Category Archives: Korea

For your reading pleasure

I have replaced the About page with Five things the Den loves.

Georgia: It’s really quite simple

The clearest, sharpest commentary on the Georgia situation is surely coming from one of the great publications of our time. Yes, I’m speaking of Pravda.

World Opinion Favors Russia – Winning the Media War

Even Americans are saying, “Thank you Russia for standing up to the crackpots in control of our government.”…

…Their all too numerous outlets are pummeling the world community with distortions, trying to shove the castor oil of the empire down our collective throats, but the gag reflex is well intact and their lies remain unpalatable.

Condoleeza Rice, What is Wrong With You?

Are you hysterical or what? Having a difficult menopause? How many times do we have to tell you, Russia calls the shots these days. So keep your hysterical whining to yourself and stop reiterating the same thing time and time again. Russia will withdraw from Georgia when it sees fit. And if it doesn’t see fit, it won’t. Russian troops will move around Georgia for as long as they like. As and when they like. As and when they choose.

Is Condoleeza Rice stupid?

OK her boss is, we all know that and that’s why nobody pays any attention to what he says or if they do, it is to have a good laugh at how such an imbecile could supposedly rule the roost in Washington (when everyone knows it is Cheney and his energy and arms lobbies). So Bush gets a discount, like the uncle that farts at family dinners, like the retarded nephew who belches swearwords after his third litre of Coke, like the simpleton that sits outside the church on Sundays begging for money informing everyone that he is an astronaut on Thursday afternoons.

Bush, Cheney and Rice; Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels

With what moral authority do these mainstays of the neoconservative, corporate elitist, greedy, self-interested Washington regime speak, when in their own closet there are skeletons labelled Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Guantanamo, mass murder, war crimes, illegal invasion, torture, illegal detention, disrespect for international law, denial of due process, rape…?

Up until now you might not have known what to think about Georgia. It might have seemed like a complicated affair, like there could be two sides to what’s going on, or that you might have to study the issue further, when in fact all you need to know to be educated on this episode of history in the making is that Bush is an uncle that farts at family dinners, Cheney is a rapist, and Condoleeza Rice is having a difficult menopause.

That should clear up that. Now back to cheering for our Olympic heroes.

I’m writing the screenplay for a Park Chan-wook film

I’m writing the screenplay for a Park Chan-wook film. The name of the film will be Sympathy for Korean Audiences. Here’s what I got so far.


A man and a woman side by side are staring directly ahead at the camera. Their faces are without expression. Hold the shot for a full minute.

With the camera farther away, show the man and woman sitting on a bench. Hold the shot for a full minute.

The woman turns slowly to the man. She says, “Just one. It’s what you said, right?” (or some such line which explains nothing) The man does not reply.

Continue reading

True pride

nk flag

Man, I hate discovering a great blog only to find out it is dead. This surely was a great blog:

Dear Leader Comrade Generalissimo Kim Jong Il’s Songun politics are the lifeblood of the Korean people single mindedly united as one in harmonious steel-strong rock-hard heroic ranks of invincible mass-valour and undying loyalty for the Leader and a banner of perpetual victory over the cravenly cowardly criminal capitalist US imperialists, their satellites, henchmen, hirelings and servants.

As long as Dear Leader Comrade Generalissimo Kim Jong Il the brilliant statesman, political genius, prodigious humanist, intellectual giant, prolific songwriter, superb theorician, and invincible military commander leads the Juche-based man-centered Korean-style socialist perfect system freely chosen by the Korean people in single-minded profound respect and admiration for Dear Leader and his invincible Songun politics, the criminal capitalist crooked contrived consumerist US imperialists will never defeat, stifle, or browbeat the great invincible prosperous powerful Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into submission thanks to Dear Leader’s invincible Songun politics that are the lifeblood of the Korean people.

::tears of reverent awe:: It makes one ashamed of his own country, does it not? Where is our leadership? Where is our unity? Without a doubt this magnificent national hero of his land has approval ratings far far above the realm where Bush could ever dream of. Don’t get me started.

You guessed this would happen

You probably did, didn’t you? Lookie. The government of South Korea will be the first national government to impose taxes on transactions that occur in virtual worlds.

Could this happen in the US? Yeah, it could. The IRS is looking into it. Second Life seems to be the model:

Entrepreneurs have flocked to Second Life – a computer-based 3-D virtual world where users create their own, well, second lives – in pursuit of making real money. So-called residents can buy and sell goods for Linden dollars, an in-world currency that can be converted into real U.S. dollars.

At least one user claims the virtual world has minted her a millionaire – and economic activity is humming along. Users of the virtual world injected about $1.6 million into Second Life in the last 24 hours alone, according to Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life.

It seems just yesterday I was amused at the degree to which economic activity in such games as Diablo II was seeping into the real world. Now there are sites to assist you with real money trading in gaming worlds so that you can know exactly how much you can be asking for that digital sword or digital shield you picked up on the digital battlefield. I am sure Baudrillard would have something profound to say about all this.

dear mister bush pt. 2

dear mister bush,

it apears you still not recieved the first letter I sent you. or maybe you just decided to ignore it because obviusly your war is still going on and piles of dead babies are keep piling up because of you. sure, I take the time from my busy scedule to write a thoughtful letter to the president of the united states and he just ignores me. that’s democracy in action! (sarcasm) Im now more convinced than ever that you hate muslims and are definitely holding them in prisons torturing them by the billions, or abusing their Korans, or worse. whatare you doing with them, mister bush? crossing out the Prophet’s name in each verse and writing in Pat Robertson’s name instead? hahaha. it would be funny if it weren’t so sirius. but since your contented to see the world go to crap because of your illegal and immoral aggresions against humanity, their’s nothing us high-schoolers can do (except dictate to you your foreign policy). there’s a reason, mister bush, why your ratings are so low. there’s reason why your the least popular us president in the world, while meanwhile in countries you neocons haven’t screwed up yet like north korea, their leader is so loved by the people that his birthday is a national holiday and festivals and dances in honor of him. you have to earn that kind of love, mister bush. you got a long way to go. maybe i’m talking to a brick wall cause you have the intelligance of one, on ly a brick isnt stupid enouph to go invade another country just becuase taht country full of $O$I$L$. at least you can say that about a brick wall. i know i’m late but happy f—in’ 4th of july to you, mister bush. try not to kill too many babies iwth your unprovoked “shock and awe” fireworks over peaceful land of middle east.

P.S. do you read blogs, mister bush? I recommend this one but i know youll just ignore it cause it’s not exactly fox news now, is it? (sarcasm)

Undersea tunnel projects

Last month, supporters of a proposal to build an undersea tunnel to link Alaska with Russia renewed their efforts. Such a tunnel, if completed, would be more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel which links Britain to France.

Presently, debate ensues over a proposal to build an undersea tunnel to link Japan to Korea. Such a tunnel, if completed, would be more than four times the length of the Channel Tunnel.


The fact that the concerns over the practicability of these projects are all mainly economic in nature proves the technical feasibility to have ceased to be an issue. But those economic concerns aren’t small. Eurotunnel, the company which manages the Channel Tunnel, still operates in the red.

Let’s airily assume that all economic problems involved in undersea tunnel construction and management can be happily resolved. Would there then be anything preventing us from building a tunnel from California to Hawaii? A transatlantic tunnel? A transpacific tunnel? Actually, I would not expect to see any of those until something like so-called Vactrain technology can be realized. Who wouldn’t like to be able to travel from London to New York in less than an hour? (Hey, why is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed raising his hand?)

H/T to Japundit

Korea’s national sport

This two-month-old blog may not get very much traffic, but almost every day a hit comes in from a search engine where somebody typed in the keyword ‘hydralisk’. I have to imagine that such visitors are not satisfied at finding here commentary by Christopher Hitchens, or essays contrasting ethical philosophies, or cute pics of Japanese idol Michishige Sayumi. I have to assume they leave with that undying thirst for anything and everything Starcraft (which I can relate to) quite unquenched. I figured it was about time I throw them a bone.

Actually, you don’t need to know anything about the game in order to find the following documentary intriguing. You don’t need to know anything about video games at all. This National Geographic special on the life of professional gamers in South Korea is targeted at the laymen, offering a glimpse into a slice of culture of the one place in the world where men, women, and children are so obsessed with their video games that televised Starcraft matches account for 1% of all TV watched nationwide. Enjoy!

Professional Gaming in Korea Pt 1
Professional Gaming in Korea Pt 2
Professional Gaming in Korea Pt 3
Professional Gaming in Korea Pt 4
Professional Gaming in Korea Pt 5

If you do happen to be a player yourself, you’ll know that the documentary’s brief explanation of what Starcraft is and its simple play-by-plays cannot possibly do justice to a strikingly intricate and strategy-rich game.

A big H/T to YouTube and the user who uploaded the program.

Moral Bankruptcy in East Asia

Recommended reading for those even moderately interested in international relations in Asia is this piece by GI Korea on the moral bankruptcy of those who point the finger of shame at the Japanese for deplorable behavior they long ceased to practice, while uttering not a peep about the deplorable behavior that goes on in their own backyards right at this very moment. The sexual slavery of North Korean refugees in China, for instance.

The state of international affairs today is that the outrage against nation states which have come to generally respect basic human rights will be disproportionately louder and shriller than the outrage against nation states which generally still don’t. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out why this is.

Thanks for playing, Kim-jong!

Hey fellow Americans, we now lead North Korea in worldwide notoriety according to a recent BBC popularity poll (woohoo, sucka!), but we’re gonna haveta push a bit harder if we want to beat Iran. Any ideas what we can do?