Monday, July 19, 2004

postal scrotality and other notes

First item of business:

Scott writes in re: my previous post (see right below this one):

Hi Kevin,

"...we tend to be of two minds about Korea: we either treat it as an incorrigible child (implying it'll never change), or we do what I just did and claim it's a powerful, capable nation that can take responsibility for itself. Which is it?"

It can be both at the same time. Imagine a capable adult woman who makes bad decisions (abusive boyfriend, 4 kids by 3 men, etc). Being capable and stupid aren't mutually exclusive.

Seeing someone/thing like this is sad. Wasted potential and all that. The question is: how to change that. And the answer is: you can't, change has to come from the inside. And in all honesty, any positive change is going to be minor and slow in appearing. Unfrotunately.

This sounds more pessimistic than I intended. I really hope Korea gets it's collective act together. But from what I see, I think the best to hope for is a small improvement. Just under one-letter-grade of improvement in the next 10 years.


Scott has a point, and I was aware of the "synthetic" view even as I was writing my post. I suspect a lot of expat bloggers would claim this is, in fact, how they feel about Korea: not some starkly antipodal and contradictory love/hate, but a more subtle mixing of positive and negative feelings.

So I won't argue with Scott about that; he's probably right. I was, however, trying to note how this thinking is expressed on the blogs. Only a small cluster of Koreablogs actually say outright what Scott wrote. Mine usually isn't one of them.

At the same time, I still think there is a certain contradictory tendency among many Koreabloggers to swing between hopefulness and hopelessness about Korea. Here, too, we have to be careful, because many bloggers' anger toward Korea is actually indicative of hopefulness, not cynical hopelessness. In truth, if a blogger has sincerely written Korea off as doomed, there's little reason to be bitter: just move out, move on, and let the country rot.

Second item of business:

Today at 10:30AM I go in for... gag... training at my new goddamn job at EC. We're supposed to go through four unpaid days of training. I have no idea how many hours this training will last, though I do know we get quizzed after every session. I hope we get trained by Yoda, and I hope Yoda commands us to pass his speech patterns on to the students.

Imagine Koreans on the streets of L.A. going, "Raugh! Mandoo I shall have! How get you so big eating food of this kind?"

Wish me luck.

Third item of business:

Any moment now... aaaaaaaany moment now... that OhMyNews article is supposed to appear. Todd (Todd Thacker, that is) said it was around 2000 words at the time we spoke. For all I know, his bosses took a look at it and shrieked, "No more than 500 words on that idiot! Why you waste your time on him!? Why you wasting our money!? Look at him! He fat! He ugly! He say FART all the time! You know the MIC slapped THREE EXTRA LAYERS OF CYBER-BLOCKAGE on him? Huh? They call it OPERATION CONSTIPATION! When all the other blogs get unblocked, his will stay blocked FOREVAAAAAAAAAA!!"

Now that I've had a chance to meet Todd, I can tell you he's a very nice gentleman in his fifties with a good bit of gray around the temples and an obsession with middle school girls' panties. "Picked that up in Japan," he claims. Todd's from South Africa, where, he tells me, they simply don't have middle school, which is what makes it so sexy. Along with middle schoolers, Todd also thinks Korean grandmothers are hot. "Yeah, I'd stick my CD-ROM in their Play Station any day," he says. "Old and wrinkled is where it's at."

Todd evinced the strangest mannerisms while interviewing me. I could put up with the incessant nose-picking (he favors his right pinky, which sports an uncut fingernail to facilitate digging), but there was one moment, during which he was rifling around in his pants for butt lint, where even I began to wonder whether Todd was quite normal.

Todd has a wandering eye, à la Marty Feldman, but it might be a glass eye (à la Peter Falk); I was too polite to ask. He also needs to trim his nose hairs a bit; I suspect that they're quite itchy, which is what prompts all the nose-picking. The hairs are also dotted with specks of either dried snot or cocaine; I'm not sure which.

In any case, check throughout that day, and maybe you'll catch Todd's article, in which I talk about being able to bench press 200 kilograms with my penis and show off the world's only prehensile scrotum.


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