Dear Japan, Say No To Fascism

Dear Japan,

I wish you the best in your effort to regain positive dynamics, but I beg you, please don't let your government carry out its main agenda: the suicidal revival of your great country's darkest moments.

Don't get fooled by Abenomics: they're only Weapons of Mass Distraction. Your Prime Minister has been very clear about his priorities:

  • Shinzo Abe is an outspoken revisionist and negationist who pledged to rewrite Japan's peace constitution, and to obliterate all records of Imperial Japan's war crimes.
  • Shinzo Abe, who headed the Japaneses Society for History Textbook Reform, denies all universally recognized atrocities, from the Nankin massacre to sexual slavery (midly dubbed "comfort women"), and now even dares questioning the use of "invasion" to qualify that doomed regime's expansionism.
  • Shinzo Abe insists on visiting Yasukuni Shrine, a place Emperor Hirohito himself refused to visit ever since it was made public that the remains of war criminals had been moved there, the place where Japanese die-hard fascists chose to invite all European extreme-right leaders in an infamous field trip.
  • Shinzo Abe, who represents Japan and speaks in its name, refuses to consider war criminals as criminals, imperialists as imperialists, and Japan as a peaceful country. And if you think this man is not a fascist, what more do you need? The return of the "kill all, loot all, destroy all" policy? His portrait between that of Adolf and Benito?

PM Fumimaro Konoe between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. These images will only belong to the past when Japan sets the record clear about the Imperial regime that disgraced it decades ago.
PS: I didn't reach the Godwin point, Abe did. Imagine a German Chancelor saying what he said: they'd be impeached and face justice for such an ignominy.

The worst enemies are always the ones from within and right now, Shinzo Abe and the ultra-nationalist bureaucracy that corrupted Japan's entire political system are the worst enemies of Japan. They deliberately fuel mutual hatred across the region because they need other hatemongers to reach power to secure their own future. For the moment, they're not only alienating Korea, Japan, and America, but bringing friends of Japan closer together to denounce their imposture. You think they are irrelevant and that's true, but they are dangerous, and they want to reshape Japan into a nation where people like them are relevant. You think politics have nothing to do with you but it has to do with everything you do, and in order to survive as a democracy, you simply must reclaim it, and keep people like them away from politics.

If you love your country, act as true Japanese citizens, speak up, say no to Abeignomics, and reject as false the choice between revisionism and nationalism.

blogules 2013
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
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See all posts related to Japan,and particularly:
- "We reject as false the choice between revisionism and nationalism - for a Global Truth and Reconciliation Network"
- "Japan politics? No to Comfort women, yes to Political whoring"
- "Ad Nauseam: about Dark Tourism, the Blind Spots of Memory, and Free Thrashing Agreements"
- "Tokyo Sakura With Patriot Missiles (A Still Life)"
- "One Thousand Wednesdays" (also on my blogules blog in English "1,000th week of shame for Japan" and in French "Japon: regarde-toi, le monde te regarde" "also on Rue89"A Séoul, les « femmes de réconfort » de l'armée japonaise réclament justice"
- "L'extreme-droite Japonaise invite Le Pen... et les projecteurs" (also on Rue89 "La visite de Le Pen au Japon, coup de com pour l'extrême droite nippone")
- "Revisionist schoolbooks : change has not come to Japan"
- "A Common History" (NB: a too brief glimmer of hope)
- "Claiming Dokdo as Takeshima equals claiming Seoul as Gyeongseong"
- ...


Iron Lady (Ashes To Ashes, Rust To Rust), Meet Hugo Chavez

For people like me who grew up during the 1970s-1980s, Margaret Thatcher was an outstanding marker in politics: preceded and succeded by nobodies at home, she saw the USSR shift from Leonid Brezhnev to Michail Gorbachev, the USA shift from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan (nevermind 41), the Germanies of Helmut Schmidt and Erich Honecker shift to Helmut Kohl's reunited Germany, France shift from Valery Giscard d'Estaing to Francois Mitterrand, the Vatican shift from Paul VI to John Paul II, South Korea shift from PARK Chung-hee to ROH Tae-woo, and North Korea shift from KIM Il-sung to KIM Il-sung. She even outruled by a few months her old friend Augusto Pinochet.

CNN's weird choice of a background picture to announce the passing of Margaret Thatcher: with the now infamous Jimmy Saville. Thaville and Satcher? Note that it could have been even worse for the Iron Lady: a picture of her with Ronald Reagan.
Margaret Thatcher embodied at the same time the United Kingdom and its very negation, always the present or the past, never the future. In many ways, she was a caricatural leader, sharing traits with statesmen she didn't share many ideas with.

So who resembles most Margaret Thatcher as a leader? Certainly not Angela Merkel or Julia Gillard, who've done little more than winning against Gerhard Schroeder and Kevin Rudd, and then benefiting from their reforms.

I'd rather look in the supposedly opposite direction. Why not Hugo Chavez? Both he and Thatcher revived a nation by stubbornly replacing obsolete ideologies with obsolete ideologies.

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Invasion of Iraq: The Bush Legacy in 3 Impostures

It's been 10 years since the invasion of Iraq, and I won't repeat my usual rant. In case you missed the previous episodes, here are 3 messages you should remember:


1) The invasion of Iraq was meant to spread fundamentalism worldwide, not democracy in Iraq:

Always keep this in mind: "George W. Bush didn't act as a President of The United States of America in the interest of his country. And George W. Bush didn't even act as a Republican in the interest of his party. George W. Bush acted as a fundamentalist in the interest of fundamentalism."

I wrote the "Universal Declaration of Independence from Fundamentalism" to expose the imposture of fundamentalism (a totalitarian, political program advertised as a universal, religious program), the way it undermines both democracy and religion, and the ways to defuse the sick ping pong between supposedly opposed extremists.

As I posted for the 5th anniversay of this masquerade ("Iraq - 5 years of success for fundamentalists"), the invasion of Iraq was a triumph: as expected, it boosted fundamentalism and terror worldwide. "Mission accomplished".

And we should consider ourselves lucky these lunatics didn't go all the way (see "Iran : who wants war and why").


2) Oil was the means of corruption, not the aim of the game, and the undermining of US democracy was not just collateral damage:

To make it short: theocons set the agenda with the help of neocons (what better duet than Bush-Cheney to achieve this?), and sold the war to paleocons*.

In other words: the aim of the game was to undermine democracy (the theocon - fascist purpose), and the official cause an intervention to free a country from its dictator (typical neocon stuff), but in order to launch the war, the blessing from the oil and defense lobbies was needed (enter the paleocons).

The only thing missing was an alibi for immediate action. A clear and immediate danger. The outrageous lies and forged cases about WMDs or Saddam-al Qaeda ties did the trick.

Of course, there was always the risk of nosy reporters doing their jobs, of citizens exercising their rights to transparency.

The Patriot Act became effective more than one year before the invasion. The trickier part was the media, and the Bush Administration offered a deal to US majors: don't get at us until after the 2004 elections** and we'll help you consolidate your power. At the head of the FCC, the son of Colin Powell did his best to alter competition laws, and was instrumental in the concentration that followed at a critical moment in the history of traditional press, broadcasting, and internet. Michael Powell went as far as organizing a phony forum to settle the case just weeks ahead of the invasion. He later joined the RAND Corporation.

In general, the Bush administration more or less successfully tried to undermine the separation of powers at the root of democracy:
. executive? too far (right) reaching, and totally unaccountable.
. legislative? corrupt, and producing anti-democratic laws
. judicial? promoting torture and the negation of all rights
. media? at best embedded, at worst accomplice
. netizens? brainwashed by pervasive propaganda, monitored by a dystopian state
. ....
. and, of course, the theocons' priority: destroying secularism, the pilar of democracy. Again, mixing religion with politics, education, science... is the best way to attack democracy and religion at the same time (see "France, secularism and burqa : a political issue, not a religious one")

Yes, a lot of money was at stake. For the religious lobbies that pushed against the separation of church and state as well as for the military and oil lobbies. And the mass plundering of Iraqi resources is only one side of a scheme that turned record surplusses into record deficits (among other vital rescue missions: saving private Halliburton... a charity movement that continued in another Gulf, following Kathrina - see "Red blogule to Halliburton and the 40 thieves").

But the corruption reached much deeper, to the very fundamentals of democracy.


3) The Arab Spring owes nothing to the Iraq War, to the contrary:

George W. Bush and his fan club try to sell us the Arab Spring as the consequence of his invasion of Iraq, a "liberation war" that "spread democracy across the region", but this imposture is totally unacceptable.
First, Bush's crusade contributed to silencing moderates, and strengthening radical islamists as the only political force capable of taking power.
Second, his illegal invasion for anti-democratic purposes cannot be compared to self determination movements aiming at genuine freedom and democracy. The only nation Bush ever tried to build was a theocracy: he may be an inspiration for islamists, certainly not for actual freedom fighters.
Third, the Bush administration did serve as an example in the region, but not in the arab world (see "Israel accepted as true the choice between its security and its ideals").


Justice has yet to be done, and I guess the last words of Tomas Young (in "The Last Letter") are worth remembering:
"A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran": "I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.".

And as always, we should expose and denounce the impostures, and blow the whistle each time a government tries to alter the separation of powers or to play with the fundamentals of democracy.

blogules 2013
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* ... and if the "anticons" were not yet in the picture, they're not a model for democracy either: "the Tea Party is not just an alternative to the Republican or the Democratic parties, but the very negation of the republic, the very negation of democracy" (see "Grand Old Parting - enter the anticons")
** Heck, even until the 2008 elections for most of them (see "The Silence of the Lambs (War in Iraq and US networks)"). How dare collaborators give lessons after such a disgrace (see "What Fareed Zakaria got wrong")?


Still The Worst President Ever

Ten years ago, George W. Bush would launch the invasion of Iraq, his most successful decision as the Fundamentalist in Chief (see "Universal Declaration of Independence from Fundamentalism").

How is he doing nowadays? W. just visited Seoul for a couple of hours, the time to bring good luck to some important real estate project (and a nice check to his fat wallet). Exactly the kind of peacekeepers and bubblemakers the peninsula needs right now: following more Beijing-condoned sanctions from the UNSC, Pyongyang all but declared a nuclear war to the US.

But who knows, Bush The Second may be palling around with Kim The Third: his unofficial envoy* Dong Moon JOO attended KIM Jong-il's funerals. Note that "Douglas" JOO reunited with the Washington Times ahead of the trip, but never left the Unification Church, the cult founded by the late MOON Sun-myung, a very good friend of daddy George H. W. Bush.

Ever the masochist, I decided to check Dubya's official website, or rather that of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It had been a long time since my last visit.

No mention of the lucrative trip, of course, but I found this gem on the homepage: Dubya riding a bike with friends (including a US flag bearer - you always need one of those when you climb high mountains), with this caption: "The Bush Center's Most Memorable Moments of 2012".

I couldn't resist and added a speech ballon: "Uh... say again: Lance said WHAT?"

blogules 2013
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
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* according to The Daily Beast ("The Bush Administration’s Secret Link to North Korea" - 20120207)


HGTP (Hypergraphia Transfer Protocol) Turns 10: 03/03/03 - 13/03/03

March 3rd, 2003 - March 3rd, 2013.

I eventually opened my personal portal on the web exactly 10 years ago and today, I'd like to apologize to the millions of victims of this tragedy: the visitors from all over the world who lost at best their precious time, at worst their sanity in what is now a multi-site, multi-platform monster. Since I cannot predict the future (even if, I'm afraid, you shouldn't expect containment until I stop living - which includes writing, my most embarrassing bodily function), here's a quick summary of what happened over this doomed decade.

0) In the beginning was the word:

naughty homepage v1.0
(stephanemot.com during
the "geocities" years)
From the beginning, I embraced the web as the perfect extension of my poor brain, as something as absurd, unreliable, vain, and fragile as life itself. But it was not until 2003 that I decided to get my own address.

The concept was simple:
- No avatar, no pseudo: I commit to all the ill-written and nonsensical stuff I spill over the web. After all, they're just words, and my name happens to mean "word" in French.
- It's at the same time public and personal, but not intimate. I'm not pushing my own opinions, they simply have to come out of my system. Pure junk writing, no literature.
- It's egotic, not narcissic. Yes that's a game of mirrors, but as in some kind of a Borghesian experiment. And in this mess / maze, I can find pricelessly inane stuff that I would otherwise lose for good. Plus I need to fuel my own ecosystem, to plug it to both reality and virtuality. If I often build inept synaptic connections that slow the whole system down, I always learn something about my own impostures and dysfunctions.

I) Homepaging (Home, Sweet and Sour Home):

In 2003, I'd been journeying for 10 years into strategy and innovation. I had a lot of fun conceiving and managing online and interactive services and apps, or forecasting disruptions in highly evolutive ecosystems, but at home, the last thing I wanted was to create my own start-up (I'd already survived four of those), or to think about technology or solutions... particularly since I knew that major disruptions would come sooner than later, that the next Googles would change everything, that new concepts, platforms, devices, usages would emerge.

All I needed was a place to drop the 'junk writing' I excreted. Neither a flush toilet nor a vault: I wanted to easily access and browse it. Ultimately, I wanted my content to be in my own "cloud", as I drew it back then on my silly slides: a cartoon-like cloud accessible seamlessly from any connected device - no matter where I logged in, I wouldn't have to care about input or output formats, on which server I was.

I knew we were far from that. I'd already toyed with mini mobile sites (eg WAP and i-mode), and I wanted to stick to the web, and to its most rudimentary forms at that. I've loved Wikis from the start, and content management systems were already legion (I also missed Wordpress by a few months), but I didn't want to be smart anyway.

Opting for Geocities was not very smart. It wasn't the least user-friendly web hosting solution, but back in 2003, Yahoo! were already officially has-beens. Yet I've been "faithfool" to Y! for my personal email service since 1996 (still now!), and I knew that the transfer would be easy.

Because for starters, I really wanted the basics for my personal-content / self-editing purposes. No frills, no forum, no interactivity: simple web pages that I could easily transfer to a smarter platform when the time came.

My initial menu was very simple, even if I expected innovations for each dimension:
- Home (basic: landing page for stephanemot.com, with a few simple dynamic animations like newsfeeds - potential: media),
Beings (basic: ego, friends and neighbors, authors I like - potential: networking/communities),
Things (basic: books, soccer/footlog, photos, innovations/mot-bile... - potential: endless verticals, videos),
Places (basic: Paris, NYC, Seoul, Uqbar, world, travels, maps, random... - potential: mobility, location based services),
blogules (basic: all posts on one page - potential: dedicated blogging platform)
- About, Links, Stats, Guestbook pages
- NB: I also created a "boutique" page (Little Shop of Errors). Not to generate revenues, but to cover all bases, and to follow/anticipate innovations for key 'enablers', particularly through Amazon, a player with an unsatiable appetite.

Of course I was not satisfied with the result, but at long last I had my own room with a roof.

I forgot to mention the fact that the site was in English and in French, which made it twice as big and boring. If the main menu never changed, the monster grew to about a hundred pages, each one an ergonomic mess filled with useless junk.

II) Blogging (Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Disinformation):

From the start, I knew that I should have used 'special purpose vehicles', most notably a blogging platform for my blogules, but I didn't want to manage several sites in parallel. I didn't expect to produce that much junk that quickly.

You've got to thank George W. Bush for that.

Saying that I got obsessed with the 2004 US Elections is an understatement. Only a portion of my 2003-2004 junk posted on various fora and media landed on the two interminable pages devoted to blogules (one in French, the other in English), but I postponed until after November 2, 2004 the switch to Blogger. Not the best platform back then, and I didn't feel comfortable growing a Google-dependence, but I expected Big G to lead on the way to convergence.

I haven't invested much time on my homepage ever since. When Geocities folded, I'd already had dispatched the bulk of the content to specific sites*, so I only transferred a tiny portion of the monster. To Google Pages. Again, not the best platform. Again, more Google-dependence.

Anyway. Today, stephanemot.com is basically a non-existent hub, an empty shell with little content and traffic. Nothing like its heyday madness, when Geocities had to regularly shut my site down because flocks of visitors coming for different 'verticals' were all converging to the same spot.

So we're in December 2004: John F. Kerry is not measuring the drapes at the White House, and I've just moved 3 of my blogs to Blogger: blogules (in English), blogules V.F. (in French), and mot-bile (innovation - in English). I still don't know today how I managed not only to feed and maintain the three of them, but also to need even more sites to sort more junk.

I spun off my soccer blog on France Football in October 2005 (in French - platform: Blogspirit). footlog quickly became a hit, and CNET France noticed this weird guy who blogged on soccer in French and on innovation in English: would you do a blog for us ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup? I did, for free, and it was fun. But I'm glad it's over:  I've got enough trouble maintaining the whole shebang as it is, and I regularly turn down similar offers. I did accept a stunt for a French radio, to give it a try, but writing remains more fun. Among the different citizen journalism platforms I tried, I feel most comfortable with Rue89. I don't do columns, even if various papers have published my stuff or mentioned my work (eg Newsweek, IHT, Le Figaro, LA Times, Asian Times, Korea JoongAng Daily, Korea Herald...). I've been editor in chief in a previous life, but I'm not a journalist: I'm into Weapons of Mass Disinformation, see?

Nowadays, I seldom post on footlog, which in its own heyday ranked among France's top 7 sports blogs. I still force myself to post now and then on mot-bile, because that's a way of keeping an eye on sectors and players I enjoy decrypting. And if my blogules remain hot during election cycles in France and in the US, I've been much more busy with yet another blog.

I started SeoulVillage in February 2007, 6 years ago. More than a spin off of my blogules about Korea, I initially had in mind a proto-literary project about this shape-shifter of a city. I cowarded out, opted for English, and started yet another blog by yet another Foreigner in Asia. I'm happy to count many Korean culture lovers, researchers, journalists, or urbanists among frequent flyers, but I owe this city I love something more intimate. Hopefully, I shall complete this year my first collection of fictions about Seoul, in English.

Because I have the gall to define myself as an author, remember? Not much has been published to support the claim, but I've got another set of useless websites to maintain because of that**. More empty shells, I reckon: my excuse for a literature got lost in an void that, literally, can't even be described as interstellar.

III) Social Networking (Hypergraphia meet Multiple Personality Disorder):

Even if my Facebook or Twitter pages are not part of my personal portal, I have to mention here the difficulty of coping with various selves in social networking times.
I mostly write as myself and as SeoulVillage, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. To name the main sites:
I'm not suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, but from Hypergraphia. Of course, these 4 websites, 5 blogs, 7 Facebook pages, and 6 Twitter accounts are only part of my online presence. Of course, I also write an awful lot of junk offline. Of course, I don't like 99.999% of what I write (starting with the parts I can't even understand when I try to read them afterwards). Of course, there are rewarding as well as embarrassing moments.

Sorry, but I can't fix my writing. Writing is my fix.

blogules 2013
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)

* in 2007, I spun off a few pages that were not meant for a blogging platform, but nonetheless ended up on Blogger, like Little Shop of Errors (boutique - in French), Citizen Came (visitors stats - in English). I also backed-up the 2003-2004 blogules archives (in English and in French), as well as my soccer pages (footlog archives).
** see dragedies and La Ligue des Oublies (nevermind Kim Mudangnim).


Smile, you're on Candid Democracy

Elba Esther Gordillo
Head of National Education Workers' Union
Mexico (1989-2013)
Faces justice for embezzling $ 156 M

Silvio Berlusconi
Prime Minister
Italy (1994-95, 2001-06, 2008-11...)
Faces justice for tax evasion, corruption, bribery, abuse of power, soliciting minors for sex, Zlatanic cleansing of AC Milan...

Nip, tuck, corrupt...

Smile, you're on Candid Democracy

blogules 2013
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)


Won by cheating, lied to America and the World

Both won by cheating, both lied to America and the World:

George W. Bush - Commander in Thief (2001-2008)

Lance Armstrong - Yellow Jersey Tour de France (1999-2005), Orange Jersey Tour d'Alcatraz (2013-2023)

Gone Stars we won't miss.

blogules 2012
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)


A clear democratic triumph for PARK Geun-hye, but who won the elections?

According to Mayans (solar calendar), the end of the world is for tomorrow, but in Korea (lunar calendar), MOON crashed yesterday.

Actually, MOON Jae-in never had the opportunity to take off*. AHN Cheol-soo did, but he blew it** (yeah, he eventually took off yesterday, but after casting his ballot, and at Incheon Airport, in a plane for the States).

So from the start, it's always been about PARK Geun-hye cruising towards a surprise-less win in a debate-free campaign against non-existent opponents.

Her victory is not a lackluster win, but a very clear democratic triumph. Yet I'm still wondering about who won the elections.

PGH's website this morning

Korean democracy chose an indisputable winner...

a very strong turnout: 75.80%, the biggest since the 1997 clash between Kim Dae-jung and Lee Hoi-chang
- a clear majority: 51.6% vs 48.0% (NB: small candidates were really garden gnomes this time)
- reaching beyond the usual geographic divides: we didn't skip the traditional strongholds (MOON rocked Honam, scoring 86-89% in Jeolla and 91.97% in Gwangju, PARK claimed Yeongnam, with a 80.4% peak in Daegu), but color-wise, the map is very far from the 1997 or 2002 East v. West split, and much closer to LEE Myung-bak's 2007 landslide victory. MOON claimed Seoul back, but barely. PARK's victory seemed inevitable very early, when the first Sudogwon results showed her ahead in Incheon and Gyeonggi-do, and very close to MOON in the capital city. Note that Korean expats voted 56-42 in favor of MOON.
- and even beyond the expected generational divides: yes, seniors massively voted PARK, but she didn't fare that bad at the other end of the spectrum, with one third of the youngest voters. And who ruled in social networking? The seniors, who literally kakaotalked each other to a whopping 90% participation rate.

... but who won these elections?...

For international observers, the big news is a combination of two events: a woman becomes President of the Republic of Korea for the first time, and the Korean democracy elects the offspring of a former dictator.

But I don't think the key issue in Korea was gender, or a referendum for or against PARK Chung-hee. And of course, I know constitutional values were not "top of mind". To me, it was about fears, uncertainties, and change.

And conservatism won.

Everybody knew that the situation was bad, and that something needed to be done. Both candidates promised similar reforms (less power for chaebols, more welfare for the powerless), but both inspired doubts: PARK regarding the balance of powers, MOON because his party was not ready to govern. And even when voters projected themselves in a country ruled by their own champion, they felt uncertain for the future. Fear clearly prevailed over hope, and both MOON and PARK spent their time reassuring voters - at this little game, conservatism usually wins.

And PARK followed the script perfectly, positioning herself as a mother for all citizens, softening her stance on reforms (like: yes chaebols have too much power, but in time of crisis you cannot weaken the drivers of our economy). And as usual, she never gave the impression of speaking her own mind, always calculating her words, always speaking with the voice of the wary, risk-averse but confident ajumma.
So Koreans chose change without change, and the ruling party will keep ruling. But the official leader has really changed. LEE Myung-bak received a clear mandate for reforms, and he had credentials as a doer and a leader. PARK Geun-hye's more into backstage politics, and the only reforms she's carried out so far are rebranding her own party, replacing a few extra actors, and wishing very hard that corruption would stop***.

But PARK Geun-hye's been here forever, and everybody knows her story. She didn't chose to be the daughter of a dictator, and you can't expect a kid whose parents got murdered to grow into an adult like all others. She eventually distanced herself from her dad's regime, and she has no risks of favoring kids of her own since she doesn't have any. Bonus: unlike her predecessor, she (officially at least) doesn't run for any religious group. So why not give her a chance? Even if she only criticized her dad indirectly, reluctantly, and faintly. Even if, to this day, we still don't know what she truly thinks. Even if we can't tell if she's running her own show.

Yesterday, when her time to shine came, PARK Geun-hye somehow managed to dodge the call again. She certainly didn't deliver an inspiring acceptance speech: only a few word at her headquarters to announce that she'd go to Gwanghwamun... where she didn't take the stage but received a bouquet before answering a quick victory interview. KIM Yu-na style. The scene should have taken place in Seoul Plaza with the ice rink  in the background instead of King Sejong's statue.

So who stole the TV show yesterday? Gwanghwamun, CHUNG Mong-joon, and Anipang.

. Gwanghwamun? On her way back to Cheong Wa Dae, PARK left her Gangnam base to pause at party HQ, and ultimately Gwanghwamun, the gate to the main palace. All symbols of power were covered, but if anyone doubted it it's now official: Gwanghwamun has reclaimed its status as the ultimate symbol of power for Seoul and Korea. Special mention for King Sejong: his statue seemed to overpower the new president when she made her quick apparition, and his name has also become a political prize in itself (Sejong City, not yet a symbol of power, but the latest province-level, special self-governing city).

. CHUNG Mong-joon? Like King Sejong but sans the smile, he remained seated and silent all the time, yet his giant meditative face dominated the screen. PARK's short presence not even a distraction.

. Anipang? I didn't watch an election night on TV but a silly video game with a screen split between neat rows of Saenuri and DUP characters, and cute PARK and MOON animations reacting to the scores. And when I say "scores", it's just the plain, basic count of votes. The only humans you see are non-expert TV presenters announcing lists of results. Forget about analysis. Forget about pundits and spin rooms. Forget about exit polls telling differences in segments or motivations. It's just a stupid TV show, a countdown where the aim of the game is to guess at what time we have an official winner. I zapped through all the channels and they all did the same, competing only on their 3D animations. They all tried cute things, like that big giant teddy bear walking across Korea (straight from Tottoro), except SBS, which dared a weird concept, travelling through a derelict Korean village abandoned after a war, almost like a shoot'em up scene after all players are gone. Here's newsY's take at Moon discovering his score:

Now what?

In other words: we haven't seen nor learned anything so far. Neither during the campaign, nor afterwards.
And we have to give PARK Geun-hye the benefit of the doubt.
It's up to her (or to the people who drive the vehicle) to decide where to lead the nation, and what kind of final legacy she wants her family to leave.
Let's see how this blank page evolves.

And how history is being written. Including and particularly the past, in school textbooks. 

(originally published on Seoul Village as "The Anipang Election: PARK wins big, but who wins?")
(egalement sur blogules en V.F.: "De quoi PARK Geun-hye est-elle le nom?")

blogules 2012
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)

*  see "Time is up"
** see "Scratch that: Dynasty, Dallas, or the Twilight Zone?"
*** see "25 years later"
****  see "Saenuri, a brand "new" wor(l)d"


North Korea Watch - Fall-Winter Trends 2012-2013

So Kim The Third shot yet another missile, but this time an object actually reached orbit.

At this important stage, the most crucial question is: "how to sport binoculars correctly?" After years of investigation, we can tell for sure that there are basically three categories:

1) Fashion Laggards - They don't have a clue

Obviously, neither Kim Jong-un nor George W. Bush served in the military. Embarrassing for warmongers.

2) Trendsetters - They just get it right

Code yellow? Code red? Obama can strike a pose, vogue. Strategic patience required.

3) K-pop fads - Weak lyrics, expressive body language

Is Park Geun-hye looking towards a military past? Is Ahn Cheol-soo silenced by a mouthpiece? Does Moon Jae-in prefer to see them up close? And what to make of Lee Myung-bak? A Freudian analysis might reveal insecurity at some level. But I'm sure they've got pills for that at the Blue House...

blogules 2012
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)


Happy New Year 2014

For the 6th time in a row*, I can only wish you a happy next next year considering what's going to happen in 2013:

January 2013:

Barack Obama's second inauguration is held on the ruins of the US Capitol. The President's first decree prolongs Guantanamo for 9876 years, the term arsonist Grover Norquist will serve there.

February 2013:

Bashar al Assad eventually decides to use Weapons of Mass Destruction against the people of Syria, nominating Glenn Beck as Minister of Interior and Karl Rove as Minister of Information.

March 2013:

PSY's "Gangnam Style" video smashes the 8 billion views mark on YouTube. Floridan Democrats demand a recount.

April 2013:

To replace Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg, Joe Biden suggests Sarah Palin, saying that it could help solve the gridlock and find a way out of the Fiscal Abyss. The POTUS toys with the idea before refusing: "you don't kill two hummingbirds with one boulder, and her "gotcha justice" concept spells like bad karma".

May 2013:

Accused of cooking books (and not only the Qran), the Vatican is placed under Chapter 11, Verse 7. In other words: under the Republican Party umbrella ('Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech').

June 2013:

Kate Middleton gives birth to twin boys who, unfortunately, share their father's baldness, their grandfather's ears, and their great-grandmother's color blindness. 40 year later, they will fight to death over who got delivered first.

July 2013:

Croatia officially joins the European Union. And vice versa, since all other members have left. Turkey joins soon after claiming the organization of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

August 2013:

A small step for man, a Great Leap Forward for China. The nation celebrates its first moon landing by inviting America to play a go game there, starting with a big red stone crushing the US flag planted decades earlier.

September 2013:

Hurricane Christie slams the East Coast. The Capital city is moved to the West Virginian Islands.

October 2013:

Rush Limbaugh's impeccable fastbawl sends the Washington Dodgers to the World Series, but the team refuses to play the 99ers until they pledge to the same GOP pennant.

November 2013:

Eight hundred and seventy one bridges collapse across Japan on a sunny, tsunami-free, earthquake-free afternoon. Japan replaces its corrupt extreme-right Prime Minister with another corrupt extreme-right Prime Minister.

December 2013:

Hurricane Hillary lands in the Midwest, causing an early Iowa Caucussion.

blogules 2012
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
NEW: join blogules on Facebook!!! and Twitter (@stephanemot, @blogules)

* see "Happy New Year 2010" (Jan 2009), "Happy New Year 2011" (Dec 2009), "Happy New Year 2012" (Dec 2010), "Happy New Year 2013" (Dec 2011)... and in French: "Bonne Année 2009" (Jan 2008), "Bonne Année 2010" (Dec 2008), "Bonne Année 2011" (Dec 2009), "Bonne Année 2012" (Dec 2010), "Bonne Année 2013" (Dec 2011), "Bonne Année 2014" (Dec 2012).
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