Monday 26 July 2010

Kim Tae Hee Enters Korean Pantheon: Perfectly Proportioned Face Makes Her Korea's Shania Twain

At long last, Kim Tae-hee is ready to join the ranks of Korea's truly elite stars.  While she has made her mark in TV and commercial entertainment, and particularly in modeling, she could never before claim a to be one of Korea's elite.

It is well known that Moon Geun-yeong is "Korea's little sister" and likeable popstar Kim Geon-mo is "Korea's singer".  Meanwhile, Jung Ji-hoon or Rain is Korea's Justin Timberlake, Han Ga-in is Korea's Olivia Hussey, Um Jung-hwa is Korea's Madonna, Lee Jun-ki is Korea's Sandra Bullock, and Bae Yong-joon is Korea's Julia Roberts.  However, with the recent release of a study into the proportions of stars' faces, it has been revealed that Shania Twain's face follows the golden ratio, the ideal proportions for beauty.  Kim, also known for having a face with ideal proportions, describes the moment she heard the news.

"I was sitting in a noraebang being propositioned by another rich old creep for sponsorship when I got the text messsage.  I jumped off his lap so quickly my elbow nearly broke his nose, and I ran out of the sketchy singing room to call my mother."  Her mother was crying with joy.  "At last, you can be validated for your unique place in Korea's star constellation, by being known as Korea's version of someone more famous!" her mother gushed.  "From now on, you will be known as Korea's Shania Twain!"  With this new status, Kim Tae-hee will no longer allow herself to be propositioned for 'sponsorship' by rich creeps in sketchy noraebangs: henceforward, she will be propositioned for 'sponsorship' by chaebol creeps in luxurious noraebangs!

Now that the archetype of which she is a derivative has been found, Kim Tae-hee can have her star on "Korea's Hollywood's Walk of Fame" - a sidewalk with stars carved into it, that is smaller and less impressive than the original Hollywood Walk of Fame.  "We always liked Kim Tae Hee," said Chung Won-jae, curator of the unimpressive alley in Yeongdeungpo, near Korea's Times Square, "but without a better version of her from another country, we couldn't put her on the walk, with her picture being overshadowed by a larger, better picture of another star: Shania Twain, in this case."
Kim Tae hee's face (picture) to be overshadowed by a larger, better picture of Shania Twain

The induction ceremony is expected to be soon.  "We might have it on Korea's Thanksgiving, or maybe on Korea's Independence Day, or on Korea's New Year's, or possibly the birthday of Korea's Sir Walter Raleigh - Admiral Lee Sunshin."

Wednesday 21 July 2010

To Attract more Tourism, Bundang to Change Spelling to Poon-Tang

Municipal officials in the sattelite city of Bundang, south of Seoul, are catching onto the trend of re-spelling Korean things in order to make them more popular.  "We're really convinced that changing the spelling of Bundang will put it on every tourist map in the world," explains Min Sung-hoo, head of the Gyeonggi Municipal Promotions Committee.  "Changing the spelling to Poon-Tang makes the city's name more fun to pronounce: listen - poon tang! Poon Tang!  POON-TANG!'"  Min's shouting startled others eating in the cafe where Dokdo Is Ours was interviewing him.

Min also described the rigorous process of testing out the new name.  "The new name rated especially high with male interviewees: we surveyed about a hundred foreigners in and around Itaewon, and asked 'What do you think of Bundang?'"  Responses varied from "boring and over-priced" to "never heard of it," and "too new: no atmosphere.  Good shopping, though."  When asked, "What do you think of poon-tang?" the response was like night and day.  Female responses were somewhat more positive: "Not really my thing, but some people like it." or "A lot of guys I know don't care about anything else!" or "You followed me down the block to ask me THAT?" but the male interviewees were incredibly positive: "I love it!" "It's all I think about!" "It's why I came to Korea!" "I want it as often as I can have it!"  "I can't get enough."  "It's the main motivation for almost everything I do."  This indicates that the name Poon-Tang is a much better, more positive name than Bundang; we expect a huge increase in male tourists after the name change: I've heard before that every male English teacher comes to Korea looking for Poon-Tang".

Other agencies are also considering other spelling changes that are expected to improve foreigners' awareness or positive image, including:

Bibimbap: Pee Pee Poop
Soju: Sew Jew
To attract young tourists: Jeju-do will be Jeju d'oh!
Gunja district will be re-named "Ganja"
and Weidae University will be re-named "Weed, Eh?" both of which appealed strongly to Canadians.

Thursday 15 July 2010

UN Secretary of Sustainability Praises Korea's World Leading Fight Against Overpopulation

While countries like India and France continuing multiplying like earth-raping rabbits, Jans Feyrn, the UN's Head Undersecretary of Sustainability praised Korea's commitment to population control.  "Korea's birthrate is one of the lowest in the world; while other countries' populations are ballooning and raising worries that the planet's finite resources cannot sustain them, Korea's work in the area of birthrate reduction has been seminal, and is a model for other countries to emulate."

Overpopulation is an awkward area of study, and a controversial one: most other cases of excellent population control have come along with either destructive wars ("Korea had one of those, too," notes Jans Fejrn, excitedly), totalitarian regimes (Last year, Kim Jong Il and his oppressive regime won the Rousseau Award, joining past recipients like Josef Stalin and Chairman Mao, for biggest proportional population decreases in a single year), or fierce resistance from religious groups- "Our agency once drew up a plan to have abortion clinics attached to Dunkin Donuts shops in the US, only to have it smothered by Church resistance."  However, Korea's population control has followed an entirely new model.

"We commend Korea for developing a multi-pronged approach.  Many other landmark population control leaders have focused too much on one area, for example the elimination of actual or perceived political enemies or rivals; others have only managed significant population declines at the cost of infrastructure and government collapses, which leads to packs of roving refugees. These old models are also too often associated with atrocities and horrors, giving population control a bad name."

Instead of following the old models, Korea has attached so much shame on the act of female extramarital sex, and so much financial burden on unmarried child-rearers, that all abortions are voluntary: even going through the motions of toughening legislation against them cannot surmount the inflexible stigma against unwed mothers.  Meanwhile, the atmosphere of hypercompetitiveness and cripplingly long hours demanded by the work culture make it unfeasible for women to work and raise children.  "It's ingenious!" gushes Fejyrn, "while those pesky women's and human rights groups are appeased by putting the laws in the books, social mores have crystallized and rendered moot all the legislation in the world!  Stalin could never have been clever enough to force all the women in his nation to opt out of childbearing for fear of feeling socially obligated to either quit their jobs or be branded as bad mothers."

According to Feyrn, and his agency's June report, "Korean Population Control: A Contrast of Models, North and South: Stalin vs. Socialization," in Korea, even if one chooses to have children, the pressure to send kids to a top school, and the associated pressure to dedicate the entire family budget to private schooling, have created an atmosphere where people truly feel it's their own choice to avoid or delay having children, rather than writing and enforcing punitive laws against having too many children, as has raised controversy in China.  "While controlling overpopulation, the goverment uses social mores and conventions, and the perception of obligations, and the fear of being judged by peers, to appear squeaky clean to rights groups, while still reducing the birthrate to world-best levels!"

So how can other countries imitate Korea's model?  "It'd take a complex strategy;"  A full implementation of the Korean model would require simultaneously sullying the reputations of all but a very narrow range of careers, and a very small number of universities, in order to increase perceived competition and increase the cost of education to prohibitive levels; creating working conditions which make balancing a career and a family impossible, and raising a generation of men who feel entitled to have a wife who will stay home and raise kids while keeping house without any help from them, so that women feel forced to choose single life over the blind alley of marriage... but with careful social planning and manipulation of public perception, all three could probably be accomplished at once.

Now, Feyrn's eyes look off in the distance, dreamily: "When the whole world is like Korea, we will finally be out of danger of over-taxing the world's resources, and environmental meltdown will cease to be a legitimate danger to humanity.  We hope the entire rest of the world implements twelve-hour workdays, if every family on Earth felt that their children must become Doctors, Lawyers, or shames to their families, we might be on our way to environmental salvation, and true sustainability!"

Saturday 10 July 2010

After Three Months in Korea, Canadian English Teacher Ready To Run For President

After three months, English teacher Brian Gleeman, from Canada, believes he has been in Korea long enough to run for president.  "Let me tell you," Brian said, "I've seen how it is, and I've got some ideas that could really turn this country around."

From his priveledged vantage point as a Hagwon after-school teacher for elementary-age students, "AND middle school!" he says, Brian Gleeman believes he knows what the country needs.  "well, people just need to relax, and accept other ways of living," Brian said.  "For example, people have to accept that some kids aren't going to a top university.  I've figured that out.  Like Tae-hee, my student in class 2B... Her parents should just sign her up for sports or something."

Brian's Korean co-teachers seem very impressed with Brian.  "He's always telling us to tell the mothers to stop focusing on tests and let kids be kids," colleague K, his main co-teacher sighed.  "He's doing this technique that he says will change the whole education atmosphere in Korea once it catches on, where he plays games with kids and doesn't give homework, so that learning is 'fun' for them.  He sure has a lot of new ideas."

The mother of a student from Brian's highest-level class, Mrs. B, has another take on things: "My Suji is happy, but her score on her last grammar test at school was her lowest ever.  I'm just not seeing the results of Brian's 'fun' philosophy."

When asked for a comment, Brian explained that he would tell Mrs. B to stop focusing on results... if he could speak Korean.  Last week, Brian submitted his candidacy for Korean president.  Though he had no political party affiliation, no Korean language ability, and doesn't meet the citizenship requirememnt, he's confident that the electoral regulators will make an exception for him, once they hear his ideas.

Among his platforms?
Regarding globalizing the economy: "Globalization is the future, you know?  If Korea doesn't get involved in globalization, they'll be left behind.  I keep telling my co-teachers this."

Regarding the suicide crisis?  "We have to show people there's hope, and they'll stop killing themselves.  That's why I'll campaign on a platform of hope.  Give people something to live for, you know?  Also, confucianism."

Regarding internet freedom and economic protectionism?  "Well, it's freedom, you know?  People should be free - like, I always see people, and they're NOT free, you know?  In the PC room, they're like slaves to society.  It makes me so sad.  But they SHOULD be.  Free, I mean."

Other platforms: "I'd just tear down all those office buildings and bring back the traditional-style Korean houses.  Those things are beautiful!  And I'd support business.  For the economy.  But shorten the work week.  And make people not be so psycho."

Despite his supposed handicaps: language, experience, and party affiliation, Grandmother Kang, who takes care of Brian's student Seon-ju while her parents work late nights, likes his chances.  "His eye-smile and small face are so handsome, and I really think his blonde hair is naturally curly!  Henseom gai!"

Sunday 4 July 2010

With Blood Types Debunked, Korean Scientist Creates New Personality Test: Which Country's Beef Do You Like

Though blood-type personality profiles have been thoroughly debunked, it has left a puzzling gap in Korea's social customs: young single Jang Woon-wook explains, "I was at a blind date, and I asked my date, flirtatiously, 'what's your blood type?' - normally she'd tell me, or make me guess - a sign of interest.  Instead, she just muttered, 'That stuff's crap, you know.'  I was embarrassed, but what's worse, we had to just sit in awkward silence from 8:27-8:41: the prescribed time for blood-type discussion, according to the latest "Neo-Confucian Handbook For Manners and Everything in Life: How not to be Judged Wanting by Your Aunt"

"To my great relief, she offered to read my palm two minutes earlier than the handbook dictates, grabbing my sweating hand at 8:39, resuming awkward flirtation and possibly saving the date."

Hundreds of potential babies have not been conceived already, thanks to spoiled potential marriages caused by these awkward date moments traceable to Dr. Kim Hyung-soon's peer reviewed article in the latest New England Journal of Medicine, titled, "Blood Types Are Utter Bullshit."  In it, Dr. Kim completely dismantles the old belief in blood-typing so prevalent in Korea; however, he had not anticipated the side-effect.

"I didn't realize blood typing had made it into the New Neo-Confucian Handbook's dating chapter, or I would have thought twice about publishing," Dr. Kim explains.

Fortunately, those awkward dating moments might be resolved with an emergency update to the handbook, now that another Korean doctor and dietician has come up with a new profile-type test that can make for an interesting blind-date conversation topic:  "Which Country's Beef Do You Like?"  An article in Cosmo Korea, pending peer review, outlined the basic premise, that the beef-producing country which makes one's favorite beef determines one's personality.  For example:

Australian Beef: adventurous and outgoing.  Likes barbecue.  Low sexual morals; prone to having deformed children.

Canadian Beef: loves nature; independent.  Race traitor, likely to be a neglectful parent.  Weak-willed and prone to financial ruin.  Possibly communist.

American Beef: hates Korea and self; possible suicide wish.  No sexual morals & poor performance in bed.  Race traitor and whore to the imperialist aggressor.  Fatty.

Indian Beef: likes to break rules; sometimes shocking or challenging style.  Inadequate lover.  Dirty dirty, smelly race traitor.

Korean Beef: Smart and sensitive, wise and loyal.  Dutiful, kind, devoted, good with money and children, and most likely good in the sack.  Children tend to go to SNU or Harbard or Yell.