Saturday, December 23, 2006
Hagiography for Ban Ki-moon
My computer has crashed twice while trying to write this, and I think the Korean CIA is doing it, so I'll keep it short and sweet. check out this article from The New York Times that tries to make Korea out as some sort of mystical land where tradition and modernism meet, and remember that Korean traditional culture was effectively destroyed by the Japanese during the colonial era, and what's is left now is whatever is useful to the government in stirring up irrational nationalism to distract people from the nation's real problems, like an education system fit to collapse. Read this and know that every time the article mentions ancient traditions, feng shui, ginseng farming and prophecies, the real life of almost all Koreans consists of watching TV, listening to soulless pop music, talking on their cell phones and hanging around department stores. Basically, every time the article says 'feng shui master', think 'civil war buff'. and when it says '22,000 practitioners of feng shui, or pungsu in Korean, as well as a few Buddhists' think '2,000 senior citizens on group tours to see Ban Ki-moon's home town, drink sweet potato liquor and buy chestnuts from farm stands, as well as a few fervent nationalists looking to fervor it up'.