Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Head on over to The Hub

There's a new meta-blog on the radar, and if you come here for news about Korea, you should make it your next stop. As you know, Korean promoters aim for Korea to become the hub of everything; well, thanks to the "Korea, Sparkling" advertising campaign, The Hub of Sparkle (cheers, old party pooper) wants to get in on that Korean wave. It's a meta-blog, that is, a handful of established Korea bloggers have put their heads together and decided to create a space where they can collect their individual input and offer a diverse, interesting look at Korea and its wonderfulness, goofiness, and quirkiness, and occasional backwardness or suckiness or still-working-on-it-give-us-a-bit-more-time-iness. There are a whole buttload of foreigners living in Korea now, and it's time to get working on forming a positive, open community where we can look at Korea's ins and outs, for better and for worse.

You can reach it by typing in or

There'll be some WTF stuff, some culture and events news, stuff to laugh about, helpful info for life in Korea, some social criticism (hell, I don't know what the other posters will put up there), and, we're hoping, a lively, friendly discussion board where people feel free to weigh in and hash things out without worrying about trolls or snipes.

There are some pretty awesome K-bloggers involved, and the material on the site so far is really interesting, and we've only just started: I hope as it gets established, it can become a helpful resource for people who need to get their bearings over here. Anyway, I think it'll be worth your while to add it to your blogroll, favorite it, and make it one of your regular visits.

Now: here's a cross-post of something of mine (yup, I'm in there, too) that's been up over there for a little while now. (here)

One Gripe about that Andong Festival

Yeah, I had a great, wonderful time last week, and the fireworks were one of the most unique aesthetic experiences I’ve ever had…

But then, between rounds of sheer wonder, they did this:

Now, Girlfriendoseyo defended it, saying that maybe they chose those songs for the sake of the foreigners in the crowd. . . except that as far as I’ve seen, both Sinatra’s “My Way” and Josh Groban/Westlife’s “You Raise Me Up” seem to be more popular with Koreans than with the foreigners living here.

Am I asking too much, and/or being some kind of Eastern culture-fetishizing orientalist by expecting to hear Korean music — or at least mostly Korean music, like the jazz adaptations of traditional arirang music that were playing before the fireworks show (similar to this) — when I go to a festival celebrating Korea’s traditional culture?

Anyway, just to remind you: other than that hiccup, the other 98% of the fireworks show was unbelievably cool, and the music was a bit jarring, but not enough to be a turd in the punchbowl, and ruin the whole experience.

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