Thursday, August 12, 2010

Koreans Keep It Real

Koreans believe in Real Talk.

Let me explain. No, wait, first, I should define Real Talk.

Or, as many know it from the Chapelle Show, "Keepin' It Real."

Chappelle's Show
When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong - Brenda Johnson
Buy Chappelle's Show DVDsBlack ComedyTrue Hollywood Story

Now, let me explain.

This week in summer camp, I've been teaching a class about describing appearances. I have a powerpoint slide devoted to "things you should not tell your friends." 

Because in Korea, you can tell friends things like "you're hair looks bad today," or "you look fatter recently." In fact, this is considered a sign of closeness - you are being a good friend to inform your friend of these things.

It seems like, in Korea, everything is out there to be commented on. If you're ugly, fat, stupid, whatever, you know it  from a young age. Of course, this applies to positive attributes as well. For instance, I asked a girl to introduce herself for her speaking test. She said "My name is Seo-Young, I am in first grade and I am very pretty." 

I have yet to decide what I think of this cultural difference. On the one hand, it's sort of sad to watch girls and boys define themselves as ugly or pretty from a young age and act accordingly. (Most of the pretty girls are more interested in boys than schoolwork - then again, perhaps that's not so different from middle schoolers at home). On the other hand, maybe a little more Real Talk about weight in the U.S. would be a Good Thing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Recently, I have been in a Bad Mood.

This is how I feel.
Even "Brett You Got it Going On" failed to make me feel better. I could blame my lack of blog updates on this but actually, I just ran out of opinions. I'm working on this.

Luckily, the internet being what it is, I know I am not alone in my feelings of rage.

And a helpful link to send to anyone responsible for your bad mood!
(How much do I love that the url of this site is "amish rake fight"?

This much:

Sorry, I have a weakness for tasteless jokes. )

Friday, July 9, 2010

What Does it Mean?

Woah. Just Woah.

Thanks for the link, Andrew.

I wish I felt this strongly about...anything.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Impressions - July

Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call them "impressions," and if you got a different "impression," so what, can't we all be brothers?

- Jack Handy

Hence, I am calling this 'Book Impressions' instead of 'Book Reviews.' Also, because 'reviews' sounds too serious for my uninformed drabble about books I've read.

After Dark
Haruki Murakami

First, a Zen proverb - "If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."

After reading a few Murakami novels, it seems to me that this is his guiding philosophy. The story is interesting but don't expect to be elucidated by the end.

The novel follows 19 -year-old Mari's night in Tokyo after missing the last train home. It is also about her beautiful, model sister, Eri, who is sleeping at home. It's also about a Chinese prostitute and a guy who beats her up and steals her clothes.

You can tell Murakami owned a jazz bar. All of his writing is so moody and atmospheric. Also, it tends to be a good primer for jazz and classical music.
Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

I really enjoy Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite novels. In fact, in my family we used to watch the six-hour BBC mini-series every holiday season.

But, Real Talk here for a second, I feel a little gyped by this book. The characters are likable, the plot is pretty decent, Austen is witty as always. But, this 200-page novel concludes in about two pages, and involved a deus ex machina to boot. This annoys me. I mean, really, Jane Austen? I know it's supposed to be a satire of the gothic romance genre but you involved me emotionally. That's no way to treat a reader.

That said, it was delightful until said last two pages. The tone was a bit more satirical and immature than Austen's other stories. Definitely, light reading - there are few heavy themes, symbols or leit-motifs to puzzle over, which is a bit nice after Murakami.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

I get the feeling most people read this book for a class in high school or college. It's stereotypical Hemingway - super manly and all about war. Though war stories are not usually My Thing, I enjoyed this a lot.

It also made me feel really ignorant about the Spanish Civil War. Luckily, that's what wikipedia is for. Jeez, why does anyone bother going to college anymore?

College is just a place where white folks go to get read to by other white folks. I can read to myself - Tara, "True Blood"

(Just ignore my college degree right now.)

But, dude, can we talk for a minute about Hemingway's Issues? His main character spends half the book in inner monologue about his father and how much he doesn't respect him and thinks he was a weak, cowardly person for committing suicide. But, Hemingway himself committed suicide (granted, by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun, which is one of the more ballsy ways a person can do such a thing).

But, what can you do when dementia runs in your family? Actually, I hear it runs in mine. Now, if only such things guaranteed literary success.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Recently, I've been giving a lot thought to what I'd like to do in the future.

Actually, that's a lie. Mostly, I've been zoning out, studying Korean and watching trashy TV. But I did end up talking to a guy in a bar here who got hired with Nielsen Consulting. Maybe I should try to do something like that.

In honor of deliberating over future plans...

Man, Kid Cudi is so good.