m a r k a n d e y a

Archive for April, 2006

Korea’s [Insert Name Here]

Posted by Brian on April 29, 2006

Everyone knows that you're not really someone special in Korea unless you are Korea's version of a more famous someone else. For example, Rain is Korea's Justin Timberlake.

After toying with Google for a bit, I put together this list you can print out and tape to your computer monitor in case you're ever confused keeping track of who's who:

And some others I've heard that Google doesn't have:

  • Korea's Gwyneth Paltrow: Kim Tae-hee
  • Korea's Jennifer Lopez: Lee Hyo-ri

Are there any others I'm missing?

There are currently vacancies for Korea's Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Cage, and Jim Carrey. Apply within…

Posted in Korean Issues | 14 Comments »

Scoring sob points…

Posted by Brian on April 28, 2006

A man was arrested by Korean police for sexually absuing 13 women over the past 15 months. How did he handle it? Like any good criminal in Korea, he took the "woe is me" tact in hopes of garnering sympathy:

He confessed his guilt and regretted his acts after being interrogated, the police said.

Full confession and statement of regret: 2 sob points.

Kim told the police that he wanted to satisfy his sexual desire and needed money to find his ex-girlfriend who used to live with him, investigators said.

Girlfriend left him: 4 sob points.

He also said he prayed in church everyday for fear of being caught, but was not able to give himself up to the police out of concern for his widowed mother.

Regular churchgoer and sickly, widowed mother: a whopping 11 sob points!

That staggeringly amazing display of self-pity earns him <grabs calculator> 17 sob points, and most likely a reduced sentence for his "unique situation." Way to go, guy!

UPDATE: Here's a picture of the alleged rapist:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Is it just me or is every major criminal in Korea arrested while wearing the same jacket and hat?

Posted in Korean Issues | 5 Comments »

Still the same Korea…

Posted by Brian on April 27, 2006

Some choice passages from Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles by Simon Winchester:

'The rules for mountain climbing,' one writer on Korea noted, 'demand not that you climb a mountain, but that you dress up in heavy boots, alpine hat, coloured jacket, and have a knapsack or pack over your shoulder. If you are thus equipped you are "mountain climbing," even if you get on the wrong bus and end up at the seaside.'

And another:

But my strong impression then on the road to Kwangju… was that the Korean driver is a very dangerous animal indeed, a beast totally without understanding of speed, pathologically incapable of steering, utterly ignorant of the width of his vehicle, and eternally forgetful of such luxuries as the brakes and mirrors with which his car is invariably equipped. He knows only one device, and that is the horn, on which he seems to spend most of his time sitting, if not standing.

And this was written in 1988. The more things change…

Posted in Books, Korean Issues | 1 Comment »

Their usual hijinks…

Posted by Brian on April 26, 2006

Via the Nomad, we get this:

South Korean pop singer Rain was ranked the second most influential figure in the global entertainment industry, according to poll by U.S. Time magazine announced Wednesday.

Rain, a 23 year-old heartthrob often labeled as the Korean Justin Timberlake, garnered 28 percent of public support in an annual poll conducted by the weekly magazine.

The Nomad offers me some praise for "calling it," but while I would love nothing more than to take credit for superlative prognostication skills, predicting Korean netizens to stuff internet polls is about as safe a bet as predicting the sun will rise tomorrow… it's a gimme if there ever was one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, any time, and I repeat, any time, a Korean is included on any sort of internet poll as "the best" or "top" whatever, the Korean netizens will descend on it like gangbusters and boost their chosen one towards the top. Can you imagine how broken the results would have looked if Rain had taken the top spot from Ang Lee? Who on earth could say that Rain is the Most Influential Figure in the global entertainment industry without breaking into tremor-inducing fits of laughter?

(And speaking of Lee, and this is merely speculation on my part, it looks like he may have received similar tribalistic support from Chinese net users)

Particularly galling is the way Yonhap reports this news straight, with nary a caveat to the reader that maybe, just maybe, given Korean netizens' history of similar ballot stuffing, this poll can hardly be trusted (even without going into the non-scientific nature of such online polls in general).

Long time readers of my blog may remember this little graphic I made a few years ago:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If I remember correctly, I made that graphic in response to Korean netizens seeing to it that about half of the 2002 World Cup All-Star team was from Korea. As you can see, it's still applicable today.

Posted in Korean Issues | 1 Comment »

Well, that settles it then…

Posted by Brian on April 26, 2006

Dokdo must belong to Korea… even FIFA says so. Some shots from a FIFA World Cup promotion campaign:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

That glowing dot to the east of Korea, noticeably absent on the Japan map, is Dokdo. Needless to say, Korean netizens are amped… the link above will take you to the site hosting these pics along with more than 1,200 comments.

Posted in Korean Issues | Leave a Comment »

Ad of the Day

Posted by Brian on April 25, 2006

Via the Donga Ilbo:

Image hosting by Photobucket

I was thinking of buying a digital camera…

Posted in Other | 3 Comments »

Tooting my own horn

Posted by Brian on April 24, 2006

Yours truly made the Joongang Ilbo's weekly blog article not once, but twice, for my "No Candians Allowed" coverage and report on Rain's nomination for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. But alas, my URL is given with an extraneous hyphen (word-press.com) so clicks intended for my site are taken to the great beyond. Anyway, thanks to Ben for the plug.

Posted in Personal | 4 Comments »

There should be a law…

Posted by Brian on April 23, 2006

There's a new fad that is slowly taking over Korea. It's evil tendrils are reaching into every aspect of Korean life, negatively influencing the Korean youth in any number of ways. Yes, you probably do know what I'm speaking of: men youngsters using their arms to make heart shapes above their heads. There are even some cases where two men youngsters put their arms around each other – shudder – to make one giant heart.

We, as part of the society, need to put our foot down to this horrid display. Here is where I draw the line.

Posted in Korean Issues | 5 Comments »