The Point Of It All

I just sat down with a student and spent 30 minutes telling him all about Seattle.  He’s going there this summer for a six week internship, so I told him about how he needs to buy a bike, do some some kayaking, definitely see Pike Place Market (I like the touristy shit, goddammit) and some other stuff.  (Visit Vancouver?  Definitely.  Visit Portland?  Well, maybe.)  I even broke out Google Maps to try and get him orientated a little bit (not an easy thing in that city).

This is by far my favorite part of my job – both prepping students for their visa interviews at the US Embassy and also getting them ready for trips abroad.  It’s nice that we send a lot of students to two US cities that I’m pretty familiar with – DC and Seattle.

I even think to myself how this could translate into a future job, either here or back in America.  I enjoy teaching English just fine, but the moments when I really feel like my students’ language skills are going to be put to practical use gets me really excited, because I know they’re going to have a great time and it’ll broaden their horizons and finally, after years if not decades, the usual tedium of what passes for ESL education in South Korea – endless tests and grammar reviews – finally translates into a practical skill, which is what studying a language is first and foremost about.  Or at least, what it should be about.

Basically, those moments when all the meticulous attention to grammar and such and dealing with students with zero motivation falls away and it’s like, hey, you’re going to have an awesome time and it’s thanks to the hard work you put into learning a language as difficult, maddening, and exception-ridden as English.

And now I’m craving a dozen fresh raw oysters and three or seven glasses of real beer.  That’ll have to wait until August though.

(And Portland is a great town, but with limited time and budget I’m thinking his one “big trip” ought to at least take him to another country.  Then again, strip clubs. . . .)

Posted in ESL, Korea, South Korea, Teaching | 1 Comment

“And off came those awful toe rings”

Stephen Malkmus, “Jenny & The Ess Dog” live on Letterman

Happy trails, Dave.  You brought some great music to live T.V. in a country that doesn’t do that kind of thing nearly enough.

Posted in kulture, Music, TV | 1 Comment


This Vice piece on New York Hardcore, narrated by Tim Armstrong, is cool enough by itself, but forward to 11:45 for a section on the hardcore scene in South Korea.

Posted in Art, Korea, Kultur, Music, South Korea | Leave a comment

Funk As Puck

Salad Days: The Washington, D.C. Punk Revolution trailer (website) Very excited for this.

And huh, Daniel Inouye’s son Kenny played guitar in Marginal Man.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Posted in DC, Film, Music | Leave a comment

Very Minor Post

I can’t believe how quickly this semester is flying by.

Posted in ESL, Teaching | Leave a comment

“tricking them with explosions, fire, tornadoes, and desert raiders”

If your hatred of women is so great that it doesn’t allow you to enjoy what sounds like a perfectly awesome summer action film starring a talented actress, then, well, you’re a sad, miserable loser.

I mean, you support #GamerGate.

Take it away, Mr. Tbogg:

“Clarey is calling for a boycott (mancott?) of the film lest Hollywood get some wacky idea that studio audiences are willing to accept a strong female lead in an action film — and shut up about Ripley in the Alien films, just shut up. So you can expect lots of empty seats at Fury Road viewings this weekend — three seats for every pair of bros who take a manly and stoic pass, when you include the empty seat they leave between themselves because sitting next to each other at the movies is, y’know…

Hopefully Hollywood will get the message that it is wrong to attempt to lure impressionable young men into seeing films with strong feminist messages by tricking them with ‘explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders.’ Which isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with having women in supporting roles as eye candy or in need of saving by men using their ‘physiques, strength, and logic.’

Because, really, this is actually about ethics in action filmmaking.”

Let’s go back and boycott Star Wars as well because Princess Leia was far too assertive a protagonist.

It’s like, you could spend a year trying to script the stupidity of MRA/GamerGate types and you’d still absolutely fail.

Posted in Assholes, Film, GamerGate, Kultur, Nerdery | Leave a comment

“Someone Who Really Cares Is Me”

B.B. King, “Guess Who” live at Sing Sing Prison

From Wikipedia:

“In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, and the building was evacuated. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside so he went back into the burning building to retrieve his beloved $30 Gibson guitar. Two men died in the fire, and King learned the next day that they had been fighting over a woman named Lucille. King subsequently named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every guitar he has owned since, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.”

Legendary.  And what an amazing piece of film on so many levels.

Posted in America, History, Kultur, Music | Leave a comment

“You Look Great Goldie, How Do You Stay In Such Great Shape?”

Pavement,  “Living the High Life” and “Space Ghost Theme”

Speaking of Space Ghost, you kids will never understand why the 90’s were the bestest.

Posted in Music, TV | 1 Comment

“Far Louder Than Most”

Sonny Sharrock, Black Woman

Sonny Sharrock was an interesting guy.  He’s best known for writing and performing the theme music for Space Ghost Coast To Coast.  But he came out of free jazz and is responsible for some deeply weird, deeply amazing music like his 1969 album Black Woman.

Sonny Sharrock, “Hit Single”

In addition to shredding like a maniac on his black Les Paul Custom, scientifically recognized as the sexiest of all guitars, he incorporated discordant piano and female vocals bordering on screams.

Last Exit, “Destination — Out”

In the 80’s and 90’s he performed in free jazz freak-out supergroup Last Exit, which gives us this gem of a sentence from Wikipedia:  “Far louder than most jazz bands (even than most free jazz groups) Last Exit found a modest following among some more open-minded hardcore punk fans.”

Not just punk fans mind you, but open-minded hardcore punk fans — the ones who kicked your aunt down a flight of stairs to steal her copy of Carlos Castaneda.

Sonny Sharrock w/ Elvin Jones, Pharaoh Sanders, Charnett Moffett, “Who Does She Hope To Be?”

Absolutely uncompromising, gorgeous music all around.  Music that stops on a dime between insane chaos and utter beauty.

Perfect music for a rainy Friday in Daegu.

Posted in Art, jazz, Music, Sonny Sharrock | Leave a comment


It seems there’s no way to switch back to WordPress’ “classic” UI.

That’s a shame because the new one makes Blogger look like internet gold.

Seriously WordPress, you done fucked up.  Please let the hostages go and let us go back to the good interface.

Posted in Internet, Media, Wordpress | Leave a comment