Archive for November, 2011

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Sea of Fire Care

November 30, 2011

Is today’s pun title a tad too subtle? Bear with me folks, I want to fulfil my personal quota of at least four blog posts per month.

Light 'em up!

*Yawn* The nefarious Norks have officially threatened yet another “Sea of Fire” on South Korea for the egregious crime of not quite putting up with their shit.

North Korea threatens ‘sea of fire’ on South over island military drills (Guardian link)

North Korea has threatened to turn Seoul’s presidential office into a “sea of fire” after South Korea conducted military drills near an island attacked by the North last year.

The exercises marked the first anniversary of North Korea’s artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed two marines and two civilians.

The North Korean military warned on Thursday that “a similar sea of fire” may engulf Seoul’s presidential Blue House if South Korean forces ever fired a single shot into North Korea’s territory. The warning was carried by North Korean state media.

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Mogwai in Seoul

November 30, 2011

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Libya Vida Loca

November 29, 2011

In the 2001 comedy film, Super Troopers, the nefarious Police Chief Grady gloatingly remarks to his rival in the state police, Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox), “desperation is a stinky cologne”. I personally feel that triumphalism has similarly pungent qualities so I will refrain from indulging in my own feelings following the downfall and grisly demise of the former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, and the end of his crime family’s 42-year despotic rule. Instead, I will focus on my bête noire du jour; the conspiracy theories floating around attempting to discredit the foreign intervention that took place in Libya this year.

"They love me all my people!" Yeah, not quite.

Probably the laziest conspiracy theory here would be the idea that NATO intervention in Libya was chiefly about greedy western imperialists trying to get their hands on Libyan oil. This is obviously silly, given Libya’s existing integration into international oil markets. In other words, they already had their hands on that oil and there would be absolutely no reason to endanger ongoing contracts (like the substantial one BP agreed with Libya in 2007 for drilling in the Gulf of Sirte) by embarking on what would be an unnecessary military campaign to topple the despot that they were doing perfectly good business with in the first place. This is further demonstrated by the fact that several European oil companies operating in Libya saw their profits hurt by the revolution there. Moreover, although it is an oil-exporting country, Libya’s oil reserves make up only 2% of world reserves and it is only the fourth largest producer of oil in Africa. Neighbouring Algeria, which also experienced civil unrest during the Arab Spring, produces a great deal more oil than Libya (to say nothing of Nigeria and the largest African producer of oil, Angola). If shadowy western forces were manipulating the UN Security Council and the mass media (and observing human rights NGOs, of course) to demonize and stitch-up a North African dictator then why not go after Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika instead? Accordingly, this conspiracy theory regarding Libyan oil is widely discredited and seems to have arisen purely from those for whom “no war for oil” has become a default slogan for their reflexive anti-western opinions.

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K-Pop Korner: Girls’ Generation (SNSD/소녀시대) – The Boys

November 23, 2011

November is almost done and I’ve failed spectacularly on the blogging front thus far. *Sigh* What say we mosey on down to the Korner here and see what we can see?

SNSD/소녀시대/Girl's Generation

Girls’ Generation (SNSD/소녀시대) aren’t fucking about. They’ve been kicking the shit out of the Japanese market, picking up Korean cultural awards from the prime minister, signing with Universal in order to target American and European audiences, playing to screaming fans in Paris, and pretty much shilling for everything from Domino’s pizza and fried chicken to Christian Dior and LG phones. As far as K-Pop is concerned, they’re the tip of the spear at the moment, and that’s due in no small part to their latest album release, ‘The Boys’, and the massive popularity of the eponymous lead single. My own investigative forays into Korean popular culture, i.e. asking a bunch of middle school girls what they’re into, confirm ‘The Boys’ as the indisputable favourite tune of the moment although, upon examination, this seems to be the result of an overwhelming promotional juggernaut that has browbeaten audiences into submission rather than the actual quality of the song itself.

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