Wednesday, June 30, 2004

FLASH: Scrotum Goes Postal! YEAH!

Sorry-- I was sick of the term "mail bag."

Welcome, all newcomers, to the Hairy Chasms. Life here is like a Star Wars movie: "It is a period of civil war." The Korean government is perpetrating a campaign of censorship against many blogs and other websites in order to suppress access to the recent Kim Sun-il beheading video. This is ridiculous for any number of reasons. Click on my banner to learn more, then think about joining FUCK (but please don't write to Satan's Anus anymore: he gave me the Instalanche; the awful deed is done).

By the way, first-timers, people seem to be getting a kick out of this post. It doesn't have much to do with censorship... except maybe for the pornography angle. And here's something else you might like.

We're continuing the fight against Korean censorship here at the Hairy Chasms and elsewhere (check out the Koreablogs on my sidebar, and once again, THANK YOU to Satan's Anus and its devoted followers for the Instalanche).

Here's a sampling of some of the mail I've received.

Steven Den Beste writes with encouragement:

This is now the third such letter you have sent me.

Please do not send me any more.

Sperwer writes with some possibly-sinister news: is the Hominid a special target of the ban? He says:

I've just returned from a week back in the "World" in a real city - NY - and see that everyone is caught up in the latest bit of nonsense being perpetrated by ROKGOV. Apropos which, it may interest you to know that MIC seems to be making a distinction between the consumer and business sectors of the internet in applying its censorship. I can't access any of the usual suspects at home (where my ISP is Thrunet), but at work I can not only get (almost) all the blogs but also the sites that carry the video in question. My work ISP is KT, from which we have a T1 connection. The one exception is The Hairy Chasms! Maybe you've got an audience where you least expect it.

I hate emoticons, but I've developed a special one for the MIC:

8--> (__*__)

There's no reason to get too exercised even if I have been specially targeted: I can still see my site through proxies! Howdja like them horse apples!?

The illustrious Dr. HJ Hodges (no blog, as far as I know) writes:

Dear Big Ho,

Greetings, o stalwart champion of the anti-borg alliance. I stand with two beers in my belly behind you against censorship.

Thus my rhetoric.

I finally figured out why you never replied to any of my emails. I wasn't pasting "hairy chasms" in the subject line. I noticed this info in my attempts to locate your blog under these trying conditions.

Okay, now that's straight.

What did I email? Not much. I think that I said, "Hey, I also lived in Fribourg, learning French and German (sort of German) and getting my heart broken." I said, "I read your blog for the peanuts." I said . . . um, I don't remember what else I said. Blame the beer or incipient alzheimers.

Anyway, I hope you and the others defeat this censorship by the government.

Best Regards,

Jeffery Hodges

Dr. Hodges, is KU in the market for someone who could teach an English-language course re: Topics in Interreligious Dialogue? No? Shit.

Regarding Fribourg-- it's a great little town. I lived in Bourguillon, just outside of Fribourg. My daily walk to the Université de Fribourg took me down a smallish mountain (one flank of the Gorges du Götteron), over two beautiful bridges, past the cathedral (Fribourg is a Catholic enclave, which is probably why Georgetown U. had a program there), and uphill to the Uni.

Back to the letters!

Simon of Simon World (I can see your blog through proxies) has been a voice of encouragement since this whole flap started (go visit his blog; it's quite good), and he was one of the people instrumental in getting me the Instalanche (thanks as well to the KimcheeGI and others now too numerous to mention). Simon and I have had a running exchange, and in his latest, re: the banning of MuNu sites (sorry, Annika, you're banned here), he writes:

If Munu is banned then you're missing out on my fantastic blogging. That's a crime in itself.

From what I can gather Instalance is like crack - it doesn't last long but it feels great when it happens...but then you want another, and another until you're stealing TVs from retirees. That's what I've heard.

As for Munu it's a shame you didn't join but you do need to blogroll the whole gang as the price of entry. Most are actually quite good blogs so it's no loss. Oh, there's something about sacrificing one's first born, but who reads the fine print?

If this South Korea thing keeps going I'm going to start favouring the Norks. That's how bad it's getting.



TIME Magazine writes:

Dear Reader:

Thank you for letting us hear from you. The editors appreciate the interest that prompted you to write, and they will be taking attentive note of your comments. We hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with us.

Best wishes.

TIME Letters

Yeah, thanks for the form letter, TIME. Real motivation for me to continue to share my thoughts with you.

Ed at Gumbi (thanks for posting my letter and commenting) is drafting a petition (I'll get back to you on this in a bit, sir). Because it's still in drafting phase, I don't want to spoil things for Ed by revealing the whole thing, but it's great. Here are some key points:

1. The violation of article 21 of the Korean Constitution.
2. Unfair blockage of sites NOT hosting/linking to the beheading video.
3. Hypocrisy of censorship now, but not for previous beheading videos.

There's much more.

Someone with the handle by47ronin writes in with a great suggestion about where to direct your ire: go straight to the Constitutional Court! ronin's email reads in part:

Take a look here:

Korean Constitutional Court

If you can verify, or get hard evidence that it is a Korean government agency behind the Internet blocks, you can have a petition drafted to challenge the policy if you believe that it is in direct violation of the Korean Constitution. You can petition the very self-same Constitutional Court of impeachment fame. Anyone with a valid grievance can.

If the Court rules in your favor, the Internet blocking has to be abandoned... it's that simple.

Look into it.

This is a very good idea, and I hope some of the Koreabloggers who either have Ministry contacts or are in journalism can set about getting documented evidence that the ban is governmental. OhMyNews has been following the story, and is proceeding on the assumption that this is all rooted in the MIC. Most of us also take this for granted, but obtaining and displaying hard evidence of this would be golden.

At this point I should note that a few other people are diligently working on the petition idea. Joel is a notable in this. The more, the merrier! I think petitions are probably the next phase of the fight. I'll be happy to e-sign whatever petitions come my way (is there petition-writing software out there?), though I myself won't be writing one. I also strongly suggest that you celebrate life by visiting the hilarious and juicy Hardy and Tiny blog as often as possible.

Keep the letters coming. I have no comments feature, so this is how I interact with folks. Also-- keep writing the Ministry of Information and Communication, and as Gumbi suggests, the Information and Communications Ethics Committee ( Operation FUCK proceeds according to plan.


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