Once the red pill is taken [2]

Despite coming from a postcolonial society myself, I didn’t have much awareness of the decolonisation agenda, I must embarrassedly admit. I can in fact pinpoint the moment when the concept first registered in my mind. It was in 2007, in a mall in Kuala Lumpur where I was hanging out with fellow panelists after a conference and impulsively bought a book titled Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Then, to be honest, I didn’t think much about it for another few years. Now I am in an environment where hardly a day goes by without it being brought up, and this has enabled me to realise that it is a far broader battle than including non-Western books in the reading lists.

Let me share my bookmarks on this topic — del.icio.us style. (Remember del.icio.us?)

Geraldine Moane (1999). Hierarchical systems: Patriarchy and colonialism. In: Gender and Colonialism: Psychological Analysis of Oppression and Liberation.

Elijah Meeks (2011). Digital humanities as thunderdome. Journal of Digital Humanities 1(1).

Olivia Solon (2018). Elon Musk: we must colonise Mars to preserve our species in a third world war. The Guardian, 11 March.

Jeongmin Kim (2020). Former North Korean diplomat vows to improve protection for defectors if elected. NK News, 19 February.

Han Woo Park (2020). [기고] ‘대구’를 ‘도구’로 이용하지 마라. 매일신문, 23 February.

Politics of counting [3]

To count or not to count (e.g. Japanese authorities’ decision to exclude cases detected on the Diamond Princess from official statistics); to count independently or comparatively to other outbreaks; to focus on velocity of spread, fatalities, absolute proportions, or relative proportions, …

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resources (The American Society for Microbiology, 5 February 2020)

I live in South Korea where coronavirus cases are rising. Not much has changed. (Robert E. Kelly, The National Interest, 22 February 2020)

Coronavirus: A visual guide to the outbreak (BBC, 23 February 2020)

+

… and to do the counting in the open or not, …

Déjà vu, déjà entendu [10]

BBC Question Time slammed for platforming anti-immigrant hate (Sam Bright, 21 February 2020)

Every time I witness an instance of “bothsidesism”, I think of this clip. A lot.

(1:01) “[It’s] this kind of notion that everyone’s opinion is equally valid. My arse! A bloke who’s a professor of dentistry for 40 years does not have a debate with some idiot who removes his teeth with a string and a door.”

(4:25) “[After talking to a guy from NASA], for the sake of balance, we must now turn to Barry, who believes the sky is a carpet painted by God.”

Once the red pill is taken

There is an in-joke at my university that we have to mention “decolonisation” at least once a day. But the joke aside, it is true that I have become a lot more conscious of the issues while working here. As the internet saying goes, once the red pill is taken, there is no unlearning.

Why I am saying this is because the following article is a year old but I have only recently stumbled upon it, and I can’t get it out of my head since.

You’ll never see the iconic photo of the ‘Afghan Girl’ the same way again (Ribhu, Wired, 12 March 2019)

See also:

Starving Child and Vulture (photo by Kevin Carter, 1993)

Into the Heart: One Man’s Pursuit of Love and Knowledge among the Yanomami (Kenneth Good, 1991; crossposted 3 January 2017)

Natalie Portman opens up about experiencing “sexual terrorism” after starring in ‘Leon’ at 13 (Luke Morgan Britton, NME, 22 January 2018)

Decolonise science — time to end another imperial era (Rohan Deb Roy, The Conversation, 5 April 2018; crossposted 10 December 2018)

The disturbing story behind the rape scene in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, explained (Anna North, Vox, 26 November 2018)

In-jokes [2]

Parasite edition. 🙂

“All look same” trope.

IKEA extra-large display cabinet.

The International Vaccine Institute chimes in.

Paddle when the tide is high [1]: banjiha Airbnb.

군면제 확정.

Paddle when the tide is high [2]: 짜파구리.

And I assume this 👇 is a joke too?

Has the game changed? [3]

Initially I thought this post was about the emergence of a new genre, but come to think of it, the genealogy goes way back to Denise Calls Up (1995), The Contact (1997), and You’ve Got Mail (1998).

Nevertheless, I have noticed a group of movies and other cultural products where our digital and multimodal ways of being are finely weaved in. Here are some, for my own reference, and I will add more.

A perfect Hollywood moment

A perfect Hollywood moment. A perfect #softpower moment. And a perfect #국뽕 moment.

In the meantime, the City of Seoul wastes no time.

Yes, come and see for yourselves banjiha and other sites of capitalist inequality.

Déjà vu, déjà entendu [9]

These two stories have showed up, literally one after the other, in my timeline.

Transgender student withdraws after getting accepted to Sookmyung Women’s University (The Korea Herald, 7 February 2020, via @koryodynasty and @BBC_Hyung)

This awful new app for ‘girls’ uses dystopian tech to identify gender and people are baffled (Independent, 7 February 2020, via @degendering)

I can’t stop wondering if there will ever be a reconciliation…

See also:

The controversy over Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and trans women, explained (Vox, 15 March 2017)

JK Rowling in row over court ruling on transgender issues (The Guardian, 19 December 2019)

Transphobic trolling scandal on the MLA’s CFP site (2020, via @VadoKarina)

Amia Srinivasan on What is a Woman? (Philosophy Bites, 1 January 2017)

Kathleen Stock on What is a Woman? (Philosophy Bites, 21 May 2019)

Sheila Jeffreys on Korea’s (non-existent) anti-discrimination law (Yeoldabooks, 6 February 2020)

Metaphors we live by [2]

Would your football club be better run as a co-operative? (Dave Boyle, The Guardian, 9 May 2012)

How academia resembles a drug gang (Alexandre Afonso, LSE Impact Blog, 11 December 2013)

A degree of studying — Students who treat education as a commodity perform worse than their intrinsically motivated peers (Louise Bunce, LSE Impact Blog, 15 January 2020; see also Lee & Rofe, 2016)

Universities are more like sports clubs than businesses (Richard Oliver, Times Higher Education, 15 January 2020)