Tag Archives: fears

Weird Shit On Korean TV: Bob Ross?!

I lived in Chicago when Bernie Mac died, and everyday the terrible bus I rode as some karmic punishment (read: my commute) went directly beneath this enormous billboard of Bernie Mac’s grinning face and everyday I was like, “Man, that guy died of the flu, which is one of the bigger bummers out there considering it’s the 21st century, and here he is smiling at me from an enormous  billboard, but he’s been dead for like a year now so I feel like this is creepy and I cannot help but ponder my own fragile existence.” It might have been this exact picture:

The grim face of mortality.

So anyway, guess who I spotted on TV the other day: Bob Ross. And not in the capacity you might expect.

Is this the same Bob Ross of “The Joy of Painting”, you ask? The be-‘froed, gentle renaissance man Bob Ross? The Bob Ross who passed away in 1995?

I say to you, the same.

Only now, he’s hawking smart phones in commercials and reminding you that your image is apparently public domain or something in South Korea and that death is no reason for people to stop making money off you or whatever.

I use my smart phone to communicate from beyond the grave.

And it’s all creepy cgi-ed and there’s some dude dressed up as Bob Ross demonstrating how he can use his phone on the subway. It’s just so….unsettling. Of all the dead American celebrities out there, you choose Bob Ross, Korea. Another great mystery to this waygook.

In slightly less weird Dead Person News, one will occasionally spot the odd Billy Mays commercial. But dubbing doesn’t do the man justice.

………………………………….UPDATE!!……………………………………

For the first time ever, I have discovered a relevant video. This is NOT the commercial I saw when I took the above photo, but it’s obviously related. How  weird is it that there appears to be a whole SERIES of Bob Ross commercials in Asia?

Is it just me? Tell me this is weird:

Erin’s Problems are Hipster Bands

We are Erin's Problems. sitarmustachehat*fart*

I’m coming to you live, internet, from my office. I’m eating a Tootsie roll pop. It’s Friday afternoon. The kiddies are gone for the day and I get to doink around on the internet, writing frivolous blog posts and what not.  They pay me to do this guys. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of actual work involved too, and I’ve had a few crappy weeks prior to this. But today was a good day. And tomorrow will be a good day because I’m going to Seoul to stare at some North Koreans and then I’m going to bathe myself in IPA. (More on how orgasmically exciting that is next week.)

The thing is, I can’t think of anything to write about.

At some point, I transitioned from being Uberforeign, to Mute and  Uncomfortable, to Not Terrified Anymore, to Partial Understanding of Everything, to I Get It, to I Live Here, to I’m Stagnant Again.

Yeah, we're called Uberforeign. You've probably never heard of us...

“As Erin awoke one morning from uneasy dreams she found herself transformed in her bed into a gigantic ennui-machine…”

We are Ennui-Machine. Here's a 20 minute keyboard solo.

It’s a welcome feeling, I mean, compared to the first few weeks of peeking cautiously out of your windows and around corners lest you come in contact with a native. And I couldn’t claim to be acclimated. I just claim to be much less surprised. And that makes me sad.

We are Dread the Hipster. This is a song about....Galesburg. Whatever.

But in 90 days I’m out. And in 90 days I have no idea where I’ll be. Safety net = home, but home is so full of hipsters….how I dread the hipsters…The answer is, I guess keep moving. Which is what I did when I got bored with Chicago. And Omaha. And good God, who wouldn’t have been bored with Galesburg? And Cheyenne!? Come on.

So tell me Hipster Band, am I doomed to constant movement? Am I lost to the world of Normals and Happies?? Will the conclusion of 90 days find me in my parents’ basement or living out of a van somewhere?

Here's my pocket Nietzsche. There are no Normals and Happies.

 Cold comfort, hipsters. Cold comfort.

And the Living is…Easy?

We are on the brink of summertime in Gwangju.The trees are green, the skies are hazy with heat, the street cats are shrieking to breed beneath my window. The shorts are getting shorters; the heels, higher.

Jacket longer than shorts? HAWT.

For most, summer is a time of splashing and beaches, tans and pina coladas. And sometimes my summers are like this too. But guys, I fear the coming season as I fear few other things (ie: death, tight spaces, death inside tight spaces, Kate Hudson movies, etc). You see I was here, if only briefly, LAST summer. And I remember it all too well…

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Striking

When the school year started up in March, I received the best gifts ever: coteachers. Prior to this, I taught English to like 600 students who had no idea what I said. The autonomy was awesome, but the success rate was…well…middling. And of course, effective discipline was nonexistant.

Is this seriously the first Kindergarten Cop reference on here? Shame.

The first day of class this semester, Euna (who is shorter than some of our 3rd graders) rolled in and immediately made 3 boys cry from vigorous scolding. Their crime? I had no idea. But I was in awe. Holy Cow. No one was going to talk too much, no one was going to punch their classmates or stand on their chairs or not have their books. The boys weeping in the back of the classroom, personally, I liked them. And I didn’t understand exactly what they had done wrong, but I didn’t care either. Things was going to change in Erin’s English classroom. Fall in, ye students, or know Euna’s wrath. As for me, I’m just going to stand over here and look disapproving.

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Wave of Mutilation

Yesterday I had one of those stunned conversations that everyone has been having since Friday. They go something like this –

A: Did you see what happened in Japan?

B: Yeah, oh my god, can you believe that? Have you ever seen anything like it?

A: No, that footage was terrifying! And so many people have died…

B: I know. It’s horrible.

A: Horrible.

Totally useless exchanges, if we’re honest with ourselves. Only this latest conversation didn’t stop there. My coworker continued to explain to me (brow all the while still creased in concern for the people effected) that the Japanese were godless and, considering their actions in the past, kind of definitely had it coming to them, this disaster.

deserved

Chocking up suffering to divine scale-balancing has been going on since the beginning of God. This answer is comforting only because it’s easy. This answer means you don’t have to think anymore about why your God would even allow pain on his earth. And this answer only works when you aren’t the one being “punished”.

It’s safe to assume I’m just as wrong as everyone else when it comes to our thoughts on The Big Picture, or even what “right” is. I’m convinced not one of us has any clue what’s really going on. But a little compassion wouldn’t hurt, since we’re all so goddamned confused.

Here’s a pretty s0lid list of ways you can donate aid to Japan. Consider it.

Take a Sad Song and Make it Sadder: A Norebang Tragedy

Mullets: for classy hobbies

Norebang: (n) a personal karaoke room rented out by the hour

It is Wednesday. Your coworkers, heady from raw fish and soju, decide you must all go sing songs in front of one another in a basement. You are not convinced, and you say as much. Many times. But then you begin to feel like a douche, and everyone but you is sort of drunk, and only hours before you’d reestablished yourself as a key volleyball player and generally awesome person to this crowd, so you go. Before, these excursions only led to you clapping on the fringes like an idiot. Safe. Painless.

But upon entering the ‘bang, you are sandwiched between two jovial old man coworkers that thrust the song book in your hands and gesticulate wildly at your face. “Balls,” you mutter, because you know you are doomed. So you fish out some innocuous old tune and pass the book on, praying you are forgotten amid the beer, the old Korean pop songs, the frenzied tambourine shaking. Continue reading

The Humans Are Dead

It’s old – but endlessly amusing – news. English teachers in South Korea are being replaced by robots. This robot, in fact:

brains?

I kid, I kid. Meet Engkey:

brains?

Shit got real last fall in Daegu with 29 robots entering elementary school classrooms. You can read more about it at Weird Asian News and CNN (Honestly, the CNN one is more outrageous, with a super-obvious “But what will this DO to our CHILDREN?” fear-mongering bit toward the end. I highly suggest it.). Anyway, I’m not personally offended that the ESL job market is getting smaller due to machines, but this seemed like an opportune time to point out what a real live person can do that a machine cannot. Without further ado, I give you 10 Reasons Erin is Better Than a Robot:

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