Archive for December, 2012

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Merry Christmas! (And thoughts on the year)

December 24, 2012

In accordance with Mayan prophecy, we are privileged to witness the beginning of the Age of the Fifth Sun, the previous Fourth Sun having completed its great cycle of 26,000 years. It is now an age of expanded consciousness, and of a new emergent human living in harmony with both the earth and the wider cosmic order. It was never foretold to be an apocalypse. That widespread misconception was likely the result of remnants of excitable Judaeo-Christian morbidity lurking in the cluttered parts of the western mind whereby the interpretation of any grand prophecy, even one from well outside the canon of Biblical mythology, was seen only as being the fulfillment of the cataclysmic shitstorm of doom promised by the raging and demented desert god of Testaments old and new.

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Christmas Prez

December 19, 2012

Park Geun-hye & Moon Jae-in

The good people of the Republic of Korea will go to the polls later today* to elect themselves a new President. As well as being a national holiday to facilitate voter turnout, it will also be my birthday and my thoughts aren’t likely to be all that focused on the results of the two-horse race for high office but I offer a few thoughts here nonetheless.

I’m aiming for the polite neutrality that I feel is appropriate for a foreign guest worker. I have no vote, no say, and thus should have no dog in the fight, as it were. However, although I would welcome the election of Korea’s first female elected leader, in a country that could do with a few bold strides toward greater gender equality, I personally don’t believe the daughter of a dictator should be pursuing the highest office in what is after all a nascent democracy with a few too many lingering habits from its authoritarian past. For those unaware, Park is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the Korean army general who seized power in a coup d’état in 1961 and oversaw the miraculous economic growth and rapid industrialization of the time, ruling via widespread political repression and human rights abuses, before being assassinated in 1979. The man’s legacy now remains a profoundly ambiguous one in the collective Korean consciousness. Many older, more conservative, Koreans especially view Park as a great man who transformed South Korea from  the decimated ruins of the post-Korean War period into the rich, developed nation it is today. As one said to me recently with a smile, “when I was 14-years-old President Park said that in ten years time all Koreans would have a home, drive a car and own a refrigerator. I didn’t believe him.” On the other hand, younger Koreans, and middle-aged Koreans on the left who were involved in the political struggle for democracy in the 1980s, remain indignant at the memory of the dictatorships that afflicted Korea for decades and are, of course, hostile to the conservative political entities of today, including the current administration of President Lee Myung-bak and his “Saenuri” (“New Frontier”) Party, of which Park Geun-hye was herself formerly a leader. Read the rest of this entry ?