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It Sucks to be a Chinese Tourist in Korea

Whether or not you and yours had a good time visiting Korea, the average tourist in Korea, who is Chinese-speaking, isn’t having such a great time in the Republic of Mountains and Mudflats.  Six out of ten tourists to the RMM elect never to come back.  Unfortunately, the article doesn’t break down the demographics of those who do/don’t come back, which I’d like to see.  The Chinese and Japanese are closest to Korea, so if they were most heavily represented among those six future Korea-abstainers, that would be an even more devastating blow to the Hive’s collective consciousness.  Just some friendly advice: it might be a bit foolhardy to treat your neighbors too carelessly if your historical position between them was that of a tiny tributary.

My sister, a veteran traveler who can put even the most calloused ajumma warrior into a quivering backpedal, visited Korea a few years back and called bullshit left and right throughout the trip.  I was still in passive, useful idiot mode at the time, so I didn’t always see the big deal.  But the scales have long since fallen from mine eyes and I now understand exactly why she saw her experience as a tourist in Korea through bullshit tinted glasses.  For example, she decided to buy some kitschy children’s tinted visors for our quarter-Korean nieces and nephews back home.  Lacking price tags, the ajumma hawking her shitty, Chinese-made plastic goods offered them at a price that’d make Tony Soprano blush crimson.  My sister got them for half the initial price after emerging victorious from their bout of iron-maiden haggling but was disappointed that it had to come to haggling at all.  Haggling means cutting through bullshit.  And Korea was full of it in her expert eyes.  She will definitely never return to the RMM.  She only came to see me anyway, not to quench her non-existent insatiable thirst for hallyu.

To people on the other side of the world, Korea looks like the ultimate tourist trap: there’s a belligerent regime of yokel cousins blocking it to the north and seas all around.  It’s as small and disconnected as circumcised foreskin—the shed prepuce of Northeast Asia.  I praised a friend when he told me that he had decided not to spend his hard-saved money on a trip to Korea to see me.  Although I’d have been sure to show him a damn good time here, I told him to instead visit me when I’m in Eastern Europe next year.  Who but a delusional hallyu Stepford fan wouldn’t rather visit two or three Eastern Euro countries over one isolated Korea?  Besides, my friend can experience a lot of what the average Western tourist experiences in Korea by staying in Southern California.  He’s probably not interested in looking at more than one cookie-cutter Korean temple, so why should he come to Korea at all?  If he wants to drink Korean alcohol and eat Korean food in he presence of Koreans, he can do all that back home already, so what would he be paying to come here for—the unique luxury of having a poverty-stricken designated driver take us home after a night of binge drinking, because you can’t easily get that back home?

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An Acrophile’s View of Gwangju

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Things People Randomly Vomit on in Gwangju: Art

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Liberate the Liancourt Rocks from Imperialism!

I was up late last night looking through my telescope at the furthest possible philanthropic cause to throw myself behind, because lord knows the cardboard collectors roaming the streets outside my door aren’t a fashionable enough bunch to post on my Facebook wall in exchange for those coveted likes.  I can do better.  Waaaay better.  But it’s gotta be as far away as possible, and as novel as possible, and yet still be something I can advocate from my shitty one-room shoe box apartment here in Korea.  Sure, I knew it was a tall order, but my feelings of self-worth depend on those likes, so I squeezed the telescope harder and harder hoping to reach its furthest limits until I had my Eureka! moment.  Status whores like me are a crafty bunch, so I had to dig deep to rationalize this one once I found it.

Get ready.

When considering a cause worthy of my indefatigable efforts, I quickly felt that a philanthropic one was unpalatable, as love of humans is such a yesteryear concept. Throwing my sweaty self behind the current homo/transsexual causes was appealing but it turns out that they’re already bloated with narcissists like me.  There’s nothing more loathsome to a narcissist than other narcissists.  Trans-species love was the next logical leap, but that’s been played out, too.  Pandas simply won’t fuck even in the best of circumstances and hardly anybody eats dog anymore in Korea anyway.  Trans-organism’s done and over with as far as I’m concerned because being a nature preserving tree-hugger is only a single leap of logic away from becoming a particularly nasty ideology.  It’s linked with Nativism and the idea that, say, certain plants deserve to exist where they’ve long been without being taken over by new invasive species.  Apply this logic to humans and it’s Nazis all the way down, so that’s no good.

In order to get to the uncharted causes, I had to go trans-matter.  What I came up with were the Liancourt Rocks, which imperialist swine refer to as either Dokdo or Takeshima.  The Liancourt name itself is linked to imperialists, so the name will have to be phased out once the claims of Coreea and Imperial Japan to these innocent amalgamations of diverse matter are defeated once and for all.  The new name will be The Islets Formerly Known as the Takeshima, Liancourt, Dokdo Rocks (TIFK TL;DR).  I’m sure future trans-matter-philes will find my naming and categorizing of them at all to be disgusting and disreputable, as in the future, every particle of matter will be consulted for its own identification.  Unless we know what each spec of matter personally wants to be referred to as, we won’t be able to say anything at all; and as we learned in 1984, fewer words is always a good thing.  I’m willing to suffer a tarnished reputation in the future for this cause.  My peace with this later outcome is worth at least 20 likes and alone makes me a really, really good person.

Anyway, the core reasons why you should like this cause of mine and rain the digital approbation down on me is because: a) it’s ironic; b) it’s obscure, like all the best music/ films/ outfits/ restaurants etc.; c) it allows me to phrase things in anti-imperialist, Marxist terms, which makes it that much cooler, and; d) it’s new and requires at least a couple of leaps of logic, which means only cool people with three-digit IQs will get it (though we all know IQ doesn’t really exist, except when we talk about low-class proles who don’t share our superior values, though we all know superior values don’t exist, except when we talk about low-class proles who don’t share our refined tastes, though we all know that tastes are relative, except when we’re talking about low-class proles, etc.).

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Random UE Pics from Gwangju

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Korean Robotics Gets Stamina Boost

Lots happening on the cutting edge of Korean robotics.  From Blumpkin Businessweek:

The robotic sex industry in Korea has doubled in size since 2009, with revenue reaching 2.1 trillion won in 2012, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The government seeks to boost that to 7 trillion won by 2018 with 600 domestic sex robot companies employing 34,000 workers. South Korea’s expertise in cyberdildonics, nanoboobs, electroejaculators, anejaculant stimulators, and fast-recharging sperm conductors gives it an edge, says Kim Yeob Neob, a senior research engineer at Hyundai Scrotem, a defense company that’s part of Hyundai Motor Group. “We have the fundamental technologies, which we should use to commercialize pleasure robots.”

Feeling the pinch, Korean prostitutes have come up with a robotic solution of their own:

Sex workers have taken to the streets with remote control protest bots that stalk the busy pedestrian crossings of Seoul displaying messages protesting the rise in robotic competition.  The bots then douse themselves with kerosene and self-immolate, which captivates onlookers, spreads the good word, and saves lives all at a cheap price.

On the ROK’s overall ambitions in the field of robotics, the Blumpkin Businessweek article adds:

South Korean President Park Geun Hye’s industrial planners have global ambitions: to blow by Europe, Japan, and the U.S. in the race to hold sway over advanced robotics and take over the world sometime in 2017 before the Pyeongchang Olympics.  “By taking over the world before then,” explained one staffer in the Park administration, “we will have the ear of the global community.”

The “global ear” strategy of the Park administration is to clarify the following to the world: 1) why the Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang at all; 2) that Pyeongchang is not Pyongyang and why this is important; 3) that Dokdo belongs to Korea; 4) and that bulgogi really is delicious, despite the fallout from those try-hard New York Times ads.

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