Tuesday, 22 September 2009
In a move as shocking as the canceling of the Gwangju Kimchi Festival due to swine flu, after a series of frantic phone-calls, e-mails, and comments between Brian in Jeollanam-do, Matt from Popular Gusts, Zenkimchi Joe, The Marmot's Hole's RJ Koehler, G.I. Korea, Dave Sperling of the ESL Cafe, and Nate from Korea Beat, the Korean Blogosphere has been cancelled, in light of several comments and a post by Kushibo.
The entire uproar was caused when Party Pooper, always quick to turn up in the middle of controversies, discovered a post on his favorite blog: Kushibo's "Monster Island," and sent it to several of the most popular K-bloggers. The single post lists every idea that has ever passed between English language bloggers who write about Korea, rendering the entire Korea Blogosphere, its many blogs and comment boards, nothing more than echoes and copies of that one, streamlined original.
"I was really enjoying all my blogging -- getting more popular, you know, thinking about advertising more to try and make it financially worthwhile," said Matt from Popular Gusts, "but it turns out Kushibo wrote the entire K-blogosphere into a single post back in February... since I read it, I just feel like everything I write is useless and vain repetition. The post wasn't even 1500 words, and here I was, just stroking my ego, writing posts thousands of words long, and spending hours on research."
Brian in Jeollanam-do concurred. "Really, a few comments he'd left on my blog had already gotten me considering just stopping forever -- the clever way he pads his visitor statistics by linking himself on my comment board catches me flat-footed every time, as surely as an English phrase in a K-pop song -- this post written in response to my post almost had me ready to quit, especially because Kushibo's tone really made me realize how much smarter he was than all the rest of us -- but when Party Pooper sent me that one link, I just felt like my entire online presence had been distilled into one, concise, almost poetic, haiku-like list, and I haven't been able to think of anything to write since. Maybe I'll post some pictures of food. Would that be redundant, too?"
Robert Koehler, of The Marmot's Hole, was humbled as well, but claims to have seen it coming. "Having a blog for as long as I have, you almost NEED a short memory: I've actually been living like the guy in 'Momento' and avoiding reading my own comment boards, just so I don't feel like every new post is more of the same."
G.I. Korea commented, "Now I know what emissaries to North Korea feel like, dealing with the same tactics again and again... except it turns out I'm the Rodong Shinmun! I hang my head in shame. In shame, I say! Christopher Hill level shame!"
Nate from Korea Beat simply noted, "We all should have realîzed he * was smårter than ŭs becåuse of thë wæ he continues to ŭse the McCŭnë-Reîschauer translîterætion schëme fŏr writîng Korëan wŏrds în English -- and oldër systems åre for smærter peŏple. The Rëvîsed Rŏmanizætîon is simpler, and ŭses ŏnly familîår lëtters... bŭt secrëtly, I only ŭse ît becåuse I was never brîght enŏugh to find the special këy to creåte the ŏ myself. Kŭshîbŏ is an ëxæmple ŏf acådæmic rigŏr to ŭs åll."
Dave Sperling and Zenkimchi Joe plan to continue some of their online activities: "I'll keep the job boards open, of course," said Dave, "but what's the point of keeping the comment forums open after this?" Zenkimchi Joe will also keep producing The SeoulPodcast "But I'll be hard up for guests without any bloggers to have on the show. I might just end up talking to myself for two hours every week, and laughing at my own jokes, and referring to old in-jokes and tropes, instead of trying to come up with scintillating topics week after week." So at least fans of Korea online can expect one thing to stay the same.
Other bloggers were simliarly distraught. "Now only my coworkers will not laugh at my jokes" wailed Roboseyo, "that's a huge drop from dozens of total strangers per day not laughing at my jokes!" Roboseyo also offered Kushibo all next year's golden Klog awards if he'd just take down what has become known as "the post." FatmanSeoul's comment was indistinct, due to a mouth full of skate. Ask the Expat and Ask A Korean sat in a corner together, consoling each other in the third person with wildly general statements and occasionally each shouting out requests for their readers to contribute a comment or a consoling bromide. Dan Gray wandered around with a bottle of Cass Lite, heavily intoxicated, asking, "does somebody have an opener for my second bottle? Will Chakraa pay me to hand out fliers if I quit writing Seoul Eats?" All K-Pop bitterly accused Kushibo of having plastic surgery and being unnaturally skinny, and The Hub of Sparkle writers sat in a circle, singing "Kumbaya" through tear-streaked faces, and Stafford Lumsden's distinctive laugh was nowhere to be heard. However, at least one k-blogger was glad to hear the K-blogosphere was canceled: "My daughters will finally know they have a father," said The Grand Narrative's James Turnbull.
The man himself, Kushibo surveyed the scene with eyes full of vindication, but also uncertainty. When the humble Dokdo Is Ours reporter approached him for a comment, even before his parted his lips to intone (that's right: Kushibo doesn't just speak. He intones!) the man's genius was evident to all: this man was clearly smarter than anyone else in the K-Blogosphere, with the possible exception of Scott Burgeson, and we had been gifted by his condescension to point out our inferiority, that we could save our time by no longer blogging, and develop other habits, like learning to breathe through our noses. "It was obvious, really, when you look at it. I did an exhaustive survey of myself in a mirror, and, satisfied that it was a large enough sample size to generalize the results, published a simple post. While it's too bad everybody's so upset, you can't be TOO surprised really, can you? An echo chamber can only repeat itself for so long, can't it?"
When asked what he would do, now that the entire K-Blogosphere had collapsed in embarrassment around him, Kushibo, whose genius approaches Hwang Woo-suk, or JYP levels of brilliance, was kind enough to remind this foolish reporter that, while all the OTHER k-bloggers have no original ideas, Kushibo alone was the one shining light of balance, wit, and insight of all the Korea writers: he, of course, would continue to blog, even without Brian's comment board to promote himself. Nay, in the absence of all the other K-blogs to compete with his brand of witty, idealistic, yet worldly humor, which is very john stewart with a little bit of colbert, Kushibo expected a huge jump in his own popularity! "Yes, yes, now, at last, people will pay more attention to me. Me me me me me," Kushibo said, each "me" more clever, deep, and insightful than the last.
When asked to comment, Kushibo's father said, "Wow. Suddenly I regret never paying enough attention to him when he was younger... in fact, in light of this latest accomplishment, I think, for the first time, I can truly say I'm proud of him."
The world can only hope that, at long last, that will be enough to satisfy a true thinker like Kushibo, the K-blogs' last great mind.
Posted by Dokdo Is Ours at 00:32