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01/01 Direct Link
Got up late. I was happy tossing about in my bed idly, not because it's new year but because there is no swimming class today. We went to the movies, comic one. It's never our way, but there was no alternative. All sold out, even "007 Die Another Day". Korean people passionately participated in anti-American cradle rallies, and made a fuss at 007 movie ticket window. Are they same ones?

We planned a nice supper, but my stomachache made it humble. She made rice-gruel for me. We sighed for growing a year older. Why do people celebrate New Year's day?

01/02 Direct Link
I can see new comers in my swimming class. I heard my id whisper in my ear. "Please, beautiful girls!" Disappointed. Most of them are men, and a few female members are around middle-aged at that. But I stole a look at their figures in swimsuits. My girlfriend will never know I do like this in buses, subways, libraries and classes.

What am I doing? Am I an adolescent boy? It's an obviously violent "male gaze". They are human beings just like me, not just flesh. How will I feel insulted if they look at me with their dirty eyes?

01/03 Direct Link
I cooked pork with cheese, laver, bacon, potato. We enjoyed our dinner at first, but she felt queasy soon. Foods like cheese or bacon were too fatty for her. She's typical Korean who cannot dispense with rice and Kimchi, besides, she eats little like her diminutive stature.

On my way home, I regretted I showed nervousness to her. "We prepare food of two persons, you always eat little, I always eat too much thanks to you!! And you really don't know how wonderful western food is?" How dare I press something I like on her in the name of "love"?

01/04 Direct Link
I felt under the weather today, and came home early. Lying on sofa absent-mindedly, I watched shitty talkshows and stuffs. Leading a dull life, I've been losing my thoughts, feelings and words. Sometimes I barely manage to complete 100 words a day.

I have to talk with myself ceaselessly. In this situation, my best friend is me myself. Not TV, but books. Books are real good friends. Ask authors aggressively. I have to produce my own thoughts and words everyday. Clear away that sign "Different Day Same Shit". I have to control myself. I don't want to be a LOSER.

01/05 Direct Link
I listened to "underneath it all" by No Doubt over and over again. What fascinated me is not Gwen's sexy look but rhythmical reggae beat. Thanks to the song, I came to be interested in reggae for the first time. Today, a new reggae world is open to me. How cheerful it is to make me dance to the song!

I dream of World Music free from US monopoly. In the World Music, various kinds of music in every country are all equally esteemed. We cannot make a discrimination between American rock and Jamaican reggae in view of cultural equality.

01/06 Direct Link
Women who pursue sexual pleasure actively have been blamed for "lewdness" by men. Some women have been branded as a witch and burned at the stake. People threw stones at her in Old Testament days and people evicted her from the community on a charge of "infidelity" in Korea. I don't think they were witches or whores. They were smart, distinguished or even revolutionary figures in those days. The men swayed by a feeling of inferiority cannot be unable to stand her superiority.

But why am I unbearably upset to hear that Ms. Oh sleeps with a guy these days?

01/07 Direct Link
I added those songs to winamp playlist. Those songs are played when I writhe in the agony of unbearable loneliness, fear of future. From yesterday on, I'm terribly gloomy. I long for true love and sound passion that will drive my sense of emptiness away. I thank those 11 tablets of pain-killing drug.

Annie Lenox, A Whiter Shade of Pale
Garbage, Milk
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Green Eyes
Walkabouts, Tremble Goes the Night
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Otherside
Alice in Chains, Don't Follow
Suede, This Time
Sarah McLachlan, Adia
Lucy Nation, Alright
Corrs, Everybody Hurts
Schubert, Gute Nacht

01/08 Direct Link
Ms. Oh got divorced years ago. She was in agony between biological thirst for sex and moral continence. People have a serious prejudice against a divorcee in Korea. People blame her for breaking home. People say a wife should bear to the best of her capacity for the peace of home. And people view her with strong suspicion that she will sleep around immorally, even her family do that. Divorcees hardly tell people they're divorced. They're in the shade.

I was on her side. But I don't know why I came to feel digusted at the news and hate her.

01/09 Direct Link
In Korea, a divorcee's children are shunned by the villagers. People bad-mouth a divorcee and her children behind thier backs. People are biased against a woman who married several times. In this conservative culture, Ms. Oh finally reached a definite decision that she'll pursue her own happiness. What's wrong with her? She's a lady of dazzling beauty, only 36. Besides, her ex-husband took her two sweet kids from her unilaterally.

But I cannot stand imaging that she spreads her legs grotesquely to accept an ugly guy, panting on her beautiful body. Why I came to feel like vomiting at "SEX"?

01/10 Direct Link
The point is that the guy isn't exactly Ms. Oh's type. He's far from a man she dreamed of. She was never a woman that would beg a man for love. She never lost active personality after divorce. She worked faithfully and painted wonderful pictures in her leisure hours. She was good without her unfaithful husband, but she surrendered herself to loneliness finally. She didn't love him, but accepted him in near self-abandonment way. This damn conservative culture made her lose her self-determination for sex.

After sex with her SEX PARTNER, she feels deep empty. Tragic! I can't bear it.

01/11 Direct Link
Every third marriage ends up in divorce in Korea nowadays. CDR soared to 2.8 (320,000 couples married, 135,000 couples divorced in 2001), and it's third high among OECD members. Shocking! Too high, too rapid. I don't say conservative familism, I say inevitable social change and personal unhappiness in Korea. They don't have a new way of life, new culture, and new way of communication yet. The old ethics makes their miserable lives much harder, especially for women.

It's time to build up new system. We need open discourse. Let's get out of the shade! We're sick and tired of HOPELESSNESS.

01/12 Direct Link
It's time to close Ms. Oh's story, pull my thoughts together, renew my values. I should overcome Oedipus Complex firstly. Ms. Oh is just a friend of my friend's. I should overcome a delusion that every woman is my lover and every man is my enemy. No more groundless hatred against sex. Secondly, I should fully understand and admit her as she is. She never lost subjectivity. That was her own choice. Thirdly, I should reject deep-rooted conservatism in me. Nobody can judge that it's lust or love.

She's still BEAUTIFUL as she was, and now I'm a full grown-up.

01/13 Direct Link
It was a dreary day. Jun, my tutee, is not still enthusiastic about preparing for university. In fact, his parents got divorced a few years ago. His father cheated and his mother gave birth to a feebleminded baby, his younger brother, in the aftermath of that. After his father left for China, his mother has to run a small shop for a living. Nobody cared for these boys. He's always lonely in his deserted home. His only friend is internet chatting or online game.

He lost motivation. He needs comforts first. How can he be like many other well-off boys?

01/14 Direct Link
Kim, my another eighteen-year-old tutee, is preparing for university. He is brought up in luxury unlike Jun, but he also lacks motivation. This morning, he welcomed me with sleepy-looking eyes. He cannot digest books or solve problems by himself without tutor's detailed guide. He just takes his special private tutor's tips. He lacks originality and discernment.

Is Starcraft gonna be thier new classic instead of Shakespeare or Dostoevskii? Do I see them with my own narrow-minded standards? Am I a boring man with outmoded values in their judgment? What does education, classic or meaning of happiness mean to teenagers today?

01/15 Direct Link
My GRE test is just two months away. GRE has been a nightmare to me since last summer. I wonder how many English-speaking people use vocabulary such as "claustrophobia", "coven", "daguerreotype", "incantation" or "petrography" in daily conversations. I don't think GRE test will improve my English. It just requires me to have the patience of Job!

Maybe American No.1 export industry will be English. How happy they are to have their mother tongue as the source of wealth! Who will be benefited by my GRE test fee $140? Please use my test fee for ordinary American people, not for warmongers.

01/16 Direct Link
"English Fever" in Korea isn't the matter of mere language. English is power to put a person at the high position or make someone distinguished. English means university admission to teenagers and fast promotion to workers. The news that some wealthy class mothers had their small kids operated on for tongue shocked me a lot. Those mothers think they should do to help thier children pronounce some sounds well such as "r" or "th".

The privileged classes distinguished themselves from ordinaries with Chinese in Chosun Dynasty, Japanese in colonial times, English at present. What a tragedy of my weak country!

01/17 Direct Link
Chunggyoun looked cheerless tonight. He had a plan to study arts administration, arts policy or performing arts in U.S., but it was just a dream. The market for those fields is too small and narrow in Korea. He wanted to be a "cultural warrior" or something, now he is a ordinary salaried man. He feels that life is passing him by. Sometimes he misses his late mother painfully. He needs a house and much more money for marriage this year.

He said "I'm not what I want to be" taking a sip of beer. I couldn't find words of comfort.

01/18 Direct Link
I've never thought about marriage seriously in my life. What I want to do with my girlfriend is love, not exchange or contract. I don't make her a boring wife of no inspiration. I would rather fall asleep thinking of her in my lonely bed than imagine another girl lying beside her.

Maybe marriage is a memorandum that distrustful people stick to desperately and then want to break. I hope to be evidence that we can go on even though we don't have "institutional support". Baby, do you really don't know our deep trust is much stronger than empty marriage?

01/19 Direct Link
"...the following ancestors are listed: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers, then Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David... ...the following ancestors are listed: David, Solomon (his mother was the woman who had been Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah and Jehoiachin and his brothers... ...the following ancestors are listed: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph... the Messiah..." Matthew I

Isn't it too boring?

01/20 Direct Link
This is ski resort. Actually, it's my first time. I've thought that ski was a very expensive sport in Korea. I may well think so. Just ten years ago, we had only a few ski resorts in whole nation and a small number of people could enjoy skiing. Today, I doubted my eyesight. Overcrowded! From small kids to middle-aged people, they were good skiers.

Korean people started to enjoy costly things. Golf, ski, overseas travel, western food, Italian luxuries, German cars, imported pure-bred puppies etc. Can we say that we are now really rich passing over lots of undernourished children?

01/21 Direct Link
Traveling around Korea, I think of two things. One is that Korea is artlessly beautiful though we don't have highl-develeped tourist service system. Actually, we don't have an eye for Korea's own beauty. We don't know how beautiful Korea is! If China or Japan is a famous actress with glamorous look, Korea is a no makeup young girl with uncommon beauty. The other thing is Korea's countryside is still poor contrary to disorderly expanded cities. I can see slums and physically (or mentally) handicapped people easily in countryside.

I wanna know more about my country. Land, people and their stories.

01/22 Direct Link
I'm home. On waking up this morning, I missed my home, my room and my PC. I had pretty good time for two days in ski resort and other places, but it was just two-day-long happiness. I feel very depressed on the way home from travel, asking myself questions like "What has been changed after this travel?", "Nothing has been changed about me, about the world.", "Boring routine and hard realities of life are still back there. They're waiting for me."

I don't deserve enjoying pleasure of travel. For happy travel, I should be more faithful to my daily life.

01/23 Direct Link
"Generation gap" is one of the hottest topic in Korea after presidential election. Younger generations voted for Roh who is the new political symbol of anti-authoritarianism, but older generations over fifties deplored defeat of conservative candidate Lee in an election. The day after election, "fathers" sighed, "sons and daughters" cheered in every family.

Confucian-based-authoritarianism has been a kind of holy grounds that permits no criticism since Chosun Dynasty. It's falling down. But what we refused is suppressive authoritarianism itself, not the diligent post-war generations. Don't feel empty, father, we still love you. Our new world of hope is for you.

01/24 Direct Link
We can say that Korean society is not conservative any more. Since liberation and establishment of country in 1945, conservatism has been the main current of our society. Besides, conservative forces acquired power and money illegally. The law-abiding ordinary citizens got deeply discouraged and resigned themselves to their "fate".

It reminds me of the movie "Pleasantville". (But I don't like dichotomy between "colored" and "black and white".) We're entering liberal society. We refuse unjust enrichment and illegal power. U.S.A., the last stronghold of Korean conservatism isn't valid now by death of two young girls. Now we know how to dream.

01/25 Direct Link
Internet was out of service for more than six hours. Almost panic! As Ulich Beck says, it is "Risky Society". We live in a highly interdependent society. If one thing functions wrong, the whole system breaks down. We're at a loss how to do it. Horrible.

In old times, people can live without electric power, water works, gasoline, telephone and internet, but we cannot dispense with them. There will ever come a day that we cannot use them any more. We won't sing "How am I supposed to live without you", but "How am I supposed to live without Internet".

01/26 Direct Link
I like photos owing to this lovely song in "Bandits" O.S.T. I wish I made something evanescent eternal with photos.....

Picture me while I'm jumping out the window
Picture me while I'm flying over you
Picture me with a flower as my uhhhh-uh
Picture me while I'm standing on the rooftop...

Picture me counting raindrops on the meadow
Picture me while I'm dancing on the moon
Before, between and while and afternoon
Picture me telling stories to a river
Could it be I can see although I'm blind...

Photograph, Photograph
I'll never be the same
Photograph Just for a laugh


01/27 Direct Link
Driving to swimming class early in the morning, I listend to Eagle FM (radio station for USFK personnel). D.J. said about Super Bowl and selected a beautiful song. Super Bowl put me in mind of my army days. I asked Sgt. Mayer "It's unbelievable that we have day off on the ground that today is Super Bowl day." Anyway, I enjoyed two-days off owing to Super Bowl that had nothing to do with me.

Accidentally, the beauiful song was Mayer's "Your body is a wonderland". I missed Sgt. Mayer and enjoyed Mayer's song all day. My memory is my wonderland.

01/28 Direct Link
I liked Neil Young and "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young". I liked the song "Chicago". The song was once under a ban in Korea. Korean dictatorial government did that for they thought the song had a very dangerous lyric like "We can change the world, rearrange the world..." Neil Young was the symbol of the revolutionary 1968 and the inner voice of America to me.

After 9.11, he made a song named "Let's roll". What happened to him between "Chicago" and "Let's roll"? If he regards Arabic people as Satan, I'll put a ban on his song in my mind.

01/29 Direct Link
The essential foundation of strong democracy is not law, policy, institution or system, but careful concern, thoughtful consideration, mutual understanding or placing oneself in another's place. We can name that "democracy of feelings" or "emotional democracy".

Money and power are very important to our lives, but we haven't paid enough attention to the fact that how precious "careful concern" is in our personal and social life. I can live with ugly people, poor people, ignorant people, fastidious people and even smelling people, but I cannot live with the people that do not know how to consider the feelings of others.

01/30 Direct Link
I read my December and January batches again. The key word about myself is "self-contradiction". Instead of expressing personal feelings, I wrote Korean ethnography. Generally, the people who talk about meta or macro discourse aren't honest. (That's me) I wish to be a feminist, but I cannot tolerate woman's free sex. (smoking, too) I don't like America, but I admire American culture. (most of that is white people's) I think I'm a progressionist, but I feel deep-rooted conservatism in me. (Conservatism is strong temptation)

I long for a sharp criticism that will light my way. My readers, you do it!

01/31 Direct Link
Tomorrow is luna New Year's day. The essence of Korean traditional holiday is familism. Korean holidays made happy home much happier, but made orphans, divorcees, the lonely old aged, the people who miss their hometown in North Korea and foreign workers Asia much more miserable. Women aren't happy on a holiday. They should make special foods for the sacrificial rite for the late forefathers. Making food, washing dishes, and serving guests are a burden to them. Korean traditional holidays are male-oriented entirely.

But how can I ignore the strong familism watching endless line of cars on their way to hometown?