not getting on the “so many feels” train along with everyone else.

After all, her rights were being violated and management forced her to parade her new haircut on YouTube as she tearfully apologized to the fans for her indiscretions. I should be disgusted right? She doesn’t deserve to be treated in such a manner not only as an idol but as a woman. Yet management has stated that she chose to shave her head and chose to appear on camera in that state.

That doesn’t sound like she was coerced into doing it to me. It sounds like a woman owning up to her mistakes as an idol. She just happened to have a questionable haircut that distracted from what she was saying.

I’m sure that if she still had her long, flowing locks people would not be in the tizzy that they are in now, her apology would not have gone viral and none of the mainstream western press would have bothered giving this a single second of coverage. Hell I wouldn’t even be talking about it again now.

I will agree that it was not the wisest move on AKS’ part to let her do that and that they could have at least got her a wig or a hat before the recording of her message. But odds are that the strong willed Minegishi would have ripped those off to prove a point during her apology.

The lingering question is whether she was shamed into shaving her head? I was given an example of women during world war 2 who had their heads shaved because they sold their countries out to the enemy. Hence their shaming in front of their respective nations as a traitor.

That extreme example is one I cannot agree with. Sure, Minegishi may have felt that shaving her head was some sort of penance for her disobedience. Perhaps it is a cultural thing that I fail to comprehend that lead her to this conclusion.

But in no way is it the same as being forcefully humiliated and paraded out for the masses to see. I did not see AKS staff holding her down against her will as Togasaki or one of the other management gleefully sheared her hair as she fought against them. Nope, not at all. Was she dragged kicking and screaming in front of the camera and forced to read an apology? No.

Perhaps there’s been a little too much reading into this whole situation for people’s own good?

What about these winds of change that many others in the idol fan community speak of? Will the cries of the people finally be heard? Will Minegishi’s scandal be the catalyst for a change in attitude? If anyone out in the western fandom thinks their words of advice mean anything to these Japanese idol agencies think again.

Sure, they’ll gladly take your money when you beg for their artists to come visit your country but that’s about the extent of your power. Your raging against the machine doesn’t mean anything because you’re just a side pot to them.

The real money comes from their home fanbase and don’t think any different. They’re not going to listen to you so why are you trying to fight against the establishment? Screaming for change won’t do anything but waste a bunch of hot air. Their core cash cow is just fine with how things are. So get off your soap box and give up.

There are others in our small community who see this head shaving as a sign of renewal and a rededication to the AKB that Minegishi loves. As we have read in books or have seen in film and television, cutting one’s hair is a symbol of change.

During a recent handshake event Minegishi stated that she did not shave her head for forgiveness, but to gain the trust of everyone and start over. With that in mind the reason why Minegishi is now a cue ball makes a lot more sense than her being trotted out like a circus bear to do parlor tricks like so many drama queens like to claim.

Does that sound like being shamed? I certainly don’t think so.

If starting over as a kenkyuusei is her fate then let it be. Odds are she’ll end up like Sashihara and she’ll be back in the main roster or a sister group when this entire been there, done that issue has blown over.

Don’t pretend it won’t happen.

Also, hair grows back (unless Minegishi’s family has a pattern of baldness, then only some hair will grow back). In a few months she’ll be back to her normal self unless she wants to champion the cue ball look or keep it short.

The point of this is that there is no need for dramatics when it comes to female idols dating. If you sit down and think about it, is their sex life really affecting you? Are you losing sleep over thinking about who your idols may or may not be sleeping with? Does it enrage you to even think that your girl(s) are being sullied by sweaty guys who are not you?

If you answered YES to any of these questions then you need some help man. Like seriously. Just get off the idol bandwagon and get yourself straight in the head. There is no need to take all of this as if your life depended on it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Unless your livelihood is directly affected by these idol scandals there is no need to freak out and get all into crisis/retard mode. This isn’t life or death on a grand scale. It’s only idols.

Based on the punishment that Minegishi got, I don’t think this scandal hurts her. She’ll come out smelling like roses by the end and will probably break top 10 in the senbatsu election because of it.

With all that said is it any wonder that I get agitated and frustrated with the amount of pure bullshit this fandom has to offer and I don’ t take things like Minegishi’s issue seriously? I find no real reason to. These “scandals” have happened so many times that I’ve become desensitized to the entire ordeal.

So if my attitude towards anyone who gets over emotional or tries to rationalize the impossible is a little harsh, deal with it. No one is forcing you to read what I say or to listen to the podcast and you are free to stop at any time.

There are many more just like me who are fed up with the overblown crap that the fandom spits out. I just happen to speak up about it. If that makes me an uncaring, dirtbag with no soul so be it.

Instead of spending countless and pointless hours typing crap that I’ll just end up deleting from the site in response to this, how about we just go about our mutual disrespect and silently walk away seething?

Comments

  • Ron February 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    well said sir

  • Kairi山口∩´-)⊃=⊃ February 5, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Dont like Greg’s wise opinions? Eat a grilled bull penis. You may actually like it

  • ambii February 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I swear, I had to stay off the AKB tag on tumblr for a while because everyone was being overly dramatic about the situation. She cut her hair, it’ll grow back or she can wear a wig. No biggie.

    • ambii February 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      I also think that she only has something to gain from the “scandal”.

  • RINI February 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

    As some people always freak out when this is not stated, I’ll start off by saying that this is all my personal opinion.
    Usually, I tend to agree with you in general, albeit feeling that you would benefit from seasoning your words with a bit of salt. And usually, I do think you’re a bit too harsh and would be offended if I were someone that got offended easily. That being said, I don’t feel like that was the case this time.
    Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am an extremely empathetic person. In fact, many, including myself, would call me a crybaby, especially when another’s tears/expressions of sadness are involved. My point is, I am nothing if not empathetic and I did feel for the girl.

    However, hearing/reading some of the comments bothered me more than the actual video. Why is it that “Americans” speak and act as if their way is the best way? Of course, I’m not saying that only Americans do this, but as I am American, I can only speak with regards to them.
    Japan’s culture is different. Not worse, just different. Was the video sad? Yes. Does it infringe on her basic human rights? No. Just because you think something is true, or wrong, or unjust, doesn’t mean it is. Do people have freewill to choose what to do with their lives? Yes. Do people have the “right” to do whatever the heck they want? Of course not! Sure, she had a choice, but having the choice to do something is NOT the same as having the right. If that were true, then ANY punishment is an infringement of human rights. Rules have to exist. Without rules, there would be no order. Are some rules unfair? Yes. BUT, she CHOSE this life. It wasn’t forced upon her, just as this video, her apology, and her desire to continue to be in the group that has this rule isn’t being forced upon her now. If your (general) point is that she had the “right” to break a “stupid” rule, then why doesn’t she have the “right” to respond to getting caught in whatever way she chooses?! If she desired to be shown in this way so much so as to actually go through with having this recorded, despite the pain I’m sure it caused her, wouldn’t it have been just as unfair for the company not to release the video?!
    Normally, I hate it when people bring up that there are worse things in life. I’ve always felt that “worse” and “worst” existing doesn’t make “bad” any better. But this time, I am disappointed that this is what so many people are getting stuck on. Although, I suppose I should be used to being disappointed in people… xP
    Please don’t feel that I am trying to push my views onto anyone. You don’t have to agree with me, I just felt like it had to be said. Sorry to have brought up this issue again, Greg, I just couldn’t take it anymore. xD