KoreanFilm.org

Just discovered KoreanFilm.org, a website that focuses on films, issues, people, and events that shape the film community in Korea. The best part is that everything is in English and most of the contributors are Korean film lovers from around the world. Superb if you are into Korean film and drama like I am.

Whalers Knocked Down

Good news: International Whaling Commission rejected Japan's proposal to abolish a whale sanctuary and urged it not to double its quota of killing whales for disputed scientific research.

The Japanese claim they must kill whales to properly study them, including their stomach contents to glean details of their diets, while other nations argue that technological advances mean killing the whales is not necessary.
Japan sells the meat from the whales killed for science, which is allowed under commission rules. Critics call this commercial whaling in disguise.

Are there any information on what the Japanese scientists are researching? Whatever it is, it must be important enough to kill hundreds of whales every year. *snort*

What I really want to know is which way South Korea voted.

Despite the international moratorium on killing whales, each year about 80 minke whales are caught in South Korean waters and about 150 tons of whale meat consumed in the country.

South Korea has no whaling industry. Greenpeace claims, however, its accidental catches are "100 times greater than other countries," and that a mature minke whale can fetch $100,000.

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p dir=”ltr”>Sheesh. That's a lot of oops. Korean environmentalists are up in arms as well but I think the balance is unstable for the moment.

Korean Children’s View of Japan

In this Korean news article, you can see pictures drawn by Korean kids to express how they feel about Japan's recent claims over the Dokdo islet. Disturbing?

If it's any comfort, I was one of those kids myself. I don't remember a specific moment it happened, but the seed of hate was planted deeply. Even now, I can feel it, lodged deep within my heart between pride and shame. Thankfully, the hate is mostly directed against certain people whose behaviors fit the evil profile we were brainwashed to hate. I can only hope today's Korean children feel the same.

Education Revolution Ahead

It hasn't happened yet but I think the situation in South Korea is perfect now for the birth of the next generation in education. I think most of know what it will look like but the gap between theory and practice must be bridge and I think the bridge will be built in South Korea soon which give the rest of the world solid enough delusions to dive into it, delusions because the bleedging edge is always wider than one expects.

The necessary ingredient is the unseemly mixture of despair and hope heated over high tech and righteousness which South Korea has in abundance unlike countries like Japan where changes come in longer breaths and elders are still strong enough to suffocate the foolish youngsters. Given enough time and right circumstances, shortcomings of a society will become unexpected assets.

More on Daily Witchhunt

English article from a Korean newspaper on the Internet witchhunt problem in Korean. Apparently, the college the girl attended (note the past tense) got stepped on as well. I also found a series of links on another Korean phenomenon, snitch economy, but they are all in Korean unfortunately.

According to some eye witness accounts of the incident, she was just 'slow'. She had a lot of bags (?) so she put her dog down on the floor. When her dog pooped, she made the mistake of cleaning her dog first. The old women in red jacket got upset at that and threw a plastic bag at her. The girl then panicked and ran, after cussed at the women. Her manner sucked but I don't think she deserved to be lynched.

BTW, the girl appologized in public via a Cyworld 'hompy'. Again, she apologized like a clueless badly mannered person. No surprise there. Would she have learned to behave better if people on the train took turns bashing her face in? I don't think so. But then 'beating sense' into a person is a popular practice in Korea.

Wie and Hee-Seop Choi Day

Just finished watching Wie, cute 15 year old Korean-American amateur golfer, finish second place in the LPGA Championship, just 4 shots behind Annika Sorenstam. Excellent. Too bad her amateur status means she won't get the prize money ($160K!).

Meanwhile, Hee-Seop Choi (LAD) is having another great back-to-back home runs. He hit 2 on Friday, 1 on Saturday, and 2 so far today, all against Minnesota Twins. Go Choi!

Update:

Make that three! He homered again in the 6th, right after I pushed the submit button. Crazy. Let's see if it works again. 😉 Go Choi!

Korean Netizens Attack Dog-Shit-Girl

It began in a subway train with a girl whose dog made a mess on the train floor. When nearby elders told her to clean up the mess, she basically told them to fuck off. A nearby enraged netizen then took pictures of her and posted it, without any masking, on a popular website which started a nationwide witchhunt.

Within hours, she was labeled gae-ttong-nyue (dog-shit-girl) and her pictures and parodies were everywhere. Within days, her identity and her past were revealed. Request for information about her parents and relatives started popping up and people started to recognize her by the dog and the bag she was carrying as well as her watch, clearly visible in the original picture. All mentions of privacy invasion were shouted down with accusations of being related to the girl. The common excuse for their behavior was that the girl doesn't deserve privacy.

While the girl clearly behaved badly, those Korean netizens' behavior is even worse and inexcusably so. Abuse by the mob is indistinguishable from abuse by dictators yet they just don't see it in the heat of righteousness. Are they wary of ruining her life or hounding her into suicide? I doubt it. To quote some of them: her life deserves to be ruined and she won't kill herself because she is a thick-skinned bitch.

WTF?

Update:

What would I have done if I was at the scene? I would have just cleaned up the mess without saying anything just like the elderly man did: mess is cleaned up and the girl, embarrassed at the right level.

Transparent society? It looks more like a society of gadget-wielding finger-pointers to me.

Update:

Dog 'Poop' Girl Redux is an excellent recount of the DSG incident and news trail that followed.

Chopstick Science

Apparently, chopstick skills contributed to the recent stunning advances in stem cell research.

I grew up using steel chopsticks (actually, I used silver chopsticks at home and still do) in Korea so I guess my hand is more dexterous than your average wood chopstick users. For example, I can easily pick up individual strand of hair or a spec of dust with my micro2005 chopstick.

My wife and son, however, can't so the chopstick gene might be in a decline. I know that thick beards are rarely seen in Korea and it's also disappearing in my family (notice the hairless cheeks and the missing spots in my jawline?). Thankfully, at least the thick eyebrow is declining more slowly although I can't hold a pen on top of my eyebrowse like my father can. I am still hoping my son might be able to when he grows up.

China also has a chopstick story related to stem cell research although it stems (sorry) from lack of dexterity. I am impressed, however, by the display of kung-fu power necessary to penetrate human skull with wooden chopstick.

Role-Bloggers

A rather alarming new trend in the blogosphere is role-blogging: blogging in characters other than yourself.

If you find vampires fascinating, you can start a blog as a vampire, posting stories a real vampire might post. Others who are into vampires subscribe to your feed and post comment as fellow vampires. Eventually a community of pretend-vampires emerges.

Hard to believe? Recently, a Korean teenage girl was arrested for stabbing a man because she was afraid the man might report her and her friends to the police after he saw them doing something suspicious with a syringe. She and her friends, whom she met through her vampire blog, were tasting each other's blood drawn with the syringe.

I have no idea why she thought stabbing the man might encourage him not to report her, but I think using a blog as a way to experience another life is something to take notice. It's like using the Net as your closet.