This week is still busy. I started teaching a new term this morning, and my two classes, both of which are pretty high-level classes, looke quite good. I already know what I have ahead of me for one of my kids’ classes, but the other I don’t know about. We’ll see tonight. It’ll be nice to be finished teaching at 6:30pm instead of 7:30pm.
I finally saw an ENT today… an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. When he check my ear and told me there was nothing wrong with it, I thought for a moment that I was having another one of those cases where a doctor tells you that nothing’s wrong when in fact there is. But after he explained what he meant, I got it… he was saying that the problem in my ears had cleared up and now the effects I was feeling had to do with an imbalance of pressures due to the inflammation that continues in my throat, where the infection spread to after the first week. He gave me amedications and told me that I should be okay in about three days. Unfortunately, he did that thing that doctors sometimes do here, where they give you only a few days’ worth of medication instead of a full course of treatment. I tried to explain to him how bad that is, but he didn’t get it. He just insisted I would be okay in three days. In any case, the visit was very very cheap… it cost me about $2 to see the doctor, as opposed to what I paid at the hospital, around seven times as much…
However, I am still required to abstain from swimming for a week more. I am starting to get antsy as they are working on backstroke and I am falling farther and farther behind. Argh!
My band, Dabang, is now working on some new songs and I need to get the ideas I have for that Jeonju Jew song down on paper so that I have it firmly sorted out for our practice on Tuesday night. We’re playing two shows on the weekend, one on Saturday night and one on Sunday, and we’re also practicing a couple of nights this week. Once I start swimming again, I will be very very busy. Eeeek.
The Dabang website still doesn’t work, but if you want a sneak preview of it, you can look here.
This weekend, I went to Seoul to drop my sax off at a musical instrument dealer’s shop. They sometimes do repairs for me and while they don’t always do a good job, they do ship my horn to me when it’s done, and they were the only place I could get my sax to in time… I ended up going on a Sunday, not considering the fact everything is closed on Sundays, but I was lucky enough to find a security guard to give the horn to the right people. The only problem is, I called and couldn’t understand exactly what the guy on the phone (not the usual person) was saying.
Anyway, during the trip up and back down, I read the copy of Noam Chomsky’s 9-11 that I stole from the office. It was interesting, and Chomsky does make some good points. He’s an intelligent man, I’m just not sure about his optimism. He believes that if enough citizens get together, at least in Western countries, that they can bring about change. I’m not really convinced that is true… I’m not really convinced we can hold countries like the USA or North Korea to standards of how countries ought to act, because those countries don’t tend to hold themselves to those standards. China still executes criminals, and so does America, even though it’s considered inhumane punishment, in fact barbaric, by most of the developed countries of the world.
Anyway, I am not saying Chomsky’s wrong. I think he is right in many respects, that the US’s policies and actions do themselves often use methods comparable to that of those they call “terrorists” these days. This does constitute a kind of terrorism which ought to be challenged and eradicated, as much as any other terrorism. The fallacies of the American government’s logic are well uncovered. But the book is damaged by some of his rhetorical gestures (such as very often saying, “And this is just a minor example. The examples abound, and this is only an insiginificant one…” and a repetition that would have been understandable if these interviews hadn’t been edited for publication (though, because they have, isn’t understandable). I also think that the mass unwillingness to look objectively at things is something that prevents a book like this from having much effect… and unfortunately, Chomsky’s reaction to those mainstream critics (the common people) is, as he states somewhere in regard to his less-well-informed critics, is to “ignore them.”
Which amounts to preaching to the choir. You and I are smart and critical people, or we wouldn’t be worried about this situation. But how do we get the mass of people to wake up and smell the coffee? That is one thing that Chomsky sadly seems unable to address except to present his fanciful notion that more people than ever are listening. I don’t think that’s the case at all. And getting into those peoples’ mindsets and working change is exactly what I think is critically needed.
Indie Music in Seoul
If you had anything like my experience in looking for Indie music in Korea, you know how frustrating it can be. People in one shop in Seoul actually laughed at me when I asked about certain Korean musicians. Well, I found out where to go! The Youngpoong Bookstore near Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul has an actual Indie Music section. In it I found many CDs, including the Hwang Sin Hae Band (mentioned recently in this blog), 3rd Line Butterfly, and the newest Delispice, as well as some of the bands we saw at Ssamzie, like Lazybone and No Brains. It’s not a big section, really, only one rack of CDs, but it beats Music City and the staff is also nicer. (And the jazz section is also not bad, with better selection for some artists than Music City.) It’s a short walk from either Kyobo Bookstore or the Jonggak subway station.
Right, I must go…