Sunday, May 31, 2009

lately my students, and some of my friends, have compared me to this cartoon:
We must act now. If we don't stop North Korea from delivering a nuclear device into South Korea, the world of professional StarCraft as we know it may forever be altered.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

officially lying

in korea parents spend millions of dollars each year on private academies (학완) which are similar to japanese cram schools this is a hot issue as not every family can afford to send their child(ren) to private lessons also, if you attend academy your day begins at 730 or so, you go to school until 330 then from 5~1130 or so, you are at academy then go home and do your homework

with parents this interested in their children's education, there are also questions about how effective people who have my job are i work at a public school so am paid by the state am i good use of taxes last week kbs (korean broadcasting system) was in my classroom my school was nuts knowing that they were coming in classic korean style i was not told they were coming, and it happened to be a day i didnt shave i didnt look disgusting (it wasnt the one day a week i decided to wear jeans) but a warning wouldve been nice especially as i was told at the beginning of class to find something exciting to do

they film me and the class for a few minutes, then comes the interview the girl has been practicing what she is supposed to say, 'her opinion', since i walked into class she looks into the camera and says (in english):

kevin and miss cheon's class is fun and useful we learn everything from easy conversation to difficult grammars so we don't need to attend expensive academies

she says this a few times, eventually the camera people leave i give her a few candies and ask, 'you go to hagwon? (academy)'

63 years later/9 years later

notice only one person smiling

this is all over a week ago, so i won't remember details with accuracy, but would feel bad if i didnt mention the documentary 63 years later the japanese government found out that the vast majority of a regimen they had sent to eastern russia had caught an std this would obviously pose a problem for a government that had larger military ambitions so they began to try and find a solution there eventual solution was "comfort women" the japanese took this on as an official policy, using it to monitor the women the soldiers slept with and as a reward for soldiers who showed valor

where the comfort women were varied from in-town brothels to on-base sights the estimates seem to be between 200,000-500,000 women the majority of the women sent all over the japanese military empire were korean women this made sense as korea was colonized very early by the japanese war machine the other countries that contributed significant amounts of women were the phillipines and taiwan, tho any country that was conquered by japan added to the totals

women were held in horrible conditions, often not being fed, and were raped nightly one women (of the 5 interviewed) tells of how she was beaten because she became pregnant when the japanese soldiers were refusing to use the government issued condoms

the movie itself is well done and is aiming for a western audience to add pressure on the japanese government as they have never really fully apologized to the victims and the international community there is a 'michael moore moment' when the president of japan issues a kinda apology to george bush (the 2nd) who then accepts it

the whole thing is unsettling and makes you cry i dont have too much to add if you want to read more about the apology and how japan views things, read this

to learn more about what is being done in korea, read this

an article dealing with Lila Pilipina, the group set-up in the phillipines (no website) read this

i was gonna write about bamboozled (2000) which i recently watched again maybe i will another day let me say this, the movie is still good and relevant

Sunday, May 17, 2009

someday i hope to say to someone "you don't exist for me". sadly, i am not the

art n life

this friday went to see glen hansard and the frames, the mostly played songs from the movie 'once', however they had an excellent cover of astral weeks. when they encored i said to the person with me and said, 'i hope they play something loud from *fitzcarraldo*'. they then played *fitzcarraldo*. how easy was that? i think it was in part because they are known as being a better live band than on record (and this album version isn't as good as they one they played live).

actually, let me say this about a change i am having in aesthetic pleasure. i no longer need to like something aesthetically to enjoy it. what i ask in the performance is that it couldn't be done any other way. that is, some type of necessity or compulsion needs to be present in the presentation. if, however, i find that necessity or compulsion *and* i enjoy it aesthetically, then i am thrilled.

anyway, here is the song:

and here is a clip from the movie:

soon, more to be blogged about movies--bamboozled and 63 years later. couldn't find much on-line in my quick search for 63 years later, but there was this, so as to give you an idea:

Another documentary - 63 Years Later, directed by Kim Dong-won (Repatriation) also moved viewers with its interviews of former comfort women including a Dutch woman from Indonesia and Filipinas.

With the Japanese government refusing to acknowledge responsibility for the comfort women, the film has a near Michael Moore-esque moment when US president George W. Bush claims satisfaction from a Japanese prime minister giving a non-apology. Made for TV, the film is narrated in English and aims for overseas distribution.

Friday, May 15, 2009

game set match

brian kim stefans:
Actually, I have made this point in my writing about Language Poetry -- that, for the most part, they strategically ignored a whole slew of continental precedents for their work, including near contemporaries like the Situationists, or Ian Hamilton Finlay, etc., which is just what I think happens in literature -- minor renaissances when old, forgotten ideas become fresh again (usually because the "traditionalists" want to clamp down on anything they see as deviant, but in this case because an avant-garde wanted to state a unique case). [emphasis added]

Actually, Lautreamont is seeming more like Kenny the more I learn

kenneth goldsmith:
I would say Lautreamont "sampled" rather than plagiarized wholesale, a mistake as well often attributed to Acker.

sports medea

If you haven't heard the news, Terrell Owens will be shooting scenes for his upcoming VH1 reality show in Buffalo this weekend. However, #81 has used his Twitter account to hint he might even join his new team in Orchard Park for organized team workouts. Paul Hamilton will be on the scene at One Bills Drive to cover the OTAs starting Monday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A School Girl Sues Her School

A straight-A student got a C in cooking class and didn't like it. She didn't like it so much that her dad filed a complaint in federal court about it. He alleges that the teacher, who is white, discriminated against his daughter, who is black. He seeks to have her grade changed from a C to an A and asks for unspecified financial damages.

Virginia Brown is in the ninth grade at Ashley High School. Since her first year in school, she has had perfect attendance and all her grades have been A's. Virginia's father said her heart was broken when she got the C.

"She cried the whole weekend," he said. "She wouldn't come out of her room. Her eyes were red and puffy. My little girl hasn’t been this upset since her cat got run over by a car when she was 6 years old."

Virginia is a model student. She's the class president. She's on the swim team, the volleyball team, and the track team. She belongs to the chess club. She is a member of the Girl Scouts and sings in her church choir.

The home economics teacher is 28-year-old Jessica Smith. This is her first year teaching. Ms. Smith said that discrimination was absolutely not the issue. “Some of my best friends are African-Americans," she said. “This isn’t a black and white problem. Everybody in America wants to sue everybody else. I’m going to sue them for defamation of character and whatever else my lawyer comes up with.”

The school principal, who grew up in India, said that he supported Ms. Smith 100 percent. He said that Virginia is an excellent student who would have no problem getting into the best universities even with a C in cooking. “She won’t have any difficulty finding a great university, but she might have problems finding a husband,” he laughed. “She’d better look for a man who likes to eat out a lot.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

i lost my ipod (long weekend)

got back into physical fitness this weekend, time to keep it up, even without an mp3 player
friday night went dancing at a place called m2 havent been to a giant club in a long time was fun and frustrating in that i forgot sometimes, even in a huge crowded club, people who do not want to dance will push their way through the dance floor to just stand there also, we were out for maybe 6 hours all told, and i drank a whole 5 drinks, so i got home at 3am or so, but was up at 10am with a clear head v refreshing
saturday i play basketball in the rain, then ate the spiciest fish dish in my life (아구찜):

i mean, i am a sweater, but this was beyond what my body normally does it was also delicious then played some billiards and pocket pool (getting a bit better at billiards) followed by sake then a street fight which i didnt partake in but was there for watching a stranger deliver a flying jump kick out of the blue kinda shakes you up a bit
sunday was a wash, did nothing in particular besides take a gigantic walk and watch yojimbo
yesterday, bought groceries, cleaned, dry-fried some tofu (to be eaten tonight most likely), went for a run and a light workout--most parks in korea have exercise equipment in them, its a great idea--found out tomatoes in korea are tasty, and then watched some improv

oh improv,
god knows people know no embarrassment
you are geeky
and the best line
was the real line
'ladies and gentlemen,
one of our members had a seizure
so we will be starting in about 10 minutes'

today, more basketball, and coming up with a goddamn lesson for the first graders