Besides being hugely fun and entertaining to watch, the new video from Phoenix serves to remind us the extent to which the annoying-but-very-catchy tunes of the American power-pop band Fun (insert your own period if you like; I can not do it) are indebted to their French predecessors. Here, those predecessors (Phoenix) are played by Korean actors. Which serves to remind many of us (because we are racist Americans who cannot help but to conflate East Asian countries in our provincial minds) where we first heard Phoenix: in that great Tokyo party scene from Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation. Which I watched for the first time in years [...]
Some people don't seem to know that the Jay Chou, the Taiwanese person who plays Kato in the new Green Hornet movie is actually somewhat of an Asian megastar! This might be why on the Korean version of the posters (which is the same version that's being used in other Asian markets), Chou is featured front and center, with Seth Rogen's big face hiding in the shadows (compared to the new US poster released today, which is just a car). Cameron Diaz, also pretty famous with Koreans, gets a more prominent placement in comparison to the American poster, where she's not featured at all.
"Older workers and bosses still think that drinking together until everyone becomes drunk is the solution to everything and that people get closer on such occasions. However, the younger generation prefers more personal time after work and they see these events as a burden." -A banker explains the generational conflict in Korea, where the business culture is centered around drinking heavily after hours. These kids really need to respect the wisdom of their elders.
Photo by grahamhills from Flickr.
The Environmental Working Group, which is totally a real place and not like when you tell people you're an "architect," checked out the radiation levels of over a 1,000 cell phone models and confirmed what I've always suspected-Koreans are awesome and everyone should be grateful. SoKo company Samsung captured 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th with LG nabbing 8th place for lowest radiation emission levels but I'm loathe to report the Motorola RAZR (hisssssss Japaneeeeese), that paragon of canny design that ensures thick layers of face sebum be all up on as much surface area as possible at all times while possessing the acoustics of two Siggi yogurt [...]
North Korea has invaded South Korea…. 's fax machines. Yes, maybe 80 businesses in South Korea have received angry spam faxes from North Korea. Harsh.
This Korean ad for ramen in which the group Girl's Generation sings the theme to classic videogame "Bubble Bobble" is burning up the Internets right now, and for good reason: Ramen, videogames, Korean advertising, girl groups-it's like a checklist for virality! Please do enjoy. [Via Brooklyn Radio via Idolator via, uh, our Business Guy's blog. And so the circle is unbroken.]
American-born Korean pop star Park JaeBeom (or, as he's known in Seattle, Jay Park), who is basically the Lance Bass-hmm, well, the Nick Carter, maybe-of Korea, has fled that country, after petitions circulated on the Internet that he should kill himself. Why? Because he wrote on his MySpace that "Korea is gay…. I hate Koreans." Um, and he wrote them a few years ago, when he was 15 or so. Now his boyband 2PM is in deep trouble! And they've been together for a whole year! This is the most dramatic departure from a country since Roman Polanski, as the shrieking girls in this video can attest. Love it!
Mark, a 50-year-old Korean adoptee from Chicago, has an impressive display of facial hair: a full moustache and beard, something you don’t see that often on Korean men. (My brother, who, like me, is a Korean adoptee, has tried this before and gotten a woefully undergrown result.) When he was preparing for his first trip back to South Korea, Mark struggled with what to do about his facial hair. In homogenous Korean society, he knew that the beard would be “a big deal.” Should he make life easier and shave it, or stay true to himself and keep it? It was, as it turned out, a profound decision, one [...]
"A mountain climber told us that a dozen aluminium cans of beer and other beverage cans were torn apart around the cart. We are positive that the bear was responsible for it." —A Seoul Zoo official tells the story of Kkoma, or "The Kid," a sun bear who escaped from his cage on December 6th, apparently because he didn't like being cooped up with a crabby older member of his species, and headed for the hills. Eluding hundreds of bear trappers with dogs and a helicopter, the brave young antiauthoritarian became a national media sensation—celebrating his freedom with a few well earned frosty cold ones before being caught on [...]
Service alert! Awl COO/Dude Who Is Hustling The Money David Cho is currently suggesting places to eat in Seoul. Feel free to ask for further suggestions!
No matter how bad you have it right now, you're still probably better off than the 'seal men' of South Korea. "The only things lower are the cigarette butts and the sewer grates."