Give Me All The Nomz

food street

Daegu, South Korea.

There are a bunch of little alleys between Daegu Station and the “nice” shopping district of Dongseongno.  This one particular street, which my Korean friend simply calls “Food Street,” is basically a line of about ten different “snack” restaurants (no rice!).  It’s basically my favorite place to eat in South Korea.

You stroll down the line here and the various food ladies yell at you to come into their (quite tiny) restaurants.  No pressure!

The food is amazing — I joked that it’s kind of like Korean tapas.  Each dish was 3,000 won ($2.50) and that black bowl filled with red pepper paste was free.

food street 2

food street 3

Picture number two is gimbap (Korean sushi, kinda), fish cakes in pepper sauce (a Daegu thing — usually they come in a clear broth), and “flat” dumplings (another Daegu thing).

Number three is a plate of blood sausage and pig liver (soondae).  It’s so fucking good, served with a little pile of orange salt.

I promise, I had a salad for dinner.

Posted in Daegu, Food, Korea, Photography, South Korea | Leave a comment

Dark, Dark, Dark

Saw Gone Girl this evening with a friend.  It’s the most cynical movie about marriage and relationships imaginable.  In addition, there’s not a single character who’s remotely likable.

I absolutely loved it and I laughed out loud, a lot.

Posted in Film | Leave a comment

“douchepistol”

Current throbbing man-crush Chris Kluwe weighs in on #GamerGate, righteously so:

“It’s like all you can do is look at this collection of words, scratch yourself uneasily, and then run off to look for grubs. Your reaction (and I am not making this up, because it’s been widely documented literally everywhere) to various articles proclaiming the death of the basement-dwelling, cheetos-huffing, poopsock-sniffing douchepistol, because games are so good now that they are common entertainment and thus everyone plays them, was to COMPLETELY MISS THE POINT by either:

a) Making misogynistic threats against a wide variety of female game developers and critics because somehow they’re going to keep games you enjoy from ever being made again

or

b) Being stupid enough to get sucked in by people busy making misogynistic threats against a wide variety of female game developers and critics, and supporting their idiotic crusade for the dumbing down of everyone everywhere ever.”

Game.  Set.  Match.

Posted in GamerGate, Kultur, Politics | Leave a comment

“Tiger Beat Che Guevara”

I love it when a better writer than me manages to pinpoint what it is I hate about something and/or somebody.  In this case, the affable Mr. Bogg nails exactly what’s so loathsome about Russell Brand:

“The workings of the world are indeed complicated and political structures are not easily bent or changed, but it can happen although not fast enough for the  ‘why is TMZ loading so slowly!’ generation.  Voting, and not voting can bring about change. It’s the difference between seeing John Roberts and Strip Search Sammy Alito seated on the Supreme Court and two people with a slightly less corporatist worldview.

And if you want to start a revolution — and good luck with that if you think it will be grow from podcasting your complaints about how unfair the world is  — you need to start somewhere, and that is at the local level and then upward.  Conservatives knew that when they started packing school boards years ago, developing candidates who blossomed at right about the same time that the Tea Party suddenly appeared. They’ve worked themselves through the state legislatures and one need only take a look at some of the GOP candidates who might be elected on a national level in a few weeks to see how government can be made to work for you or against you or, as is current case: not at all.”

While British politics don’t quite map directly onto American ones, when somebody tells me they don’t vote I like to ask them which party is happier to hear that — Democrats, who tend to win when more people show up, or Republicans, who are actively working to rig things so that older, younger, darker, and poorer people can’t vote at all?

Future Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz is happy to have your support.

Posted in America, Politics | Leave a comment

FWIW

I tweet here.

I tumbl here.

There’s some overlap between this blog (“the mothership”) and wettumblrments, but the latter is mostly music and funny pictures and first-world problem style complaints about my life in South Korea.

Posted in Assholes | Leave a comment

This Is Good News For John McCain

The “Palin Brawl” tapes are genuinely a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

And Track Palin is apparently 25 years old.  For a decorated veteran, it’s strange that he sounds like a twelve year old who just pooped his pants.

For all we know, maybe he did.

Also good to know the Palins hang around with people who casually drop n-bombs.

Posted in America, Art, Politics | Leave a comment

Democracy: We Deliver

Photo from JoongAng Daily.

While the Korean War never officially ended with a full treaty,  open hostilities stopped in 1953.  However, a new battle, this time with balloons, has launched along the DMZ:

“Civic groups, most of them led by North Korean defectors, launched balloons on Oct. 10 containing at least 1.5 million leaflets critical of the regime. They were launched from Paju and Yeoncheon in northern Gyeonggi, near the inter-Korean border.

In response, the North fired machine-gun rounds at the balloons – fire that the South Korean military returned from Yeoncheon.

After the gunfire exchanges, Pyongyang declared that no high-level talks would take place unless the Park Geun-hye administration stopped the groups in question from sending the fliers. The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) [left-wing party] also urged the government to take action, particularly because the skirmishes threatened the safety of South Korean residents nearby, with Saenuri [right-wing] Party Chairman Kim Moo-sung adding that it was undesirable to provoke the North unnecessarily.”

First off, what an amazing picture — the portraits are of South Korea’s first president, the notoriously corrupt Syngman Rhee, South Korean president and military dictator Park Chung-hee, and his daughter and current South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

Park Chung-hee’s legacy is mixed, to say the least.  While many South Koreans view him as a martyred hero, just as many revile him as a heavy-handed dictator.  And even the most patriotic South Korean would have difficulty denying that Syngman Rhee was pretty much as corrupt a head of state as could be.

And the dollar bill?  Priceless.

The JoongAng Daily talks about the “psychological warfare” currently going on at the border, and one of my adult students mentioned that at elementary school in the 1970’s he and his classmates received prizes for bringing North Korean propaganda fliers to their teachers, so this isn’t a new issue.  (Presumably so that someone with a lesser will wouldn’t fall prey to Kim Il-sung’s entreaties.)

And another student told me that when he served at the DMZ in the 1970’s North Korean female solders would bathe naked, conveniently within binocular range, to entice South Korean troops to defect.

That could very well be bullshit, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Posted in Advanced Conversation, History, Kultur, North Korea, Politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

“Press ‘X’ For Hate”

Charlie Brooker on the innate misogyny of GamerGate:

“You know those games where you get to choose your character class at the start, weighing up the pros and cons of picking a Warrior over an Archmage, or what have you? Never, ever choose ‘woman’ on your first playthrough of The Internet, because you’ll face an immediate difficulty spike. Suddenly it’s a stealth game with nowhere to hide, one with hundreds of respawning enemies waiting to attack you the moment you make a noise or stand out in any way whatsoever. The enemy AI is sophisticated and unpredictable; it studies your weaknesses and moves to exploit them. Instead of shitting fireballs at you, your foes bombard you with unrelenting abuse. Reach the higher difficulty stages without dying (by your own hand) and this could graduate to blood-curdling death threats.

Sadly, there’s no easy way for male players to experience the hardcore ‘female’ difficulty setting to the full – perhaps if The Internet was available in the form of an old-school text adventure, in which you play a woman on an epic quest to just go about her business, it’d be fun to try it out for a while.

I can picture it now. Black screen, white text. DOS style.

‘You are a woman,’ it reads. ‘You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.’

There’s a prompt, blinking. You take your first step into this brave new world by typing OPEN MAILBOX, and hitting return.

DIE U FUCKN WHORE, replies the game.”

Posted in GamerGate, Games, Nerdery | 1 Comment

Academic Grift

According to the JoongAng Daily, college admissions in South Korea are basically a racket:

“Sungkyunkwan, Hanyang and Kyung Hee universities, which took spots 3, 7 and 9 in the rankings, respectively, skip interview sessions. In doing so, professors cannot orally verify what applicants say they’ve accomplished in their earlier years.

Another problem is that admissions consultation companies prey on these weak points by ghostwriting cover letters in return for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of won.

‘The kernel is to stand out from the bunch,’ said one CEO, when asked how consulting agents forge cover letters. But the trick is to hide the lies by ‘reeling off a variety of stories, to the point where verification is impossible.’”

So, not that much different from America, basically.

 

Posted in Advanced Conversation, Education, Korea, South Korea | Leave a comment

Tandoori Nomz

tandoor

Met some friends for Indian food Saturday night.  This place, India Dream, is quite good, around the corner from Beomeo Station exit three.

But they served bread and jam for an appetizer.  Why?  Because Korea.

Posted in Daegu, Food, Photography | 1 Comment