As of about 3PM today, Saturday, I'm still unable to access the Hairy Chasms directly. Just like last year, people from different parts of Korea are reporting different things about their ability to access the blocked blogs. For some, there's no problem at all; for others, there is. All I know is that I can't access my own blog, though I can publish to it just fine. Unipeak is serviceable, so it's not as though I'm posting blind.
One has to wonder at the sheer daffiness behind the urge to suppress online activity. Maybe daffiness is the wrong term; fear is better.
But what could the Korean government possibly fear from expat bloggers? Are we a large and influential political bloc? I think not. Are we a menace to Korean society? Here, too, I think not: most Koreans aren't fluent enough in English to follow our typo-ridden scribblings and rants. Is a large percentage of expat blogging about porn? Are our rants any different in tone and froth-level from what passes for argument among many Korean netizens?
Guess it's time to trundle out the old equipment, eh?
I reposted this recently, but it deserves re-reposting:
Trivia: I actually had to Photoshop my irises in that pic.
While we're into offensive images, here's my old Kevin-as-sperm pic:
Then there's this:
I've decided to title this photo "Breastiny":
Here's an old pic which I now reinterpret as an allegory about what the Korean government is doing to the online community:
(Hey-- buy the mouse pad version here!)
A while ago, some blogger claimed that many Koreans are closet totalitarians. I tend to disagree, but whenever I hear some idiot defend the Korean government at times like this, I wonder whether I should revise my stance. Here's hoping we don't hear from such idiots this time around.
Assuming the current mess is the government's doing, of course-- a good assumption at this point.
In other news...
Brian pointed out this essay over at Liminality in which the dude discusses his feelings about fellow expats. At one point he writes:
So why do I balk at meeting other expats when I usually end up having a pretty good time? I'm not sure, but I do know that it touches on something fundamental to who I am. Maybe it is the fact that I am basically an introvert. Or maybe it goes even deeper than that—- maybe I shy away from expat companionship because I want to embrace the loneliness of being without a "we," because it's harder to get hurt that way. I don't know how to express it, or even if that's the right answer, and honestly I don't really feel like digging any deeper today. This touches on some nerves that I am not too keen on touching right now. Maybe next time.
That's a bit too dramatically stated for my tastes, but he's got a point and I don't think he's alone. Many of us expats are probably somewhat introverted by nature (I know I am), but we also share a love of exploration. It's neat to be the loner in a foreign land, and the people of that land help reinforce our loner status by treating us as the Other.
The author seems to be describing my own problem: the Get Out of My Adventure Syndrome (GOMAS). I've suffered from GOMAS ever since I first went overseas alone-- in 1986, to France, as a high schooler between junior and senior years. Seeing other Americans was a disappointment to me: I wanted to be alone in my adventure, revel in the specialness of my situation, and not be reminded that what I was doing wasn't unique. GOMAS has hit me many times in Korea as well, and it may be one of the reasons why I can't stand going to Itaewon unless I'm invited by someone else: too many damn foreigners!
Liminality is a very well-written blog; I could learn a lot from it and have contemplated adding it to the blogroll on many occasions. Go give it a read if you haven't already.