Sunday, November 19, 2017

Succinct, Curmedgeonly Post About Music From Over 20 Years Ago

Monster > Automatic For The People

"Strange Currency" > "Everybody Hurts"

"Tongue"?  Maybe the prettiest song R.E.M. ever recorded.

"Let Me In"?  Maybe the saddest song they ever recorded.

"King of Comedy"?  Obviously, a huge dud.  But the rest of it holds up nicely.

Automatic was kind of soft and boring in ways Monster was hard-edged and intentionally fucked up and ugly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Five Things South Koreans Are Great Big Babies About:

1) rain
2) drinking cold water in fall or winter
3) using soy-base sauce when you’re supposed to use gochu-base sauce on your raw fish
4) a single bug flying into a room in the middle of class (literally ear-splitting shrieks of despair, and the rending of garments)
5) minor earthquakes

We had a small one yesterday afternoon and my college cancelled everything.  I'm guessing if this had happened last year before Trumpolini and Kim Jong-un started shamelessly flirting with each other we probably would have just brushed it off.  (We actually had a few small earthquakes last semester but they weren't nearly as big of a deal.)

"lots of all three"

"Blood and Roses was a trading game, along the lines of Monopoly.  The Blood side played with human atrocities for the counters, atrocities on a large scale: individual rapes and murders didn't count, there had to have been a large number of people wiped out.  Massacres, genocides, that sort of thing.  The Roses side played with human achievements.  Artworks, scientific breakthroughs, stellar works of architecture, helpful inventions.  Monuments to the soul's magnificence, they were called in the game.  There were sidebar buttons, so that if you didn't know what Crime and Punishment was, or the Theory of Relativity, or the Trail of Tears, or Madame Bovary, or the Hundred Years' War, of The Flight into Egypt, you could double-click and get an illustrated rundown, in two choices: R for children, PON for Profanity, Obscenity, and Nudity.  That was the thing about history, said Crake: it had lots of all three."

-- Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Living The Dream, Part Infinity

Further Adventures In Bad Wrong South Korea

A group of South Korean nurses were coerced into wearing hot-pants and tube-tops and "sexy dancing" at a hospital talent show:
"The incident was initially exposed in a KakaoTalk open chat room hosted by the civic organization Gabjil 119 since Nov. 1, when a nurse expressed her discomfort with having to wear explicit clothing for the event. More than 100 nurses from the institute joined the chat room to write their complaints and receive legal advice from the organization’s lawyers and labor union experts.
Some nurses, however, are skeptical of the effectiveness of the investigation. 'What’s the point of the investigation when all the supervisors are going to be monitoring us?' wrote one nurse in the open chat room on KakaoTalk. She added, 'I heard the person carrying out the investigation from the ministry is a friend of the hospital.'
Many employees suggest taking stronger measures by creating their own labor union to fight the institute."
Sexism is global, and the reckoning against sexism should be as well.

America, The Beautiful

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hikin' and Templin'

I had a really nice trip on Saturday to the nearby city of Pohang, on the east coast.  Me, my boss, my foreigner co-worker, and a group of exchange students from Vietnam went to a temple and then hiking up to a series of waterfalls.

Thing is, I've still got pictures from my visit to Tokyo last month that I need to go through and put up.

Rest assured, the fall colors were outrageous.  Korea does this season real good, as usual.