Flex your age.

I don’t know if this is a thing at the moment, but I have noticed in my social media timelines, both in Korean and in English, that people are competitively sharing memories from their childhood that a young person of today would not understand. (What has shocked me most is that children have an entirely different hand gesture for ‘being on the phone’. 🤯)

I naturally have quite a lot to offer on the topic, but perhaps I will choose two for now.

There was a phone number you could dial just to find out what time it was.

A rock star that I was a fan of when I was about 12 lived with his parents, and their home phone number was available from directory enquiries.

“A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World”

This title came from the very first audiobook I listened to, written and recorded by David Spade (2019). I had always enjoyed his storytelling, but in this particular case, it was the title that sold it to me instantly.

I still think I am more comfortable interacting with people online than in person. A “digital innate“, I have so far quietly insisted. However, this is where I must also throw my hands up in the air and admit that live-streaming [라방] a class is a whole other world, especially for someone who can never do two things at the same time. My sincere bows to 마리텔 백주부 and 대한민국 어게인 나훈아

“Ritual technology” [2]

I came across these viral pictures a while ago, on separate occasions, and saved the links for my own amusement. Tomorrow I am hosting a virtual meeting with near 150 students, and suddenly these are pretty much me.

Please, Collaborate, don’t go rogue on me.

(Unlikely to be the original source, but the image from here)
(Unlikely to be the original source, but the image from here)


Food in our genes? [2]

I am a carbs person. Carbs (and sugar) in all shapes and forms. Probably unsurprisingly though, rice will always hold an extra special place in my diet.

It is still to my surprise that yogurt rice has become part of my comfort food repertoire. While having a bowlful of it, I put together this random post that is a collection of a few ‘rice-related’ online memes I have recently come across.

1. A “rice breaker”.

2. “You can only add 2 things to this plate of simple rice. Name them.”

3. Uncle Roger and “crimes against rice”.

p.s. It escalated so much (read: the female presenter being massively trolled) that they ended up doing a series of ‘peacemaking’ videos together, such as this, this and this.

4. “Spicy Korean rice gnocchi” versus “bland Italian potato tteok” (as in Chinese ravioli versus Italian dumplings).

5. #CarbSolidarity

Descendants of the bear-woman

It has been 12 days since I last stepped out of the flat. I am not “whipping coffee 400 times” yet, but my mind does go to random places. More often than usual at least. Among many other things, I have been thinking a lot about South Korea’s founding mythology, which is taught in school and is also celebrated as a public holiday.

Legends about Tangun [mythological first king of the Koreans] differ in detail. According to one account, Hwanung left heaven to rule Earth from atop Mt. T’aebaek (Daebaik). When a bear and a tiger expressed a wish to become human beings, he ordered the beasts into a cave for 100 days and gave orders that they were to eat only mugwort and garlic and avoid the sunlight. The tiger soon grew impatient and left the cave, but the bear remained and after three weeks was transformed into a beautiful woman. It was she who became the mother of Tangun. (Britannica, 2020)

What I find most amusing about this musing is that so many fellow Koreans, in their respective ‘caves’ in different parts of the world, are making the same reference to this mythological DNA 🐻 on Twitter. That’s right. Eat your heart out, Tiger King.


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?

Thesis Psychosis [4]

Saw a YouTube video of this song on a random blog many years ago. I liked it, but after that blog disappeared I couldn’t recall for the life of me the singer’s name. So, the video became one of those things that I don’t think about at all most of the time but when it springs to my mind out of the blue I will do some obsessive searching for in vain and leave until the next time it happens. Or to be more factual, one of my many digital objects of procrastination.

Then last week it just came back – equally out of the blue. Not the very same rendition but I take it.

End of term – or a mirage of it

Everybody in my social media timelines seems to be doing a year-end round-up. I also did one in 2016, but this year I am just glad that there are still a couple more days left before the new term begins. As also mentioned below, I was really looking forward to the winter break this time around. A bit like this illustration that was posted on the Communication Research Methods page last week with no additional caption. Well, no caption was necessary.

Then the first comment that immediately followed was: “It’s a mirage! Save yourselves!” I am not sure if the artist intended it, but upon reading the comment it struck me that I was being all business-as-usual. At least one piece of writing that I have been wrestling with for long is kind of out of the way now. Yay. 🎉