Reproduced from my reaction to Bluemist’s blog entry entitled The Melancholy of Idols.
At first, I look at this thing with complete indifference, thinking it’s worse than current-gen pop music (be it Western or, God forbid, K-pop). But then it took me considerable time of research, delving into what motivates a girl to become an idol, despite the negative perceptions associated with it, as well as seeing a unique symbiosis between her and the audience (guess I’ll read more about Drucker and the utility of an employee or a corporation towards society).
In peeling away the artifice and the manufactured image, I find her imperfections, vulnerabilities, as well as character strengths and possibilities that she thought to be dormant and untapped.
Even the producer/creator/songwriter himself, the man in charge of the idols under his care, also has his imperfections and rarely do they admit to anything or take the risk of being transparent and frank about the creation he engendered; in the chain of command, he takes the most blows and criticism, and should the situation demands it (in case of grave scandal or misconduct or total disaster) he offers himself to resign.
Eventually I find in her things that I could relate with, things that make her human more than just a commodity or a product.
Finally, what diligence she made from her audition into what she is now, has struck me as I discover parallels between her development and that of the classic geisha; a geisha serves a magnate or a politician in privacy, while an idol performs in service to hundreds, thousands or even millions. Both have made personal sacrifices in an attempt to attain perfection and an ideal image of themselves and to society, as though they share a common link with nuns, priestesses or monks.
Like the geisha, an idol is a servant, but emotionally in control and her resolve and diplomacy strengthened by experience and expertise, a potentially powerful individual who could convince more than any geezer of a Japanese politician could ever hope to get in their lifetimes… So, even if the chances could be remote, I will not be surprised should, say, someone resolute like Takahashi Minami becomes the first female Prime Minister of Japan.
That said, “hate” is too much of a harsh word.