The prelude: I am the queen of procrastination, I stink at chemistry, I fail at every aspect of college in general, I am constantly sleep-deprived, and I want to shove SM Entertainment down to burning pits of fire.
That said…on October 4th I stayed up 5.5 hours, refreshing distributor websites every few seconds, to pre-order one of the extremely limited 99,999 luxury package with JYJ’s “The Beginning” limited edition CD. $70 down the drain…or rather, $70 flowing to high heavens, to make my darlings rich, without any regrets on my behalf. However, the initial claim was that the luxury package contained 3 t-shirts and 3 posters…then it became 1 t-shirt and 1 poster after I pre-ordered. Not to mention that due to dastardly SM’s injunction filed against JYJ, release date was pushed back to October 25th. The album is my only comfort because it is almost entirely impossible for me to go to the JYJ Showcase in New York City on November 12th. Rawr parental dissent. I’m an adult already, and I have the money for it, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but…a no is a no. :[
Finally, it’s been announced that I’m one of the five winners of the DBSKnights 2nd Anniversary Giveaway Contest. Wanna read my essay-length responses to the questions? LOL go ahead. Feel free to knock yourself out with a paragraph I wrote at Koreaboo as well.
In my heart I have no doubt of my unconditional love for the Dong Bang boys.
1. How did you become a TVXQ fan? Why do you love them?
Before DBSK, I had never felt my heart stir so fiercely with emotion and pound against my ribcage as if about to burst from the inexhaustible love I felt. I had absolutely no idea that when I went camping at the Thousand Islands in June 2009, my entire life would transform into something far more profound and blissful. During dinner the second night, I reunited with an old friend and also met four other Asian girls, all of whom lived in New York and camped at the Thousand Islands annually. We played silly volleyball games on a grassy hill near the lakes, and when we sat down to rest, we talked about boys, of course! The only girl who was older than me was the most fangirly of all; she was fanning herself frantically with her hands as we discussed the Korean dramas My Girl and Goong. Then she and my friend became absolutely engrossed in their private discussion about DBSK, a Korean boy band they were madly in love with. Apparently they both liked U-Know the most and either put Hero second or gave him no place in their hearts at all. They kept commenting on how long his hair was, how feminine he seemed…and that ought to have been a red flag for me, but I was determined to confirm it. The moment I arrived home, I resolved to crack the puzzle of DBSK once and for all. I clicked on the first result for DBSK that came up on YouTube and was so captivated by the boys within less than a minute that I was actually shivering in the summer heat. It was love at first sight with Jaejoong, who seemed so ethereal and absolutely glowed in the spotlight of the 2007 Soul Power performance of “Love in the Ice.” His vocal prowess melted me into my socks. His stunning eyes, called beautiful by women of all ages and I daresay men as well, pierce the very soul. He has no equal. Even in the realm of spicy pepper tolerance (as in eating the spiciest pepper in the world with a smile) he is unmatched.
After I finished watching the Tokyo Summit performance of Love in the Ice, I sat in stunned silence for a while and pondered deeply. I was extremely reluctant to invest my heart into a boy band again, after very briefly being intrigued and then disappointed by the popular boy group concept in Taiwan. But then a probing question struck me: had I EVER heard such heartwrenching, tender, and extraordinarily synchronized vocals before? Nope. Did I want to drool over Jaejoong and pay attention to the other boys more? Heck yeah. And so I began my mission to discover everything delightful that DBSK had to offer: I listened deeply to every DBSK song, watched every live performance I could find, laughed in every Banjun and Vacation drama, treated myself to the eye candy on every page of their photobooks, and enjoyed their interviews and guest appearances on every show within my reach. Slowly I fell in love with each of the boys; my first love blinded me to the other boy, whom I love just as much Jaejoong. He is Junsu, the dolphin, the cutie, the romantic, the dearest crybaby. His voice sweeps me up to high heaven. His smile is the same as a baby’s. And as for his duckbutt combined with dancing…no more words are necessary unless I want to get a nosebleed from Intoxication. The first song that brought me to tears was his “Rainy Night.” The song that made me a sobbing mess for a good half hour exactly a year later was also his bittersweet composition, “W.”
I didn’t realize the extent of my love for the other three boys until I saw the tender relationship they forged with the little blind girl Ye-Eun on SBS Chocolate. At that moment it struck me like a lightning bolt how truly good, humble, and pure of heart all five of them are. They are a true family: Yunho, the handsome prince and fluid dancer who’s got every girl in checkmate, the compassionate and strong leader, always protects the members like a father. Jaejoong, the most beautiful man in the world, the lead vocal with a voice as pure as water, takes care of the members through his tranquil love and cooks for them like a mother. Junsu, the creative and athletic boy with a golden voice and the cutest personality, the charmer who makes women faint from his sexy solos, is adorable beyond compare like a sweet daughter. Yoochun, the sensitive soul and suave lady-killer, the dedicated composer and deepest vocal, is the mature yet carefree and hilarious older son. And finally Changmin, the genius maknae with the big voice and killer Mirotic scream, the tallest and the food lover with the biggest appetite, is the baby whom all the other members dote on. For Yoochun and Yunho, I was incredibly honored to have the opportunity to build their TFL-approved fanlistings, which are my tributes to them: http://fans.afanatic.org/yoochun and http://fans.afanatic.org/yunho.
Thus began my blooming unrequited love with quite possibly the five most angelic beings who have ever graced this earth with song and dance. Rising Gods of the East. How majestic, epic, awe-inspiring is that name alone? Since late 2003, this group of five superbly talented and attractive males has brought the female population of Asia and now the entire world to its knees. When I am overwhelmed by the ruthless storm that is my extremely busy life, I sometimes feel a twinge of sorrow at not being dedicated enough to think about DBSK as often as I want. But I dare venture to say that in the end, I always crawl back on hands and knees to the boys (officially men, but sometimes as sweet as newborn babies) who had bewitched me a year and a half ago and then stolen my heart with no intention of ever returning it. I finally understand that although I indeed have a myriad of reasons for falling so deeply in love with these five boys, my love does not have to be justified. Love opposes all logic and reasoning: at first I couldn’t understand a word that came out of their mouths, nor could I ever hope to see them live since we are separated by oceans, nor could I ever dream of receiving a beautiful smile from any of them. But as the boys inspired me and taught me valuable lessons about our roles in this world, I began to realize that all I ever wanted was to simply love them.
In a way, I began loving them too late; just one month after I discovered DBSK, I read about the lawsuit filed by Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu against SM Entertainment with a broken heart. The first DBSK philosophy I ever abided by, 5-1=0, was shattered. But by now I have learned that no matter what, isn’t 3+2=5 still true? As long as they are happy and healthy and continue to touch our hearts with their music, shouldn’t we be content, and not demand any more from them? It’s true that I still feel a quiet loneliness sweeping across my heart, a melancholy longing for the boys to reunite and embrace each other in group hugs once more. Sometimes, during my more sensitive moods, I am acutely aware of the gaps on the JYJ and HoMin stages, where five beautiful voices are replaced by three or two, and dance formations previously shared by the five of them are replaced by nameless backup dancers. It is at these moments when the waterfalls erupt from my eyes and I pray to once again be able to see the boys stand together on stage, laugh heartily, and sing their hearts out.
I know that some fans hold expectations of perfection from the boys because they are highly regarded as multilingual, multi-talented idols whom ordinary people look up to. The mistakes they made in the past, the legal complications that have now ensnared them, the agonizing long waits for their new releases, and the emergence of appealing new artists were enough for some Cassies to leave. But true Cassies, of whom I am only one of millions, still gaze up at the dark night sky and cry with joy to see our loves still etched in the heavens. It’s touching, really, the beautiful concept that we, Cassiopeia, are the stars that shine in the dark night sky that is DBSK. One cannot exist without the other. And this is the way I will always be, because I will forever support DBSK’s second philosophy, Always Keep the Faith. In “W,” JaeChunSu express not only the deep extent of their longing for HoMin, but also heartwrenchingly reveal how much Cassiopeia means to them. They tell us to keep supporting and waiting for them because they will not fail us. This is not an empty promise. Even if DBSK is currently on hiatus and the members are split, I am certain that they can fulfill their individual dreams and reunite in the future. Time will be our guardian. And I will love them eternally because they have given me so much that is beyond the power of words to describe, yet I have never been able to convey that gratitude and appreciation in person. I will continue wishing and praying and dreaming for the five of them together. But for now, I will devote myself to JYJ and HoMin and cheer on for my boys, hoping that they can still smile and be happy each day.
Because of my boys, my heart has become a passionate volcano, one that will never freeze over because of the gifts of the heart, mind, and soul they have given me. To accept the realization that three of my favorite boys will be performing less than five hours away (New York, November 12th) without me being able to see them is heartbreaking. Just once, once, I want to see them in the flesh. Even if I am invisible, even if they never so much as glance in my direction, I want to proudly stand among the sea of Cassies and give them a red ocean. Of course, as I realize that the boys’ popularity is soaring across the globe, a tiny twinge of jealousy worms its way into my heart. But even as thousands of more fans endear themselves to DBSK each day, I cannot help but cast aside all of my selfishness and instead feel immensely proud of the boys. I know that their unparalleled success and fame are the rewards for their years of bitter toil, which no one but superstars with restricted freedom ever have to experience. The boys often live weeks at a time without an hour of free time or privacy to themselves; they must always be on high alert whenever the cameras roll around and control their voices perfectly when holding microphones; they cannot avoid the high decibel shrilly screams of thousands of fans and the hundreds of groping hands that await them at every public location they visit.
My heart bleeds, and swells with pride, whenever I think of my boys. I really should chide myself for being so weak-hearted, because any song by them can reduce me to a glistening puddle of tears. Although I fully indulge in bliss when listening to the magic of their voices, I also subject myself to the bittersweet heartbreak that mirrors their own inner sorrow. I cannot say whether this one-sided relationship between a mere fan and these almost inhumanly magnificent musicians is healthy or not. But without a doubt they are beyond extraordinary. My heart refuses to compare them to anyone else because DBSK is truly unparalleled in this world. They have made my year and a half BEAUTIFUL.
2. How has DBSKnights contributed to your fandom?
I discovered DBSKnights last December after following a link on DBSKnightSub’s YouTube channel. The blog was beautiful yet simple and elegant, and within five minutes I knew for certain that this was one website I would definitely follow every day. It was as natural for me as reading the newspaper in the morning. On DBSKnights, I can rest assured that all the hot news of our boys are shared with us in a timely manner. High quality scans, HD videos, fancams, fan art, and fan accounts are bonuses that I always look forward to. What I appreciate the most are the painstakingly translated articles and compiled photo collections, as well as the wonderful subbed uploads of DVDs that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to understand, such as the 3rd BigEast Fanclub Event, 3hree Voices, and Heaven’s Postman. DBSKnight’s beautiful goal to spread the Dong Bang love, the dedicated staff members, and the community of supportive Cassies who frequent the blog really touch me and have brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. And according to my most visited website thumbnails on my Google Chrome browser, DBSKnights.net is my #2 most visited website.
3. Did you ever spend a sleepless night with DBSK? How?
I stay up until 2 or 3AM at least twice a week drooling and crying bucketfuls over the boys. And I never regret it, even if I must wake up at 6:30 the next morning, haha. I have spent two truly sleepless DBSK nights in my life, all the way until wispy streaks of dawn’s blush crept onto the horizon. My first sleepless night with DBSK was spent watching the Bonjour Paris DVD in one sitting two summers ago. I giggled all night long and was entirely unable to sleep. Ready for my super long one-sentence summary of everything that made me laugh in Bonjour Paris? Here we go: Junsu’s butt hurts, the boys sing a capella, Jaejoong gets attacked by tree branches, Yunho yells “everybody put your hands up” and “Korea fighting” to whole crowds of people, Jaejoong’s mission to get 5 people to wave back to him on boats and buses, Junsu drunk on sugary beverages, Yunho slapping horse’s butt on merry-go-round, Yoochun pretending he’s Jamaican, Yoochun’s dog showered, bowing pharaohs, Junsu’s gibberish, little girl scared of Yoochun in playground, Junsu food snatching, Jaejoong’s UFO trick, Micky & Minnie, Jaejoong’s diagonal run, Junsu and Yunho fly kicking and handstands, naming myths of fountain, Yunho’s prada wears the devil, Yunho still thinks Paris is a country at the end of the trip, Paris to Yunho = party, Paris to Junsu = mosquito, Changmin being the only sane person, but narcissistic enough to check his reflection in the glass display of a movie poster. Hahaha!
Seven months ago, I also spent a sleepless night writing a poem about DBSK for a freestyle poetry assignment in my literature class. Although I wrote it with my biases Jaejoong and Junsu in mind, the poem expresses my feelings for all five members in the most honest light possible. Two of the lines allude to DBSK lyrics. I hope that anyone who reads my poem can understand the unconditional love I have for the Dong Bang boys and feel the same way. Thank you for reading my submission, and enjoy!
We are a world apart.
You glow in the spotlight, capturing hearts with every tender smile.
Always you are surrounded by the red ocean of your admirers.
I weave through fifty thousand fans to reach the stage and touch your fingertips.
Only your trembling hands betray your burden of unparalleled fame.
My heart plays fireworks every precious moment I am in your presence.
Unfathomable, your eyes are my sunrise.
Your voice is gentle magic, melting hearts of steel bit by bit.
Your charisma is the glittering sun breaking through stormy clouds.
Your back view resembles falling white snow, lonelier than the moonlight.
You are more than the air I breathe.
You are mine, a song I will never finish singing.
To put it simply and sweetly, I have been an exceptionally devoted Cassie for years, and I want nothing more than to support the Dong Bang boys in whichever paths they choose. I have faith in them that they will reunite in the bright future, no matter how distant, and take comfort in each other by sharing laughter and happiness. I felt a kindred affection for the boys the instant I saw them for the first time; it was during their extraordinary 2007 Tokyo Summit performance of Love in the Ice that I felt myself being magnetically drawn to the boys beyond anything I had ever felt before. Their heartwrenching, tender, and breathtakingly synchronized vocals left me shivering in the intense summer heat. My love for them grew steadily as I committed myself to the most humble and pure of heart boys in the world. The Dong Bang boys’ passionate singing, fluid dancing, poignant acting, and exquisite compositions completely endeared them to my heart, mind, and soul. They are my inspiration, my bliss, my miracle, my loves. Before DBSK, I had never felt my heart stir so fiercely with emotion and pound against my ribcage as if about to burst from the inexhaustible love I felt. Every day I will continue to cheer on and pray for my boys, whether as Dong Bang Shin Ki or as JYJ and HoMin, and the stars of Cassiopeia etched in the heavens will glow as an eternal testament of my devotion to them. <3