Back by Popular Demand: Crap I Read Today, May 20, 2014

Fire at a power plant yesterday, explosion on a subway today. When it rains, it pours.

– If you were wondering how to spin the Sewol disaster into an opportunity for national reunification, see John Feffer’s “Koreas united by rule-breaking spirit” in the Asia Times (HT to Joshua).

– KORAIL’s union is claiming that over half the KTXs are running on wheels that need reprofiling.

– Do does this mean if I grow rich and found my own cult, I can unsafely modify a ferry to move my photos off Tumblr? Not that I’d want to move my photos off Tumblr, of course—Tumblr has been quite good to me recently.

– Well, maybe not as good as the Louvre was to Yoo (HT to KB):

To be fair to Mr. Loyrette, he wasn’t the only director of a high-profile museum to get snookered.

– So, just how many public organization heads were “parachuted” in from the ministries or the political parties under President Park? Nearly 50%: 75 out of 153. And only 7% have been women. Read the bloody details in the linked article. Needless to say, a bit disappointing from a president who has repeatedly pledged to stop doing that sort of thing. But not surprising, either.

More stuff about the Geumsuwon compound in Anseong. Seems like not everyone there is playing by the same playbook.

  • RolyPoly

    I would not be surprised if 75 people are from Kyengsang province.

  • Bob Bobbs

    The Bible: for health and history? Well as long as nobody is eating bivalves and all the menstruating women have been turned out of the tent, I can sleep easy tonight.

  • cmxc

    ‘The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.’
    – Dwight D. Eisenhower

    I have never seen any Korean government officials or business leaders demonstrate integrity. Not a single one.

    Is it any wonder that Korea is crumbling, when the entire edifice has been built on a very unstable house of cards?

  • Sumo294

    The last link was a very interesting read. It seems to be the most comprehensive and well thought read on the barricade.

  • cmxc

    Let me add to my case:

    Ex-cons in elections

    Also, keep watching how the Korean police will keep failing to capture Yoo Byung-eon, owner of the Sewol ferry company. That man has greased too many palms and probably has serious dirt on many influential people likely running for office or re-election. Wait until after the June 4th elections, and then maybe he might be caught.

    Let me make a further prediction: even if the K-police somehow manage to capture him, he will suddenly develop a serious health illness that will require him to stay out of prison. He will appear before Korean judges in a wheel chair and will never be punished.

    Hell, just look at the “punishments” for Chun Do-Hwan and other mass murderer ex-country leaders in Korea.

  • redwhitedude

    Nice advertisement for cult leader. Hey look what I can get away with. It’s murder and they can’t get me!

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Re: Ahae and his work

    At least the guy who was the head of the Prague National Gallery was honest about the first impression:

    “It looked at the very beginning like pictures from National Geographic, or like pictures from family photograph books or whatever, they were kind of strange, you know simple views into the nature. But we looked first, second, always left inside of us some kind of strange feeling..”

    Who knows what that strange feeling was, if it were induced by a large cheque towards the museum, I am sure I wouldn’t be able to express that strange feeling. Maybe I would be able to compose it or draw it, sing it or tap dance it.

    As for the others (especially the French hoighty toighty’s, they all remind me of the film Le Dîner de Cons.

  • Bob Bobbs

    It’s not murder.

  • Robert Koehler

    I’m no Ansel Adams—or the director of a major national art museum, for that matter—but from my own limited knowledge on the subject, there’s a big different between “National Geographic” and “pictures from a family photograph book.” Unless it’s Steve McCurry’s family.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I know, I thought it was funny as well, and not very nice towards National Geographic photographers, (the only one I know being Clint Eastwood in Bridges of the Madison County, does a fictional character count? )
    But I do remember leafing through my father’s collection of old National Geographic he’d bought from a Car Boot sale, as well as some modern ones that were of wild animals some of which I used to have on the wall during my teenage years, and I think I know what he means. To him the publication must be quite low brow, same as in one’s family album especially if one were interested in those subjects. For example, our family album have photos mostly of my dog, trains and football stadiums.

  • cactusmcharris

    But you are a J.M.W. Turner, at least with a digital recorder. I’ve seen the evidence.

  • redwhitedude

    He ran the ferry company murderously.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    drop napalm on them

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I guess it isn’t. But it is lethal negligence, at the very least.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    What are you guys talking about?

  • Kimchi Law Blog

    Eisenhower’s great, but the supreme quality for leadership is competence. Period.


    The Sampoong Department Store (삼풍백화점; 三豊百貨店) collapse was a structural failure that occurred on June 29, 1995, in the Seocho-gu district of Seoul, South Korea. The collapse is the largest peacetime disaster in South Korean history as 502 people died and 937 were injured.

    Lee Joon was charged with criminal negligence and received a prison sentence of 10.5 years.[5]
    However, Joon’s sentence was reduced to seven years on appeal in April

  • redwhitedude

    What a joke of a sentence. He’s probably in hiding for fear of retribution by families of the victims.

  • redwhitedude

    Naw. Just encircle them and blast crappy music and tear gas canister all day long for several days.

  • dlbarch

    Scrolling down Robert’s Tumblr page, I couldn’t help but stop and smile at that slick BMW cop bike. Can’t really believe anyone needs to get paid to ride such a beautiful bike for a living.

    Reminds me of something I read to the effect that Korea’s National Police Agency rejected Hyosung as a supplier of police bikes in favor of BMW and Harley, which, if true, would be a refreshing change of Korea’s normal trade practice of using government procurement to favor home-made goods. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong…the cynic in me can’t imagine Korea would ever do any such thing, the WTO be damned.)

    And an interesting bit of trivial. Seoul Metro Police has twice as many motorcycle cops than police cars. Sweeeet!


  • RElgin

    Saenuri has this love of ex-convicts.
    There is no such thing as “vice” in their playbook.
    I laughed at the JoongAng headline for recent Saenuri head Hwang, “Saenuri boss manages to complete his term” (without being thrown out or put in jail)
    Yeah, the guy was like the guard dog that never barked when the thief came in through the window.

  • Brendon Carr

    Can’t really believe anyone needs to get paid to ride such a beautiful bike for a living.

    I think they want the pay for the things they have to do when they get off the bike.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Oh, from the link below the Ahae interview with the French /advertisement you can go to other interviews/advertisement including the guy I mention.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I read Joe’s article and learned that Ahae is the guy who owned the Sewol. Ive seen this Ahea guy’s photos before. Absolutely dreadful crap, to be honest.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Yeah, Ahae “artist name” of 유병언.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    So basically he had his shite pictures displayed because he could afford to bribe some big museums. His photos are still absolute shit.

  • eddienj

    He claims to have taken 2.7 million photos in 3 years. Let’s see…that would mean he snapped a picture every 35 seconds with no sleep, no eating and no shitting.

  • Bob Bobbs

    This sounds like a sample sentence from a Korean- English dictionary. Perhaps it will be included in the next Lonely Planet guidebook. I am reminded of a textbook from the 1970s that once I found in a dusty library in Gongju that used ‘military takeover of power’ to illustrate collocation and conjugation: “Shall we start a military takeover of power?” “Yes, let’s start a military takeover of power.” “Oh, the military has already taken power.” Apropos, I suppose.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I’ll give you that, yes.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Drop a ferry on them.

  • redwhitedude

    Oh, he has already killed people.

  • cactusmcharris

    Under crap I read today, and in conjunction with wierdness-in-Japan reporting requirements, I link you this: