It's been a long time since I posted. I've been a bit, hmmm how shall I describe it, going-thru-the-motiony lately. I'm at the point in the semestre when the routine has become routine. Week in week out same old same old. I've finished everything at work but the final exam. I still love my job but it's almost time for an infusion of adventure to shock the system awake.
Then I look at the last few posts here and I think about the last few movies I've watched, (Enron the Smartest Guys in the Room, Fay Grim, An Inconvenient Truth, Roger and Me), and the most recent topics I've dealt with in the classroom, (endangered species, recycling), and I guess I have been pretty down on the world. I must be a little bit like the angel of death to talk to too. One of my students brought up the topic of "good politicians" the other day and I launched into a pearl-to-swine diatribe about how big business is the hand up the political puppet ass and the only good politician is the one who pulls it out and they are usually dispatched in some way from politics or from the earth so there are not many examples.
Another student during an exercise where they ask appropriate questions to elicit responses from partners was trying to get the answer "Bill Clinton" and asked, "Who was president before George Bush?" I piped up and said, "Al Gore! For a few days."
And then my good buddy Scott mentioned how the shift for ESL teaching seems to be toward China and I dug up an article I had written a couple years ago when I found out Canada was doubling its trade with the devil, I mean China, and sent it to him. China has been aware of its population problem for years and has been eliminating its people with any method available, the most recent is environmental destruction. Talking about systematic elimination of "lesser" citizens, torture, cannibalism, slave labour, non-suppression of AIDS and SARS, pollution, and wonderful euphamisms the world and the Chinese use to keep those cheap Chinese slaves a comin' like "human rights violations", "reform", "the great leap forward", "accords", "protocols", "UN resolutions", "cultural revolution", "global ecology" etc. And what the hell, give the least Olympic, (not to mention the most polluted), country in the world the Olympics to put a positive face on the place where all this nastiness has happened - in our lifetimes.
I dare anybody to read that article I wrote, then watch a few of the documentaries produced by Americans ABOUT American greed, lust for money and capitalism run amock and not identify with terrorists just a little bit. The terrorist in Fay Grim was one of the good guys! A couple other must-see documentaries are "Manufacturing Consent" and "The Corporation". I don't think the latter is really produced by Americans but is mostly about them. Americans are the greatest chroniclers of how their own companies are destroying the world. But the only people who seem willing to do anything about it are called terrorists.
Don't get me wrong, I won't be running off to join Al Quaeda any time soon. They're too violent. But sometimes it seems the only thing that makes a big impression on people IS violence. I wish we could somehow pull off a non-violent 9-11. Like massive boycotts that drive big businesses into receivership. But I doubt that'll happen. We like our creature comforts. Other times I think I might be better off beating a Thoreauian path into the forest and never coming back out.
So you see, I HAVE been a little depressed lately. But I didn't think I LOOKED depressed. A few days ago I was riding the subway and an old Korean lady got out of her seat, smiled at me and gave me the tract you saw at the beginning of this post. I'm talking OLD. She took a minute to get out of her seat. I didn't put up any protest because generally old Korean ladies like her don't speak much English. I bet she spoke some Japanese but no English. I actually even read the tract right through. But the thing I instantly wondered when I read the cover was, "Can people see the weight of the world on me?" And then I guess I got a little more depressed about not just being depressed but also LOOKING depressed. I gotta snap outta this!
But have no fear, the Philippines are here! I'll be spending Christmas in the Philippines this year with friends. One of my Filipina friends I met here in Korea is getting married and my buddy Kasia and I are going together to the wedding. We know two of her brothers too so it'll be fun to see them all. All the fireworks at Christmas will blast away any bad thoughts I'm sure. And then I'm going to meet a Korean friend of mine, Min Ha, in the Phils for New Years. More fireworks and probably many San Miguels.
Anyhoo, for any of you who still look at this once in a while. Don't worry about me. I'll be okay. I think...