Wednesday, 2 July 2008

For the Joshing Gnome

Joe, over at the Joshing Gnome, is writing a really interesting series of posts about the Korean idea of "jung" -- a mythical connection between humans that only Koreans share with each other.


He brings together the ideas of Amoral Familism (explained in other places on his blog) with the Korean concept of Jung, in a really interesting way that you may or may not agree with. . . but it's sure thought-provoking.

And just to be a tease, (Bajung Gadung Dung), he's publishing it in parts, one day at a time, so that we have to wait in suspense for each new installment..

(Links as they become available)
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

This guy knows a lot about Korea, and has a very interesting take on the country. More about him later. . . for now, Joe, here's a video that perhaps illustrates a bit of what you're talking about.

I know this video's nothing new: it's made the round on the K-blogosphere before, but here you go.

Wait for it: forty-three seconds in, something happens that. . . well, I better not say too much.

while I'm posting way-after-the-point clips anyway, let's take a moment to kick it in Geumchon.

Have a good day.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Rod Serling already wrote a masterpiece that is now playing out here South Korea called "The Monsters are due on Maple Street." Only, the monsters are themselves.

You can watch it here: It's only 22 minutes long.

I wonder how long civilization here would last if a strobe nuclear explosion happened over South Korea. An atmospheric nuclear detonation 300 miles above the peninsula would render all electronic devices useless via the electromagnetic pulse. Could this wired society survive without their cell phones, computers, video games, and electricity? If people get this worked up over the relatively small stuff like U.S. beef which no one is forcing them to buy or eat, what would happen in the face of a real threat? Maybe South Korean selective ignorance is bliss after all, just so long as they continue to remember their real enemies in the U.S., Japan, China, et al.

John from Daejeon

joshinggnome said...

Thanks for the kind mention, Rob. And by the way, I will get around to putting links between the parts on there, I just wanted to wait until the series is over so I could do it all at once.

Roboseyo said...

I watched the video, John. Fantastic episode. Sometimes I wonder about this lack of perspective wherein Korea gets SO worked up about stuff, but then, other times, I think that the sheer intensity of cultural change in Korea over the last fewscore years helps some of the melodrama to make sense -- it's hard for people from old, politically stable democracies like the UK, Canada, US, etc., to really get that, I think. . . and I have a few other theories that aren't polished enough for blog consumption. Humans get bestial pretty quick, eh? And it's surprising how quickly we turn on each other.

Joe: sure. Anytime. Just wait until I do my "joshing gnome" blog review before you thank me too kindly for what I said here.

gordsellar said...

Screwing up electronics would make a hash of any modern civilization almost instantly. Trust me. I've thought about this a lot, as have a large number of other SF authors, military analysts, and so on. Korea would be a mess, but so would New York, Edmonton, Delhi, Capetown, and innumerable other places. The Amish would be okay, for a while.

(The scary bit is how much we depend on incredible amounts of energy for all this. I doubt the Peak Oil hairshirtists will turn out to be right -- oil-pooping bacteria are on the way, we have reason to hope -- but still, we need to cut back some, I imagine.)

Oddly, I'm certain this The Twilight Zone episode aired in Korea at some point. But I shall be using it in a class sometime. Excellent!

The cool thing is that it was originally aired on my birthday, though 14 years before I was born!

Anonymous said...


Those great Twilight Zones episodes are more relevant than ever today. If these crusading fools don't watch out, they'll have the same ending as one of my favorite episodes, "I Shot an Arrow Into the Air." It's definitely another one to use in class. It's a shame that younger generations will never even give them a chance because they are old, in black and white, and not episodic in nature.

Being too dependent on electronics is really scary, especially concerning people's finances. I first read about a "strobe" atmospheric nuclear explosion in Nelson DeMille's, "The Talbot Odyssey," before I got into the likes of Heinlein, Asimov, Ellison, Verne, Crichton, Clarke, Wolverton, etc., and it scared (and still does) the hell out of me. Nikola Tesla was even worked on a directed-energy weapon over a hundred years ago, and the fact that we have electric impulses powering our bodies is a major cause for concern if someone really wants to create the ultimate weapon.

A few years ago, there was even a movie called the "Trigger Effect" which explored the sudden loss of technology on a small segment of society. However, my favorite look into the future comes from The Grandmaster, Robert A. Heinlein in "Farhnam's Freehold." It blew me away to learn that the meek people who will inherit the world will not be speaking English, Mandarin, German, Japanese, Spanish, or Korean, but French from French Africa and not France as the industrialized world was nuked off the face of the planet. The man could write some pretty accurate future history. It was surprising that a book that featured so much castration was such a great read.

John from Daejeon

Roboseyo said...

I'm afraid I missed this end to the exchange oh so long ago, but I cannot credit the idea that Farnham's Freehold is a creditable representation of the future. The book expresses (and takes for granted) some pretty ridiculous things about black people, from what I gather.

(I put it down in disgust long before that became an issue, mind, and never finished, but yeah, I seriously feel sad to hear anyone say it's their favorite look into the future.)