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Open Thread #279

Still cold but most of the snow is gone from the bike trail along the Han – just watch out for the black ice.

  • Adams-awry

    Fist of fun, bro.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cactusmcharris Jeff Harris

    Too much time at barber shops?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cactusmcharris Jeff Harris

    We’re supposed to get above 0 C – it might be time to break out the glad rags.

  • keyinjpop

    So what the deal with the comment section? I thought it was fixed the way everyone liked it.

  • R. Elgin

    Disqus is not functioning whatsoever in Safari (OSX) on this blog. I can read comments with Firefox but it is very sluggish.

  • dogbertt
  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani
  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Disqus simply works better as a threaded discussion tool. Change is hard, but often for the best.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    It’s only for this weekend – next weekend should be -11°C (12.2 °F)

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Must be more of that global warming climate change Algore warned us about before he took all that Big Oil money from the Middle East.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    global warming for sure. Australia has now had some of the hottest temperatures in the last 15 years – and every day that it has been extremely hot in Australia with fires burning up towns – the opposite is happening here with -15°C. Each year now, it should get worse and worse.

  • R. Elgin

    Not only does discus not load in Safari in OSX 10.6.8, it will not load on the iPad using either Safari or Dolphin browser. The last blog change seems to have broken this and it only works now in Firefox 18.1

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    You must have old, stale and/or poorly maintained installations; it’s working fine on my OSX in chrome, safari, ff and on iPad.

  • dlbarch

    Don’t know if anyone else is getting up at 4:00 am these days to watch the Aussie Open (that second set in the Federer/Tomic match this morning was one for the ages), but let me just compliment the boys in Kia’s marketing department for pretty much owning all the real estate on center court. Damn!

    Anyway, Federer is so ridiculously and gorgeously graceful, he is a pure joy to watch. Still, every time I see him play, I can’t help but think what might have been:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFfA6CMG7-E

    Now, it’s off to the courts to work on my own sad, sad backhand!

    DLB

  • dlbarch

    Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!

    Gracias, mi compadre! Nice catch!

    DLB

  • keyinjpop

    I have no problem with threaded comments, I just thought the previous one was finalized and would be here to stay. Perhaps this might be better since it saves space and scrolling time.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    It’s gratifying to see someone excited about real estate these days.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I’m getting up at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow but it’s already booked for the Mizzou-Florida game. If it’s any consolation, Mizzou always loses any game that gets me up at an odd hour.

  • que337

    Since it be considered not relevant to Mr. Neff’s post “The Bare Facts of Joseon nudity?,” Open Thread might be the only place to post this: Nudity in Edo Japan.

  • robert neff

    Ha ha – Q it almost seems as if I hurt your feelings. Go back to the Bare Facts and post it there as well. Also go to the original author’s link and click “his” name – it will take you to an explanation she gave (Bum was correct).

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    BC admits to voyeurism . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Yep. Once again.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Gator bait. Chomp.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    DL, I haven’t seen any of the Aussie Open, but I wonder whether the advertising is digitally inserted on a green screen for a Korean audience. I suppose that if you aren’t in ROK and in CA then Kia paid big bucks.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Stan Musial died.

    Stan the Man played baseball and handled fame the way I hoped to in my Walter Mitty imagination. Musial was everything every aspiring sports hero hoped to be when they still had the dreams, either shattered or realized, of sports fame.

    Rockwell captured Americana by painting and his genius lay in selecting Stan Musial because Musial embodied it.

  • dogbertt

    De nada — just please invite me to your housewarming party when the time comes.

  • RElgin

    No. I maintain them well and have more years of experience with such than I would care to admit. I am seeing problems with a few other sites that use discus as well, however discus completely hangs up on this site, using safari, regardless of MacPro or iPad.
    I am posting now using Firefox 18.0.1, however, loading discus is VERY slow.

  • dogbertt

    The comments display much better now on mobile devices and the recent comments sidebar has returned as well.

  • hardyandsofty

    I like the new layout

  • RElgin

    Which mobile devices are you using – Android or iOS? Is disqus loading the same as before the makeover or slower?

  • pawikirogii

    one time, i saw an a&e special on the romans. in one segment, i was
    shocked to learn that the romans worshiped the cock. they made wang
    decorations and bang jewelry and the men had no shame in showing their
    goods in public. until i saw that some ten years ago, i did not know that
    because most casual articles about rome never talk about this aspect of roman society. that’s
    probably because such a thing is seen as something quircky
    and unessesary knowledge for the genral public.

    mr neff recently posted an article about bare breasted korean women.
    i have to wonder why he did this. did he do it to humiliate the people
    he married into, or did he do it to educate koreans on ‘the truth’? had mr neff
    published something similar about bare breasted black women, would
    the owner of this blog have allowed it?

  • pawikirogii

    btw, can i show you my new poster about the comfort women?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    No, but you can come and have a look at my wang.

  • pawikrogii

    perhaps in a tolkien world. i think i will pass.

  • Cloudfive

    As soon as I saw the title I knew it was posted by Neff, but Pawi, there is nothing humiliating about bare breast. Go to any major museum in the world and you will see bare breasts celebrated. You probably suckled at your mother’s breast. Celebrate the breast!

    If it makes you feel better, attached is a photo of a bare breasted black woman – American.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Okay, but the offer stands if you’re ever in Korea.

  • Cloudfive

    6) A unit of measuring internet coolness

    According to this urban dictionary definition of wang, yours is quite small. So, I wouldn’t go around offering to show it to strangers if I were you.

  • Robert Neff

    Reading a lot into the post aren’t we Pawi?  Especially considering that you apparently read nothing that I wrote or….you were reading selectively.  As it has been explained more than once – I thought the original article “Joseon Girls Gone Wild” was amusing at best and downright unbelievable.  As to the rest of your post – anyone who knows me can find the glaring errors in what you wrote.  Think before you write.

  • Robert Neff

    You know Cloud – I can’t understand why everyone is so upset with the bared-breasts.  Personally I think the reason that I learned and have always used – that they were seen as a badge of honor for bearing a son is actually a very nice thing.  Where is the shame?    

  • cactusmcharris

     You’re really taking ‘The Good Earth’ to heart a little too closely, shipmate.

  • cactusmcharris

     Stan’s advice on hitting – ‘See the ball and hit the shit out of it’. I’ve met several people (non-celebrities) who met Mr. Musial and describe him as one of the nicest people they’ve ever met.

    RIP, Mr. Musial.

  • Jang

    The Rotana network, an Anti-American news channel is owned by Rupert Murdoch, you know the media tycoon that owns your favorite Foxnews.  Rotana aired a movie showing American soldiers(the bad guys) who massacred Iraqi civilians then sold their organs to Jews.

    Do you have something against Al Jazeera English or as you say “big oil”?  Where were you when Rupert Murdock bought Rotana, you really should stop watching so much Foxnews.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Ah, but you haven’t looked up the definition of “cool”. My picture’s in there.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Robert Neff,

    Although this isn’t from the Chosun dynasty and I’m not sure whether this has been covered not his blog, I figured you might be interested in this: 
    http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/culture/2013/01/16/0901000000AKR20130116184400005.HTML

  • dogbertt

     iOS … I would say for me the loading time is about the same, but before, the recent comments sidebar would not load at all.

  • bumfromkorea

    Going to Vegas next week.  Any tips on where to go, where to stay, where to lose $100 I set aside for a little gambling?

  • que337

    The photos were not taken with cultural respect for Korea.  They were product of colonialism so that often times they had to be created at studios with arranged settings.  Pictures contain in the film not only objects but also the view of photographer.  Urakawa Kazuya at Nagoya Castle Museum also agreed that the postcard pictures were taken from the views of colonialism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UE_Uly15Jc&t=7m44s

    Where is the shame?  Janet Jackson might be able to answer that question.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yeah, it seems the newest version of Disqus doesn’t play well with the iPad. I’ve downgraded until they work out that kink.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    That’s what I’ve heard, too. He was a class act who’d have been an even bigger name than he was if he’d played on the East Coast.

  • Robert Neff

    Again, I may be able to agree with some of what you say and that some pictures were – obviously staged – but not all of them.

    Nor were the Japanese the only ones to make postcards that you seem to find offensive.  Were the French, Russian, Americans (Methodist), German, Italian and British all in on the act to colonize Korea through postcards?  You also claimed that the postcards issued through the Korean postal service and their French advisor had no bared-breasts – can you be certain of that?  I can’t remember the number of different cards (for some reason 150 sticks in my head) that were issued and admit I have not seen them all but there are some cards there that you would apparently find offensive.

    I think, that for the most part – once again – that most of the postcards were made and sold to make money and had no real nefarious conspiracy associated with them. Some companies make dumb mistakes – but it doesn’t always mean a conspiracy to colonize:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2012/06/19/full-of-primitive-energy-indeed/

  • Robert Neff

    Hey Kuiwon – thanks for the tip.  Yes, I have seen a lot of coverage on it in the news as well as on a Korean Studies group.  It looks very interesting.  I am sure, however, that you could give us a much better idea of how important it is as I am unable to read the inscriptions nor know much about that period.  Love to know what you think about it’s discovery.

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    I’ve been confusing Robert Neff on this blog with another Robert Neff in Japan.

    Now I know who’s who.

    Have you two ever met? I think it’s a sign.

  • que337

    You seem to have never checked out this part of interview with Professor Dominic Alessio of Richmond University, UK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7InDUq7bBc&t=2m41s

    Japan, the imitator of Western powers, emulated the same propaganda.

  • R. Elgin

    Wow – BIG difference. This is from the iPad. This appears to be a discus problem.

  • Robert Neff

    Liz – we haven’t but we have communicated at least once.  Some of his friends have mistakenly sent emails to me in the past.  I can only aspire to meet him someday.

  • Robert Neff

    Cool Q – we can agree to disagree (although I do agree with you to an extent).  I also thought it was kind of strange that you would have made the comment:

    Japan, the imitator of Western powers, emulated the methodology of colonial propaganda.

    I was just finishing transcribing this quote from an early visitor to Korea who also described the Japanese as the kings if imitators and being incapable of invention but never failed to improve whatever detail of life they chose to adopt.

    Q – I always enjoy our little interactions because, unlike others, you always bring something to the table.

  • JW

    This appears to be a tragedy and a scandal of monumental proportions…highly efficient too considering it just took one north korean spy to get his hands on names and current locations of about 10,000 refugees who will now live in terror knowing that Kim’s regime will be able to threaten their family remaining in the north.

    http://news.donga.com/Politics/3/00/20130121/52460513/1

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    If memory serves, there is a detailed account of the manner in which Japanese policy makers very deliberately and carefully benchmarked French colonial policy in formulating their own approach to Korea and Taiwan in Mark Caprio’s Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 (http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Assimilation-Policies-1910-1945-International/dp/0295989017/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y).

    Another relatively well-balanced book on point is Taylor Atkins, Primitive Selves:  Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910-1945 (http://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Selves-Japanese-1910-1945-Colonialisms/dp/0520266749/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z).

    Each is more illuminating than Qball”s whinging drive-by victim card throw-downs

  • cactusmcharris

     Come now, surely it’s the other way around. What’s that guy published?

  • cactusmcharris

     Cloudfive,

    Nice choice – Ms. Baker certainly was a very attractive woman. And I hope Q’s satisfied, that is to say I hope he take the issue at hand, well what I mean is…

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’d avoid meeting meeting the other Robert Neff—Sure, it could be safe, but on the other hand, it could cause a rift in the time/space continuum. Why risk it?

  • http://www.gofundme.com/1k98a8 Jakgani

    When Rupert Murdock was Australian – he was always a nice guy to the Australian Public – so was his father.  He invested his money and “media influence” into helping “good” government parties get into power that did wonders for the Australian public, including universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level, recognition of the People’s Republic of China, and public ownership of Australia’s oil, gas and mineral resources.

    Now that he is American and he got into trouble with  the News of the World, owned by News Corporation, which had been regularly hacking the phones of celebrities, royalty and public citizens in the UK – he has to get his ratings back from somewhere – even if he is allowing bad stories about the country which has now given him citizenship and residence (the USA) to be shown on the Rotana network.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Glad someone likes it.

  • que337
  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Pawi:

    a) As far as I know, Mr. Neff didn’t “marry into” the Korean people, and
    b) Not sure why Robert Neff would post about bare-breasted black women, but it’s official policy here at the Marmot’s Hole to celebrate bare breasts in all their myriad shapes, sizes and hues.

  • que337

    Rare collection of Edo Japan pictures might tell how much Japan has improved at the end of 19C.  Especially, the first two photos of the same Japanese man taken at a studio setting seem to well reflect the photographer’s intention to tell how much Japan has transfigured.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Imperial Cruise is a deeply flawed book.. I can understand why you like it, though. The author wrote it because he holds T Roosevelt personally responsible for his own father’s suffering in WW2, when he fought in the Pacific at Iwo Jima, where he was one of the Marines who raised the flag in the famous picture.  He shares with you the sort of simple-minded blaming approach to history that is just the evil twin of the sort of triumphalist attitude against which it positions itself.  Bradley’s earlier collective biography of all the men who participated, though, is quite good

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That isn’t just any black woman.  Isn’t it Josephine Baker?

  • Jang

    Super Bowl bound San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens, both underdogs played at the other teams home field still won.  Both teams have bro’s as head coaches.  The Harbaugh brothers will be facing each other in New Orleans on February 3rd.  The 49ers quarterback is Colin Kaepernick, a 2nd year QB who got inserted about mid-way through the season after the starting QB(Smith) got hurt but didn’t retain his starting position, which is unusual.  Oh, and Colin Kaepernick was adopted, he can pass and run.

  • que337

    Whatever one’s personal opinion about the book is, you could not deny the vast reference –TR’ s own writings, news articles of the time, witness, etc. — Mr. Bradley has extensively researched and quoted for his book.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Disqus apparently has run out of subcomment capacity; hence this new commwnt in response to Q’s response to me re Bradley’s Book:

    Yes, Bradley has done a lot of research.  Both his research and his interpretation are very selective and transparently twisted by his evident agenda, though. His data is interesting, but of what, really, is it “evidence”?

  • que337

    Mr. Bradley’s premise is that TR’s foreign policy has played a vital role in the monstrous expansion of Japanese militarism, which eventually resulted in the attack of Pearl Harbor decades later.  Of course, TR did not expect it and he let the Frankenstein grow for the benefit of the US, but retrospectively it was so. 

    My main interest in the book, though, is not whether TR was personally responsible for the suffering of the author’s father.  The book is fascinating in excavating the US-Japan relation under TR’s presidency, his role in Japan’s colonization of Korea, and most astoundingly the Nobel Peace prize winner’s racist philosophy,

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    Not sure. Maybe something about Japanese thermal baths?

    “Robert C. Neff is the Japan economist and sauna enthusiast and Robert D. Neff is the Korean historian and North Korean gold mine specialist.”

    http://toopoorforgradschool.blogspot.com/2009/11/robert-neff.html

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That’s the problem with Bradley’s book: he treats as a premise what he needs to establish by evidence and argument. 
    And good luck with that, considering that Japanese expansionsim began long before TR took office, and continued after he left, on a billards table that had a lot more moving balls than the two that Bradley and you want to consider in some sort of a vacuum as an example of newtonian mechanics.  Consider, eg., vis-a-vis Japanese expansionism,  the Tokugawa absorption of Ezo and the Ryukyus completed in the early Meiji, and vis-a-vis the coming of WW2 30years of post-TR administration events, involving not just the US but a number of other countries and not just political conflict but years of trade disputes.

    As for Korea, it’s very hard to imagine what Roosevelt might have done, even if he thought that Koreans deserved help.  By the time he took office, he had learned firsthand how difficult such intervention could be as a result of the difficulty that the US with the Philippine Insurrection, especially with a numerically small US Army and a US Navy that was largely obsolete.  TR had no significant role in Japan’s colonization of Korea other than getting out of the way of a steamroller that the US was unprepared and had no national interest in opposing.

    They say that hindsight is 20/20, but in the case of you and Mr. Bradley it’s occluded by other biases.

  • que337

    TR was not a sole person.  It might be more appropriate to say that TR contributed to the culmination of the US-Japan relation that met his interests in the his Westward expansion policy.  Actually, Mr. Bradley has given “credits” to other American Aryans.  Commodore Perry who opened the door of Japan with guns which Japan quickly learned to use in relation with Korea. General Charles LeGendre who tutored Japan the arts of aggression and colonization of Taiwan and Okinawa, the skills he earned in his Westward conquest to Native Americans.  He did brutally honest research on the racism in the American policy to Asia in 19C and early 20C.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I’d love to, but I’m a mere hobbyist and my level of reading isn’t good enough to figure out what characters should be where the inscriptions have been rubbed off. I can’t say much more than what is in that news article.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    It is what it is and needs to be acknowledged as such.  A bona fide historical perspective also needs to acknowledge that, notwithstanding the racism of TR and some Americans (btw – there were plenty of others who weren’t, e.g., Horace Greeley, Mark Twain, William James, the Anti-Imperialist League, et al.)  racism was not a driver or even a particularly significant element of then US policy toward Korea; given American policymakers’ limited concern and focus on (free) trade, and Korea’s poor potential as a trading partner (and Japan’s competitive advantages,) not to mention the US’s renewed isolationist sentiment after the Cuban and Philippine fiascoes, and its lack of the means to intervene in any meaningful way in peninsular affairs, US policy would most probably have been the same even if TR et al were less prejudiced. It simply was not in America’s national interest to get involved in any significant way in Korea.  All you seem to want to do, though, is hurl epithets around based on the retrospectively magnified moral failings of various individuals. 

  • que337

    The people you referred would be rather antiwar activist figures than politicians who had power to wield “Big Sticks.” As you admitted, TR was a racist. And racism was not an idiosyncratic penchant of a few politicians in the 19th and early 20th century. It was a deeply embedded prevalent culture and mind of American and European societies, especially toward “yellow” and “black” races. If you ever read the book, it would not be hard to find how much racism worked in TR’ s political career and his policy toward Asia.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Please don’t; I have read the book. If you are interested in a better one, that doesn’t stint in its recogntion of the racism of TR and others, politicians and not, but provides a more realistically nuanced picture of the times than Bradley’s empty moralizing, take a look at Evan Thomas’ “The War Lovers” – a coolective portrait of TR, Lodge and other important politicians and opinion leaders of the time.

    But the larger point is that racism itself is not sufficient to explain adequately what happened, nor such racism nowitstanding was US policy therefore necessarily wrong.

    As an aside, one also needs to be careful labelling TR’s position simply racist. Albeit grudgingly, he actuallt admired the Japanese for havind had the “sand” (to use one of his cowboy expressions) to overcome what were conventionally regarded as their disabilities – to the extent of militarily humiliating a major European power, Russia. TR didn’t believe that different people were genetically different and some permanently superior to others; he had a pretty simple-minded social darwinist perspective (that he learned at Harvard and Columbia law school) that saw a hierarchy of people that resulted from their respective histories and was expressed in their culture – and was subject to change through peoples’ own efforts.

  • que337

    Would there be more defense for racism of TR who wrote in his article “National Life and Character”(1894) that Blacks were “a perfectly stupid race” and it would take “many thousand years” before the Black became even “as intellectual as the [ancient] Athenian?”

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Who’s defending his racism?  As I indicated, I just think the historical situation is more complex than a simple charge of racism covers.  Why are so so singularly obsessed with his racism when, in the larger scheme of things, it’s of relatively little significance?

  • dlbarch

    Yesterday afternoon at a friend’s Inauguration-watching party, I suddenly found myself between two 40-somethings arguing over the relative merits of Halo versus Call of Duty.

    Gawd almighty!

    For the live of me, I will never understand the Silicon Valley interests of a certain type of grown men!

    Fortunately, there were a couple of non-dorks in the crowd, and the afternoon was not a total loss. The real surprise: meeting one of those guys who, as a high school kid in Korea, was ranked first in his year in taking the university entrance exam!

    I can’t recall the term Koreans use for that accomplishment, but the guy went on to get his MBA and Ph.D. at Stanford.

    Pretty impressive.

    DLB

  • cactusmcharris

     Aye, Skipper, as posted yesterday.

  • que337

    Due to subcomment space ran out, I would like to start a new one in response to Sperwer. 

    First, as for TR’s education at Harvard and Columbia law school, his favorite law professor Burgess taught that “only White people could rule because the Teuton had created the idea of the state.”  Later in 1910, TR wrote to Burgess “Your teaching was one of the formative influences in my life.  You impressed me more than you’ll ever know.”

    Second, it was TR that was so obsessed with racial theme: “[Theodore Roosevelt] viewd the entire breadth of the American past through a racial lens.  With constant, almost compulsive attention to underlying racial themes, he researched, analyzed, and synthesized the raw materials of history.  The force of race in history occupied a singularly imporant place in Roosevelt’s broad intellectual outlook.” (Dyer, Theoedore Roosebelt and the Idea of Race, 47) 

    Third, TR’s compliment to Japan as honorary Arians were nothing but extension of White supremacy idea.

  • Jieun K

    Where is the global economy headed?

    An economic researcher identifies four elements of the “perfect storm” brewing: credit super-cycle, globalization, data distortions and declining EROEI.

    Here’s the summary/entirety of the paper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783315197 Shelton Bumgarner

    since we’ve got an open thread, I’ll give you a link to something I wrote today about ROKon Magazine. It was a long time ago and no one cares but me, but it might be an interesting read nonetheless. http://www.asiapundits.com/regions/korea/rokon-magazine-a-reassessment/