Sunday, September 05, 2004

current Korean trends

You're not a real 2004-era Korean unless you're engaged in at least two of the following activities:

1. Travel to Thailand. "It's so cheap!" say my students and friends; this refrain alerts me to the fact that they've been Heavily Marketed To. The great thing about marketing in a conformist country is that, once an idea makes it big, it makes it BIG.

2. Jazz dance. There's a goddamn jazz dance studio in every fucking building, it seems. The "I wanna be an American" mania continues, counterbalanced by the ambient, unreflective anti-Americanism that's par for the course in K-pop culture.

3. Yoga. Fuck taijiquan (t'aegeuk-kwon in Korean). Korea continues its mad campaign to erase its own culture. Don't talk to me about ki meridians; let's talk prana and chakra. It's only a matter of time before hot yoga makes it to the peninsula. I keep hearing that song's lyrics in my head:

It's gettin' hot in here!
So take off all your clothes!

I think I'm gonna go see a movie this evening. Maybe "Hellboy" if I can find it. I've worked four fucking Saturdays in a row, and while I enjoy my co-workers and students, I do feel the urge to get the fuck away now and then. I'm also considering avoiding my relatives this coming Chusok (last week of September), which has the potential to be scandalous. Then again, I haven't spoken with them in months, so I doubt my absence would make big waves.


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