Wednesday 30 September 2009

Samsung Introduces Glory Hole, Follow-up to Magic Hole

"Put Your Self In Our Glory Hole!" is the new slogan of Samsung Anycall's latest phone advertising campaign. After UEE's sexy commercial led "Magic Hole" to a smashing sales, Samsung couldn't follow up their "Magic Hole" fast enough.

However, as always, the supersaturated cellphone market in Korea was quick to respond. Jang-sup Leong, whose English nickname is "Johnson," from LG's marketing department announced LG's own, similar phone product over the weekend, featuring top beauty Kim Tae-hee promoting their new phone line, "Magic Head," with the slogan, "Kim Tae-hee wants to Give You Head" and "Give Head To Your Family This Chuseok"

Things are tight at Yongsan electronics market, now. With Magic Head and Good Head from LG, Magic Hole and Glory Hole by Anycall, other products are having their release dates postponed.

Samsung's "G-Spot" is being promoted by new Korean Female Pop group A-nal, as well as Big Bang tribute band, "Gang Bang", but will wait until November to release their new line, while SK Telecom's oblong phone, "Shaft" and its new high-speed wireless service, "Golden Shower," meant to "Shower" its customers with quick internet access, are being held back, for long enough that consumers won't compare it to competing all-in-one wireless service, "Package Flasher."

Dokdo Is Ours was lucky enough to chat briefly with Ga-Ping Beom, from Anycall, at a new candy and snack bar called Honey Pot, where hot menu items like the chocolate starfish and the corn hole have been flying off the shelves. "Korean Exchange Bank has this new quick online banking service called Money Shot that's looking to sweep the nation, but I've also heard, at a PR Conference called P.U.B.E.: Promotion United Branding Effort, about some other promotions and campaigns coming up that are going to be super-cool.

"There's stylish, flower-boy marketed K0Mexican restaurant opening called 'Pink Taco,' as well as new Noraebang Technology that will give voices more resonance, called 'Deep Throat' I'm personally excited about a set of golfing gloves so natural feeling it's like skin -- they'll be called 'Fore Skin' - you know, for shouting 'Fore' when you hit a golf ball."

Despite trying his hardest, Dokdo Is Ours failed to procure advance peeks at any of the promotional materials: posters or commercials, lined up for these exciting new products: however, the South Korean Elite Entrepreneurs' Trust places great stock in confidentiality and secrecy, so this intrepid reporter was denied.

Happy Chusok, everyone.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Korean Salaryman Admits he's "Fucking Tired" of Samgyupsal and Soju

Korean Salaryman Admits he's "Fucking Tired" of Samgyupsal and Soju

In a startling revelation, middle-manager and salaryman Oh Jung-soo confided in one of this coworkers, departmental accountant Kang Shwi-haeng, that he was "fucking tired" of soju and samgyupsal.

"It's nothing wrong with samgyupsal itself -- don't get me wrong -- it's just that we've been eating it for every bloody hoeshik, twice a week, for all twelve brain-addling years I've been at this company."

The accountant Kang tried his best to take the confession in stride. "I don't know why but people feel like they can tell me things," Kang said. For example, manager Oh often tells me, and nobody else, which WonderGirl he wants to bone, and describes the encounter in the kind of loving detail he wouldn't give to the description he offers any old Yu-mi in the office when he's propositioning secretaries."

While sexual fantasies might seem like more commonplace confidences, Kang remains baffled as to why Oh would admit his dislike for such a quintessentially Korean meal as soju and samgyupsal.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm Korean to the bone! I eat kimchi every day, and I perved on Kim Yu-na before she came of age with the best of'em," Oh said, "but you know, I've probably eaten an entire pig, just on my own, at these dull office-dinners, and sometimes I'd love to just suggest something else. Budaejigae, or dalkgalbi. It doesn't even have to be foreign food -- I'm no dirty waygukin, you know. My blood is pure as North Korea!"

Others in the office have admitted to considering other restaurants before. "There's a noodle place I often go for lunch," Shin, a programmer, says, "but I just thought the samgyupsal place was where we always went."

"Once, I almost suggested we go somewhere else," said Lee, a senior filing clerk, "I'm very fond of seafood myself, but then I thought, "what if somebody doesn't LIKE seafood? And I don't dare speak up. Samgyupsal is good enough."

Kwak, an analyst, and a vegetarian, has never said anything about the restaurant choice, despite working with the company for fifteen years, now. "I'd just be rocking the boat, and really, I don't mind. The others seem to like it, and I just satisfy myself with eating the lettuce and side-dishes until I can get home and round out my diet with some nuts or something."

When the division manager, Yeong-gwan Kwak, was told someone in his office likes to eat nuts, he answered, "That's impossible. Not in Korea."

Oh's admission did cause some ripples in the office, however: one worker, who asked to remain anonymous, asked, "Who does he think he is, anyway? Think he's better than the rest of us, who eat our samgyup without complaining? That selfish wanker's going to ruin things for everyone. No more free dinners twice a week, if HE has his way. What if more people want a little VARIETY? Next thing you know people will be skipping hoeshik altogether, going home at six in the evening, and saying no to the boss, and then it'll be anarchy, ANARCHY, I say!"

Confronted with such objections, Oh was quick to backpedal: "I never wanted to cause a stir," he mumbled. "Forget I ever mentioned it." However, it might be too late for Oh already: a colleague got nervous about his individual thinking and reported his subversive talk to the National Intelligence Service. "He might be clean and free of North Korean ties. . . but you can never be too safe, you know?"

For the record, Dokdo Is Ours loves soju and samgyupsal. This is a real, red-blooded, loyal countryman, reporting. Japan sucks.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Festivals Canceled Due To Swine Flu; K-Blogosphere Canceled Due To Kushibo

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.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Korea to Create New English Test So It Can Lead World Rankings

In the face of criticism over relying too heavily on other countries' and companies' measurements for English ability -- the TOEFL, the TOEIC test, for example -- and in light of the economic potential of keeping all those test-writing fees in Korea, rather than sending them overseas, Korea has decided to create a special, domestic linguistic capability test, specially designed for Koreans' particular test-writing and English usage needs.

"Koreans love comparing with other countries, but it has been an international shame for us to constantly rank near the bottom of the TOEIC and TOEFL international test scores," said Kang Hyung-Mi, mother of twelve-year-old "Suzy," whom she forces, like thousands of other middle school parents, to write the TOEIC test every month. "I can't imagine why."

Jan, a 35-year-old Swede applying for an overseas Masters' program, was also at a loss, "I don't know why Koreans score so low. Their masters' program applicants must be have a high rate of failure." Monique, an ambitious 24-year-old French woman who also wrote the last TOEIC test, also expressed amazement. "I wonder how their diplomatic corps handles other languages: that's why I took the test. I want to be accepted into my nation's embassy training program." Kwang-ja, a 38-year-old housewife who barely studies English except watching English speakers on Misuda, but takes the TOEIC test every month out of boredom, and an idle bet with her neighbor, was also baffled at Korea's low ranking. "Samsung is number one TV company, but why is the Korea can't get better score?" Another housewife, Dongja suspects a more sinister reason: "They must be skewing the questions with lots of vocabulary questions that favor the Japanese like 'Name the sea between Korea and Japan' and spelling Kimchi kimUchi." Dongja has never taken the test.

However, the ministry of Groupthink, Hyper-Standardization and Meaningless Tokens of Status has good news for such Koreans: a special English test designed for Korean culture and Korean needs is in the works. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Groupthink etc. explained the need for the test, saying, "Korea have no natural resources, and many people, so very competitive. Please understand. So for education is make best in competition and then get into SNU or Korea University or study hard go America. So now we have international test for make better score Korea!"

How would the test be different from TOEFL and TOEIC tests? "First of all, unlike lazy IBT, we will have our test every Wednesday and Saturday. For people who can't stand to wait days for their TOEFL and TOEIC scores, we've decided, after careful deliberation, to make the entire test multiple choice, so that we can provide immediate results by scantron. Secondly, we will give detailed results in several English skill areas, like grammar, vocabulary, grammar, vocabulary, listening is hard, fill-in-the-blanks, apologizing because my speaking is poor, and International Standard America English, so No Strange British Words Like Lorry, to allow for more detailed comparisons. Also, the minimum score on the test will by 900, so everybody can feel good about themselves, but we will use complex algorithms and many decimal places in the scoring to make sure no person who wrote the test has the exact same score as another writer: this way comparing scores will ALWAYS show who is better and who must feel shame."

"The test will include more English familiar to Koreans, for example, 'cutty boy' 'I'm genie for you boy,' 'just one ten minutes' 'how about your weekend' 'sorry but I love you' and 'fuck fuck motherfucker'; also abbreviations and buzzwords like 'birus' 'topia' and 'story' (all synonyms for shop and/or marketing plan). This will help Koreans get higher accuracy scores."

Any other plans for the test? "We plan to send this test out as an international competitor to the IBT monopoly, of course. However, we are confident that Korea's international comparative scores in this test will be higher than our current low rankings in the IBT tests. In fact, I predict that, even if the new Korean Test To The Best English Speeching Test Like Native Speaker Yes!" test is implemented in many more countries, Korea will stay at the top of the rankings."

The questions will be written in Korean.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

PSA: Cancelling the Kimchi Festival is Not an Admission That Kimchi Doesn't ... You Know

It is my unfortunate duty to inform you that Gwangju's World Famous Hub of Mecca Kimchi Festival will be canceled this year.

However, there have been some murmurs and rumblings which I feel must be addressed: it must be emphatically stressed that the festival's cancellation was NOT because Kimchi lacks the power to cure SARS, swine flu, or any other ailment.

No, it was cancelled because we do not want to risk gathering too many foreigners in one place. As is well known, foreigners cannot resist the siren call of a Korean culture festival, and flock anywhere they see Korean press members with cameras, jumping into frames and insisting on being photographed to the point of harassment.

It is our wish to prevent these foreigners from congregating and turning the Kimchi festival into one big swine flu party, that causes us, with deep regret, to cancel the kimchi festival.

However, we would like to reassert Kimchi's healing properties, and ensure you all that there is no need to worry about trivialities like hand-washing, mouth-covering, or avoiding sharing shotglasses in the traditional Korean style: as we know, traditional actions are culturally immune from spreading diseases, as long as you eat lots of kimchi. With chopsticks, so you'll be smart. And especially women, so they'll be beautiful.

(pictures: brian, Korea beat
ht: brian: what would we do without you?)

Monday 7 September 2009

To Remain World Leaders in Seasons, We Must Become World Leaders against Global Warming

Image from dongchim. . . where did you go, Dongchim? The Korea Satire Blogosphere (me, and sometimes Chris from SK) misses you!
A shocking report by a national meteorology group reports that, if world climate change continues as it has been going, Korea will lose its unique, beautiful winter, and lose also its undisputed local reputation as a world leader in seasonness.

If Korea wants to remain the world leader of seasons, there are only two options. The first option was cooked up during a meeting of some high-level executives who totally aced toeic vocabulary and read marketing books once: you seen, it is time for Korea to take world leadership and become a mecca of environmental protection hub with dynamic convergence plans for infrastructure and soft growth through branding and buzzword viral diversification. And if we don't do it soon, we will slide into the ranks of those shamefaced countries that boast only two, or three seasons.

The other option is to repackage our yellow dust in the spring, which has thoughtfully been getting longer and more severe every year, as a unique season. Certainly, some photographers can take that pasty scorched-earth yellow filtered light from the dusty atmosphere, and create some interesting effects. We can have a yellow dust festival where people can draw pictures in the dust settled on cars in the festival parking lot, and invent lots of yellow-dust traditional foods, like facemask-shaped candies and special Korean toffee, yeot, which is already the color of a yellow-dust sky. Indeed, we could also take the rainy season in the summer and officially designate it as its own unique season... then we would have five, and a clear lead in world season rankings... depending on the season definition guidelines, we might even be able to tweak the lunar calendar and designate the summer weeks before rainy season as Summer 1, and the weeks after it as Summer 2, and have an astounding six seasons! Then Japan would respect us for sure!

That indeed seems to be the choice facing us: either become world leaders in green technology, invent the efficient electric car, the zero-carbon-footprint office building, and lobby and petition world governments to revamp world infrastructure and eliminate or reduce carbon consumption and carbon pollution, in order to bring human-influenced climate change under control, and return Earth to pre 1970 atmospheric carbon levels, in order to restore regional seasonal differences... or reprint some calendars and rename a few dates.