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Fri, December 1, 2023 | 02:51
Understanding Korean Modernization
Ask foreign students whether Korea is modern or not and you will get lots of different answers. Many will nod their heads and point to the first-class infrastructure and public transportation that safely whizzes them around the capital city with free WIFI. They will acknowledge the technology on display at every moment, from the gadgets people hold in their hands to the digit...
Le Sserafim: Whisper-pop techno
Starting the recent EP from Le Ssefarim, I must confess I wasn't expecting to be greeted with dirty techno, Japanese lyrics, the word bitch in a single, and a chorus unashamedly declaring “I don't give a shit.” After all this is K-pop. However, it probably explains why the video had 16-year olds gyrating on the floor in sweaty clothes, but I'll leave the analysis of sexuality...
Korean dramas vs K-dramas: What is a mother?
What is a mother? Are there certain standards regarding age or socio-economic class that determine when it is acceptable or desirable to become a mother? Do these standards differ by country and over time? Finally, do Korean dramas have a responsibility to show us reality or fantasy? There will be various answers to all of these questions and it is for that reason that a popu...
The Korean kids are alt-right
Transcultural diffusion is real: ideas, technology, beliefs and styles move between cultures and nations all the time. Sometimes this diffusion is generated by expansion as powerful nations stretch outward, increasing their influence over a growing number of countries and peoples.
Is Kim Jong-un progressive?
As someone who grew up in the 80s and 90s, I've generally understood human rights to be a good thing. Freedom of thought, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and to not discriminate against people on a political, racial, gender, sexual, or class basis are good for us and the people around us.
Korean grand narratives: the problem of ideology
Much of modern politics and discourse has become a question of morality. When people vote, they are not simply expressing a preference over economic policy or the correct distribution of limited resources. Instead they are seen as taking a side in a Manichean battle of good versus evil. This environment has been fostered by social media and is reinforced daily by ideologues o...
Mark Fisher and stagnation of K-pop
The slow cancellation of the future is an idea that echoed through Mark Fisher's work. It points to a condition in which life continues but time has somehow stopped. Cultural progress is halted. There is no longer any real or significant development taking place. Instead, we find ourselves repeating the past. Afraid of moving forward, we take refuge in yesterday.
Moon, Yoon and a load of crackers
When President Moon Jae-in came to power, there was a great deal of optimism about what he would achieve. Many people here felt the country was finally turning a corner and a man of the people would wrest control from out-of-touch elites and place it in the heart of those who had fought for democracy and freedom.
The beauty of Korean democracy
Many of us take democracy for granted, believing it to be the natural state of man or the logical progress of all and every society and culture around the world. Such beliefs, however, do not always conform to reality.
I'm a feminist
I grew up in the U.K. with Elizabeth II as queen and Margaret Thatcher as prime minister. My family was also matriarchal as our grandmother presided over a large collection of cousins, aunties, and relatives. Therefore, throughout my years of development, it was second nature for me to see women in positions of power and influence. In that sense, I was very lucky.