“You Daily Shot of Soju” is my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.
All Hail Big Brother:
Does anybody remember this video I posted, back before the Daily Shot became the Daily Shot?
At the time the Orwellian undertones were striking, but I pushed them to the side and instead decided to focus on the media itself. At first the video left me with no revelation outside of “wow, this is a really long commercial.”
But the song stuck with me. Something about it never seemed quite right. At the time I wrote “I don’t think Orwell saw his savior in big business cell phone companies.” Cell phones, in my mind, are in opposition to the idea of revolution. What better way to keep the common folk in line than with a mobile device that can be tracked from anywhere in the world?
This is not the whole story, because the cell phone is a revolution in its own way. But the revolution is limited.
In the video the cell phone is painted as the end all, be all, of the grand revolt but the lyrics paint a different story. The words “Everywhere you go I’ll be there,” don’t scream ‘revolution’ so much as they scream ‘replacement.’
And that’s what the video is truly about, replacing the cold government entity with a fun and playful government entity. Somehow this fits with South Korea. While America is all about power for the sake of power, South Korea is about power for something else.
If America is ‘1984,’ then the South Korean/Japan conglomerate would be ‘Brave New World.’
In the states, voices of dissident are squashed by the powers that be. Here in South Korea, voices of dissident are simply neutralized because everybody is too wacked out on Soju and K-pop to care. Even the names Soju and Soma share similar linguistic principals.
Perhaps it’s a reaction to the cold war created societies of China, North Korea and other South Eastern Asian countries, but it seems like something more. South Korea/Japan stand out because not only have they bucked the societal trends of the countries around them, but they have defined themselves apart from their closest ally, the United States; who, it could be argued, share more similarities with the cold dictatorship seen at the beginning of the video, rather than the fun filled world of cell phones seen at the end.
I think this is ceramic poop.
Piece of Pop Culture I’m Missing Today:
I guess this follows up to what I was just talking about. In 2004, after the elections, I was despondent. It was not so much that Bush had won, rather that each party seemed hell bent on destroying each and completely clueless as to what any of the electorate, outside of Pat Robertson, wanted. In 2004, 49 percent of us tricked ourselves into thinking that Kerry would have made a better president, when in reality he would have fallen flat on his face and we would not have the shining beacon of hope we now have in Obama.
This election feels different. For the first time that I can remember there is more than one candidate who I think would make a decent president. I’ve always been a McCain fan, and although I don’t really like Hillary we’ve obviously done worse than her. But then there’s Obama. Obama doesn’t feel so much like a presidential candidate as he does a revolution. Elections aren’t important for what people are elected but rather what they represent.
Obama is a tearing off of the old guard, the oligarchy and blood lines that have ruled America for so long. Forget whether he’s the most qualified, because resume wise, he isn’t. That’s the point.
The closest historical parallel I can find to Obama is Kennedy. Who bum rushed the presidency, on illegal mob money, after 8 years of Eisenhower conservatism and brought with him hope for the future. It’s no coincidence that the decade that brought us hippies and civil rights is the same decade that started off with a president who had no ties to the political pasts of his peers.
If Obama wins, and meets the lofty expectations that have been placed upon him, could this signal a change in the way American politics are run? If the Golden State Warrior win the NBA Championship with their ‘two legs into their pants at one time’ approach would NBA teams change the way they constructed themselves? I don’t know the answer to either question, but I imagine that the answers are the same. Let’s just say I’m holding my breath.
If Obama can not save America from itself then I’m not sure anything can. Save a cell phone revolution.
Piece of Pop Culture I’m Diggin Today:
In Michigan we have this thing I like to call the “Eff you snow.” It occurs in Mid-April, and usually after a week or so of fairly warm weather. Basically it’s the gods way of telling us ‘Eff you, we run this show.”
For the past week or so it was getting warmer in Seoul, until Monday. On Monday we got our “Eff you snow.” This did not make me happy at the time but it’s important to remember, it’s February, not Mid-April. I’m hearing that this is the coldest winter Seoul has had in a while. I have never been warmer during the winter.