The Mudang’s Dance (Reprint)

So, a few years ago, I was invited to write a piece for Arc Magazine. The result was “The Mudang’s Dance,” a piece on how accelerated modernization and social change seems to have given Korean society an interestingly different relationship with the future (and the past) from what dominates in the English-speaking world. The piece was only available in Arc […]

And Called It… Macaroni?

Yes, even in Canada we know the Yankee Doodle song. But like everyone else, as kids we giggle and find that last line in the first verse: Yankee Doodle went to town Riding on a pony; He stuck a feather in his hat, And called it macaroni… Who the hell sticks a feather in his […]

Meditations on Junk, #1: Ugly Koreans/Ugly Americans

I’m flipping through Min Byoung-Chul’s Ugly Koreans/Ugly Americans. (Which is, by the way, insanely overpriced on It’s a sort of typical book in Korea, basically intellectual junk crammed full of East vs. West generalizations and “explanations” by a Korean who doesn’t himself quite grasp what he’s taken upon himself to explain. (Also, to be […]

James on Wonder Girls

(START UPDATE #1 — 2:12 am same night): Well, Lime tells me that, no, it really is “boys and ajeoshis” who are the main consumers of Wonder Girls CDs. If this is the case, then this adds a more disturbing layer to my reading of the Tell Me video, since that would mean it’s a […]