Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yesterday was totally marked by a win insofar as the following card was befittingly posted to my friend's wall on Facebook:

Such deprivation of a life has amounted to such forms of entertainment as synchronizing the time at which the e-card was to be sent with the stroke of midnight in Seoul (CST +14 hours)...give or take about a minute or so.

Also a win is the fact that the temperature is supposed to aestival heights (the 80-degree range) for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The wherefores of my deeming this a win, other than the fact that it is a swift and glorious rebound from a(nother) piercingly cold (for the springtime), depressive front, are not really consciously available atm.

Meanwhile, to rain on my own parade, victims of displaced frustration are on the rise 13 hours east of here in Taiwan. The baby scalded by a dare (see the previous entry or two) did not survive (the father is being charged for murder, and now the mother apparently was in absentia during the enactment of her dare...she's still being arrested for "incitement of murder"), and now a father is being charged for mauling his two-year-old daughter to death with a broomstick. The mother, who apparently had heard her husband beating their daughter, resumed her nap thereafter...only to find her daughter lifeless after her beauty nap. Apparently it hadn't occurred to her to interfere in this beating of their two-year-old daughter! Unlike the aforementioned mother, this mother didn't incite such cruelty, but is she not guilty as well? Or was this some contrivance to hedge the risk of lapsing into destitution due to the increasing ronin-ization (multilevel wrongage right there) in Taiwan? As the 45-to-64-year-old cohort has been most afflicted by the hike in unemployment, collateral damage is being done in the private sphere via this perceived depotentiation of breadwinners. The recession and unemployment are not to serve as excuses for ridding the world of one's offspring--especially daughters in this case (notice how the victims of both of the cases were daughters). Furthermore, reconsideration in resolution policy needs to be done because

  • Long/life prison sentences or the death penalty would not as significantly curtail such violence.

  • A more direct route for reporting (possible or known) child abuse must be provided.

  • Obligatory post-marital anger management and child education courses would likely encourage childless marriages without considerable compensation.

Resolving the growing problem will not be easy, but as Chiu's suggestion of focusing on the preclusion of child abuse needs to take precedence to the penalties. Generating jobs or some sort of profitable reincorporation into the public sphere would seem to help.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Talent is something on which America thankfully does not hold a monopoly. Behold 12-year-old Shaheen/Shahin, who is called out on his awkward rendition of Amy Winehouse--only to be unanimously approved after his rather solid delivery of Michael Jackson's Who's Loving You:

On the other hand, we have Super Junior, the (sometimes) 239847298-member Korean group
whose choreography in their latest release 쏘리쏘리 (Sorry Sorry) could use some tweaking of sorts:

Music videos are de trop anyway. The song itself conjures up gay bars, any trendy bar in Korea, any hip store in the bustling areas of Seoul (Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Gangnam, Jamsil, Samseong)...or any younger generation-targeted store with overhead speakers in Seoul. Unfortunately this wasn't released when songs like Wonder Girls' Nobody were still nauseating those who had moved on after the first week of it having been released.

Or I'm just bitter about SG Wannabe's 라라라 (La La La) having been marginalized too quickly.

Or perhaps it's just that there needs to be a 판소리의revolution. =D

Friday, April 17, 2009

At 9:23 a.m., spring, which has finally become more of a permanence in Chicago for the season, has already made this as good of a morning as "good" is going to get here. Furthermore, the Korean won has been gradually crawling up and out of the mudslide into which it had been pitched.

South Korea Won United States Dollars
1 KRW = 0.000752955 USD 1 USD = 1,328.10 KRW

The won still has much climbing to do before reaching its previous trading par (1 KRW = 0.001 USD; 1 USD = 1,000 KRW) with the United States. Nevertheless now is possibly a better time than later to finally do away with this lingering, impeding prudence that has come with having to wish my valueless Korean paychecks a bon voyage.

After receiving the portion of the money to be remitted, I'll have the power to Astroboy (鉄腕アトム, literally meaning "strong/iron arm atom") away at least some of the hindrances that have been weighing upon me.

Speaking of Astroboy, Japan's little beloved superhero, who has been exported and ♥ed beyond Japan, one may watch the dubbed episodes of this decades-old show on YouTube (as well as a crescive list of other TV shows old and new):

That episode shows how Astroboy came to be, which is rather sad, actually.

Surely we know that the superheroes (i.e. with supernatural abilities) don't exist, so this will be a jaggedly rocky transition to reality. Apparently, our "war on drugs is turning out rather well thanks to Mexico's contribution" because the price of cocaine, for most of whom demand is inelastic (as mentioned in the comments section), is increasing. This "war" on illicit drugs has no particularly simple solution, and Mexico is only a convenient node of drug supply. Curtailing or eliminating supply will be ineffectual, and curtailing demand would prove to be an even more difficult feat, whose achievement would not be wholly effectual, either. Some have proposed legalization as the solution, which has surely been met with warranted criticism. Absolute legalization and absolute prohibition are two options that don't seem to be permanently viable. An incentive program would be costly and likely to create some sort of effervescent effect within and among the drug-free masses. An exhaustive list of effects need to be taken into account on reaching a viable solution to the lolwar on drugs.

Less hyped in the media and sans bellum is the lethal lust for "beautification". In this particular case, it's a lust for silicone, made from silicon, the second most abundant natural element on Earth. On a mission to denature displeasing aspects of him- (yes, men are injected as well) or herself, these men and women are financially repelled by professional institutions. Therefore they are left to wayfare into the market of unlicensed yes people or friends of friends, who fit within their budget sets. The risk? Embolism, which would make such injections even more costly (obviously one could pay as much as his or her life for that coveted artificial bubble butt or jawline). Hopefully a lesson learned here is that substituting with cosmetic surgical procedures outside the medical boundaries increases your risk of post-"procedural", misprocedurally (neologism)-induced death by about 234928%.

Also risky is being an alcoholic sire...wait, and being a possibly unwed, anger-feeding mother? Surely this is a no-brainer, but this differs from the second (but not necessarily the first) of the abovementioned situations in the way that collateral physical damage can be--and has been in this case--done. This cannot have been recession-induced (see previous entry regarding increasing child abuse in Taiwan) because the relationship apparently had been a 12-year-long turbulent ride. (The common sense) lesson to be learned: don't drink and parent? Don't place children in the line of fire?

There is too much with which we need to deal and that we need to tolerate in the real world. Brb @ retreating to my own little low-vex world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vexed even by cybersocial life (the all-too-surrogate irl), a great way to attenuate--or even eliminate--such vexation is investing in TV shows. What a wonderful pretext: catching up on soap operas that had been neglected for months to "zap the frustrations away". Unfortunately shows such as Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The Office, House, M.D., The Big Bang Theory, Dexter, and Weeds (fortunately all aired episodes have been seen) are being saved for the next days of freedom.

After years of following these stories on daytime TV, they still serve as a utility. It is that sometimes/oftimes needed interface between reality and fiction pseudo-reality...that link to a temporary existential escape of sorts. Rather than investing any thought in this lack of a life and observing being apprised of the mostly joyous accounts of others' oftimes presumably real lives (this is, after all, teh intarnetz) at the risk of being potentially intrusive (or even obtrusive), all of which are conducive to reflexive cathexis of this torrent of anger, it seems more practicable way to make this torrent subside is to "de-existentiate" by observing the Joyous interwoven with the Woeful in the fictional "lives" of those in this other "world" where the viewer needn't think about being an intrusion or obtrusion on any level.

Here's a sneak peek of what goes on in the "other world":

This is a/n historic clip, for it is the first lesbian wedding on a mainstream daytime soap opera. Of course the marriage lasted for all but 3.5 x 10-21 seconds, but it is still historic in the way that the viewers have been confronted with the issue of homosexual marriage--especially that between homosexual women. Homosexual marriage between lesbians can be advocated much more easily than such marriage between men, though many would surely disagree. It would have been a more beautiful wedding had Infidelity not intervened on the eve of the wedding.

This next video is a clip in which the ubiquitous (by which I mean...within America) diva Erica Kane indulges in a narcissistic dump of previously suppressed anger on Ryan Lavery, a soap vet whose hunk/gorilla status has outlasted his abs.

Meanwhile, as a regression to reality, economic pressure is still mounting against the masses, causing many to simply fold. For example, child abuse in Taiwan has notably increased, possibly due to the recession. In America, some men are feeling pressurized into having their vasa deferentia clipped and clamped. Fear ye not, however, for if there should be a rebound from this recession--even an, *gasp*, expansion, then these men can have the procedure reversed and return to producing new heirs and heiresses albeit at a relatively hefty sum.

On the other hand, some clamps are being loosened: For the first time in contemporary Saudi Arabia, a black imam in Saudi Arabia leads prayer in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Holy Land of the Islamic faith. Thanks to his recitation skills and his voice, he was chosen by a rather moderate King Abdullah. Whatever the reason(s) may be, this may serve as a scintillation of change in Saudi Arabia...a scintillation that might even catalyze further changes that are to come. Or not, but King Abdullah is 84 years old, which means that Time is somewhat against him. He is not the only one against whom Time is ticking. I.e. It's high time an escape be made from places that seem to function as perfect vacuums and that a rush forth at the speed of light--or the speed at which a plane travels to a given destination--be made.

To infinity--and beyond. ...Tomorrow.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

April Fools' Day was certainly not without the traditional chicanery. Some were successful, while others' creativity was just sub-par. Being on the Fooled end of the jokes is rather mortifying.

April Fools' jokes for which apparently Gullible-ized Me fell:

  • A friend of an ex-coworker being comatose from a car accident

  • A friend's announcement of engagement on Facebook (a common, seemingly synchronized prank by every heterosexual, unmarried male on Facebook)

None of the April Fools' jokes to which I was cyberly subjected were nearly as creative as this one, which so happened to be found in a link from a status of a Facebook friend:

The Much Cooler April Fools' prank.

Remind me to start delving into these finer recipes once I successfully exit this cesspit of a place, which I vow to be for good this time (especially since it is snowing, SNOWING, on April 5th). Finding suitable men may be a problem.

Did the April Fools' jokes die on the 1st of April? Certainly not...nor was said chicanery indulged in solely by Americans. For example, I'm sure that all at Taipei News are still up in LOLs at the influx of gullible international readers of their news (apparently this is tradition for Taiwan on April Fools' Day): i.e. China did NOT once again slight Taiwan. Many intuited that it was, indeed, an April Fools' Day joke, but who would say that China would not concoct some equally--if not surpassingly--duplicitous gesture?

This is not to say that Taiwan is devoid of corruption. Spotlight on: Chen Shui-Bian- former president of Taiwan, pro-Taiwan (so, part of the Democratic Progressive Party) the judgment chair for purported bribery and embezzlement. Apparently his wife was the culprit and the Kuomintang (the Chinese-based, Taiwan-headquartered political party), with the help of the current President (affiliated with the Kuomintang) is trying to undermine the former president and collaterally the Democratic Progressive Party. While Taiwan is trying to achieve independence and democracy, letting former president Chen walk freely would serve as a forceful blow to Democracy's balls.

Speaking of democracy--or the lack thereof--the New York Times highlights the perceived impasse between the powers that be and the plebes of Facebook, in which a confidant of founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is also the products director, said in an interview:

“It’s not a democracy ... we are here to build an Internet medium for communicating and we think we have enough perspective to do that and be caretakers of that vision.”

If more than 200 people had read this article, imagine the curtailment of bitching that would have ensued. Or the unleashed deluge of it. Either way, there you have it. Facebook is not a democracy. In this Cold War between Myspace and Facebook, I just might have to venture to Myspace more has been almost a year-and-a-half after all.