The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Category: Korean Tabloid Crap (page 1 of 50)

And from the nation that brought you Yi Hwang and the Hunminjeongeum…

Oh, the humanity.

UPDATE: Well, at least the BigHominid likes it. The best I can say for it is that in the long run, it’ll probably have less of a deleterious effect on Korean civilization than the Mongol sack of Gyeongju. (Note to wife: not that’s there’s anything wrong with sacking cities).

배두나 seen with Jim Sturgess at Cannes

So in the second installment of “will they won’t they” (first one here), 배두나 and Jim Sturgess as an item are a hot issue, as they seem to be more official in their ‘coupledom’ when they attended the Cannes screening of 두나’s latest film “도희야~(English Title: A girl at my door Trailer here )” which was invited to the festival under the category “Un Certain Regard”.

배두나 and Jim Sturgess first met when they filmed the “Cloud Atlas” together.

I know that 배두나 has her anti-fan(s) on this website, but still, as a Korean actress, she is stylish and natural, and seems to be not as brainless as the others. And though I don’t quite know if I dig her acting yet (I did not like her in Cloud Atlas although I liked her in 봉준호’s 괴물), I am happy about this couple because I think it’s refreshing and different from what we have seen – the other international celebrity couples involving a Korean woman being “Woody Allen and Soon Yi” or “Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim” sort..Other famous Asian women we have, Zhang Ziyi with a Israeli/American billionaire Vivi Nevo (although these two are no more) or Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Deng, Hugh Grant and the Chinese woman who is the mother of his two children, Madama Butterfly and Pinkerton etc…

They seem to be on a similar footing (if anything 배두나 more famous and established than he is) and down-to-earth and credible as a couple than many of these so called “unhealthy stereotypes”.

P.S.
Here is the photo of the child star (the role of 도희) 김새론 in the film 도희야, yet another dark Korean film highlighting the ills of the society. I am well aware that reality is not in technicolor, but it always pains me to see such a stark contrast in these dark Korean films compared to the rainbow colours of the censored Korean TV dramas and entertainment. The Korea I know, lies somewhere in the middle. I would like to see this middle reflected more on both TV and cinema.

Men like Korean women because they’re pretty, with lots of aegyo

A survey of 642 female and 505 male visitors to Korea by Korspot, a social media group that promotes Korea, revealed that 90% would like to date a Korean.

When asked why, female respondents cited “interest in Korean culture and language” (27.4%) and “Korean men seem to work hard and to be responsible” (13.1%).

Male respondents, meanwhile, said “Korean women are pretty” (23.2%) and “Korean women have a lot of aegyo” (16.2%).

For some of our non-Korean readers who may not be familiar with the concept of aegyo:

Next up, survey reveals men watch Game of Thrones because they like violence, boobs.

Avengers trouble

So… is this whole “Avengers” thing just a great big pain in the ass?

Maybe:

When Disney’s Marvel Studios decided to shoot part of the upcoming “Avengers” sequel in Seoul, the city government and state-run film agencies welcomed the decision with fanfare – and with rosy estimates about potential benefits from the elevation of Seoul’s image and the boost it will give to tourism.

But in the face of unprecedented traffic control on some of the city’s busiest districts for more than 10 days, some are questioning whether the government is offering too much support to the filming of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” at the expense of citizens’ convenience.

The areas that will be blocked off will include major bridges on the Han River such as Cheongdam and Mapo bridges, and important arteries near Gangnam subway station and Digital Media City (DMC) in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, starting from March 30 through April 13.

I hope the image improvement and tourism boost is worth the hassle.

What’s more, the trouble may extend beyond traffic. According to the Korea Times, the government may have blown its entire wad of cash to support foreign film productions:

The support comes in the form of a “location incentive” offered by the government-backed Korean Film Council (KOFIC), which offers foreign productions up to a 30-percent cash rebate on money spent here.

By awarding the rebate to Avengers, KOFIC maxed out its annual 1 billion won ($930,000) budget for the program.

For a production like Avengers, USD 930,000 doesn’t sound like a whole lot of cash. Wonder if Marvel Studios will even notice it.

Ok So-ri marries Italian chef: report

Remember Ok So-ri, the actress who in 2008 was given a suspended sentence for cheating on her husband, fellow entertainer Park Cheol?

Oh, good times. good times.

Well, the Chosun—citing an interview she recently did with the Lady Kyunghyang—reports that in 2011 she married the Italian chef her ex-husband accused of her banging at the time. The couple apparently have two kids now, too.

You’ll recall she denied sleeping with said Italian, protesting that she met the guy just to learn English and cooking. She did cop to sleeping with a Korean popera singer, though. The popera singer also got a suspended sentence for adultery.

Korea’s criminalization of adultery has been legally controversial.

Lee Hyori Wedding Photos

Hyori wedding photos – no, she did not get hitched to 순심, her dog, but to 상순, her bf


Here is the link to some wedding photos (including the actual husband) of 이효리 Hyori, Marmot’s Hole’s favourite (Can I say that? well, *I* like her). She got married in a very private, low-key ceremony at her own holiday manor in Jejudo on 1st of September – she kept her word – it was unlike the usual celebrity affairs (you know, grand hotels, all the celebrity guests vying to be the best dresser etc.)
She married 이상순 Lee Sangsun, a musician/DJ/composer/guitarist whom she met, working for animal rights and whom she got close to in 2011 in a talent-donation campaign (joint-composing songs) for abandoned pets.

A lot of Koreans (Hyori says, including her mother) have mentioned how “ugly” he is likening the couple to “beauty and the beast” etc. but I like how the guy looks. He looks individual and unlike some Korean *Hallyu* actors, looks like he is actually a man with an interesting personality and more than two brain cells.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Lee – she looks absolutely beautiful – I see she was wearing a flower tiara (though my flower tiara was prettier)

P.S. Interesting, I did not know that Lee Sangsun was part of the Verandah Project which is actually a duo with 김동률 Kim Dongryul (part of another duo 전람회 Exhibition)- a big favourite of mine when I was growing up. Here is Kim Dongryul’s solo song 염원. for those who want to have a listen. All his other songs also sound of a very Korean sentiment.

South Korean Footballer Ki Sungyong to marry Actress/presenter Han Hyejin

South Korean footballer Ki Sungyong(24, Swansea City) is set to marry the pretty actress and straight-talking presenter of the SBS Interview Show “Healing Camp” Han Hyejin (32) in July. Here he is on the talk show last year before they started going out, saying that he prefers older women, and cannot stand the “oppa” addressing from younger girls – he also confesses that Han is his type and that he would marry (somebody-like-her) straight away.

Ki, the midfielder who scored the winning goal against Team GB (in the penalties) for Team Hong Myungbo in the 2012 London Olympics, is quite well known for his 욱하는 성질 (literally “Uuk”-hanun character – Uuk-hada means to get angry/emotional/to see red – the sound characterizing anger brimming over in the throat), and lack of self-control. On the same episode of the show (episode 58*) which you can watch in its entirety he talks about his character on the field, about the team, about the bronze-medal and the controversial goal ceremonies, and about his friendship with Ku Jachul (FC Augsburg). It’s quite interesting.

Personally, Ki Sungyong really reminds me of many Korean boys/men I have met both in Korea, but mainly outside Korea. Some of them very nice, bright and confident who have spent their formative years battling some sort of prejudice outside Korea (I guess maybe boys have it harder) turn quite nationalistic in a simplistic sense.

Here’s hoping that their marriage is long and happy. It was sad to learn that another one of Ki’s friends, Cha Duri just divorced his wife. It cannot be easy for the Korean footballers and their WAGs following their celebrity husbands to less-known cities abroad.

*Correction: I forgot that there are usually two episodes of one interviewee in the Healing Camp. In Episode 59 which I am watching now Ki actually mentions the loneliness and the unglamourous lifestyle of a lonely Korean footballer in an European team -he says he’s had to eat 계란밥 (raw egg + rice + soy sauce for 1 month – lack of Korean food/material) -sniff sniff

SNSD’s Tiffany throws out first patch at Dodgers Stadium

Good interview. Horrible pitch.

UPDATE

Talent Clara shows us how it’s done (HT to feld-dog). Not everyone was pleased about the outfit, though:

Lingerie bars illegal: court

Please be advised that operating a bar in which waitresses dressed in lingerie serve customers is illegal:

In a ruling in response to a suit filed by the man surnamed Lee, the Seoul Administrative Court said such a business practice was “an act that could demoralize and corrupt the general public’s sound judgment of sex.”

I’ll let you ponder that on your own.

Maybe this whole multiculti thing isn’t so bad after all

The Sports Chosun likes half-Korean glamour model Amy Markham‘s self-confidence, kindly providing visual evidence (maybe NSFW).

As further proof of my multicultural cool, I encourage you to check out her photos in the Spanish language edition (Sí se puede!) of Maxim, which I hesitate to link here as we, like the Sports Chosun, are a family publication.

What? You mean having consensual sex with a Korean woman is NOT a sex crime?

Matt over at Gusts of Popular Feeling has been all over the JoongAng Ilbo and its TV station for some articles and a TV program on foreign crime.

I’m going to link to his most recent post, but it’s got the rest of the series linked at the top.

BTW, dear readers, don’t try this at home:

I’d also like to say Solbi‘s role in all this, while regrettable, is easily forgiven because she’s hot. She doesn’t look like Jessica Alba, though, unless by Jessica Alba, you mean “charmingly plump Korean girl with a great rack,” in which case yes, she looks exactly like Jessica Alba.

Bae Doona is W

There’s a photo spread of Bae Doona in W Korea.

Interesting hair.

South Korea to get medieval on North’s ass: Dong-A Ilbo

OK, the Dong-A Ilbo didn’t say that exactly, but they got downright North Korea-esque in their headline, “Self-propelled artillery to belch fire if North launches provocation… command posts to be turned to ash by jet fighters.”

To sum up, if North Korea uses its coastal guns to attack somewhere like Baengnyeongdo, they’re gonna get a hurtin’. The South Koreans will first use their 20 K-9 pieces on Yeongpyeongdo and Baengnyeongdo, 130mm Multiple Rocket Launchers and 155mm towed artillery to rain fire on the offending artillery unit.

If North Korea persists, South Korea would commence the second stage of its retaliations by going after support and command units. ROKAF F-15s and F-16s would launch surgical strikes against command units in the rear such as the headquarters of the KPA 4th Corps, while the ROK Navy would put destroyers in the West Sea to guard against further provocations.

The ROK military is also ready for attempts by the North Koreans to land special forces on the West Sea islands in a bid to occupy them. The ROK military believes the North has plans to use air-cushioned vehicles to take over the islands within 30 minutes of crossing the NLL. South Korea has got Cobra gunships on Baengnyeongdo for just such an occasion.

A high-ranking military official told the Dong-A that it has more the quadrupled the amount of firepower its got on the West Sea islands and rewritten the rules of engagement since the Yeonpyeongdo incident. This time, the South would get proper vengeance if the North launches a provocation. Military experts, however, say it’s difficult to say who’s on top in the West Sea, with the North ahead quantitatively but the South ahead qualitatively.

And on a related note… hey, G’Na! Get off those flags!

Links of note, including MUST READ story on the K-pop machine

- MUST READ: Stephanie Wood penned a wonderful story on the great K-pop machine. Here’s just a sample:

American-born Nathan McMurray, 37, a long-term Seoul resident and lawyer who has a Korean wife and who blogs about Korean culture, remembers a time when things were different. “What we have today is not what existed 10 years ago in Korea,” he says. “When I first came to Korea, we had independent acts that worked their way up … just like any other music scene. Older Korean music was subversive, it had challenging messages … and it was moving.” Does K-pop last? No, says McMurray. “It’s confectionery. It’s candy. It’s something that tastes good for two seconds, then you’re sorry you ate it.”

SBS PopAsia host Jamaica dela Cruz might choose to pick a fight with naysayers like McMurray. For her, there’s nothing wrong with the manufactured nature of K-pop. “It’s showbiz, babe,” says dela Cruz. “Dress up for me, give me costumes and she-bam! It’s entertainment, so entertain!”

- If you haven’t already seen them, check out these photos of Seoul in the Guardian by Mike Beech, one of the guys who runs online magazine Chincha.

- Dennis Rodman apparently thought Kim Jong-un was a swell guy. UPDATE: This is the best commentary on the Rodman visit I’ve read:

In the 30s, serious intellectuals traveled to the Soviet Union to hail it as the future of humanity. In the 60s and 70s, writers, actors & other assorted glitterati went to Cuba to be schmoozed by El Jefe. And now North Korea has hauled in…a retired basketball player with a penchant for shock publicity. The quality of useful idiots is on a definite downward trajectory.

- The wife and I went to Bukhansan National Park this weekend. Oh, and we took in yesterday’s sunrise from Mt. Ansan, too. See the Tumblr.

Life of Psy

I take it Kimmel is not a huge Psy fan:

(HT to reader)

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