Evig Pint- by The Kaizer Orchestra, a Norwegian band that might be described as "The Pogues meet Tom Waits while watching a rescue crew attend to a Norwegian carnival accident"
A little doom and gloom before the weekend. . .
This is pretty startling.
I've never heard so much (local) carnage in the newspapers as the last two months here in Seoul.
I started reading the newspapers daily last year when I started teaching adults, and friends, things are getting raw over here in Korea!
Some recent headlines (mostly from Koreabeat, a site dedicated to translating Korean news articles into English), and these are just the ones that turned up in a search: my students have told me about other, incidents bad enough to bum me out for an entire morning.
A burgler/rapist in Incheon (one of Seoul's satellite cities).
Popstar Lee Dong-gon's brother murdered in Australia:
A dirty old man attempted to kidnap and rape a little girl. The police responded as if it were just some drunken disturbance, and basically tried to bury the incident, even warning the child's mother not to go to the media. This guy's pretty mad about it, and even the President of Korea personally headed over to the police station to knock some heads together when the media started reporting the story and criticizing the lazy, half-hearted police work.
Here's a ridiculously disturbing video of the incident. It's pretty violent, so don't watch it if you don't have the stomach. Not like you see blood or anything, but it's shocking to see a grown man cutting loose on a little girl this way.
Right on an apartment building CCTV! Fortunately, he was caught. Unfortunately, he was a repeat-offending, convicted child-rapist out on parole, who'd slipped off the radar.
A former Korean pro baseball player commits a multiple murder/suicide.
A runaway kid.
An "educational civil servant" accused of rape is back on the job.
Scads of kids are going missing, too.
Parents are upset and worried to high heaven; the Joshing Gnome found this picture of mothers waiting by their children's Elementary School gates to meet their kids and bring them home safely. It's sad and touching and kind of cute and cause for concern, all at the same time.
After making excuses and prevarications, a dude confessed to killing two little girls in a province not far from Seoul. It was pretty grisly . . . I don't really want to talk about it much. In response, these folks are working to keep the streets safe by escorting elementary school kids home (that's touching and awesome. Yay grass roots!)
(these are the Tiger Grandpas, from Songpa, the area where I used to live, out to make sure the kids are all right.)
I teach adults, and dear readers, they're upset. They're calling for law and order and heads to roll, literally: I even read an op-ed piece in the paper calling for the death penalty for child killers.
Yes, indeed, things are getting rough and raggedy over here in Korea.
Now a couple months ago, when Seoul's Sungnyemun Gate burned down, this article in the Korea Times attracted a lot of scorn from a lot of people. Using the principles of "Oriental Topography" (basically really, really large-scale feng shui), it predicts that with the loss of Sungnyemun, known as the "fire gate" for blocking fire (hot-tempered) energy from entering the capital, crime in the city would rise.
Mysterious Energy Linked to Blaze
By Park Si-soo
Oriental topography experts said the fire at Seoul's 600-year-old structure may have something to do with the mysterious ``fire-torching'' energy from a mountain in southern Seoul.
. . . Jeon Hang-soo, head of Korea Oriental Topography Research Center[, says,] ``Basically, Seoul is more densely filled with the energy than any other cities due to the shape of mountaintops surrounding the city ― spiky and sharp. . . .'
In Oriental topography, spiky mountaintop stands for ``fire'' and ``hot temper.''
. . . Kang Whan-woong, 74, a professor at Sejong University in Seoul, said ``Namdaemun was constructed with the hope of blocking the `aggressive' and `fire-inviting' energies [from sharp-peaked mountains nearby] from sneaking into the palace.''
. . . If the gate had not existed, a blaze would have broke out at the palace and even the presidential office, Chung Wa Dae, the professor said.
. . . Some experts in Oriental topography said the number of crimes in the capital might increase in the aftermath of the gate's collapse.
``As Namdaemun, having served as a guardian restraining the `hot-temper' and `easy-fighting' energies from Mount Gwanak disappears, we will see the number of crimes in the capital escalating until its restoration,'' predicted head of the topography research center. ``The restoration of Cheonggye stream has largely contributed to mixing the hostile energy with peaceful one from the manmade waterway, resulting in weakening the violent energy.''
It seems that the crime increase is occurring all over the country, rather than just in the downtown: Sungnyemun must have been more important than we thought!
For poor old Park Si-soo and the geomancy experts, it must be nice to be vindicated, but I'm sure they'd rather have been wrong, and had a little more rule of law in the streets.
Scoff if you like. . . anybody have a better theory on why this is happening? It's a little disconcerting, and between this and North Korea puffing and strutting and saber-rattling again, my students are getting restless.