Reference 1: Inspiration taken from a movie in my personal to-watch list in a private online memo
On 31 October 2018, I received an email about the Hive Singapore having a free screening of a 2004 movie called “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. I remembered looking it up on the internet to read about its synopsis briefly. I was intrigued by it. Although I did not attend that screening back then, it had stayed at the back of my mind since then as one of the movies to watch. Not sure if I had ever mentioned anywhere publicly to Taenggu about being interested in this movie (I haven’t managed to trace any evidence of having mentioned anything about this movie so far on my social media). Over the next two years, I always had it in my list of movies to watch on an online memo, but somehow it was the only one that I never did strike it off my list (other than “Dumbo”).
On 15 December 2020, SM Entertainment released “What Do I Call You” music video that was performed by Taeyeon. It was made known officially that the music video had taken inspiration from the same movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” that I had wanted to watch. It was used to convey the meaning of the lyrics about attempting to forget past memories with her lover.
Reference 2: Use of HTML code relating to my full-time job
In a few scenes from the MV, they used a program to administer a procedure to erase memories from Taeyeon. On closer look, the program is written in HTML code. For those who are familiar with programming would know that HTML is merely a web programming language used to display contents on a webpage, which is definitely incapable of carrying out any highly scientific procedures such as erasing memories from one’s mind. So why HTML code was chosen as the programming language featured in the MV is interesting but also questionable. Those who knew me since I started getting active on my personal Twitter sometime around July 2016 would know that I had just gotten a new job as a HTML Content Developer around then. I often used HTML in my work. So are these scenes in a way making fun of what I do for a living in real life?
Reference 3: Appearance of a special snow globe relating to my relationship with Taenggu I had written about in the past
There is also another scene where a snow globe is being presented as one of the objects that have some associations with her ex-lover that Taeyeon wishes to discard away. This snow globe is from the book / movie “Turn Left, Turn Right ( A Chance of Sunshine)” theme that I had previously written about multiple times in a few older blog posts. It was a special snow globe which I believed had played a part in bringing my faith in Taeyeon back again after her dating news in 2014.
Honestly I didn’t feel good about having personal stuff about myself being referenced in a negative way in her music video. After all, rather than trying to forge new happy memories with your lover, both the song and the music video are about wanting to let go of past memories with your lover whom you have presumably broken up with, which is definitely not an outcome I would wish to have with Taeyeon, isn’t it? Back then when the music video was first released, despite feeling that something was not quite right, I only acknowledged the appearance of the special snow globe that I had brought up in the past and kept the other observations to myself. But now as I gain the courage to open up and break the silence, I can no longer ignore the uncomfortable fact that my privacy was intruded without my consent. How my private online memo could have been exposed or my personal stuff could have been indirectly referenced in the music video in a negative way without anyone reaching out to me for permission is pretty disturbing. What made it worse was that I would think that it could have been Taeyeon herself who had gotten these inspirations from me and referenced me in her MV without actually acknowledging me at all even after all these years…
I guess this unspoken issue between us had gradually drifted us apart and I also started to take Taeyeon’s songs a lot less seriously since then.. After all, SM is only doing it for entertainment value, but where’s the real human connection…??