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Bible Study: Fever Pt.3, Yeosang (Part 2)

[Note: This series originally started as a project on Reddit. You can find an explanation of what Bible Study is all about here.]


As usual, in our discussion of Yeosang's page, we manage to not discuss Yeosang very much at all.



04: sacred practice


GD: Shall we reading practice?

Let me get us a line

Bobby: Yes, I'm ready

Also ready for that sweet, sweet school's canceled notification

GD: We just got the notice that school will not be canceled but it's too late I've already let William stay an extra night at his grandparents

So he will not be there to experience school

Anyways, I was given line 20, which I'm going to interpret as "I was being dragged away and Hong Joong tried to grab my hand."

What is happening narratively in the line?

Pretty straight forward. In this scene, Yeosang has just smashed the cromer, and the android guardians are dragging him away. Hongjoong reaches out to grab Yeosang.

Bobby: I'm remembering when people were arguing about who was reaching out to Yeo in the MV

At least I remember saying it was obviously Hongjoong because of the pinstripes on the sleeve and someone was like "we can't be sure"

We CAN be sure, Brenda

GD: Lol of course they did

They just didn't want you to be right for some weird reason

But that made me think about ES, so I guess we should go to the next part

What is happening at a metaphorical/allegorical level? And here is where we talk about connections within the text and connections to outside media.

First, I'm reminded of when the android guardians were trying to drag Wooyoung back before they met the Grimes

Bobby: I'm thinking about several movie/video game scenes in which a character sacrifices themselves for their friends or loved ones

Gandalf in LOTR, Cait Sith in FF7, Mordin Solus in Mass Effect 3

Ugh--that last one still hurts

GD: I'm just like.. thinking now. And the hand reaching out is actually very common imagery across Ateez's work.

Bobby: The line "take my hand" happens VERY frequently in their lyrics

I remember someone made a compilation once

GD: You obviously have the end of deja vu music video, but you also have Wooyoung and San in ES, you have Wooyoung reaching out while flying in Turbulence, they even have it on the back of a PC from Will

I feel like there are more

Bobby: Ah, the Creation of Adam. That one

GD: Yes, which is what I originally thought of when I saw that PC back

But yeah, it does strike me now that taking someone's hand is very common across their own lore

It's interesting because we have one person sacrificing themselves, and one person reaching out to pull them back, which I think is two different themes at play

And I like the idea that maybe what they're saying is, you don't have to sacrifice yourself for me because we're actually going to do this together

Bobby: I'm reminded of a conversation we had before

It was about stopping your friends from doing destructive things and how do you know when to step in and when to let them do what they want?

GD: Ahhh yes

A classic problem

Bobby: And it does seem that Yeo expected and wanted them to just go home and live their lives. He doesn't know that there's another cromer

So he has no idea that they could return even if they wanted to

But all this really makes me wonder about The Drone

GD: Yes. the drone

But that's a problem for next week

Bobby: The Drone is THE question I would ask Hongjoong if I felt he either could or would answer me

GD: But what about poor Bobo?

Bobby: Bobo is my consolation question that I think Hongjoong might actually answer because I don't think he matters in the grand scheme

The Drone possibly reveals either a gaping plot hole or some time shenanigans that have yet to be revealed and in both cases Hongjoong wouldn't answer even if he could, and I don't think he actually could 

I feel confident that we know more about the intricacies of the lore than Hongjoong does.

He has the big picture, of course. Probably. Possibly.

GD: My head canon is that Hongjoong is the biggest fan of the lore and knows everything about it. He's a huge fan of the intern.

I need it to be that way for the fanfiction in my heart.

Any more metaphors or allegories?

Bobby: An adorable fanfiction

Hold on I need a William photobook

Ah. Interesting, but probably not meant to be interesting

I am aware that they are just seated in their normal order but in the Last Supper photo from the Will Diary photobook, Yeo is sitting pretty close to where Jesus is pictured in the painting. Take that as you will I guess 

GD: The last supper

I forgot about her

I haven't spent enough time combing through those album books yet

Bobby: Looking through the photobook puts you in dangerous proximity to the diary

GD: Exactly

The next question is what does this remind us of in our own lives?

Bobby: Wait, I want to go back for just a second

GD: Yes, good, because I was having trouble

Bobby: I'm thinking about how by making the choice to sacrifice himself for everyone, Yeo is also taking away their agency

He does save everyone, but they weren't given a choice

GD: Interesting

Bobby: And I don't have any moral insight into that, but it does, unfortunately, remind me of a struggle I've had with Pachinko

GD: You know, this reminds me of a conversation I was having yesterday with my agent sister

Did you ever read the gender flipped twilight?

Bobby: No

GD: Well, I stopped halfway through because it's bad

Bobby: I was out of my twilight phase before that came out, I think

The timeline is fuzzy

GD: But at the end, boy bella gets to become a vampire just like girl bella wanted

and it was funny to me that the bella character's agency in what she wanted for her own life wasn't respected until she was a man

That doesn't have anything to do with anything, but that's what it reminded me of

Bobby: Huh. Well, I won't go down that road bc my twilight thoughts are many. But it would have been nice if Eclipse and Breaking Dawn hadn't been a thing

But in Pachinko, Koh Hansu (who is played by Lee Min Ho in my heart even if I don't know if he plays him in reality) is a yakuza with a heart of gold (?) who takes care of Sunja and her family through the war. 

After the war, the family are determined to return to Korea to be with the family they've left behind. This is a terrible idea because there's nothing for them in Korea and they will likely die and if they don't die, they would eventually be living in what would become North Korea. And that would also be bad.

Hansu tries to convince them that this is a terrible idea. But they are stubborn and don't trust him because he's a gangster. So he lies and tells them their families are dead already. He doesn't know either way, but they COULD be. But this is what convinces Sunja et al. to stay in Japan where Hansu can continue to take care of them without them fully being aware.

So he DOES save them. But he also takes away their right to choose for themselves by lying/withholding information.

GD: Hmmm, yes. I suppose there is some ethical question about when and how and whether someone has the right to make such choices.

Like, if I jump in front of a bullet to save my husband, and I die, it's not as if I could've asked him

but that's pretty far afield, I know

Bobby: Right. Yeo didn't have time to ask for permission or to get everyone's opinions on the matter

GD: I suppose in Yeo's case, it's interesting that he's partially acting out of guilt instead of love

I'm sure he also wants to help his friends too, but at least part of his motivation is this wrongly placed guilt

Bobby: Right. Which might explain, if your intentions theory is true, why he's thinking "save my friends" and not "save us all"

In his mind, maybe he doesn't deserve to be saved

GD: Should we turn to the question of what we're reminded of in our own life?

The words that stick out to me are dragged away. And I guess it's making me think of the times I felt like I was being lost to something. This is a really silly example, but it's the one that comes to mind so clearly. I have perhaps even told this story before. But when I first started getting serious with my ex husband, a family friend of his sort of took me aside, and was like 'what are you doing? He's not very smart. You could do better.' and I just remember confidently replying that he didn't' need to be smart because I was smart enough for the both of us. But.. being in that marriage felt a lot like I was being dragged away from myself.

Bobby: Am I wrong in thinking that anytime someone says "I'll be ______ enough for both of us" it's a big red flag?

GD: I think that's true

I don't think one person in a relationship should be the whole of one part. You should share the burdens of all the parts.

Bobby: Right. Like I get people have certain strengths, but that's not the same as pulling all the weight

GD: It's also like.. I feel like it's better to have similar strengths?

You should be more similar than apart, at least. Like, with Geoff, neither of us is a very organized person who cares about having a very clean house. It's just not something we do naturally. We muddle along with it, and it causes some friction, but it would be way worse if one of us cared deeply about having a very clean house and had to put all the work into it in order to be happy with their living environment

Yeah, neither of us caring or being good at it makes it harder for us, but at least neither of us really mind The State of The House most of the time.

Bobby: That feels less like strengths and more like values

GD: Perhaps

There's perhaps an argument that my ex 'wasn't very smart' as a strength, but had he valued things like literature, film, creative endeavors, it wouldn't have mattered as much

Bobby: I think for sure couples need similar values. But when I think of someone that I would consent to marry, one of the things that's really high on the list is someone who is really good with people and is very approachable. As this is a major weakness of mine. And also there's no way someone shy would ever approach me.

And therefore, we would never meet or talk or get along. Someone has to be brave and it won't be me

But at the same time, I'd need someone who really values alone time and being cozy at home.

Like I could stand to leave the house more, but I'm not interested in changing my nature completely

GD: A man who can do both, you say

Bobby: A tall order

GD: I am unsure how people meet people in the wild. I know that I've done it. But I can't imagine myself doing it.

Just like I know that if my son was seriously injured and bleeding, I would take care of it. But I can't imagine ever being brave enough to do it.

Bobby: Well, we're all capable of more than we think

GD: The person who does brave things is not me, it is some other version of me who I cannot tap into at will

Bobby: I don't think I've mentioned that I've been thinking about moving?

Not far, just north of the city

GD: You haven't! gosh that sounds terrible.

Bobby: I've probably mentioned that like all my friends have moved away over the years. And sometimes I think maybe starting over completely is what I need. But also feels terrifying.

GD: The act of moving itself is terrible to me

But the idea of a fresh start is nice

Bobby: I've done it so much over my life, it's practically no big deal

GD: I moved a lot in college, to new apartments and such, but I've always found the task of finding a place, moving my items, setting up a new place to be overwhelming at best

Would just north of the city be closer to the very good kpop store?

Bobby: The last time I counted up the number of houses I've lived in my whole life it was in like the 20s?

GD: Because I do think that's an area you should explore

Bobby: We don't really have a "very" good kpop store. But our Korean diaspora is all north of the city. That's where the asian stores and Korean restaurants are

The problem, besides all the other problems, is that I would have to get a new job because my school is south of the city. And I don't really want to leave the school. But I also don't want to live in the area where the school is.

GD: Yeah, a new job is perhaps scarier than moving to a new city

Bobby: But anyways, all that to say, somehow, that it does make sense to me that Yeo holds his friends in such high value

Would I sacrifice my own life for them? Who's to say

GD: Did you have any more for what this reminds you of? or should we go to our last question?

Bobby: Last question please

GD: What is this inviting you to do in your own life?

When I read this, I was thinking about the drone, as one does, and the thing that struck me was that I wonder if Yeosang felt touched that Hongjoong reaches out to grab him. And then it made me think that maybe just knowing that there is someone else who wants to be with you, may be enough? So I guess it's reminding me to be there for my people when I think they may need me to reach out my hand.

Bobby: A good thought

It's not always easy to know when people need that hand

It is so very difficult to ask for it

I'm thinking about how Yeosang was finally able to put into action the resolution he made in the letter to his father. Like, it's one thing to make a decision; it's another to actually DO it.

His gesture was big and grand and certainly made a difference. But even though I feel extremely antsy right now, like my skin can't contain me, like I'm going to go crazy if I don't DO something (a vague, indefinable something), maybe it's not the grand gestures I need to be focusing on. Maybe the small changes will do? I honestly don't know.

GD: I think perhaps, if we'd had the opportunity to pay attention, we would've seen Yeosang making smaller decisions along the way to support this grand gesture.

He has done the thing in much smaller ways leading up to this

Bobby: Like Hongjoong. He was leading in small ways before he leads in a big way

GD: Exactly

 

05: connections and takeaways (previously mental murder board)


[Editor's Note: We once again skip this part.]

 

06: closing


GD: Shall we close it out then? I am starting to get very hungry.

Bobby: Alright. Prayer for Yeosang?

GD: I hope that Hongjoong's gesture touches him and reminds him that his friends want to be with him too. I hope he starts to see them as his friends instead of just people that he cares about--like I hope he sees the mutuality

Bobby: And that he lets go of the guilt. This whole situation is not his fault

I already have the hymn. I've been saving it

Its time has come

Take Me Home



GD: Ohhhh

Nice

Look at you and your foresight

Patron saint for the week?

Bobby: So, last Christmas, my sister gave me a black hoodie with a sleepy cat on it. And for some reason I just never remembered to wear it? Yesterday morning, I was running out to the grocery store and decided to wear the hoodie. I put it on and realized IT HAS CAT EARS. And in that moment I thought "San is my patron saint this week."

GD: IT HAS CAT EARS?!

I love that for you.

Bobby: It also gave me the thought that I will make a Jongho bear hoodie with bear ears

GD: I have a Jongho bear hoodie with bear ears that I wear often

I love it

Bobby: Like, it's a thing that is fully in my power to make. Why haven't I done it already?

GD: My patron saint this week will be Yunho because it's' so bitterly cold, and he is like the sunshine, so I need him by my side. Also, I think Yunho works really hard too, and sometimes maybe I don't appreciate that about him enough. So I have lots of little tasks to do this week, and I've decided to let Yunho help me.

Bobby: Yunho will do such a good job

GD: Here's to a good and warm and cozy week

8 makes

Bobby: 1 team

GD: Be the light

Bobby: Halazia

GD: Nailed it

Time to eat

 

We'll be on a sabbatical next Sunday as we deal with all the complexities of adult life. May the strength and versatility of Yeosang be your guiding light until we meet again.


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