Beautiful is not a word I would use to describe K-pop. It’s catchy. Its groups can writhe in sync, and now it is exported all around the world as respectable as any other commodity. But beauty isn’t something that beats in the heart of K-pop. If anything, what pumps inside K-pop is brute discipline, [...]
The Korea Experience
I\’ve been in and out of Korea my whole life. Since 2007 I\’ve lived here. This is what it\’s like.
Stories matter. Some say they can save lives. How we tell those stories well is up for debate. Sure we have that tired writer’s wisdom of “Show don’t tell” from Henry James that is in just about every writer’s craft book, or David Mamet’s distilled, more terse, advice “don’t write a crock of shit.” (The [...]
So today, I’m on the Bookend with Sang Park talking about our work. He talks about his book Wait Until Twilight and I talk about my essay Salt Water Cowboy and the short story Between Here and Oblivion. If you miss it on air you can take a listen to it here. Also in other news, [...]
Beauty is one of those things that Disney said isn’t as important as what is in the inside. Well, that might be true, but Korean women (and many Korean men) know that if you’re unfortunately ugly, life isn’t all that fun. Before the MERS thing, it wasn’t weird to see people walking around with masks covering [...]
I’ve mentioned it before that I’ve been on Korean radio show, The Bookend, as part of a regular round table discussing poetry and sometimes fiction. It has been a great experience. Here are my three most recent episodes. To check the iTunes page for their podcast feed.
Living in Korea, it’s a daily occurance to come across gems of accidental English riddled with a tiny – but catastrophic – mistakes. Many people call this “Konglish,” which is wrong since Konglish is the use of borrowed English words in Korean. But I would like a to make an amendment to the definition of “Konglish:” [...]
When I was young Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise ” was always on the radio. It was everywhere, it was catchy, and it gave you the impression that there was some deeper meaning in the lyrics, as if in those words a greater truth could be found. I was in the third grade when I thought that. Here, [...]
Recently, I had some questions about Korean Military service – I’m working on a book related to it. Two of my friends who I often talk to about all things Korean both told me that they were blessed and didn’t have to do their military service. Blessed. That is what they said. I’ve heard of [...]
“We are in Transylvania; and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.” Vlad Tepes, AKA Dracula, from Dracula by Bram Stoker So I recently read Dracula and in it is wonderful words of wisdom that are perfect for quotes out of context. For the [...]
Shortly after I landed in Korea in 2007, I wandered into a bar mostly English speakers – a foreigner bar – and asked what it was like living here. “The Koreans are bad,” a man said, took a sip of beer and fell off the stool. Today, after nearly eight years after my arrival here, [...]