m a r k a n d e y a

Archive for July, 2007

Not for the faint of heart…

Posted by Brian on July 30, 2007

I challenge you to find anything more gay (or is it gayer?) than the uber-gay K-pop videos that the Party Pooper has uncovered. Gay, gay, gay gay, gay.

Posted in Humor | 5 Comments »

“Kangnam mothers”

Posted by Brian on July 27, 2007

There’s a new Korean TV series called “Catch a Kangnam mother” on SBS. For those not familiar with Kangnam, it is the wealthy area to the south of the Han River that was developed after the war; the buildings are newer, the streets are straighter and wider, and it’s the playground for the wealthiest Seoulites.

Anyway, there’s a Chosun article about the show with one quote that caught my eye:

“Catch a Gangnam Mother” has created a storm of controversy among viewers by examining the differences between Kangnam and Kangbuk mothers in their approach toward their children’s education.

Kangbuk, OTOH, refers to the area of Seoul north of the river. It’s not exactly a ghetto or anything compared to the south, but its age shows in the architecture and its disorganized development patterns.

The line above caught my eye because I’m wondering what they are referring to when they mention the “differences” between Kangnam and Kangbuk mothers when it comes to raising their children. I’m guessing they are talking about the money Kangnam mothers have to throw around on their children, and are somehow equating this with loving their children “more” than other mothers. It’s an odious notion.

I don’t believe for a second that a poor mother from Kangbuk has any less hope for a quality education for her children.

Posted in Korean Issues | 1 Comment »

One pissed off rodent…

Posted by Brian on July 25, 2007

Damn… I’ve never seen the Marmot so angry. Not that I disagree with his sentiment, mind you. Just the other day in class a student referred to America has the “world policeman” with a touch of disdain in his voice. Now, the Korean media is trying to drag America into the middle of this mess in order to a) find a scapegoat should worst come to worst; and b) somehow find an ally with the clout in Kabul necessary to get things done. Robert writes (in italics so you know he means it):

NOTE TO YONHAP — It’s not the United States that’s caught in a dilemma. You are. The US will (or at least should) do exactly what it did with the Italians — not a God-damned thing (unless Seoul asks for a rescue operation). You, on the other hand, are now faced with a choice — can now either stick firm to the principle of not negotiating with terrorists and let your hostages die, or pay an extravagant amount of money — both in ransom to the Taliban and to buy influence with the Afghan government — AND piss off the United States, Great Britain, Germany and just about every other NATO member with troops in Afghanistan (save for, perhaps, the Italians) to rescue your guys. Have fun.

Cutting a deal and/or paying off the kidnappers would do far more damage to an already unstable environment and could most likely be linked to future acts of terror that result in the deaths of even more innocents. Now, I might be willing to somehow look away if the hostages were a group of nurses or teachers in the country legally at the invitation of the Afghan government, but I see no compelling reason to bend the rules for people who went there illegally, despite numerous warnings not to go there, and didn’t even bother to take basic security steps once there. That’s just insane.

Posted in Korean Issues | Leave a Comment »

Remember when…

Posted by Brian on July 25, 2007

Remember when board games were usually nothing more than a square board, some dice, and a few counters? Well, compare that to this:


That’s Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, from Days of Wonder. The really neat thing is that the box itself is used as part of the game, as you can see from this picture:


Pretty damn cool, huh? Nifty bits aside, it’s a pretty fun game that I have at home in Seattle.

Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment »

My thoughts exactly…

Posted by Brian on July 24, 2007

The Metropolitician puts my thoughts into words regarding the Korean hostage crisis. Read it.

Posted in Korean Issues | Leave a Comment »

Real or Fake

Posted by Brian on July 23, 2007

Is this video real or fake?

My guess, judging from the reaction of the girls on the right, is that it is fake. They appear to be laughing as if they are in on the joke.

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

If you play with fire…

Posted by Brian on July 23, 2007

Take one part sterotypical Korean stubbornness and one part Christian martyrdom complex and you end up with Korean Christians doing very, very stupid things. This post from the Marmot’s Hole is just too much:

Then there’s this photo taken by the group on their departure from Korea. Speechless.  The site also details the group’s long passage to Afghanistan (note: this is on a blog site, and I can’t confirm if the chronology is accurate) — the Foreign Ministry warned Bundang Saemmul Church several times and even canceled the group’s airline tickets the first time they tried to buy them (leading the church to threaten to sue the state).  Upon learning of their departure, the ministry even sent a chartered plane to bring the group back, which they refused.  The church also apparently told the Foreign Ministry to stop worrying about them since the group would leave behind wills.

The photo Robert is refering to is that of a few of these missionaries posing in front of a large WARNING signing put up bby the KOREAN GOVERNMENT STRONGLY ADVISING Korean nationals NOT to travel to Afghanistan. Far from reconsidering the dangerous path they were on, these folks were giggling and flashing Korean-style V signs.

Then there is this, reported by Gord Sellar in one of Robert’s comments sections:

Besides which, and to return back to the focus of these individual’s trip as well as the earlier topic of “rudeness,” these people not only happily posed in front of signs warning them not to go there, but they also visited a mosque and, after complimenting the guardsman on its beauty, noticing his pride in the place, and then asking a guard permission to sing, they started singing Christian worship songs there. (”It sounded so beautiful, like music from heaven,” was the description the somewhat witless blogger-turned-hostage wrote at the time.) They also visited the tomb of someone they were told was an important Islamic leader, so they decided to have a worship service to God there. I’m sorry, but how do you think the members of their home church in Korea would react if a group of Muslim missionaries entered their church, complimented its beauty, and started kneeling on the floor and singing prayers to Allah there?

We’re definitely treading into Darwin Award territory now; it takes a special sort of death-defying carelessness to throw one’s self so eagerly into harm’s way. They should have just jumped out of their airplane halfway there sans parachute and saved the pilot the hassle of landing.

GI Korea is also reporting that the tour group was motoring around Afghanistan in a jumbo-sized Korean-style tour bus. They probably would have been less conspicuous in the Partridge Family bus.

I know this sounds terrible, but I have zero sympathy for these people. They gleefully ignored numerous warnings no to go there and, once there, went out of their way to attract undue attention to themselves. IF you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. It’s that simple.

Posted in Korean Issues | Leave a Comment »

For some reason…

Posted by Brian on July 21, 2007

For some reason, I’m finding this new K-pop song oddly catchy. Two of the girls are quite good looking…

Posted in Music | Leave a Comment »