Monday, July 17, 2006

Ave, Jawa!

The ultimate Darth Vader tribute can be found here.



Kevin Kim said...

Although two years have passed, some Korean internet service providers are still blocking blogs (My Pet Jawa is one such "Munuvian"). If you want to go right to the source to see the video, visit YouTube and look for this URL:


You can also try viewing the video through a proxy, such as


Kevin Kim said...

MuNu blogs are blogs whose URLs end with the "" suffix. They became fairly popular a couple years back, and quite a few Blogspot bloggers jumped ship to MuNu, where they were (and still are) known as Munuvians. Annika's Journal ( is a prominent example of a MuNu blog.

The initial attraction was that MuNu was offering superior blogging software and, at the beginning, joining MuNu was free. Lately, however, MuNu blogs have been suffering a series of breakdowns related mainly to the inability of the MuNu managers to handle comment spam. This has caused a bit of grumbling in the MuNu community, but not enough for people to begin jumping ship quite yet. The MuNu manager, who goes by the handle Pixy Misa, seems like a friendly and capable dude(tte), but I suspect his/her service has just about reached its limits.

In 2004, at the behest of the Korean government's Ministry of Information and Communication, Korean ISPs began blocking major blogging domains such as Blogspot, Typepad, etc. This blockage-- which most of us deemed censorship-- was caused by the appearance of the Kim Sun-il beheading video on a gore/porn site called The government blocked Ogrish, but some bloggers decided to link to (or host) the video themselves, which is what prompted the government crackdown.

This censorship caused an uproar in the expat blogger community, and some of us started campaigning hard to get the censorship lifted. Whether we influenced events or not, I have no idea. We wanted to point out the racist hypocrisy of the Korean government in having allowed video of the Daniel Pearl beheading to be shown in Korea (where it was a much-viewed item) while arguing that the Kim Sun-il video represented a breach of family privacy as well as something not meant for the Korean public at large.

The "family privacy" arument was a joke: Korean reporters swarmed the bereaved Kim family, and one reporter even stole a picture of Sun-il from the Kim household in order to have an image to accompany his report.

We bloggers dealt with the censorship by using proxy servers and agitating against the government. Because the government did not close down the domains itself, but instead asked ISPs to cooperate with it, the censorship was unevenly enacted. Some domains (such as Blog City) remained unblocked while the rest of us languished, and to this day, some services remain blocked by certain ISPs. You might ask your wife (if she's feeling well enough) to call in and find out why the hell you still can't access MuNu blogs. If you find out why, I'd like to know. At a guess, your service provider will more likely go, "Whoops!", flip a switch, and voila-- MuNu will be accessible.