Caveat: Rearrangements

Perhaps as a tribute to my one year anniversary in this Ilsan apartment, I tried rearranging my furniture a little bit. I have a desk and a sofa – those are my bulkiest items. I have no bed – I long ago fully adopted the Korean custom of throwing a blanket on the floor, for sleeping – I just fold it up and put in a corner during the day. A few times I have fallen asleep on my sofa, but although it's comfortable to lounge on and was worth every one of the 150 bucks I spent on it last May, especially reading a book, it's not a pleasant place to sleep.

So last night I had this idea to somehow get my desk closer to my window area, but that puts it close to the sofa. It makes for a more open, roomy apartment with all the crap crammed into one end of it. I don't think I like the feel of it. But now I'm too burned out to rearrange it again just yet. Maybe later. I do like sitting close to the window, now that it's suddenly summer – I can look out at the next building's rooftop garden thing and hear the city noises.

Caveat: And Then, Summer

P1040838What happened to spring? It was hot today. Summer. What's with that? Wasn't it just winter?

OK. Whatever.

My Korean friend Mr Kim of Gwangju called me out the blue today. Why am I so bad at staying in touch with people I genuinely like and am pleased to interact with? Well, I'm glad he called. He was wondering why I never came to visit him in Gwangju. I gave some excuse about being busy… the fact is, I'm lazy and simply haven't taken the time to travel down there. Maybe this summer, right? I have other people to visit in Gwangju too. Picture, at right: a photo of a painted outside wall panel of a temple I visited at Mudeung mountain, Gwangju.

What I'm listening to right now.

한동준, "너를사랑해." 가사:

아침이 오는 소리에
문득 잠에서 깨어
내 품안에 잠든 너에게
워우우워 우워워
너를 사랑해
내가 힘겨울때마다
너는 항상 내 곁에
따스하게 어깨 감싸며
워우우워 우워워
너를 사랑해
영원히 우리에겐
서글픈 이별은 없어
때로는 슬픔에
눈물도 흘리지만
언제나 너와 함께
새하얀 꿈을 꾸면서
하늘이 우리를
갈라놓을 때까지
워우우워 우워워
너를 사랑해

내가 힘겨울때마다
너는 항상 내 곁에
따스하게 어깨 감싸며
워우우워 우워워
너를 사랑해
영원히 우리에겐
서글픈 이별은 없어
때로는 슬픔에
눈물도 흘리지만
언제나 너와 함께
새하얀 꿈을 꾸면서
하늘이 우리를
갈라놓을 때까지
워우우워 우워워
너를 사랑해
너를 사랑해

Caveat: ¿qué piense Ud?

This academic paper is potentially interesting, but I can't really say, since it's behind a paywall.  Here's the abstract, in full:

Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language as you would in your native tongue? It may be intuitive that people would make the same choices regardless of the language they are using, or that the difficulty of using a foreign language would make decisions less systematic. We discovered, however, that the opposite is true: Using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases. Four experiments show that the framing effect disappears when choices are presented in a foreign tongue. Whereas people were risk averse for gains and risk seeking for losses when choices were presented in their native tongue, they were not influenced by this framing manipulation in a foreign language. Two additional experiments show that using a foreign language reduces loss aversion, increasing the acceptance of both hypothetical and real bets with positive expected value. We propose that these effects arise because a foreign language provides greater cognitive and emotional distance than a native tongue does.

I have some questions. How is "thinking in a foreign language" defined? If you're thinking in it, how is it foreign? What about native bilinguals?

Caveat: 쓰레기를 먹는 공룡

Trash 005As long as we're on the topic of dystopian(-ish) children's literature (see previous post), I dug out one of my favorite Korean children's books that I've run across (not that there are that many in my repertoire). It's entitled 쓰레기를 먹는 공룡, which roughly translates as The Trash-Eating Dinosaur. I love this book, even though I have not, in fact, successfully read it front-to-back. I like the pictures, I like the aesthetic, I like the theme. And I've worked through some fragments. It's a much higher-level, more difficult kid's book than the others I've blogged about here so far. But anyway. I probably like it partly because it reminds me of the Wump World (see, again, previous post). More retro-futuristic dystopianism, but this time, with a Korean cultural twist.

The basic plot is (or seems to be – remember that my ability to read Korean is pretty lousy) that there is a dinosaur that is discovered that eats trash. He's put to work, but there are unforeseen consequences – environmental, of course, but also with respect to the dinosaur's quality-of-life, if you will. Things are resolved happily, of course, just like the Wump World – it's kid's lit, after all.

Here are some samples of the book. I love the sketch-like illustrations. Here's the dinosaur strolling around a clearly Seoul-like metropolis (note historical city-wall gate on upper right-hand edge of the drawing – it reminds me too of the 팔달문 neighborhood in Suwon where I used to stay).

Trash 004

Here's the dinosaur hard at work. Note the iconic dung-piles in the lower left – these are part of a powerful contemporary visual meme among Korean school children – I see them drawn surreptitiously on desks, blackboards, and books on a daily basis.

Trash 003

I like the politician or public official trying to berate (or interview? – these concepts are interconnected in Korean culture) the dinosaur in this picture.

Trash 002

Caveat: Star Trek: Planet Pollutus

Trash 006I was watching old episodes of Star Trek: Voyager – because I'm something of a trekkie, and I'm feeling yucky and therefore doing absolutely nothing productive with my time. And there was an episode called "Workforce" from season 7, in which the crew of the starship are all abducted by a society with a labor shortage. They're brainwashed and put to work. There were some scenery tableaux in that episode that seemed to evoke, in my mind at least, the aesthetic of one of the singularly most influential children's books in my own past: Bill Peet's Wump World.

 

Here's a scene from the episode.

Startrek_wumpworld_html_m1373947b

Here's a scene from the old children's classic that, while obviously not identical, bears some striking resemblance at least in my mind.

Trash 007

You might call it the "Pollutian Aesthetic" – since the Wump World has been taken over by the Pollutians from the Planet Pollutus. In the Star Trek episode, there's a dash of Orwell's 1984 (or successor aesthetics like the movie V, for example), too. You might call it retro-futuristic dystopianism.

Caveat: Dubtrot

Out there in the wide, wide interwebs, there exist subcultures you never dreamed about. A blogger named Kottke reminded me of the world surrounding fans of My Little Pony. This includes people who take sound and video clips of the cartoon and make dubsteb music videos to post on the youtubes. This is called dubtrot, of course.

What I'm listening to right now.

My Little Pony – Rainbowstep (Skrillex Dubstep). Does this even require commentary? It speaks for itself.

Pony_html_6f0957ec

Caveat: …ca mucho auie grandes cuydados


De los sos oios tan fuerte mientre lorando

Tornaua la cabeça e estaua los catando:
Vio puertas abiertas e vços sin cannados,
Alcandaras uazias sin pielles e sin mantos,
E sin falcones e sin adtores mudados.
Sospiro Myo Çid ca mucho auie grandes cuydados.
Ffablo Myo Çid bien e tan mesurado:
Grado a ti Sennor Padre que estas en alto,
Esto me an buelto myos enemigos malos.

Cid Leí El Cantar de Mio Cid por primera vez en 1986, apenas todavía aprendiendo bien el español. Así desde el principio, mi experiencia con el idioma se radicaba en sus aspectos poéticos e históricos. Y desde aquel principio. me fascinaba lo medieval. Este poema data del siglo 12. Tiene 800 años y todavía es comprensible.

Caveat: Another Blog Post

This is my second post for today. I feel lousy. I'm posting this to my blog because I have a rule, now, that I have two posts per day no matter what. So you can read this and think, wow, it looks like Jared posted something new to his blog again. But in fact, it will be disappointing, because this is just a kind of metatextual place-holder with no actual blogular content for you to enjoy or ponder or depreciate or ignore.

Caveat: 감기

Over the last several days I've come down with a truly horrendous cold/flu (감기). My voice sounds low and gravelly and halting. It's a good thing work has been relatively undemanding, as I still have a reduced teaching schedule due to the middle-schoolers' mid-term test-prep time, but our upcoming first annual Karma talent show is demanding that I do a lot talking in the classes I do have – we're practicing songs and skits with my elementary students. I end each day voiceless and hoarse.

Caveat: 떡 본 김에 제사 지낸다

떡         본   김에      제사             지낸다
rice-cake seen while-AT ancestral-rites stay
As long as you've seen the rice-cakes, stay for the ancestral rites.

I found this one in my grammar bible in slightly different form, while researching the paraphrastic "-ㄴ 김에" – which at least I recognized as a paraphrastic. It is glossed as "while one is at something," and I took the liberty of reading it in this case as "as long as one has V." The equivalent proverb in English might be "Strike while the iron is hot." As long as you're doing one simple thing, do the other more complicated thing as well.

Caveat: careless careless

What I'm listening to right now.

Mama_html_6f8fb32Exo-K, "Mama." 가사 (lyrics):

Careless, careless. shoot anonymous, anonymous
Heartless, mindless. no one, who care about me?

잃어버린 채 외면하는 것 같아 참을 수밖에 없어
눈을 감지만
마마! 이젠 내게 대답해줘 왜 사람들이 달라졌는지
아름다운 시절이라는게 존재하긴 했는지
이제 더는 사랑하는 법도 잊었고 배려하는 맘도 잃었고
등을 돌린 채로 살아가기 바쁜걸

익명의 가면에 감췄던 살의 가득한 질시
끝을 봐도 배고픈 듯한

이젠 만족해?
* 우린 더 이상 눈을 마주 하지 않을까?
소통하지 않을까? 사랑하지 않을까?
아픈 현실에 다시 눈물이 흘러
바꿀 수 있다고 바꾸면 된다고 말해요 마마. 마마.
Turn back!

죽고, 죽이고 싸우고 외치고. 이건 전쟁이 아니야.
도와줘요 마마마마 마마마마 Turn back.
깨닫게 마마마마 마마마마 Rolling back.
박고 치고 편을 나누고 싸우고 이건 게임도 아니야.
도와줘요 마마마마 마마마마 Turn back.
Yeah-

Careless, careless. (마마) Shoot anonymous, anonymous. (마마)
Heartless, mindless. (마마) No one. Who care about me? (마마)

삶에 허락된 축복받은 날들에 감사하고
매일 새로운 인연들을 만들고
깨져버린 마음에 보다, 기쁜 사랑을 모두 함께
웃을 수 있다면
우린 더 이상 눈을 마주 하지 않을까?
소통하지 않을까? 사랑하지 않을까?
아픈 현실에 다시 눈물이 흘러
바꿀 수 있다고 바꾸면 된다고 말해요 마마. 마마.

Careless, careless. shoot anonymous, anonymous
Heartless, mindless. no one, who care about me?

익명의 가면에 감췄던 살의 가득한 질시
끝을 봐도 배고픈 듯한
이젠 만족해?

우린 더 이상 눈을 마주 하지 않을까?
소통하지 않을까? 사랑하지 않을까?
아픈 현실에 다시 눈물이 흘러

언젠가부터 우린 스마트한 감옥에 자발적으로 갇혀
0과 1로 만든 디지털에 내 인격을 맡겨
거긴 생명도 감정도 따듯함도 없고 언어 쓰레기만
나뒹구는 삭막한 벌판.
날이 갈수록 외로움만 더해져
우리가 인간일 수 밖에 없는 건 상처 받는 것. Yeah-

만나고 손을 잡고 느끼며 함께 울고 웃고
닮아가고 서로 연결돼.
돌이키고 싶다면

 

Caveat: spelunking guides based on the Allegory of the Cave

The unequaled-in-snark blogger IOZ reviews the Atlas Shrugged movie – which I have zero interest in seeing, but about which I might bear some passing interest, if only as an erstwhile semi-(pseudo-)randian. The genius comment (on the novel more than on the movie):

the lessons she [Rand] draws from capitalism are like spelunking guides based on the Allegory of the Cave.  I suspect if you showed her the old A = L + S/E equation, she'd think it was some kind of commie redistribution plan.

Uh. You either get it, and laugh uproariously (as I did, ashamedly), or you don't. I will actually think more highly of your practical side, if you don't. I have, indeed, changed over these last several years.

Caveat: Bye Bye Bye

Bye_html_m71c768eNah. Just kidding. I'm not going anywhere. "Bye Bye Bye" is the name of a song we're doing in the sing-along / listening comprehension CC classes, which I'm teaching to some of the elementary groups during the test-prep period. It's by N Sync. I don't like the song. But the kids seem to – not all of them, but some of them. And playing it, for them, going slowly, going over the lyrics, line by line. Well… it gets stuck in your head.

What I'm listening to right now.

N Sync, "Bye Bye Bye." The sound quality on this youtube seems exceptionally poor, and that's probably intentional – prevents redistributive piracy. But you get the idea.

Caveat: Can We Teach English to Aliens While They Shoot Each Other?

ImagesIt was a kind of gloomy, rainy weekend, and for once, I didn't find the rain very comforting. The sky just felt heavy, without feeling dynamic as rain often does, at least for me.

I had fragmented dreams last night – I was trying to teach English to aliens. They kept having laser gun battles in the classrooms. Maybe I watched too much sci-fi crap over the weekend. Hm… maybe not so fantastical, though.

 Utterly unrelatedly…

What I'm listening to right now.

효린 (씨스타) [Hyorin (Ssiseuta=Sister)], "널 사랑하겠어 [I Will Love You]." 가사:

내 뜨거운 입술이 너의
부드러운 입술에 닿길 원해
내 사랑이 너의 가슴에 전해지도록

아직도 나의 마음을 모르고 있었다면은
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어 언제까지나
널 사랑하겠어 지금 이 순간처럼
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어
효린 [씨스타] 널 사랑하겠어 Lyrics

어려운 얘기로 너의
호기심을 자극할 수도 있어
그 흔한 유희로 이 밤을 보낼 수도 있어

하지만 나의 마음을
이제는 알아줬으면 해
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어 언제까지나
널 사랑하겠어 지금 이 순간처럼
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어 언제까지나
널 사랑하겠어 지금 이 순간처럼
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어 언제까지나
널 사랑하겠어 지금 이 순간처럼
이 세상 그 누구보다 널 사랑하겠어

널 사랑하겠어 언제까지나
널 사랑하겠어 지금 이 순간처럼
이 세상 그 누구보다
널 사랑하겠어

Caveat: Kamyk

    Kamyk
    – Zbigniew Herbert

kamyk jest stworzeniem
doskonałym

równy samemu sobie
pilnujący swych granic

wypełniony dokładnie
kamiennym sensem

o zapachu który niczego nie przypomina
niczego nie płoszy nie budzi pożądania

jego zapał i chłód
są słuszne i pełne godności

czuję ciężki wyrzut
kiedy go trzymam w dłoni
i ciało jego szlachetne
przenika fałszywe ciepło

—Kamyki nie dają się oswoić
do końca będą na nas patrzeć
okiem spokojnym bardzo jasnym

The poem is in Polish. Several translations are circulating – following, here's one from from a website called Pacze Moj (it's quite unclear to me if Pacze Moj is also a person, or if it's a pseudonym, or if it's just a blog title – my Polish is quite bad to the point of nonexistent).

    Pebble
    by Zbigniew Herbert

The pebble is a creature,
ideal,

a self equal to itself,
guarding its own borders,

filled precisely,
with stone pebblessence,

with a smell reminiscent of nothing,
It frightens nothing, arouses no desires,

its fervour and its cold,
are righteous and dignified,

I feel a heavy remorse,
when I hold it in my hand,
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth,

—Pebbles will not be tamed,
till the end they will gaze upon us,
through quiet eye so clear.

I like Polish. Maybe someday…

Caveat: 우리다같이 케이크를 만들자

This story book is not native Korean. It's a translation of something by Helen Oxenbury. But it translates well to the contemporary Korean cultural mileau, methinks.

It's about this kid's birthday. The title in Korean is 오늘은 내 생일이야. Here's the Korean cover.

Book 001

The kid goes around getting ingredients for his cake from various animals. The take-away phrase: "갖다 줄게" [I'll bring it.]

My favorite part (i.e. cutest picture) is when they then all get together to make the cake, near the end.

Book 002

The line at the end of this page: "우리다같이 케이크를 만들자" [Let's all of us together make the cake].

Caveat: 콩깍지

Images"콩깍지" is a peapod, according to my dictionary. Possibly, it has other, more slangy meanings that are beyond me. But I found this hiphop song with this title. I have no idea what it means. I can't even figure out the meaning of the hiphop group's name. In fact, I can't understand anything at all, except a few isolated words. But it's a fun song, I guess. I hope it doesn't turn to be too crude or bizarre.

 

What I'm listening to right now.

배치기 [baechigi], "콩깍지 [kongkkakji]." 가사:

B.A.E.C.H.I.G.I 이제 나왔으니
모두 친구들에게 전하기
하던 일들 전부 stop 모두 집중 여기 spot
들어볼까 기묘한 그 이야기

뭉탁!

탁>
그 꼬라지로 나와 너네가 얼마나 버티겠냐고
그냥 하던 대로 가라고
가만히 서서 중간이라도 가는 게
두말하면 입 아프다라고 말하는데
배치기 배엔 기름이 꼈네
믿음 따윈 져버리고 지네끼리 건배
그리고 나선 도망가네 조만간에 절망감이란
포만감으로 휩싸여야 정신 차리겠네

무웅>
어떤 인간들은 내게 말하겠지
너 얼마나 잘되나 두고 보자고
완전히 Reset 된 배치기
이제 누가 아냐고 물어보라고
그나마 누렸던 인기의 맛만
본걸로 만족해 알잖아 만만
치 않은 이곳에 이미 한물간
니들이 발 붙일 곳 없을 거라고

무웅>
이거 정말 난리나 버렸지
아무런 생각 없이 전부 내쳐 버렸지
모든 게 다 뒤바뀌어 버렸지
배치기 인생살이 제 눈에 낀 콩깍지

무웅>
뜻대로 되지만은 않을 거다
그러다가 망한 애들 여럿 봤다
새로운 변화에 신이 났겠지만
장담하건대 넌 예전이 낫다
제풀에 꺽일 네 모습이 선해
반전은 기대마 알잖아 뻔해
더 신 나게 떠들어라 웃고는 있지만
초조함 숨기려 내 맘은 탄다

탁>
겁을 먹었냐고 천만의 말씀
거품 빼고 우리만의 길을 가고픈 것뿐
당차게 박차고 나와서
난 바로 이 네 박자에 몸을 실었음
내 길에 내기를 걸어봐라
내 미래엔 배짱부리며 배 내미네 째봐라 그래
내가 쓰러지나 봐라 부러지나 봐라
날이 지나 봐라 끝내 누가 남았나

이거 정말 난리나 버렸지
아무런 생각 없이 전부 내쳐 버렸지
모든 게 다 뒤바뀌어 버렸지
배치기 인생살이 제 눈에 낀 콩깍지

B.A.E.C.H.I.G.I 이제 나왔으니
모두 친구들에게 전하기
하던 일들 전부 stop 모두 집중 여기 spot
들어볼까 기묘한 그 이야기

탁>
서로 머리 맞대면서 많은 날을 고민했지
배부르면 봄날이냐고
까놓고 말해보자 우리들의 전성기는
언제부터 언제였냐고
몇 번의 박수로 우쭐거리며
살아나간 지난날의 우릴 반성하자고
죽이 되든 밥이 되든 피래미 시절
기억하며 아둥바둥 살아보자고

이거 정말 난리나 버렸지
아무런 생각 없이 전부 내쳐 버렸지
모든 게 다 뒤바뀌어 버렸지
배치기 인생살이 제 눈에 낀 콩깍지 예

B.A.E.C.H.I.G.I
B.A.E.C.H.I.G.I 예