Thursday, July 15, 2004

Dram Man's Soundtrack

One thing that was great about owning my own place was simply; I got to select the music. While I was unable to keep the "NO PINK FLOYD" rule due to customer requests, I am happy that the "NO LED ZEPPLIN" rule was still in effect when I left. Embarrassingly however was the inability to stop bands like Air Supply being played in the wee hours of night (damn you Bugs Music!).

Since it was all my music, I got quite a library stocked up. As the songs played I realized my connection to them. Some were stronger than others. The popularity of some were out of sync of when they had meaning to me. Some were related to places, others experiences, and others, stereotypically, people. With this in mind, I present Drambuie's Soundtrack (so far). They are listed from the first songs that I attach the earilest memory, to the most recent.

I invite you all to criticize, or agree. I wonder how my tastes in music will stand to others. Any of these important to you?

1. Saturday In The Park - Chicago
2. Does Anybody Know What Time It Is - Chicago
3. Walk This Way - Run D.M.C./Aerosmith
4. Something About You - Level 42
5. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
6. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
7. Three Strange Days - School of Fish
8. Story Of My Life - Social Distortion
9. Rush - Big Audio Dynamite
10. Love Cats - Cure
11. Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
12. Oh Carolina - Shaggy
13. Someday I Suppose - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
14. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
15. What's Going On - Four Non-Blondes
16. Come Out and Play - Offspring
17. I Like Mexican Girls - One Eye Open
18. The Sweater Song - Weezer
19. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
20. Jack U Off - Pansy Division
21. Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies
22. Possum Kingdom - Toadies
23. Standing Outside a Broken Telephone Booth - Primitive Radio Gods
24. No Woman No Cry - Fugees
25. All About U - 2Pac
26. Thirty Three - Smashing Pumpkins
27. Naked Eye - Luscious Jackson
28. I want something else - Third Eye Blind
29. Crash Into Me - Dave Mathews Band
30. One Headlight - Wallflowers
31. I wanna fly - Sugar Ray
32. Gone Till November - Wyclef Jean
33. Hot Spot - Foxy Brown
34. Shadrach - Beastie Boys
35. Brad Logan - Rancid
36. Daly City Train - Rancid
37. Blue Monday - Orgy
38. Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band
39. Free to Go - Folk Implosion
40. Dont Start Me on the Liquor - Violent Femms
41. Edimoya - Chinkees
42. I Wanna Fuck You in the Ass - Outhere Brothers
43. My Girl Josephine - Supercat
44. Electric Lady Land - Fantastic Plastic Machine

LG's "See Vivid Death" Ad

While walking past City Hall the other day, I saw some food for thought regarding the brouhaha over the Kim Sun-il beheading video.

I was watching one of the big TV screens over the intersection, and had this exciting piece of footage. A young woman was struggling to get into a helicopter. The helicopter was flying some great distance above rugged mountains. A hand reaches out to her, trying to help her get on the helicopter. Both hands struggle to meet, but are unable. At a climatic moment, the woman looses her grip and plunges out of sight to her ultimate death.

The camera follows the "rescue" hand, which is connected, not to somebody in the helicopter, but rather a man in a living room who was apparently watching the exciting scene on a brand new LG wide screen TV. The creepy thing to me was the man had this look of pleasure and satisfaction as he sat back and relaxed after seeing the woman fall.

Here was a man who evidently lived this whole screen through the "magic" of his LG TV. The experience was so real and life like, he participated in the rescue by offering his hand even! However in the end, this woman plunges to her death, and this man looks happy and satisfied by witnessing her death. What the hell!

What kind of advertising message is this? "LG gives you all the clear brutality of death!"? "You will be so amazed by LG TV's that you wont care if people die!"? "LG the official TV of Auschwitz!"?

Even worse, what kind of person thinks a guy who smiles when somebody dies on TV in an "incredibly lifelike" way is the best spokesman for your products? The ways you can take this just boggle the mind.

Then again I could bring up the more diabolical connection. The viewer was Korean, and the woman was European. It was this connection that made me think of the problems right now over the tape of Mr. Kim versus all the other tapes widely seen in Korea.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Precptions on Laws and Rules

In the comments on my observations about the subway fare system I got an interesting response:

But your mother raised you better than that, didn't she? Cheating an honor system is pretty low, don't you think?

This got me thinking, "How many office supplies the commenter has pilfered from his previous work places?" That said, I do not mean to engage in a "holier than thou" type dialogue from this post. My point in the jibe is a pre-emptive strike to show Americans are just a susceptible to such abuses.

However considering much of what is seen by me in Korea, I must wonder, "How do Koreans perceive rules and laws?" Case in point, at the few traffic stops I have seen in Korea drivers erupt into a tirade against the police officer. This rarely happens in the US, for a variety of reasons (ironic considering the US fine is much more than the Korean one). Another example is the way that not only both parties but also even the courts consider contracts flimsy pieces of protection.

In the United States we justify our action either by example "everyone else does it", or cling to the idea that such things are a "victimless crime". To be fair the first justification usually is a matter of scale (to take my earlier jibe, stealing a pen from the office is one thing, stealing a computer is another). However we are rarely taught either is the way to live by our parents (ideally).

Which gets me to my main question "How are Korean children raised?" Are they raised ideally, as back home, and fall off the wagon in the face of bad examples? Are they taught that only some of the rules are applicable at some times? Are they taught that if the benefit you receive is greater than the possible penalty, its OK to violate the rules? Are they taught that becasue Korea is homogenous, if enough people break the law its OK for everyone to do it?

I know I am thin ice with some here (especially considering my established cynicism>, but can anybody answer me?


To be fair, I should bring up my background. If I had to simplify my upbringing on this issue, I would consider my many conversations with my father. He was a lawyer, and passed on many points of rules and law. His one of his incidental overriding message was "If you can legally justify your actions, you may do so".

This is an interesting philosophy, with many interesting consequences. I cannot find this to be a defense for the subway tickets. One can financially justify it, but not legally. There could be many legal arguments for office supplies, such as non-wage benefits, or the need to work at home. Regardless, you can clearly see that there is a difference between "legal" and "moral".

Above though, I am not asking about upbringing in regard to morals, but laws. Accordingly I am not calling into question a Koreans morality.