The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily express those of the other Selective Hearing staff, our partners and affiliates.

The annual airing of grievances has now come upon the land that is Selective Hearing. For those unfamiliar with this concept, it is a tradition that is closely associated with celebration of Festivus. (the holiday for the rest of us)

This custom is all about telling everyone all the ways they have been disappointed by others over the past year. This is nothing new to us and this will be the fourth year one of us will be unleashing the many waves of disappointment upon the masses.

For shits and giggles, take a look at the entries from 2013, 2012 and 2011 if you want to get a feel of what this particular article will be like.

If you’re done reading all that you may see I’m about to trounce on some very familiar territory very soon. But first, I have nothing to complain a bout in the worlds of music I listen to. It’s painfully obvious by reading my year-end recap that I barely paid attention to anything released this year.

No longer smiling

ANGERME

I was too busy traveling to really invest a lot of time in the plethora of releases that came out in 2014. The only thing I can seriously think of that I find very stupid is S/Mileage changing their name to ANGERME.

I know that is supposed to be read with a French accent and there should be some squiggly lines on one of the e’s but if you read it in English, it’s ANGER ME. Which is the opposite of smiling. The name sounds like they should be hopping aboard the Idol Metal gravy train instead of singing up beat H!P styled pop songs.

That’s all I got in regards to that.

True disappointments

My major gripes this year have nothing to do with the music itself. For the most part what I did listen to was good enough for me. Whatever I wanted to keep is now in my library and the rest have gone to the great recycle bin never to be heard again.

No, my disappointments have to do with some of you fans out there. There are two issues in particular that I would like to discuss that may or may not offend those who I am about rant about.

So if you are one who is of a sensitive nature or cannot take constructive criticism of less than favorable behavior I suggest you stop reading now because you probably won’t like what’s coming up.

Still with me? Good. Let’s get started.

I want to go to Japan

Hello Kitty EVA

It seems like I harp on this every year, and for good reason. I keep hearing this same phrase over and over and over from folks who are probably entirely capable of going but find multiple excuses to not go.

Reverend Lovejoy

Obviously it’s getting to the point where I’m preaching to deaf ears and perhaps I should just give up. You cannot help those who refuse to help themselves right? I will however try one last time to impart some wisdom.

In the past I have attempted to give some sound advice for some of you to try to make it there. And if you took any of that and used it to get to Japan then congratulations, you’re excused from the lecture.

Also excused are those who are in situations where it is not financially feasible to go at this time in life but it may be possible later on once certain commitments are met. For the purposes of this lecture life-changing events such as studies, a new job, severe illness, death, divorce, marriage, childbirth, sudden unemployment and the like count. Those are just a few real world examples that you can use as reference but I’m sure there are many more valid reasons to not travel to Japan at whatever point in life you are in at the moment.

However, someone’s photo book being released, a rare photo card being put up for auction, a monthly idol merchandise purchase from Japan, a concert/convention and similar events do not qualify. Those do not impact one’s life as much or as severely as the other items listed above, even though you may think differently.

If you are free and clear of any major obligations I understand the biggest barrier is saving the proper amount to make the trip. And if you have a stable income you should (in theory) be able to put away a little bit somewhere towards a trip fund.

The problem I see with most idol fans that have a decent paying job is that after covering the necessities of life (food, rent, utilities, etc.) their money goes immediately towards buying overpriced merchandise from eBay, Yahoo Japan auctions or some other overseas brokerages of goods.

I see many gets types of posts online and shake my head immediately. So you can afford to spend hundreds on photo cards, photo books, Blu-Ray box sets and the like and yet you say you don’t have enough left over to save for a trip?

What about if you were able to make it to a major convention/event out of state or country? For example, a plane to ticket and hotel in New York is almost (give or take a few hundred dollars) on par with the cost of an economy flight and budget hotel in Japan. Yet you still say you can’t afford to go.

I call some serious bullshit.

It’s not that you can’t afford to go, it’s that you refuse to prioritize a trip as the #1 thing you want to accomplish. If you are truly serious about going to Japan then you need to learn to sacrifice ASAP.

I’m not saying you can’t go out and have fun, buy a few things every once while or that you can’t save towards something else as well. I am merely suggesting you choose your battles wisely without taking your eyes off the final goal.

I have said it every year since I started these posts that if you cut extraneous expenses and allocate funds towards a trip you are well within getting your feet on Japanese soil sometime in your lifetime. This is especially important if you figure this may be your only trip there ever. Which will require a longer stay and a stronger commitment to do that.

If you cannot get into the mindset of truly cutting back and dedicating yourself to getting to the land of all that you claim to love, you’re just blowing hot air and will most likely never go.

The intimacy is gone

In May of 2014 a man wielding a saw changed how idol meet and greets were conducted in Japan. For fans of AKB48, the unfortunate incident has caused a few changes in how their events are conducted.

Those who have seen the recent make up 2-shot events have noticed that there is a piece of furniture between fan and idol. Some have commented that they aren’t “real” 2-shots since you’re not within an acceptable wedding sack distance of your favorite idol(s).

So what in the hell are “real” 2-shots? Seriously.

I would consider you and the idol in the same picture as a 2-shot regardless of whether there is a piece of furniture or a guard separating you or not. The purpose is to be in a picture with your favorite idol(s) correct? Or am I missing something here?

Tsugi no Ashiato New 2-Shot 02

Is it any less real or “intimate” if there’s some sort of barrier there? That cannot be an actual deal breaker can it? Is something as mundane as a table that much of an issue?

Shouldn’t fans be grateful that 2-shots and handshakes are continuing at all after the incident? If you don’t like how things are now simply don’t go to these kinds of events anymore. No one is putting a gun to your head saying you HAVE to go.

There are plenty of fans out there who would LOVE to take the place of the entitled who think they deserve to have things they way they were.

Just because you decided to spend a stupid amount of money on CDs for a very short photo op/handshake and more time than you would like standing in line doesn’t make you entitled to anything other than a large credit card bill, sore feet and more CDs than any normal person would buy for an album/single release.

Conclusion

I am not going to apologize for anything you just read. It is what truthfully disappointed me this year. It was written with the spirit of the Airing of Grievances in mind and with that said my plate of complaints is clear for another year.

On to 2015.