A Song About Peace

I realize I’m ranting about it yet again when I hear Lime’s voice over the phone, quietly, saying, “Okay, but Gord, now it’s too much. You sound crazy!”

Let me backtrack. I walked into the office at around 6:40, after a great lesson that I taught my LEC class. I’ll write about the lesson plan another time, but for now let’s just say class went well. I sat at the computer and noticed some kind of horrible song was playing outside on the campus loudspeaker system.

Horrible doesn’t actually convey how bad this song was. It sounded like the cheapest, cheesiest kind of hip-hop sampling ever; Grandmaster Flash after a lobotomy, stuck in a karaoke bar in some mid-80s time warp in Seoul. That bad. Cheese, cheese, cheeeeeeeeese.

And this guy occasionally singing putatively soulful lyrics over the background, but mostly just wailing and screaming and ranting into the microphone. He sounded like the old principal at the elementary school across the road from my old apartment in Iksan. The principal would get onto the mic, which was broadcast not only on the internal intercom system but also on the outdoor system, and he would rant for twenty minutes at a time. The kids would occasionally respond to his cajoling*#151;or was it incitement to agree—with a passive, sacry-sounding “Nae!” (Yes.) I always had flashbacks to the old reel-tapes of Hitler speeches I’d heard as a kid. It really did have some of the air of that to it. Sometimes it was downright chilling.

This was something like that: some no-talent guy was screaming into a microphone. I remember Peter asking me if this was really what kids these days in Korea listen to, whether I myself think it’s worthwhile music; he began to mock it, claiming at each of the singer’s outbursts that the man on the mic was having another ridiculous orgasm. His screaming did, I have to admit, have something of the intensity of a perverted lunatic.

I wandered out to find out what the hell the song was, and a young man explained to me that it was a song by someone named Ki Do (or was it Ki Dok, I’m not sure) about, of all things, about PEACE. This ranting, lunatic man was railing and hollering for twenty minutes about peace?!?!?! I swear I must have entertained at least five students and one Korean professor with my response to the insanity of a song about peace being screamed by a man who sounds like he’s ready to go postal and kill fifty people with a shotgun in a crowded subway car in Seoul. (Which is exactly how this moron sounded). That a song that long could actually be cut to a CD is shocking to me; the content, being probably rather jingoistic, doesn’t shock me, but I am surprised that jingoism is strong enough to justify the creation of a song that long with so little content beyond thematic railing.

It was a bit traumatic. Sometimes when I think of it, I launch into railing of my own. I think if someone were to be exposed to that song more than five times in one day, it’d be enought to get him into a padded cell, let me tell you.

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