'Miguk-saram!' the children shout
April 18, 2003 11:42 PM   Subscribe

Miguk - A film documentary on the life of an expat English teacher in Korea. If you've done it, this will bring back memories. If you're thinking of doing it, this is worth watching. If, like me, you're in Korea now, watching it on 'film' somehow dignifies the experience. Two thumbs up. [.wmv format, 16 segments]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(of course, if you're not young, male and American, your mileage might vary, as they say)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:08 AM on April 19, 2003

I would so very much like to see this, but...I can't.

I want to encourage making work like this available on the Web, but each of those "chapters" is a four-and-some MB download - which, even on this DSL line, is a lot to wait for. And 16 of them?

Plus, it's in .wmv, which lets me out right there. Sigh. I'll have to take your word for it.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:10 AM on April 19, 2003

I do forget here in the land of cheap broadband that not everyone is similarly blessed. Whoops.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:12 AM on April 19, 2003

This is great, stavros. Thanks for the link. A friend of mine is teaching in Korea this year, and it's cool to match up what I've heard from her.
posted by Nothing at 4:05 AM on April 19, 2003

Poor guy. Unless you adore bratty kids, steer clear. He seems pretty level-headed about it, though. Nicely done site.

Hurrah for cheap broadband!
posted by hama7 at 4:31 AM on April 19, 2003

Thanks, stav and adamgreenfield for the interesting Korean links today. I'm going to be in Seoul and Daejon next month visiting a friend, so it's nice to get some expat perspective.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:06 AM on April 19, 2003

Is it still "land of the morning calm" ??
Because they all got so tanked the night before.
Ahhh Soju & eel .. delish.
posted by johnny7 at 9:50 AM on April 19, 2003

Stunning, maybe the first online videolog ever. Tell me Stavros, what else are the Koreans doing with their cheap and plentiful broadband that we're not doing?
posted by ugly_n_sticky at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2003

what else are the Koreans doing with their cheap and plentiful broadband

As far as I can tell, sending lots of spam to the US.
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:33 PM on April 19, 2003

This looks like the work of a very precocious twelve-year old girl. He definitely has done something here, with the club music and thoughtful intellectual type voiceover. A part of me wishes I could watch it, but the more dominant part cringes and is repelled.

Now if you will excuse me, there is someone who I must wrap in cling film.
posted by son_of_minya at 4:34 PM on April 19, 2003

stavros, I've really enjoyed this - thanks! I watched about half the chapters, and I will come back to it. I find the kid segments very cute, but damn, I could never teach kids. I hope he'll do more, and add more clips like the walk through the market.

I'm fascinated with the journal/travelogue/music video format. (I now have a secret plan to try to get plep to carry a video on his next travels - he'd be a great observer/recorder!)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:05 PM on April 19, 2003

what else are the Koreans doing with their cheap and plentiful broadband

Constant, omnipresent, flickering, flashing gif and flash-based mini-ads, everywhere, mainly. If anyone wants to see what flash is really being used for out there, drop by a few Korean shopping sites.

My wife and I do all of our shopping - other than for food - online now, but that may be the case elsewhere these days too. Not that we buy much on my crappy professorial salary. But combined with the ridiculously cheap cost of labor (which results in free delivery (and free pick-up and take-away if the clothes don't fit, for example)), it makes life very easy indeed. We go 'eye-shopping' at the department stores occasionally, but the best prices are online, without fail.

Some claim that the last-minute swell of support which resulted in the election of the young, reformist Noh Moo Hyun in the recent presidential election over the crusty old business-as-usual Lee Hoi Chang came as a result of young people running an internet-based campaign for him. That's pretty major....the effects of having the entire country wired are only starting to be felt, I think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:41 PM on April 19, 2003

reformist Noh Moo Hyun in the recent presidential election over the crusty old business-as-usual Lee Hoi Chang

Some also say that Noh Moo-Hyun the young leftist North Korean sympathizer and apologist, supporter and heir to corrupt North Korean bribery expert and appeaser Kim Dae-Jung, was riding the swell of anti-American sentiment created by North Korean activists and spies who were granted amnesty (last five paragraphs) by Kim Dae-Jung, as seen by the explosion of North Korean-sponsored anti-U.S. propaganda sites on the internet, of which we've seen at least one shining example (base21).

Lee Hoi-Chang did not and does not support the Sunshine Policy (ATM- machine-appeasement) for North Korea, and his generation is one of the last to remember who fought alongside the Korean military to guarantee the freedoms so cavalierly taken for granted by many today.

Even so, it was pretty nearly an even race.
posted by hama7 at 12:01 AM on April 20, 2003

Some might say that. And they'd be partly right, but mostly wrong, in any important way.

Although I think your hamhandededness ('corrupt North Korean bribery expert and appeaser,' 'Sunshine Policy (ATM- machine-appeasement)', jeez we get the point already) in characterizing the admittedly disappointing tenure of Kim DJ not only misses with its broad brush most if not all subtleties of the issues involved, but is a little laughable.

I expect it from you on other issues, but really, I'd at least hope for a lighter touch on issues about which you ostensibly have some personal knowledge. Ah well.

Regardless of any rabidity on issues political, Noh's victory in the close race was attributed in part to grassroots support via the internet.

Also - show me a Korean politician, I'll show you a corrupt moneyman. It's not like it's a rare thing, for goodness sakes.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:40 AM on April 20, 2003

Well, the only reason I had occasion to reply was that merely attributing Noh Moo-Hyun's victory to internet use for the young versus old "business as usual" fuddy-duddies does neglect the details of the election and the Kim Dae-Jung brokered $500 million dollar payout(s) to North Korea, ostensibly for a North-South meeting, but quite possibly a bid for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The subtleties are what need pointing out. In another thread.

posted by hama7 at 12:59 AM on April 20, 2003

The subtleties are what need pointing out. In another thread.

(I'll let you do the honors - after all this time, I'm still scared of making posts!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:08 AM on April 20, 2003

Nice work here; I'm not impressed with the video quality, but I understand the limitations of the internet. I'd like to see some of it on a television.

It's bizarre. Lots of us here are trying to do something artistic with our experiences. Teaching English in Korea is an experience fraught with stories that beg for retelling, and the number of interesting characters (both foriegn and Korean) that one ends up meeting is staggering.
posted by jonz at 5:55 AM on April 20, 2003

Not to throw more gas on the flame but... this past election was Korean politics as usual with the country being divided by region more than political ideologies. Take a look at any voting map for proof. Anti-american feelings, other factors were miniscule when compared to the almighty regional vote.
posted by Plunge at 8:44 PM on April 20, 2003

You are correct, of course, Plunge, about the regionality (so odd in such a small nation) being a big factor. My take was that it was somewhat less of an issue than it has been in the past, though, although I cannot for the life of me remember what led me to that conclusion...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on April 21, 2003

I take for my examples Kwangju, which voted 98% Noh and Taegu which voted 97% Lee.

Very few places had a "close" vote.

Media made more out of anti-americanism and the North Korea issue than Korean's did.
posted by Plunge at 8:14 PM on April 21, 2003

it was somewhat less of an issue than it has been in the past
You are somewhat correct. In Busan almost 30% of the vote went to Roh (BTW, why does he spell it that way, I've asked people here and they can't say). Despite the fact that the vast majority of votes still went by region, the small shifts due to the generational split were probably responsible for his election.

posted by Octaviuz at 10:23 PM on April 21, 2003

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