Tuesday, October 26, 2004


It has been a while since I've done one of these. But I'm sitting on the couch, watching the game, so why not.

A newcomer to learning the Korean phonetic alphabet han'gul? Amaravti has a test that you should be able to pass if you pay attention.

KimcheeGI looks at "love briquettes" going from South Korea to North Korea complete with a picture that makes me somehow nostalgic for the days of yônt’an- heated homes. Must be fall.

If "love briquettes" are going North, just what came south through newly-discovered holes in the fence along the DMZ? KimcheeGI links to an article on the subject here. NKZone has more here. But I have to give props to students in my North Korea course who is all over the subject here and here. See also here for some speculation that the hole represents not shadowy figures moving south, but perhaps southerners moving north.

Seventh-inning stretch; still 4-0 Boston up.

Cathartidae finds an editorial on Team America that doth protest too much about the puppet-action flick:
That is why a new movie that America released last week, "Team America: World Police," represents a real and dangerous risk. The film, while ostensibly a lowbrow comedy, seeks to perpetuate atrociously unfair and untrue stereotypes. Most offensive among them is that North Korea is a horrible place and its leader Kim Jong-il wants to destroy the world. Chairman Kim, cast as the lead villain, is portrayed as a sadistic tyrant bent on using Islamic terrorists to detonate weapons of mass destruction and foment chaos the world over.
Obviously, we should do what we can here to prevent Koreans young and old from seeing this movie. I think it`s safe to assume that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will prevent "Team America: World Police" from being shown in local theaters. But alas in the 21st century, when dangerous propaganda is only a mouse-click away, there is no guarantee that Koreans will be unable to access the film.

Therefore public campaigns need to be mounted to actively discourage Korean citizens from watching the movie. Parents should monitor their children`s Internet activity, and there should be a more vigilant watch than usual over sales of pirate DVDs at places such as the Yongsan Electronics Market.

Alas, it`s lamentable that no regulatory body exists on an international level that could block subversive and unwholesome films like "Team America" from being shown anywhere on the globe. Until such a body can be established, we responsible citizens must do what all we can to prevent such harmful, pro-war movies from poisoning the public conscience.
I concur with Cathartidae's conclusion:
Sounds suspiciously like a right-winger writing a parody of a letter from some clueless lefty with absolutely no sense of humor. Either that, or the writer, one Lance Thorne (very pseudonym-ish, btw), really is a clueless lefty with no sense of humor.

Free North Korea links to a video of a mostly unsuccessful attempt of North Korean defectors to scale the wall of the South Korean embassy in Beijing. Near the end of the video, local authorities show up and proceed to use what looks like an electric cattle prod or a tazer to stop any additional defectors from making it over the wall. I understand that the PRC government doesn't really want a flood of refugees pouring into China for many reasons, some better than others. Still, when confronted with the human drama of men, women, and children attempting to flee what is universally recognized as an oppressive totalitarian state, one can't help but cheer for the refugees and not the guys with cattle prods.

Antti Leppanen of Hunjangui karuch'im has updated his photo collection. They're all worth a look. The photos of various small business open a window into a world that is largely forgotten with all the discussion of big chaebôl and info-tech savvy Seoulites. In addition, I also particularly like the Seoul panoramas, the pictures of Nan'gok, and the pictures of the incomparable Tosan sôwôn (Tosan Academy)

Top of the 9th. Still 4-0. Is the curse on its last legs?

Shawn Matthews of Korea Life Blog is threatening to hang up his blogging spurs. Much of it has to do with the nature of the comments he has been getting lately:
However, these days checking my site has become more of a source of dread than happiness. I continually wonder if I'm going to discover a bunch of nasty remarks in the comments section. Surprisingly, with the number of people viewing day to day, it took a long time before this happened. I don't think I had a single jerk for the first two years. However, over the past six months, it's gotten out of hand. People who don't know me continually put me down, put my friends down, and put my girlfriend down. This is something I can no longer ignore.
Judging from the 100+ comments that his announcement elicited, he will be missed!

The Oranckay may have solved the hole in the DMZ fence mystery.

Ruminations in Korea has a long and thoughtful post on the suicides that seem to appear every testing season.

The Marmot notices the latest China-bashing going on at OhMyNews and finds some karmic justice or at least some satisfaction that the target of South Korean ire isn't just the U.S.

Game over. Boston leads the series 3-0 (I'm sure John Kerry stayed up watching every move of his favorite player, "Manny Ortez"). Of course the Yankees were up 3-0 not so long ago and we all know how far that got them.

Good night!

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