Archive for January, 2007


January 22, 2007

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because.


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.

And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have PS3, Wii, X-Box360 not even Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound , CD’s or Ipods, no Cell phones! , no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms……. 

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,

Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


If YOU are one of those kids.  

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives

for our own good

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:
“With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,” Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us….go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us…..pass this on.




January 20, 2007

“You fell in love with me – 넌 내게 반했어” by No Brain 노 브레인.

No Brain is one of my fav. Korean punk rock band. I was happy to see them on Korean movie “Radio Star : directed by Jun-ik Lee” as an underground rock band “East River”. 

Here is No Brain’s another song from”Radio Star”.

“Rain and You – 비와 당신” by No Brain.


The book “So Far from the Bamboo Grove”

January 18, 2007

sOn Korean portal sites, Daum, Naver, Yoko Kawashima Watkins’s book “So Far from the Bamboo Grove, 요코이야기” became one of the most search term these days. The book narrates story based on the author’s life, focuses on the harrowing experiences of an 11-year-old Japanese girl and her family at the end of Japanese-occupied colonial Korea era.  It describes Korean as abusing and sexually assaulting virtuous Japanese.  The book is being used in English literature class in one of  U.S. middle schools and is drawing concerns from Koreans and Korean-Americans.  The Marmot’s Hole already posted up collective stories about it. 

I have not read the book so I do not know how the book really describes Korean and how much it is biased historical backgrounds.  Without a doubt, there were evil Koreans as book describes right after total surrender by Imperial Japan and for the handover period of sovereignty.  But it is for sure that the book would create a wrong perception on Korean or Korean history to those teen students without prior knowledge about social and historical background of the region.  On the other hand, it is just an overreaction to launch “active government-level action” as a the consul general in Boston addressed.    It’s totally up to those parents of Dover-Sherborn Regional School what they teaching their kids. 

However, According to English Dong A Ilbo, the Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee in Boston voted unanimously to overturn the decision to ban the book in question from classes. The Dover-Sherborn middle school cited that not allowing the book could be considered as censorship and they received positive response from students who had read the book.  In response, the Korean parents said, “The decision was changed by opposition from English teachers and parents of other ethnic groups.” They are preparing to file a federal lawsuit to settle this matter. 

It is also interesting that Korean edition was published under the title of “Yoko’s Story” in 2005 by Munhakdongne Publishing Co Ltd. Korean edition of the book was published, by Mun Hak Dong Ne, two years ago.  The book has been published neither in China nor in Japan. Munhakdongne claimed when it published the book, “The book couldn’t be published in China due to strong anti-Japanese sentiment and in Japan because it contains critical remarks the author’s mother made about the Japanese government’s provocation of the war.” And there were positive book reviews made by main media, namely ChoChoongDong (Chosun Ilbo, ChoonAng Ilbo, and Dong-A Ilb).  Obviously, most of upset comments by Korean netizen on portal site’s threads made directly towards these media.

Korean and Japanese are all victims of imperialism, colonialism of modern history.  History could be writing on favor of country’s view point but just because they all have skeletons in their closets does not mean one can distort history. 

History is undeniable and unchangeable.

And My exact sentiments to Professor Carter Eckert’s Opinion on the Boston Globe.

 ……But context and balance are important. While Yoko’s story is compelling as a narrative of survival, it achieves its powerful effect in part by eliding the historical context in which Yoko and her family had been living Korea. That context, simply put, was a 40-year record of harsh colonial rule in Korea, which reached its apogee during the war years of 1937-45, when Yoko was growing up. While some Koreans fared better than others, many were conscripted for forced labor and sexual slavery to serve the Japanese imperial war machine, while the colonial authorities simultaneously promoted a program of intensive, coercive cultural assimilation that sought to erase a separate Korean identity on the peninsula.….But Watkins’s book may not serve that purpose well, especially if it is taught simply as a heroic personal narrative of survival, without adequate provision of historical context. ….

<UPDATE> Author, Yoko Kawashima Watkins, defends memoir on Korea, apologizes for furor.  

Yoko has become a symbol for the problems between Japan and Korea,” said John D’Auria, principal at Wellesley Middle School, where Watkins’s book has been taught for 13 years.Her award-winning memoir, taught in many middle schools in Greater Boston and around the United States, is about her family’s harrowing escape from Korea in 1945, when Japanese families like hers were ousted after 35 years of occupation. But Korean-Americans and at least three South Korean consulates in the United States contend that her book, told through the eyes of an 11-year-old, distorts history

“I am extremely sorry for causing the commotion over ‘So Far from the Bamboo Grove,’ “ she said. Watkins, who describes herself as a peace activist, told the audience that she is willing to call her publisher to see whether a new foreword with more history can be written for the next edition


Agnes Ahn of Dover , one of the Korean-American parents who sought to have the book removed from sixth- grade classrooms, referred to D’Auria’s remarks as propaganda. While Yoko and her family struggled for a short time, said Ahn, Koreans suffered for 35 years under Japanese occupation.“How can you say her story is more important,” she asked. A chorus of teachers answered, “We’re not.”

Read the whole article and also Japan Probe posted related links.

Completely Disgusted 2

January 15, 2007

According to Korean news, South Korean police on Sunday investigated a U.S. GI over Raping and Beating a 67 year old Korean woman.            

“South Korean police on Sunday investigated a U.S. soldier over raping and beating an elderly Korean woman. The police requested an arrest warrant for the 8th Army soldier identified only by the initial G. According to the police, he beat the 67-year-old woman’s face and raped her in a residential area in Mapo of westernSeoul last morning. Police officers said that they caught him after they heard her screaming and rushed to the scene while patrolling the area. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for her injuries, they said. The soldier used his right to keep silent just identifying himself as a member of the United States Forces Korea (USFK). The police said they will seek a warrant to take him into custody for questioning, under the South Korea-United States Status of Forces Agreement. Under the agreement, Korea has jurisdiction over crimes such as murder, rape or arson…”

Is this just another behavior of bad apple? Do I see the difference between these guys and this completely disgusted sick bastard?                 
Not much…


January 13, 2007

Although clubbing is not on my TGIF agenda anymore, I love this song – reminds me of old clubbing days! Of course, the video is so sexy.