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Friday Links (a.k.a. Random Stuff I Found Interesting)

- I was wondering why Samcheong-dong was so busy last night: Prime Minister Chung Un-chan has resigned over the failure to pass Cheong Wa Dae’s plan to amend the Sejong City project:

Prime Minister Chung Un-chan told the nation yesterday that he will step down from his post, ending a turbulent 10-month term marred by a failed attempt to revise the Sejong City development plan.

“A series of major political events has concluded with the July 28 by-elections, and I believe a clean slate has been prepared for the president to start the second half of his term,” Chung said in a televised press conference that was broadcast live. “As a responsible public servant, I decided now is the opportunity to make public my intention to resign.”

Despite being an opposition guy known for his partiality to Keynesian economics, I kind of liked Chung, as did President Lee, who reportedly wanted him to stay on. Sure, Sejong City turned into a Mongolian cluster f*ck, but that was going to happen regardless since it was, after all, a project approved with bipartisan support during the previous administration. Granted, it’s a project I dislike immensely, and I sort of sympathize with President Lee on this one, but you can’t take an agreed-upon project and junk it overnight and not expect to piss a lot of people off.

- RFA (via the Chosun Ilbo) reports that the North Korean football team followed up their public humiliation at the hands of Portugal with another public humiliation upon returning to North Korea:

Citing unnamed North Korean sources, RFA said the team were made to stand on a stage at the People’s Palace of Culture on July 2, just three days after they returned from South Africa, and subjected to ideological criticism for six hours. The team’s two Japanese-born players, Jong Tae-se and An Yong-hak, were exempt from the session.

Around 400 officials including the vice minister of the Workers’ Party, Sports Minister Pak Myong-chol, other athletes and sport students were apparently part of the audience. Ri Dong-kyu, a sports commentator for the North’s state-run Korean Central TV, pointed out the mistakes of each player.

-Interesting headline: “Overseas Young Leaders of Korean Descent Vow to Work Towards Advancing Korea.” I have to say, I’ve never been comfortable with the Korean government’s attempts to turn overseas Koreans into a promotional tool. Don’t get me wrong — I understand the cultural and historical ties — but this kind of thing could breed distrust and lead to misunderstandings with the host societies.

- Another headline that disturbs me, this one regarding USFK: “Korea tour normalization: More like home now.” God, I hope not.

- Rodney Farry provides some helpful tips to Irish economic refugees coming to the Ireland of the East.

- And in the Long Island Pride department: “Amy Fisher Porn Movie Deal: “Long Island Lolita” To Star In Four Adult Films

- Remember the French Freezer Babies? Well, TIME asks, “Why Are French Women Killing Their Babies?” (HT to reader)

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • hamel

    HT to me!

  • aaronm

    “I have to say, I’ve never been comfortable with the Korean government’s attempts to turn overseas Koreans into a promotional tool. Don’t get me wrong — I understand the cultural and historical ties — but this kind of thing could breed distrust and lead to misunderstandings with the host societies.”

    What he said.

  • Craash

    “pregnancy denial”

    I also DENY that I am pregnant! Really I’m not!

    p.s. I think the NKoran team’s two Japanese-born players, Jong Tae-se and An Yong-hak should not have been exempted. They chose to join that team, they should also suffer any penalties.

  • seouldout

    “I have to say, I’ve never been comfortable with the Korean government’s attempts to turn overseas Koreans into a promotional tool. Don’t get me wrong — I understand the cultural and historical ties — but this kind of thing could breed distrust and lead to misunderstandings with the host societies.”

    Of what I’ve read here from “overseas Koreans” it’s clear where their loyalties lie.

  • sulperman

    Is this army tour normalization going to lead to a shitload of American teens running around everywhere? I certainly hope not, as not having to listen to asinine kid conversations is one of the things I appreciate most about living here. Every time a group of them gets on my bus (I live near a foreign school) I want to blow my brains out.

  • WeikuBoy

    If I might be permitted to use this as a Friday open thread:

    TIME Magazine is itself news for its use of a shocking cover photo of a beautiful young Afghan woman who was mutilated by her husband.

    Comment: Is this the new excuse justification lame attempt at explaining why the U.S. et al. are still in Afghanistan?

    Question: Some regular commenters here at The Hole often tell white boys that it’s not their job to rescue Korean women from their shabby treatment at the hands of Korean men. Does the same reasoning apply here? Should the U.S. save Afghan women from the Tollybon (as Darth Cheney used to pronounce it) or leave them to their Afghan-ness?

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Are we really drawing equivalency between the Taliban and the Lucky Penis Club? I realize you’re a profound idiot, WeikuBoy, but this seems exceptionally stupid, even for a dimwit like you. But congratulations — you’ve baited me into junking my previous vow to ignore your very existence and all the stupid obnoxious shit you offer up to the Hole! Well done, sir!

  • http://ghosttreemedia.com hoju_saram

    Question: Some regular commenters here at The Hole often tell white boys that it’s not their job to rescue Korean women from their shabby treatment at the hands of Korean men. Does the same reasoning apply here?

    I have to agree with Mr. Carr on this one: this is arguably the stupidest comment I’ve ever read here.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Add me in on the BC express… My Korean wife rescued me… Those with a strongh constitution can probably look up taliban attrocities against women at http://www.rawa.org... not a friend to the US…

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Ah, France… so similar to USC Trojans… ;)

    http://cbs2.com/local/usc.holly.ashcraft.2.534955.html

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I have mixed feelings about telling these conservative Muslim societies what to do, etc. We can continue to do that, but the problem is that no matter how barbaric we think it may be, these people are still ready to die for what they believe and, unfortunately, they are willing to take a few of us along with them when they, uh… die for their beliefs.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Rob,

    I really wouldn’t worry too much about the whole “young Korean making vow” thing. At least for Korean Americans, they are a pretty apathetic lot. They will say a few nice things, visit the sites and posse for photos, say what they think the nice ajommas and ajosshis want them to say then go back and promptly forget it all and just go on with their lives.

    We have these Korean American college aged events called KALC (Korean American Leadership Conference) and KASCON (Korean American Student CONference) where the youths similarly get all pumped up and say they will do all these things for the community, etc. and later on end up doing virtually nothing for the community. I’m personally convinced that KALC and KASCON is just an excuse for KA young kids to just party and hook-up for a weekend… :P

  • DLBarch

    I’ll second WK…when I was at Cal, the joke within KASA was that no one could actually speak decent Korean!

    On the other hand, when Korea produces a Michael Oren, then get back to me. “Dual loyalty” indeed!

    DLB

  • Sonagi

    I certainly hope not, as not having to listen to asinine kid conversations is one of the things I appreciate most about living here.

    I take it you’re not proficient in Korean, then.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    DLB,

    80% of the rationale for the reason why these groups are around is to provide a non bar or clubbing place for KAs to hook up. I’ll be totally honest with you. I stopped going to KAC (Korean American Coalition) general meetings because they became sausage fests.

    A lot of the organizations even know this to be true. I was also an officer of an Asian American business networking association and in one of our leadership conferences there was a powerpoint presentation as to why membership was declining. It was declining due to the rise of a lot of Asian American specific Hollywood clubs and club promotion companies. So what was our solution? We partnered WITH the Asian American club promotion companies, unofficially of course… hahahaha.

  • DLBarch

    WK,

    Smart move. I also have to say that from Cal onward, my experience with the KA community — classmates and later on young professionals — has been pretty chill. Maybe it’s a California thing. I know a lot of my friends’ parents can be pretty uptight, but that second generation is awesome and generally has a pretty healthy sense of humor about pretty much everything Korean. Think Ken Jeong meets Bobby Lee!

    But what the hell is wrong with Flushing? Must be something in the water!

    DLB

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Smart move.

    Ha… which one? Stop attending KAC general meetings or the AA business group partnering up with the clubs?

    But what the hell is wrong with Flushing?

    NYC Korean Americans are a little more edgy and anal… but then again NYC people are generally more edgy and anal… ;)

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Sejong City turned into a Mongolian cluster f*ck…

    As much as I like you Robert, I really do not want to know about your bedroom habits.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    TK,

    It’s generally used as a metaphor, not a sexual technique/position/habit.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=clusterfuck

  • WeikuBoy

    “[T]his is arguably the stupidest comment I’ve ever read here.”

    Well that hurts. I think it’s an important question: what role, if any, women’s rights — and human rights — should play in U.S. & Co. (including the ROK) war policy. Iraq War defenders can now only repeat that “the world is a better place without Saddam.” Personally, I think a million dead, maimed, and displaced Iraqis would disagree; and I don’t think that excuse for war has been worth the cost to the U.S.

    Ditto China and the Mooslim world. It’s not Team America’s job to use military power to force U.S. notions of political correctness on the rest of the planet. If Mooslim husbands want to cut off their wives’ noses and ears, that’s their affair. Or is it? I think it’s a good question, especially as fighting radical Islam (and not pursuing al-Kayeedah) now seems to be the primary, and perhaps the only, reason for the U.S. to be in Afghanistan.

    Korea ranks barely ahead of the Arab world in surveys of women’s rights. At times in Korea, I thought the only thing missing was the veils. Yet this Iraq and Afghan business has made me slightly more understanding of the gyopo plea to leave Koreans alone to treat “their” women however they please.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    I take it you’re not proficient in Korean, then.

    Even if you are, it’s easier to tune out a non-native language. Unfortunately, it’s become a habit for me lately to tune out Korean. It’s embarrassing to be with Korean friends, have them make some comment in Korean to one another then turn to me and ask my opinion, only to have me give a startled blink and say “Sorry, I wasn’t listening”.

  • sulperman

    Sonagi- not proficient by any means. At the point where it takes all of my limited brainpower to understand 48-73% of my bus or subway neighbor’s conversation. But yeah, DBBGN, it is easy to tune out.

    But I do find american kids’ conversations to be more annoying, at least from 13-18. Korean kids seem to get annoying and cocky (to me at least) at about 19+. I have no evidence for this, just a feelin’.

  • Sonagi

    @Darth:

    By proficient, I meant full proficiency, not limited proficiency. TK and many other gyopos are non-native, proficient English speakers who probably cannot tune out English as easily as you tune out Korean.

  • dogbertt

    TK,

    It’s generally used as a metaphor, not a sexual technique/position/habit.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=clusterfuck

    But there’s an added dimension if the guy using it is married to a
    Mongolian.

  • Craash

    north-korea-soccer-coach-fears-for-his-life

    players were accused of “betraying” the country in the “great ideological struggle.”

    Kim Jong-hun was accused of “betraying the young General Kim Jong-un,” the shadowy son of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/article/842235–north-korea-soccer-coach-fears-for-his-life

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    “Despite being an opposition guy known for his partiality to Keynesian economics, I kind of liked Chung . . .”

    Dangling modifier . . . of sorts, though partly unendangled by the “his.” Try rewriting anyway:

    “Despite Chung being an opposition guy known for his partiality to Keynesian economics, I kind of liked the man . . .”

    Sorry about acting as the grammar police, but I’m on vacation and suffering withdrawal from lack of student essays to correct.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

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