Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You love me! You reallly love me!

Noh Mu-hyun has just been awarded the Order of National Service Merit, the highest honor given in Korea. (go to the editorials to see the article; can't seem to get a direct link to it). I don't have time to go into all the many, many reasons why he was given this esteemed award, but it should suffice to say that he deserved it just as much as Kim Dae-jung deserved his Nobel Peace Prize.

However, unlike DJ Kim's Nobel Prize, which he purchased for about 500 million bucks*, Noh Mu-hyun just had to take his cabinet (which awarded him the prize) out for galbi, whiskey and whores after the ceremony (total price: $6,000). So this is good news for taxpayers.

This award is going to look bitchin on Noh's resume. I suggest he make up a couple of more awards and give them to himself before he's kicked out of office. They should sound a bit grander than 'National Service Merit' though. Create something like 'Leader of the Millennium Award' (and claim it for the current millennium to keep Lee Myoung Park from giving it to himself later) or the 'Bigger than Jesus' award. I also like 'All that and Bag of Dried Squid' award too.

By sheer coincidence, it seems that this humble ol' blogger has just received a slew of awards as well. I've gone ahead and posted them on my side bar [now on this post below]. Now normally I shy away from these kinds of things, as I didn't get into blogging for all the fame and the money that come with it (I'm in it for the groupies), but if a humble man of the people like Noh Mu-hyun can give himself the highest honor in Korea, then I suppose I can indulge myself just this once.

The first prize you see listed is from some feminist group. This award for my blog was actually given to me in 2006, but it took those ditzy broads a long time to figure out how to scan the picture onto a computer. Chicks and computers just don't mix, I always say. Anyway, I was honored to receive the recognition.

The next one is self-explanatory, except for the fact that I'm not exactly Irish, nor care much for Ireland ('the Corea of Europe').

Here is a picture of me receiving the award. I'm the one who does not look like a complete loser dork.

Next is my 'Master Blogger' award which basically means I'm the Michael Jordan of Bloggers (take that Robert!).

"Ray Bolger only looks out for Ray Bolger." 'nuff said.

Finally, the 100 Top Mom Blog award was actually awarded to a MILF-themed blog I used to run. I guess that organization appreciated the attention and mad props that us dedicated MILFers have given over the years. You still got it, ladies.

* This was the amount DJ Kim illegally gave Kim Jeong-il to hold the summit, which was the reason for DJ Kim getting the Nobel prize. Jeong-il was able to use that much needed cash to keep his million-plus man army fed (while his citizens starved) and also revive his nuclear weapon program, so it was money well spent all around.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oops, they did it again

News alert to the planet: Choi Kyoung-ju is one of the three best golfers in the world.

Or at least that's the latest out of the mystical land of FantAsia where Korean sports writers dwell. This article here does its damnedest to make Choi look like the man all the world is waiting for to take down Tiger Woods.

This is the chart they put in the article of the 'Big Three' golfers at the next PGA tournament.

I guess they were hoping nobody would actually read the numbers given in the chart. Looks to me like it's the Big Two and some random golfer pulled out of the middle of the pack.

Choi is a respectable golfer, of course, and certainly deserves praise for what he's accomplished. But why the Korean sports media feels the need to spin it so he appears to be threatening to 'conquer' the world of golf is a mystery that perhaps only psychologists can answer.

I'll go way out on a limb here and say that Choi Kyoung-ja does not finish in the top 3 at Buick.

The Korean sports media has a long and storied history of over-hyping Korean athletes. Speaking of athletes named Choi, this article here on former Major League baseball player Choi Hee-seop is perhaps the worst of the worst (published in the English language papers anyway. I'm sure this is standard fare in the Korean sports news publications).

'Big Choi' got off to a hot start in the 2004 season and had 5 home runs in the first 9 games. The hype that sportswriter Kim Sang-soo is classic stuff.

Given that his current homerun average is 0.625 per game, we can expect that he will break the historic home run record of Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants), with 73 home runs per game, which is the highest home run figure for a single season. Further, we may witness him hitting 100 home runs this season as the first player in Major League history.

He is tied for second in home runs in the National League. However, he has hit five homeruns in 25 at-bats, which means one home run per five at-bats. No other hitter in the Major Leagues can match Choi.

Pretty damn amazing stuff, eh? On target to hit 100 home runs in one season! Holy Shit!

What's that? You don't recall Choi breaking any of those records back then? You're asking, "Isn't Choi the baseball player who got sent down to the minor leagues and finally came back to play in the Korea league last year?" Well, obviously despite sports writer Sang soo's math skills, somehow things didn't work out. Incestuous Amplification used to rip regularly on the so-called sports writers in Korea. He had a follow-up to the above article I will take the liberty of posting here:

9 + 9 = 101

I'm still waiting for the follow-up from my pal Kim Sang-soo. You know, the follow-up article that shows the following stat comparison for Choi Hee-seop:

9 games before the article: 5 HR, 9 RBI

9 games after the article: 0 HR, 0 RBI

Season projection then: 101 HR

Season projection now: 45 HR and dropping faster than Enron.

Then: Towering over Barry Bonds as one of the all-time greats.

Now: Platooning with Wil Cordero. He of the .192 batting average.

Then: Headed for the All-Star game, single-season HR record, and Cooperstown.

Now: Headed for the batting cage to break a slump.

All that change in only 10 days.Who'd a thunk it?

Oh right, I did.

God I miss that blog.

You'd think after every athlete the sports media build up to be bigger than Michael Jordan falls flat they'd learn, but I guess you gotta give the people what they crave.

Update: The first few rounds of the Buick tournament are over and Choi of the 'Big Three' failed to make the top 66 golfers and thus was cut after the second round. Here's the scoreboard thus far. Scroll down about 100 golfers and you can find Choi's scores.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Star Wars Lego Rap

I found this video over at Naver, of all places. It's another version of the youttube video below, but is about a minute longer.

Here's the original version.

Here's another video on the same theme.

So many geeks with too much time on their hands...

Korean word of the day

풍선 젖탱이

As always, the link is completely work safe.

Hat tip to Korea.blogs.com, a site that made its last post way back in 2003 and would have continued to be completely unnoticed by the world had the good people at the MIC not recently blocked it (shutting down many other blogs in the process).

Fine work, fellas. I look forward to seeing what sites you block in the future.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Korea Music Awards and other things that stink

I watched the 'golden disk' awards a few weeks back to celebrate another fine year of Korean pop music. With very few exceptions, all the performers who showed up were under the age of 20, making the whole affair look more like a Nickelodeon production.

It all starts with the red carpet, of course (where did they get that idea from?). Of note, a new record was set for the shortest miniskirt by Han Hyo-ju. She wore this outfit on the red carpet despite freezing temperatures.


It's nice to see female entertainers returning to their kisaeng roots. They obviously don't become famous around here for having any measurable talent, so younger, prettier and sluttier every year, I says.

The highlight of the show was when they had members of the ROK army, the police force and some Tae Kwon Do group, all in their usual uniforms, get on stage and show their mastery of the 'Tell Me' dance.

So am I to understand that all these 'men' decided to do this on their own? There were some Korean soldiers sitting around the barracks one day, saw the Wondergirls perform on TV, and then decided that they would learn the dance as a group? Perhaps the conversation went like this:

Sergeant Lee: Hey men, whaddaya say we spend all of our precious off time learning that little girlie dance? Wouldn't that be something to show the other troops?

Private Kim: Oh, can we sarge? That would be so super if we could learn the Wonder Girls dance!

Private Choi: Don't you mean that would be so 'wonder'ful to learn the Wonder Girls dance?

[Everyone laughs]

Private Kim: Oh Private Choi. You're so witty; you should be on Gag Concert for sure!

Sergeant Lee: That's enough messing around boys, now everyone strip down to your underwear and let's start dancing!


Is this what happens to the men an entire country when they entrust their national defense to a foreign power for more than half of a century?

So after these supposed men showed off their little girl dance moves at the awards ceremony, the Wonder Girls themselves came out to show us how it's done. Check out the above clip to see it all.

They sang live. It was not pretty, but at least the girl who holds out the final note on the last line of the song was only slightly off key (someone's been practicing!).

Noticeably absent at the ceremony was Rain, who was dumped by producer Park Jin Young just before Park's Wonder Girls hit it big. Rain reportedly spent the evening at home drinking Wineaid and alternating between screaming at the TV and sobbing into his Hello Kitty pillows.


There has been some controversy over the Wonder Girls and how they are marketed. The chestless one on the far right is only 15 and seems to be the new heartthrob of the 30-40 year old pedophile market. But the only thing thing really noteworthy here to me is that such a talentless act with such a mediocre song could garner so much attention. Park Jin Young may not have much talent in developing good performers, but he certainly knows how to work the media hype machine.

Speaking of hype, I read somewhat that D-Wars was voted the biggest Korean movie of 2007. How a smelly turd like D-War could possibly be considered a good movie is testament to how far the average Korean's ability to reason will drop once Korean Pride enters the equation.

So to recap Korean exports in the entertainment industry in 2007, we have D-War as the only movie to go abroad (excluding the few Korean movies that end up in international film festivals), H.O.T. clone 'boy' bands like Super Junior and Dong Bang Shin Gi, and the usual cookie cutter Korean dramas that haven't had a new idea in 20 years ('What? Your mother is opposing our marriage because I come from humble circumstances AND you've also developed leukemia? Oh gloom, despair and agony on us!).

I humbly submit that the "Korean Wave" should now officially be known as the Korean Backed-up Toilet.

OK, I'm going to float out a theory here. During any other year, crap like D-War and the Wondergirls wouldn't have gained much attention at all. What we saw in 2007 is the resulting desperation of an entire country that realizes their brief time in the entertainment spotlight more or less ended 2-3 years ago.

American movies were dominating the Korean boxoffice with hits like Transformers and Spiderman 3 last summer(two movies I just can't summon up the energy to want to see, by the way) and Koreans were just hoping for any Korean movie to come along to restore the myth they named the Korean Wave. Director Shim Hyung Rae played the nationalism card like a pro and suddenly it became the patriotic duty of every Korean to support the movie. Critics who spoke out against the movie were cyber-terrorized and the next thing you know it became the highest grossing domestic movie of all time in Korea. Online forums and polls in the States became targets for Koreans to bombard with praise for the film. It was like the collective conscience of an entire nation believed that through blind patriotic faith and willpower alone they could make this movie into something it was not. The movie flopped in the States despite opening on a large number of screens, though you wouldn't have known it from the Korean media that played along with the charade. Unless the Wikipedia entry on Dragon Wars is wrong (as if it could be!), the movie lost 20 million dollars overall, yet ask the average Korean about the movie and they'll say it succeeded in every possible way.

As for music, 2007 was not such a good year for the Korean Wave. Rain's world tour could not have died more miserably with concert after concert being cancelled for various excuses. Korean music was dominated by increasingly ridiculous teen bands that made music for pre-teens (or those of a similar mentality). No new BoAs were coming out to 'conquer' Asia. So a band like the Wondergirls has a semi-catchy hit performed by girls whose only talent is being very young and suddenly every media outlet is scrambling to promote it.

An entire society has allowed itself to be puffed up by a media that has told them again and again for the past 7 years that the world cannot get enough of Korean 'talent', which of course really meant the superior Korean culture. Now with the passing of the Wave all this feel-good propaganda is coming back to bite them in the ass. If you define the worth of your culture by how successfully it can be exported abroad, then what does it mean when no one wants it?

It's a sad spectacle.

I look forward to even more in 2008.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kang Seung Hyeon

The Yellow Fever rages through my veins as much as the next expat out here in Korea, but I'm not sure why this girl won the model contest. Maybe it's her freaky upper-arm length.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Albert Einstein's message to Korea

The image of Albert Einstein is quite commonly used to promote educational products in Korea, a country absolutely insane over getting their kids to spend every minute of the day studying. Naturally, the image of a genius like Einstein is a very positive association that companies would like to make with their (usually pedagogically questionable) products.

What most Koreans fail to realize is that people like Einstein are almost never the results of these kinds of products or an education system which demands excessive study. Here are some quotes of Einstein I stumbled on this morning that I think the whole educational system in Korea (including obsessive parents) should think about:

. . I worked most of the time in the physical laboratory [at the Polytechnic Institute of Zurich], fascinated by the direct contact with experience. The hitch in this was, of course, the fact that one had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect [upon me] that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.

It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.

"Autobiographical Notes," in Albert Einstein:
Philosopher-Scientist, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1951), pp.
17-19 ? 1951 by the Library of Living Philosophers,

I was talking about the education system with a Korean friend the other day (yes, despite all evidence to the contrary, the Party Pooper has Korean friends).I said that I was deeply unimpressed with the results here. When one considers how many thousands of extra hours of study Korean kids get in comparison with those in the west, and how so very little knowledge is retained by the time they graduate from a university, it's clearly a monumental waste of time. Considering what Einstein says above, perhaps I was being overly optimistic about the Korean education system.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dragon Wars

Dragon War is about to come out on OCN. I really can't wait to love hating this movie without feeling like a tool for paying money to see it. I saw Yongary, the previous effort from the same director, and walked out of the theater after 30 minutes. I'm more optimistic about Dragon War, though, and I'm sure I'll make it at least 45 minutes, go watch some soft porn on the J Channel, and then maybe come back to catch the final battle.

To get me in the spirit, I found these youtube reviews. It took a while for me to catch the point of the kid in the video above, but after he repeated every sentence he said a 7th time, I finally got it.

Here's one that is a little less critical (1 out of 5) from a guy who will never have a girlfriend.

These kids loved it. It reminded me that I shouldn't be so harsh on 10-year-old kyopos and their tastes in entertainment. All 10-year-olds are obviously pretty damned retarded.

A homeless-looking guy giving a rave review to what sounds like a Korean interviewer. "Is it funny? Really? Just tell me truth!" I'm thinking this interviewer probably went through quite a few people before he found someone drunk enough to think the movie was good.

Brian over at Markandeya is the only K-blogger I know of who actually seemed to like movie. He also liked the Star Wars Episode movies, as I recall. Brian, your politics and tastes in music very much match my own, but when it comes to movies, you just gotta raise that bar a little.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

床 床

An article from Yahoo news: China offers unproven medical treatments

Clinics in China are offering unproven (and almost assuredly bullshit) treatments for a range of incurable diseases. A part of it is the usual Chinese medicine nonsense, but they also involve untested practices such as injections of fetal tissue and stem cells into the brain and spinal cord. Like everything else connected with medicine and health practices that come out of China, despite the fact there is no a shred of evidence of any of these practices being effective, they have no qualms about taking thousands of dollars from desperate patients.

The hospital says its stem cell injections are combined with daily, three-hour
doses of intravenous drugs designed to stimulate production of the patient's own
stem cells. Physical rehabilitation and Chinese medicine are also part of the
plan. A standard two-month course of treatment costs $30,000 to $35,000.

Kaching! So basically they're just cramming everything they can think of into patients hoping something will take, or, more likely, patients can fool themselves into believing their health condition has improved in some way ('placebo-based medicine', one could say). Lot of money to be had in offering hope to the desperate.

Some of those meddling Western doctors have tried to investigate the practices though. Here is what they have found:

Noting the lack of evidence, three Western doctors undertook their own
limited study. It involved seven patients with spinal cord injuries who chose to
get fetal brain tissue injections at one hospital in China. The study reported
"no clinically useful improvements" — even though most patients believed they
were better. Five developed complications such as meningitis.

Cute. Not only did those involved not get any better, the majority developed more health problems. Welcome to the Chinese Century.

Thought of the day

In order to post more often, I've decided to do a daily 10 minute bloggering session. Everyone can find a spare 'just one 10 minutes' a day, right?

So, I hereby start my daily bloggering today.

Judging from my past history on my previous site, this most likely means you can expect about one blog post every 2-3 weeks.

OK, I've got a cozy 8 minutes left (it took me about 45 seconds to decide how to spell 'bloggering'. Damn, now I just second-guessed myself and it cost another 30 seconds. OK, now I just reread that last sentence and I'm wondering if 'second-guessed' is acceptable. I think it is.)

Right. Seven more minutes to go.

I found this picture on Daum today. Apparently after the conclusion of a professional volleyball game this team came back onto the floor with their cheerleaders and did a 'Tell Me' victory dance.

What the hell is wrong with men in Korea who spend time learning this kind of shit?

And who is the guy in the red shirt who seems to really be getting into it? It looks like he's from the opposing (and thus losing) team. Is he so giggidy giggidy gay that he just couldn't restrain himself from joining the opposing team for a dance? If his team just lost, maybe he should spend more time practicing his sport rather than learning little girly dances.

OK then.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2007 Predictions revisited, or, Pooper Pwns Baduk.

Early this year I posted (on my original site) a set of predictions for 2007. Allow me to repost the original, along with some new comments within the text.

Prepare to be shocked and awed at the amazing accuracy of my predictions.

Original post:

The legendary Baduk over at KoreanAmerican blog has graced the K-blogosphere with his predictions for 2007. Baduk was, as some of you may recall, declared a Prophet of Blog by this humble blogger for his revelations concerning Hwang Woo Suck (spelling?) before his deceptions became public.
Being a trained and certified psychic myself, and having an amazing 100% accuracy in my former predictions posted here on this blog, I feel a need to remind the K-blogosphere that I am still the reigning psychic in these here parts. For those who doubt, I will hereby post Baduk's predictions, and then offer the actual events that will happen. Let the people see for themselves whose psychic kung-fu reigns supreme! Baduk's 'predictions' are italicized, my prophecies are in confident bold.

1) Korean real estate bubble will burst. All apartments will depreciate to 50% of present price.
No! The real estate bubble will not burst for another 2 years. It is fueled by collective insanity which will defy all predictions based on logical analysis.

[Score 1 for the Pooper. Though the real estate market has cooled a bit, no bubbles have burst.]

2) President Rho will resign, naming Gohgun as the intrim acting president.

Wrong again. Noh will threaten to resign exactly 26 more times in the next 12 months, but will not actually do it.

[Score another for the Pooper, though I should admit that the number of threats to resign actually ended up totaling 31.]

3) Korea will stop "sunshine policy" and all forms of contact with Kim Jongil's regime.

No. The Sunshine Policy will continue throughout the year. And I'm sorry to say, but even if the conservatives take over the presidency, South Korea will still do what it can to keep Jong-il in business. It's all about the Sae Jong's, people.

[This is starting to turn ugly. No wonder Baduk doesn't come around the K-blogosphere much these days.]

4) The US will go to war with Iran. Korean soldiers will fight side-by-side with American troops to topple Iranian regime.

No and hell no. Although many say the surge in troops is just a pretext for an invasion of Iran, I just can't see Bush being that stupid. An air strike here and there...maybe, followed by a lot of loud but empty threats out of Iran (the only thing short ugly dictators are really good at, it seems). And the idea of Korean troops fighting in Iran or anywhere in the world is just drunk talk. It's a military that's lost its confidence and balls after 10 years of Sunshine Policy.

[Yup. That's the Pooper 4 and Baduk -1--this last prediction was so silly that I just have to give an additional penalty]

5) South Korea and Japan will announce mutual defense treaty aimed at China-NK coalition.

Maybe in 2008, but not while the 386 Generation are driving this crazy train.

[PP 5, Baduk -1]

6) Economic hardship (lost 20 years) will start.

Not really. Korea will somehow manage to stay where they are for a while, before slowly receding in economic power as it just gets too hard to compete with China and their population bust starts to kick in.

[The spanking continues]

7) NK will attack SK in limited scale on sea and near DMZ. Korean people will learn to hate NK to the max. China will be hated as well for helping KJI regime.

More wishful thinking on Baduk's part. Jong-il and the Sunshine Boys will do the opposite, having a second summit in the spring to show Koreans that the engagement/appeasement policy is indeed working (exact costs of the summit to be released later in 2008). North Korea will even PROMISE to dismantle the nuclear program and let in inspectors in select areas. After the elections are over, regardless of who wins, the Norcs will return to form and kick out the inspectors and everything will return to normal by this time next year.

[OK, I was a bit off on the timing of the summit, but the rest still works.]

8) FTA with the US will not pass.

The 20 Sided Die of Destiny concurs. This will be a big factor in the next elections, as the Woori boys will successfully paint themselves as noble patriots who are doing all they can to prevent Korea from being raped by the Imperialists. The U.S. will just wait, hoping that a new administration will come into power in 2008.

[In a way, we're both right, but the agreement really hasn't had to go through Congress yet anyway. PP 7, Baduk's score gets back to zero]

9) American troop withdrawal from Korea will accelerate. Koreans will be scared and many will flee the country. Laws will be passed to block Korean nationals from leaving the country.

Again, the Die concurs on troop withdrawal, though nothing dramatic. The numbers of Koreans fleeing Korea, however, will continue at the same pace as usual.

[There is no way to prove I am wrong on this one. The exact data on troop presence is not available to anyone, not even the military itself. If they do claim that they know, that is just to save face. I stand by the accuracy of this prediction.]

10) Foreign investments will plunge. Stock market and real estate will dive with no bottom. Korea will go down from its peak (2006) as many countries in Asia and South America have done in history. The miracle of Han river will end and Korea will deteriorate into a third world country. All because so-called liberals(=Commies) played the anti-American card and that accelerated the US withdrawal from Korea. Koreans brought this to themselves. No one to blame.

A big no to all of these, at least for 2007. The government here may be incompetent, but they know what lines can't be crossed.

[I could go through the trouble to check the data on this one in regards to foreign investments, but I'm getting a psychic message that is confirming my prediction so that should settle it.]

You're through, Baduk.

All recognize my power!

Korean TV



Listen.  Understand.  That Party Pooper is out there.
It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with...
it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear...and it
absolutely will not stop. Ever.

Until you are dead.