How to Make People Laugh in Korea


It’s kind of popular these days on the peninsula to be a comedian. While this is noticeable if you turn on the television, you do need to leave your home and find a venue in which comedians are doing their bestestest to force giggles and titters, with the occasional guffaw. Comedy is the in thing in terms of entertainment. Of course, like all performance types, it helps if you are actually good at it.

While I’m not the kind to point the finger with snide remarks on ability and taste, I do think that standards should be put in place, not necessarily by the venue but certainly by the spectator. Some will probably think I’m a snob. Why shouldn’t someone be able to get up on stage, challenge their inner-demons, and become the talent they have always harboured deep inside? Yes. Why shouldn’t they? Or, in fact the statement should really be how could they not?

The stage in Korea is an amazing space for discovering your talents. I would encourage anyone who believes they might be good at something on stage to get up on the stage and do it. Find out out for yourself, don’t wait to find out what could have been. If it doesn’t work the first time, it will work at some stage. I would always encourage anyone to go on the stage to release any anxiety about what is the point of anything, because once the crowd responds, answers are definitely a lot clearer. Continue reading

Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.


This article from the New Yorker which I just finished reading is somewhat related to an article I wrote previously about Facebook and the Neil Postman book Amusing Ourselves to Death. Basically, this looks further into the disconnection that a tool like Facebook can cause. In this case it is related to social activism and the ‘friends’ and the networks we are involved with on Facebook. I’ll allow the article to speak for itself:

Small Change

Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

by Malcolm Gladwell October 4, 2010

At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away.

“I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress.

“We don’t serve Negroes here,” she replied.

The Woolworth’s lunch counter was a long L-shaped bar that could seat sixty-six people, with a standup snack bar at one end. The seats were for whites. The snack bar was for blacks. Another employee, a black woman who worked at the steam table, approached the students and tried to warn them away. “You’re acting stupid, ignorant!” she said. They didn’t move. Around five-thirty, the front doors to the store were locked. The four still didn’t move. Finally, they left by a side door. Outside, a small crowd had gathered, including a photographer from the Greensboro Record. “I’ll be back tomorrow with A. & T. College,” one of the students said.

 

Continue reading at newyorker.com »–›

Joongang Daily: Adrift in Irrelevancy


As an afterword to Typhoon Kompasu I’d like to write about an oddly directed piece of criticism/opinion which I’ read in a leading newspaper. Beautifully and wordily scripted for the ultimate effect, it’s difficult to really understand why this article made it into the opinion section of the newspaper at all, it could have, if written with a few less decorations, made it into the ‘letters to the editor’ in a respectable newspaper. Even then, it doesn’t really add any strength to any argument whatsoever, that is if there is an argument in it at all. There is certainly no solution.

Continue reading