Electriceels, “질투”

My Korean self study hasn’t been all that good as of late, but my listening-to-Korean-indie bands has been on point.

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“Puke Stockings”

Anglophenia, episode 43

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

My father and sister are actually both very good cooks, and I have to admit the thought of them putting together some stellar turkey-based grub does make me a little sad.

My boss, being the guy he is, is taking me and some adult students out tonight for “Thanksgiving Duck,” which is the closest Koreans usually get to turkey.

So I’m missing another glorious day of over-eating and / or -drinking then falling asleep watching NFL games but them’s the breaks.

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The Politics of Kimchi

Not to be outdone by the capitalist pigs to the south, North Korea is getting its own “Red Kimchi” listed with Unesco’s “intangible cultural heritage” achievements:

“Pyongyang suffered a blow to its prestige two years ago when South Korea’s kimchi – a favourite dish made mostly from fermented cabbage – was added to Unesco’s prestigious list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”.

Not to be outdone the north’s regime is now on the brink of getting the same classification for its own communist kimchi.

The fiery, often strong-smelling foodstuff can provoke equally strong emotions, with fierce rivalry between regions, communities and even families over whose kimchi is superior.”

Scooting around Daegu this time of year, kim-jang, or kimchi-making, is a pretty common sight.  And it’s not just families — a lot of churches and schools and civic groups will partake and donate the stinky delicious stuff to local charities as well.

Posted in Food, Korea, Kultur, Nomz, North Korea, Politics, South Korea | 2 Comments

A Feature, Not A Bug

Two thoughts on The Donald:

  1. What happens between now and February 1st (Iowa Caucuses) that derails Trump?  He says something exceedingly racist and /or stupid?  Been there.  Done that.
  2. The US media, genetically wired as it is towards “both sides do it”-ism, simply cannot state the obvious truth: a racist clown is winning the GOP nomination, so far, because a large number of Republican voters really, really like hearing what a racist clown has to say.
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“Cowardly Bigots”

John Scalzi on the utter cowardice (moral and literal!) of Americans:

“’But people are scared!’ Okay, and? Being scared may be the excuse for abandoning all sense and reason in the moment one is actively under attack; it’s not even close to a reasonable excuse for, thousands of miles away from an attack and with no immediate threat on the horizon, vilifying innocent co-religionists of the attackers and plotting to slam the door on refugees running from the very people who claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. Taking the Paris attacks out on Syrian refugees is security theater — it doesn’t make us safer, it’ll just make the most ignorant among us feel safer. It’s the TSA of solutions to the Daesh/ISIS problem.

This has been a bad week for the United States, folks. France was directly attacked by terrorists and its response was to promise to house 30,000 Syrian refugees; we weren’t and one branch of our government fell over itself to put the brakes on accepting a third of that number. France is defying the very organization that attacked it while we, on the other hand, are doing exactly what that organization hoped we would do. We’re being the cowardly bigots they hoped we would be, and as loudly as possible.

Among the many lies Republicans have convinced themselves of over the years, my personal favorite is that they are all to a person genetically endowed super He-Men and -Women who, with their unlimited access to guns, are braver and stronger and more manly than everybody else.

Fact is, they’re a mewling pack of WATB who are, as Scalzi rightly notes, doing exactly what ISIS hoped they would do.

It’s the resilience on display in France after two nightmarish terror attacks that will ultimately defeat ISIS.  The American response so far is pretty much one of aiding and abetting the extremists.

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Winter Is Coming

Six Organs of Admittance, “Exultation Wave”

Living in South Korea you have to appreciate the little things.  Like yesterday, finally, the heat in my department office was turned on by the powers that be.  And only about two weeks too late.

There’s a reason my college students, especially the female ones, come to classes with blankets.  Actual bedroom blankets.

I like to call these things “Korean pubic displays of suffering.”  They’re a vital part of the culture here.

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Worst of the Worst

I’ll ask the question again — how long before #GamerGate losers get somebody killed?

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America The Brave

My hot take on Paris / IS.

If only we could learn something from those feckless cheese-eating surrender monkeys in Paris:

“Some saw ‘Je suis en terrasse’ (I am on the cafe terrace) as the best way to defy Islamic State (Isis), the militant group which has claimed the attack and sees western ways as decadent.

‘We are going to mourn our dead … but tomorrow, we will kiss each other like the abominable perverts we are,’ journalist Luc Vaillant said in a column published in the left-wing newspaper Libération.”

Nah.  Let’s just let more kids wash up on Greek beaches.

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R.I.P. Big Fella

As an American who tried and failed to play rugby at a quality skill level in high school and college, I’m shocked to hear about the passing of Jonah Lomu.  (At 40, my god.)

Watching him play at the peak of his abilites (usually on VHS tape, natch) gave me chills.  Still does.

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How a disastrous American foreign policy broke Iraq, then the Middle East, and perhaps next the world:

These boys came of age under the disastrous American occupation after 2003, in the chaotic and violent Arab part of Iraq, ruled by the viciously sectarian Shia government of Nouri al-Maliki. Growing up Sunni Arab was no fun. A later interviewee described his life growing up under American occupation: He couldn’t go out, he didn’t have a life, and he specifically mentioned that he didn’t have girlfriends. An Islamic State fighter’s biggest resentment was the lack of an adolescence. Another of the interviewees was displaced at the critical age of 13, when his family fled to Kirkuk from Diyala province at the height of Iraq’s sectarian civil war. They are children of the occupation, many with missing fathers at crucial periods (through jail, death from execution, or fighting in the insurgency), filled with rage against America and their own government. They are not fueled by the idea of an Islamic caliphate without borders; rather, ISIS is the first group since the crushed Al Qaeda to offer these humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe. This is not radicalization to the ISIS way of life, but the promise of a way out of their insecure and undignified lives; the promise of living in pride as Iraqi Sunni Arabs, which is not just a religious identity but cultural, tribal, and land-based, too.”

Speaking as an American, we set Iraq on fire.  Then we added gasoline.  Now the fire has spread throughout the region (Syria in particular) and we have the gall to tell the refugees who we created that they aren’t welcome.

Posted in America, Iraq, Paris Massacre, Politics, Syria | Leave a comment