Sunday, 29 May 2011

Some Random Things I Don't Know and Things I Do Know

I'm really out of it. There are so many things with which I'm not in the loop:

  • When did the last episode of Oprah air? I haven't watched a single episode of Oprah in the last two years.
  • Who is the new American Idol winner that praised God for his success and how does he sound like? He must be an extraordinarily great singer to win that competition while being so open about his Christian beliefs in a country where Christianity has unfortunately become equated with the Religious Right and uneducated red neck fanatics.
  • I've not seen a single episode of Glee; don't know the actors/actresses names or what they look like. What is Glee about in any case? I know it contains some singing and dancing. Is it something like High School Musical? Not that I know much about that either.
  • I didn't watch the Royal Wedding and the only pictures I saw of it was of those ugly Lady Gagaesque hats.
  • I don't know what the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie is about.
  • I forgot that I actually saw Hangover (2009) and confused Hangover II to be a sequel to that old Stallone film, Cliffhanger (1993).
  • I don't know what's special about the iPhone 5. Is it supposed to be translucent or something? 
  • I haven't read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I'm not sure if I should be excited about the trailer of the movie based on the novel.
  • I did not know of the volcanic eruption in Iceland just over a week ago, until today. (See a beautiful video of it here.)
  • I forgot about Africa Day until the day was practically over.
  • I know there have been some terrible tornadoes in the USA recently, but know very little about where they occurred or are occurring and the damage so far. 
  • I didn't know Brad and Angelina got back together again. I thought they had split up.
And so on. What do I know? I know governments are lying. I know that the FBI is targeting political activists as terrorists and that Obama continues Bush's legacy by extending the Patriot Act and other draconian laws. I know that Kung Fu Panda 2 is not as good as the first. I know it is officially summer in Korea. I know my apartment is a mess and that I'm not in the mood to clean it, hence this post.

    Wednesday, 25 May 2011

    Cirque du Soleil -- Varekai

    On Sunday night I went to see Cirque du Soleil currently in Seoul. What a magical experience the Cirque du Soleil performances are. The whole set-up is so surreal that one is quickly spirited away into an other-wordly experience. It's not only about people doing "acrobatic tricks", it is everything: the costumes, the lighting, the music, the décor, the fantasy inspired plot. It's a grand theatrical extravaganza that is dificult to explain if you haven't seen it. This was the second time for me to see a Cirque du Soleil performance. The previous time was in 2007.

    If you have never experienced circus at its best, I highly recommend putting a Cirque du Soleil performance on your bucket list. 

    Obama's Birth Certificate LOL!

    Whohahahahaha! Whahahaha! LOL!!! Tears are rolling down my face, this is so freakin' funny! Whahahaha!

    Source: White House -- Download Link
    Okay, so I have a Degree in Graphic Design, which make it easy to see the obvious, glaring, issues with this document, which is clearly a fake. But come on! You don't need a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design to see this.

    Apart from the obvious issue of the green background grain not matching up, here are some other things to look at.
    • Notice the State Registrar's Stamp at the bottom of the page. There is a spelling error: "ABSTRACT OF TXE RECORD". You wanna tell me that the State Registrar used a stamp with a spelling error in it? If so, then we need to compare this with other certificates from the same time and see if those too have this error on it, which I hard to believe.
    • Is that a smiling face in the first A of the Registrar's signature? Zoom into the signature and look at the A in "Alvin". Yes it could be an ink smudge, but we don't see that type of splattering to this extend elsewhere in the signature.
    • Notice the colour mismatch of the green thatched paper on the outside border and the grey-green mismatched colour where the new layer clearly begins. It looks like they took a photocopy of some sort, selected all the "white" and deleted it leaving the transparent background (except for the grey areas), and then pasted the whole thing onto the green thatched background. 
    • Look at the Department of Health number at the upper right corner: 61 10641. Zoom in so that you can clearly compare that last one with the other numbers. It is strikingly obvious to anybody that has ever worked with computer images that the last number has been added as an image. It is clearly pixelated, when compared to the other numbers and the font is not exactly the same either.
    • Below the Department of Health number look at the date. What's up with that comma (heavily pixelated) behind the 4 (day).
    Now, I'm not saying that this certificate proves President Obama is not an American or anything like that. What I am saying is that this document is HIGHLY suspicious. I have to wonder why the White House would provide such a clearly altered document to the public? Surely there are better graphic designers in Washington! With enough time I would have made a better document and I'm not even an actively practising graphic designer anymore.

    Saturday, 21 May 2011

    Armageddon is not starting today

    No, Armageddon is not starting today and the rapture is not going to take place.

    The sad thing about this is that the Bible is actually full of surprisingly accurate prophecies that have been confirmed historically. Unfortunately people are following their own unbiblical methods of Bible interpretation, resulting in such queer eschatology as that of Mr Harold Camping, who predicts the start of the end of the world will begin today.

    Also, the idea of a rapture apart from the Second Coming is foreign to the Bible; especially the idea that the "church" will be spirited away and spared from the Great Tribulation. No, the Bible, if actually read properly, does not suggest that Christians will be taken out of the world when the Great Tribulation occurs; just like the Israelites were not spirited away before the plagues hit ancient Egypt. The Israelites only left Egyptian captivity after the plagues and tribulations. Christians sealed by God are promised protection from the plagues, but no mention is made of some kind of rapture that takes them out of the time of tribulation. Such theories are based on the idea of dispensations which is another concept foreign to the Bible, but believed by many evangelicals. God is ". . . the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8), there are no dispensations in which God relates to us differently. The covenants have always been based on the same principle of God's grace.

    I fear the followers of Mr Camping will experience a "great disappointment", which will unfortunately give his (atheist) opponents fodder for mockery, not only of Mr Camping's and his followers, but of all Christians.

    If only they had read Matthew 24:36:

    "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." 

    A more unfortunate effect is that these false prophets are crying wolf, so that when the true warnings go out, the hearers will not take head. My heart goes out to these people that will be sorely disappointed today and the mockery they will have to endure in the weeks and months (and years) to come. Some of them will give up their faith completely; hopefully others will not give up on their search for Truth.

    Thursday, 19 May 2011


    I was suddenly in the mood for Miriam Makeba and went to YouTube to listen to some of her songs. The first one I listened to was the song "Khawuleza" in which the child tells his/her mother to hurry up, because the police are coming.

    It's seventeen years after the change of government and I wonder what has changed as far as the police is concerned? Police brutality in South Africa is something that's making the news quite often these days. Again, I think, the children are shouting "khawuleza, mama!" South Africans do not trust their police. I know that I do not. When I see a police officer in South Africa I feel nervous instead of safe. They say you only need to fear the police if you are guilty of some crime, but that is not true. There is good reason to feel afraid. Afraid because police corruption is so rampant. Affraid because tsotsis sometimes dress-up as police officers. Afraid because we saw what happened to Andries Tatane. "Khawuleza, mama, khawuleza!"

    So while South Africans wait to hear the result of the elections yesterday, here's another Miriam Makeba song:

    Wednesday, 18 May 2011

    A Short Rant About Koreans and Their Colours

    Something that can really irritate me about some Koreans (and "some" here refers to a rather large portion of the population) is their idea about colours and that the Korean language is so much better because they have so many more different words for different colours than English does. This either drives me up the walls or make me want to puke. Whenever the topic of colours come up, Koreans tell me how limited the English language is compared to Korean that has such a big lexis of colour related words. Koreans seem to think that the spectrum of colours in English is limited to Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple / Violet, Brown and shades of light or dark (e.g. light red, dark blue, etc.). All this illustrates to me is an ignorance of English and a limited vocabulary.

    I get angry at this because it has happened enough times now that I have to accept that Koreans have been indoctrinated to think that English (and other languages?) is limited in colour vocabulary and so Korean is vastly superior. Then I start to name them some colours in English: lime, azure, teal, crimson, tan, olive, khaki, periwinkle, maroon, amethyst, turquoise, sage, sapphire, jade, ivory, clover, saffron, cream, amber, eggshell, terracotta, denim, mustard, bronze, auburn, chestnut, plum, sienna, coral, aqua, aquamarine, indigo, navy, salmon, garnet, burgundy, apricot, cerise, magenta, beige, pearl, ruby, chocolate . . . these examples do not even include the noun phrase colours (i.e. modifier adjective-noun colour combinations) like: light green, dark green, military green, forest green, fern green, sea green, spring green, yellow-green, pine green, pale green, sap green, neon green, Islamic green, Irish green, atomic green, moss green, bottle green, puke green, blue-green, lime-green (which is different from just lime), kelp green and the list goes on. (Afrikaans: En laat ons nie vergeet van Afrikaans se kakgroen en kapoen nie!)

    So don't come and tell me that Korean has more greens (noksaekeui 녹색의, chorokbiteui 초록빛의, pulbiteui 풀빛의) than English.

    The first couple of times I told Koreans I plan to translate Korean poetry into Afrikaans and English they told me it would be impossible because English does not have enough colour words. Nonsense. Yes, in some cases it is impossible to do direct translations but it is hardly because of a limit in vocabulary; rather it is because of the differences in thinking. (Koreans have a high context culture, while Afrikaans is used by more low context cultures, and this is reflected in the respective languages.)

    And did I mention that only Korea has four seasons? I kid you not!

    WhatsApp Messenger

    Hey, I just downloaded WhatsApp Messenger on my Android. It is a Smartphone Messenger which replaces SMS. This app even lets me send pictures, video and other multi-media! WhatsApp Messenger is available for Android, iPhone, Nokia and BlackBerry and there is no PIN or username to remember - it works just like SMS and uses your internet data plan. Get it now from and say good-bye to SMS.

    In short, I can now SMS friends and family with smart phones (regardless whether they are Android based, Apple, or Blackberry) for free.

    WhatsApp Messenger: Android + iPhone + Nokia + BlackBerry
    Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

    My Talk . . . uhm sermon . . . no, talk on Romantic Poetry

    This past Sabbath I gave a talk on Romantic Poetry at an international church (i.e. the congregation is English speaking) here in Seoul, Korea. The talk took around 40 minutes, and even though it started late, I didn't see anybody dosing off, which was a good sign. I got some very positive feedback including one lady who came to me afterwards, took my hand and responded with a "Bravo!" The pastor who invited me to give the talk seemed pleased. A couple of people requested the script. One theologian remarked that it was a very "useful" talk.

    I can't really take credited for the success as I merely reiterated the arguments of such great scholars as Karen Armstrong (regarding "Mythos") and C. S. Lewis (regarding "Numinous"), both of whom I quoted in my talk. Also, since this was a talk on Romantic Poetry and Christianity, one ought not forget the possible impression of the Holy Spirit, regardless of the speaker's eloquence.

    In any case, I've made the script available at my slightly more academic blog. You can read it here: Mythos & Numinous: Two “Profitable” Things for the Christian from Romantic Poetry

    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    A Call from Frontier Advisory

    Today I received a call from Frontier Advisory in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was in Taekwon-Do training at the time and missed the call. I'm very curious about the call because it was made to my landline number in South Africa that is automatically redirected to my phone here in Korea. It is an unlisted number and a very specific group of people have the number and none of them works for Frontier Advisory. Also, it is not the type of number one would accidentally call as it is not a typical land line number. I returned the call, but the phone operator could not help me determine who the call was from.

    Here's what I'm wondering: How did they get my number? And why would they call me?

    English Register Role Playing

    Because the Korean culture is so heavily influenced by Confucian ethics, there is a big emphasis on hierarchy. This is reflected in the language, particularly the Korean vocabulary. Different words are used when addressing people of higher up or lower down the status hierarchy. Register in Korean is very clear cut. In English we also use different register when talking to our seniors versus to our peers, in formal settings versus informal settings. But because register in English is more a way of talking, than just a choice of vocabulary, Korean students seem to think that English does not have register. To help my one class today see how different register is required I had them pair up and do a role playing game discussion exercise to the following roles:

    • Master / Slave
    • Employer / Employee
    • Parent / Child
    • Teacher / Student
    • Newly Weds
    • CEOs of two big companies
    They enjoyed the exercise and hopefully understood the lesson as well.

    Monday, 16 May 2011

    Tearchers' Day

    Yesterday, 15 May, was Teachers' Day in Korea. On Teachers' Day, students give their teachers cards, carnations and gifts.Since Teachers' Day fell over the weekend this year, students celebrated it either on the Friday before or the Monday after the weekend.

    This is what I got:

    A carnation, of course, since it is traditional. I got a carnation both on Friday and today (Monday).

    Some lemon scented shower gel and body butter from The Body Shop.


    A shirt with bow-tie from STCO (Shirts & Tie Coordination). Blue is not the best colour on me, but I'll make it work by combining it with browns. Apart from the colour, it is too big so I will try and exchange it if possible (and maybe even choose a more flattering colour). I like the bow-tie. It will make me look much more like a typical English literature professor.

    Saturday, 14 May 2011

    Sora Lee 이소라 -- "No. 1"

    (Or watch it at DaumTV.)

    Sora Lee's recent performance of the song "No. 1" on the TV show I am a Singer 나는가수다 is absolutely riveting. Not only is the music itself such a wonderful evocative piece (listen to a solo piano rendition of it here to hear what I mean), but Sora Lee's ability to infuse it with emotion leaves me in awe. She completely adapted her normal singing voice to achieve this amazing heart-wrenching sound. You can enjoy a YouTube playlist of some of her music here; compare how she usually sounds, with how she performs "No. 1".

    The show I am a Singer is currently airing in Korea and focusses on the actual singing ability of the participants, rather than on appearance, dancing ability and so on, as is often the case in the entertainment industry. Since the focus is on the participants singing almost exclusively, this naturally insures better music that is not diluted with other marketing effects. I am a Singer plays on MBC TV-channel. I do not own a television, but luckily the songs are also viewable online at DaumTV. It is nice to be able to hear some non-mainstream Korean music. (Although I think with the popularity of the show, these artists are becoming quite mainstream in their own right.)

    Thursday, 12 May 2011

    Alien Invasion

    In a vocabulary class we covered words related to emergency situations, evacuation plans, and the like. I gave me students an assignment in which they had to write an emergency plan in case of an alien invasion.

    Some of their suggestions, in no particular order, include:
    • Steal the alien technology and destroy the aliens with their own technology.
    • In case you fail to escape, disguise yourself as an alien.
    • Find something that the aliens like and negotiate your get-away.
    • Flee to the mountains; basement, subway.
    • Flee to the underground subways.
    • Fight back mercilessly.
    • Don't attack them without a good strategy.
    • Enlist in the military
    • Learn the alien language
    • Pledge your allegiance to them
    Some things that students think imperative to include in their survival kits include:
    • Canned food (obviously)
    • Perfume (to hide your smell from not washing)
    • Chocolates (for bribing aliens)
    • Digital cameras (to take pictures of the aliens)
    • Extra underwear
    • Alien anti-biotics
    • MP3-player

    Sunday, 8 May 2011

    Thoughts on Osama bin Laden's Assassination

    Well, first, I don't believe whatever the White House is saying. Even their own official spoke people contradict each other, how can they expect us to believe them? Read about some the contradictions as well video's of some of the White House briefings at Politico. So let's for a moment put aside the alternative media and conspiracy theorists' belief that Bin Laden has been dead for a number of years now and that this was all a staged event . . .

    So an American friend asked me the other day how do I feel about Bin Laden's killing and in particular, how do I feel about American's celebrating his killing. (As a New Yorker my friend admitted to cheering at the announcement of Bin Laden's death.)

    Personally I think it is terribly sad. People think that through his killing they have attained justice. The supposed mastermind behind 9/11 has at long last been brought to justice. I beg to differ. Firstly, 9/11 was just as much an inside job as an outside terrorist attack. If you don't believe it, then answer the Building 7 question. Secondly, there is no justice in the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Yes, the United States got even, like when a child pulls the hair of the girl that pulled her hair first. Tit for tat. You performed a terrorist attack on us, so we will perform terrorist attacks on you. (And that is basically what America has done with it's invasions, wars, and continuous drone strikes in Pakistan wherein numerous innocent people are regularly killed.) I'm sorry, no justice has been served. If they really wanted justice, they should have captured Bin Laden (and don't tell me the most elite combat squad in the world aren't capable of it). They should have captured him, and took him before a court of law, preferably an international tribunal. Then we would have had justice. But what makes me really sad about this whole thing is that people are cheering death. They are finding joy in the death of another person. They are not cheering for Justice -- in the virtuous sense of the word, but for getting even; they are cheering revenge. I see a depiction of an elementary, a childish morality; definitely not a matured morality or sense of ethics. America has not shown itself to be morally better or ethically superior to its enemy. They are on equal plains. An egotistical you-hit-me-I-hit-you-back-harder attitude that will only escalate mutual hatred and cause further terrorist (revenge) attacks.

    Furthermore, people celebrating at the death of Osama bin Laden, thinking that this means the end of the wars, are naive. Sadam Hussein's death did not signal the end of the Iraqi war. Bin Laden's death will not result in the immediate end of the Afghani war. And the secret war in Pakistan continues. The wars continue.

    Good, Osama bin Laden is dead; but so is Justice and any hope for reconciliation. And the vicious circle of revenge and hate continues. It's a cause not for celebration, but for crying.

    Below is an example of something worth celebrating.

    Saturday, 7 May 2011

    Lady Gaga's "Judas" and the Battle with Sin

    A friend practically begged me to translate into English the post I did in Afrikaans about Lady Gaga's new single “Judas”. I was reluctant because it requires time – something I'm stingy of, but I'm giving into her request; although this will be a very direct and very sloppy translation:

    Lady Gaga's new song “Judas” from her most recent album “Born This Way” is not finding favour in South Africa. Many radio listeners have requested that it be removed from the air.

    The speaker in the song says that she is in love with Judas and that she washes the feet of Judas with her hair. The speaker draws thus a parallel between Jesus and Judas and like Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Jesus and dried it with her hair, so the speaker will also wash the feet of Judas. In effect, Judas becomes a parallel Messiah of worship deserving figure. Her love for Judas is unconditional. She will forgive him if he were to “lie through his brain”; even if he were to cheat on her “three times,” she would still forgive him. Judas is not good for her, nonetheless does she love him unconditionally and therefore she describes herself as a “Holy fool.” By implication, Jesus is also a “Holy fool” because he loves us unconditionally and because he forgives us ceaselessly.

    The song makes a strange turn in the bridge when the speaker describes herself as a “fame hooker, prostitute wench” that “vomits” her thoughts. The prostitute that washed Jesus' feet, found forgiveness for her sins in Jesus. The speaker in the “Judas” song finds her forgiveness in Judas: “Judas kiss me if offensed.” She is unhappy that her loyalty to Judas is incomplete because “something's pulling me away from [Judas].” That something that pulls her away from Judas is Jesus. She finds herself in a double bind: “Jesus is my virtue, / Judas is the demon I cling to.”

    What exactly Lady Gaga's intention is with this song I do not know. If Judas is a symbol for the sins in her life with whom she has a relationship, then I have much sympathy for her. I have also written about my (love) relationship with sin – poems inspired by my battle with habitual sins.

    [I'm too lazy to translate the poems.]

    And just like Lady Gaga have I described myself as a whore, in much worse terms than those she use in her song.

    Anyone that has an honest recognition of his or her own sins knows that it is a type of love relationship one has with the deed. You know that it is bad for you, but you can't help it. Even the Apostle Paul was honest about this:

    Romans 7:18, 19, 24 (my translation): “For I know that in my, that is in my flesh, resides nothing good; for to do is present in me, but to do good, I find not. Because the good that I wish to do, I do not, but the evil I wish not to do, that I do . . . O, woeful human! Who will save me from this body of death?”

    Paul was of the opinion that as a Christian one is in a double bind battle: “For I embrace the law of God to the inner man; but I am aware of another law in my body that fights against the law of my mind and captures me under the law of sin that is within me” (Romans 7:23, my translation.) There are two laws in us; two forces: one good and one bad; the influence of Jesus and the influence of Satan. Lady Gaga describes it in her song as “Jesus is my virtue, / Judas is the demon I cling to.”

    There is a moment of hope in Lady Gaga's song; that line: “Jesus is my virtue.” Nowhere is she trying to redeem herself. She is a “Fame hooker, prostitute wench” that clings to sin – almost without hope. Paul's exclamation is similar: “I, woeful human! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

    But then Paul answers his question: “ . . . Jesus Christ, our Lord!” (Romans 7:25); like Lady Gaga: “Jesus is my virtue.”

    I'm not trying to defend Lady Gaga's song. I agree that it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Nonetheless, it reveals a pertinent Christian point: The battle with sin is an intimate reality – almost like being in love or addicted; however, there is hope: “Jesus is my virtue.” Paul continues in his argument saying that “the Law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus freed me from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2, my translation). Paul's advice is to keep our hope in God and to turn our thoughts away from the “fleshly,” and rather contemplate spiritual matters. It requires a conscious purposeful choice to rather think upon the “spiritual things” (Romans 8:5). Eventually, like Jesus said, we have to choose—we cannot follow two masters. Either Judas or Jesus.

    Until you have not had the experience of struggling with personal intimate sins, be not too hasty to judge Lady Gaga.

    There are two things that I can say about Lady Gaga. It is not my type of music, but there is no question that she has an excellent voice and is very talented. Secondly, she is brave. Not any person can do what she does. Call it sensationalism if you wish. Nevertheless, it requires guts to expose yourself like that.

    Lastly, what do I think about the reaction of South Africans and them requesting the song being removed from the airwaves. I like it. Consumers need to be more proactive in what they want. It is not necessary for us to just gobble up everything the mass media throws at us. We need to be given a choice and we need to strive for quality. I hope that South Africans will also start to criticise all those other (Afrikaans) trash that are polluting our radio waves.

    Friday, 6 May 2011

    One Reason I Don't Like Google Anymore

    . . . and the list keeps increasing.

    I've been noticing that my Google search results are tailored. It is different when I'm logged into Google, and when I'm not logged in, it is different when I'm working on my home PC or my office computer. It is also different depending if I'm using the standard (which automatically switches into Hangeul because I'm now in Korea) or the South African

    And this frustrates me. It frustrates me because it is telling me that I'm not getting an objective search. I'm getting subjective algorithm based search results depending on what Google thinks I want to see. And I don't want that!

    When I go to a library to search through the library's digital database, I don't want it to show me my preferences, I want to see all the relevant information -- even the things I don't like. Information searches are not about the things we like or not like -- that's entertainment. I don't use Google for entertainment. I use it to search for information. What makes the Internet great is that information is open and free. We can find different views, even views contrary to our beliefs, preferences, and so on, and herein lies the greatness of the Internet. It allows us to grow, to expand our understanding of a topic, to strengthen our own views, or even change our mind about a subject. But this is changing . . .

    Google! I don't want you as a gatekeeper, I want a search engine. And, according to the following video, Google is not the only one. Are there any objective search engines still available? If so please, let me know. I'll gladly swap it for this monstrosity that Google has become.

    Wednesday, 4 May 2011

    Wat is sexy?

    Opsoek na my CV in een van my digitale laaie kom ek op hierdie af. Ek weet nie vir watter okasie ek dit geskryf het nie. Moontlik net om my eie gedagtes oor die onderwerp te orden, of dalk om op my blog te plaas, of miskien vir 'n ander doel. Ek verbeel my ek het dit reeds al op my blog geplaas, maar na 'n vinnige soektog blyk dit tog nie die geval te wees nie.

    Ek is gefassineer deur “sexy”. Wat maak iemand sexy?

    My vriendin vind byvoorbeeld Bono van U2 vreeslik sexy. Het jy onlangs ’n foto van Bono gesien? Hy het ’n reuse neus en ’n abnormale ken. Buiten vir sy interesante brille is daar niks wat ek as handsome sou klasifiseer nie. Tog vind derduisende mense hom sexy.

    Seker so twee jaar gelede was ek en die vriendin by ’n Amanda Strydom konsert in Potch. Amanda, ’n vrou in haar vygtigs, wat lankal haar eens slanke lyf veruil het vir die mollige volumes van ’n middeljarige vrou, het ons verdronk. Sy was ongelooflik sexy. Haar sexyheid is nie in haar lyf nie, maar in haar selfvertroue.
    Amanda Strydom (Source)
    Sexy is baie keer gesetel in selfvertroue. Sletterigheid ook. ’n Sletterige vrou is vol vertroue dat wat sy uitstal aanloklik is. En ongelukkig werk dit vir party. Maar ’n ware sexy vrou weet dat haar bates te besonders is om aan almal vertoon te word. Sy steek dit verluidelik weg agter winkende klere. Ware “sexy” is ook uiters sensueel. Dis ’n bewuswees van die sintuiglike wat in subtielhede geprikkel word. Daar is min goed wat so irriteer soos ’n vrou wat ruik of sy in ’n bad parfuum gelê het. Gelyktydig is daar niks so lieflik as ’n subtiele geur, dalk jasmyn, wat sagkuns van haar nek af drappeer nie.

    John Waters (bekend vir sy film Hairspray) vertel in ’n onderhoud: “I see some women in really scary redneck bars that I go to, that truly look shocking. Like a three-hundred-pound woman with extreme cellulite in a tiny mini-skirt working a bar and strutting her stuff. Is she sexy? Yes, in a wierd way. People who have that confidence and that nerve are really sexy. And if you think you’re sexy, someone else will. You can look really sexy covered up. So I think the women who have knock-out bodies are the ones that should wear Japanese fashion, Commdes Garcons and so on. But they never do. That’s why they all look the same. What I am alarmed about is that all women feel they have to show full breasts all the time.”

    Ek dink dis makliker vir mans om sexy te wees. Die “vrou” is al so misbruik deur media dat dit moeilik is vir die gewone vrou om haarself te laat kompeteer. As sy maar net besef dat sexyheid is in die unieke subtielhede. Soveel vrouens probeer die abnormale maerheid van catwalk modelle na-aap. Maar die kunsgeskiedenis is dit eens, die vrou is mooi in haar kurwes, nie in haar reguit lyne nie.

    "Blue Nude" -- Henri Matisse
    Mans aan die anderkant is mooi juis in die reguitlyne. ’n Man in ’n ordentlike pak klere is gewoonlik aantreklik. As daar een geslag is wat kan baat by gewig verloor is dit mans. Kurwes pas nie by mans nie.

    Colin McDowell skryf: “ advanced too far and erotical gradually changed into pornography—its vulgar little sister—which is, sadly, all that is left for us today. Top-shelf magazines, DVDs and websites are not about eroticism. They deel instead in quick fixes. Whereas eroticism was predicated on the belief that sex was a pleasure increased in direct proportion to the time spent on it, today it is all too often seen as a form of instant gratification, to enjoy briefly and then forget about. Pole dancing, lap dancing, erotic cinemas and bars have devalued sexual pleasure by blurring the boundaries between eroticism and pornography.”

    Ek moet saam stem met McDowell se beskywing en Waters se lament. Seks en sexyheid het goedkoop geword – dis verlaag tot kitskos. En blykbaar is kitskos goed genoeg vir die meerderheid mense om op te leef. Kyk byvoorbeeld na die sexy odes in die Bybelse boek Hooglied: “Jy is so mooi, so bekoorlik, liefste, met soveel wat geniet kan word. Jou slanke gestalte is soos ’n palmboom, jou borste soos druiwetrosse. Ek dink ek gaan teen die palmboom opklim en sy trosse gryp. Laat jou borste vir my soos trosse druiwe wees, die reuk van jou neus soos die van appels, jou mond soos goeie wyn wat glad na binne gly vir die man wat jy liefhet, wat tussen sy lippe en sy tande deur vloei” (Hooglied 7:6-9).Die erotiese, of ware sexyheid, is iets waarin God goedkeuring vind. Maar hoe tragies dat ons dit verniel het tot kitskos.

    “Eroticism is about titillation – the slow awakening of sexual pleasure. It involves the gentle interplay of the mind, sense and emotions. It is to be treated as something special and valuable” verduidelik McDowell. “It’s a choice we all make. Intellectual involvement or animal gratification.”

    Die essay eindig effe stomp; dit kort nog bietjie werk, maar aangesien dit nie nou juis 'n prioriteit vir my is nie, plaas ek dit maar hier, sommer so ongeredigeer. Die essay is ook op 'n manier 'n tipe manifes vir my liefdesgedigte. Ek hoop dat mense in my gedigte 'n sin van die erotiese sal kry eerder as pornografiese.

    Visiting the Chiropractor

    I started going to the chiropractor again after some serious aches and pains. The chiropracter says that the car crash earlier this year definitely jerked me out of alignment. My left-hip is further back than my right hip and my middle and upper back muscles, all the way into my shoulders, are extremely tense. I've noticed it too, but more in my jaw. Sometimes I become aware that I'm clenching my jaw, only then do I realise that I am all tensed up. The tension is definitely part of the musculature that is out of balance combined with some familial stress.

    The chiropractor is not cheap, unfortunately, so I'm not sure how often I'd be able to attend these sessions. Luckily, he told me today that today's session was on the house -- what they call in Korea, "service."

    Tuesday, 3 May 2011

    Something for the girls . . . or is it the boys?

    An interestingly strange Ukrainian boy band, Kazaky, using a homo-erotic theme as their selling point, has the web ablaze. The marketer (one of the things I studied) and trend watcher in me finds it curious. Is this Soviet Union group playing the same marketing strategy that the lesbian themed duo-act t.A.T.u did a couple of years back? Is it a satire of girl bands and their overly sexual dancing routines? (Read more about the marketing strategy of girl bands in Korea here.) Is this merely an extreme version of the sexual objectification of boy bands? Is it merely a choreographer's work of art, jived up for the masses, as the second video below with the statuesque stills would suggest? (Kazaky's act is more focussed on their provocative dancing and chiselled bodies, than on their rather blasé singing.) Are they committed to some form of social commentary? Are they really a band aimed at the LGBT community? Or is their perceived audience women?

    On a side note, as a martial artist, I'm terribly jealous of that dudes flexibility.

    Monday, 2 May 2011

    Mika's Show, Last Year

    Last year I attended a Mika concert in Seoul. I had been saving up for a video camera and had just bought it before the concert and took some clumsy shots during the concert. I downloaded them onto my computer but then they disappeared. I thought that I accidentally deleted them, or that they went missing when my one hard drive died. While searching for a completely different video on my computer I stumbled earlier this evening on a folder, and lo and behold, here I found some of the video files from the Mika concert. I just now uploaded two onto YouTube.