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June 29, 2006

hasisi appears bazaar magazine, july 2006


scene 1
jackson: um, bazaar magazine, jooseyo
bookshop cashier: (blank look) bajaar?
jackson: ne
cashier: er,... korean.
jackson: (smiles) yeah, i know
cashier: (funny look)

scene 2
jackson: look.
paul: who's that?
jackson: it's my girlfriend.
paul: what a dog (laughs).
jackson: (smacks the magazine in paul's face)
paul: shit, sorry man. i thought you were joking.

scene 3
jackson: what does it say?
hasisi: (closes the magazine) no, i hate this picture.
jackson: (opens the magazine) tell me.
hasisi: anyway, you already know.
jackson: no, i can't remember. anyway, i want to hear it from you.
hasisi: yes, you do....no. you tell me what you think.
jackson: er, a korean expression, that's hard to translate. something about piles of shit and pulling yourself up with ropes.
hasisi: exactly. but... (covers face with hands). no! it's impossible.
jackson: (pulls hands away) just try sweetie, please.

June 25, 2006

geoff, post-rumble

geoff post rumble

June 20, 2006

i was born for the stage


saturday night.
and i aint got no.

the waking party was launching their ep.
the second song was black light.
the offical dancer was off sick.
the beer was deep in my veins.
the stage was mine.

only in korea.

[photo by chen]

June 15, 2006

inside the inferno

Korean soccer fans are known for their passion. In 2002, football frenzy swept the nation as Guus Hiddink used his "magic" to lead the red devils to the semi-finals. Around the country fans were burning themselves to death, asking for the month off work, and gathering in the hundreds of thousands in the streets of Seoul. In 2006, Korean fans are just as enthusiastic, with one exception; they have hauled their street-spitting, song-chanting, red shirt-wearing asses... overseas.

korea vs togo 1 korea vs togo 2

On Tuesday night i got a taste of the Korean fan experience. Korea was set to play Togo at 10pm local time and the plan was to go to Sajik Soccer Stadium with my colleagues after work to watch the game "on the big screen". I had heard you needed to get there by 5pm to secure one of the 60,000+ seats. At 8:30 when we arrived via a channel of glowing red-devils horns it was indeed "sold" out. Large metal gates don't really stop Korean fans however, so we squeezed through and into the stadium on a wave of red bodies as police looked on helplessly.

korea vs togo 7 korea vs togo 9

It was something to behold. With an hour till kick-off the party was in full swing. Chanting and clapping inflatable sticks together, the sea of red swam all around my peripheral vision. We settled on a concrete block next to the bins and i peered toward the screen, which was in fact relatively no larger than a mobile phone. It was immediately obvious that the actual watching of the game was not a priority. As more and more people piled in, the police compromised to seat them around but not on the pitch. I expected constantly to see the teams themselves appear out of the bunkers.

korea vs togo 14 korea vs togo 10

Two minutes to kick off and the telecast coverage panned around the Korean fans in Germany and it was like looking into a mirror, a spooky mirror. Just when I thought it was not possible to celebrate any more, Korea scored a goal. Fireworks, huge flags, and everybody running onto the pitch. The interesting thing about the two photos below is they are ordered chronologically and taken only a few minutes apart. That is, the "wild" behaviour of the fans was followed immediately by the orderly process of going back to their designated seats. Of course it helped that Korea won, but either way, Korean fans do not disappoint for a good show.

korea vs togo 11 korea vs togo 12

June 14, 2006

i was thinking about it again the other day


a while back i read Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. the thing that has lingered longest with me from this novel is the opening conversation between two men at the funeral of a friend of theirs, molly i think her name was. both of these men had been lovers of mollys at some time in her life. the critical detail is: these men are friends. they had known each other as long as they had known molly, and they were friends. i got to thinking about an ideal. an ideal that described a man being able to accept that his woman might be better with someone else, somebody he knew, and perhaps even go as far as to encourage this, for the better of everyone involved.

i got to thinking about this again the other day because i have been discovering details of their intimacy. details that seem to be unearthed piece by piece in an almost sympathetic manner. an anonymous reference. a public dedication. a private image. these details felt to me like a test. how close to this ideal are you?

not there, but a little closer, perhaps. i mean, my stomach didn't buckle like it used to. in fact, i chuckled when i saw the photograph of them in bed together. although, i'm not sure why.

it's impossible to think through how it feels to learn an ex-lover is seeing one of your best friends. you just have to be a different person. a person with self knowledge and self belief. a person who's decisions are fueled by confidence rather than probabilities of regret. and i am not that person.

still. the tree that felt my pint glass' splinters in janet's backyard that night is in the background now. and soon it will be on the horizon. and soon it will be out of frame. still. the mobile phone that heard my cry and found burial in the fallen twigs and yellowing grass in janet's backyard that night is not the one i speak into now. still. my new bouganvillia is growing beautifully.

June 7, 2006

?? ? (or she was here part II)

nighttime anytimeapt 404 floor

there is a corner in the earth and it holds two bodies. these bodies they shuffle and they prop and they snap with continuous long exposures. with its slippery boards and egg white walls, this corner had never meant anything before.

part of what it means now is clear.

a few short weeks ago i happened to be rifling through the human op-shop of korea when i stumbled upon some sort of anomaly. drunkness let me see through my usual bout of second guessing, and soon enough i was as smitten as a smile on a kitten. this anomaly of mine she knows music, film, art and travel. she has a couple of tattoos and she even smokes in public from time to time, at her own risk. she is coarse with tongue, snappy with dress, and spindly with structure. she doesn't quite fit in here, and that's why i like her. maybe 'cause she's like me. here.

we are sort of doomed, in this corner that is three barriers language, geography and history. yet that open space, that open space. that open space contains language that is images and touches, geography that is otherwise productivity, and history that is actually behind us.

she shuffles her feet across the station floor and looks at me like 'ah'. we are late. the adrenalin pumps our bodies around and against each other like bumper cars on that station floor and i drag her by the finger tips to our car, which is conveniently at the bottom of the stairs. in the seats and sweating. did you just nod your head and say nothing? ... there wasn't much to talk about in that hour after i finished work and before we went to dinner. not with desire around the place. better than a beer and cnn. did you have a nice day today honey?... the raspberries weren't mouldy and the wine was sour but we drank them together anyhow. curling postures and probing questions in our corner. how does a conversation flow? ... natural born sleepers, we make nampodong market by 4pm or so. eating flat noodle soup and rock rice in a poky second floor restaurant. rifling through piles of second hand clothes from japan that sit on tarpaulins on the street, i pull out a dress with a nice pattern on it for her. its worth the 3000 won and so she gets it and so we begin acting in our own memories. is it ok to be here with me? ... i am cooking for her. spinach lemon pepper tuna pasta. western style and its delicious in korean. overtired i push into unoccupied territories. these territories are meant to be inhabited later, i know i know. i am babo but thats all i am meant to know. when i will i start living that other half of my life? ... on the final morning i push the sleep out of my eyes and slide my torso down the misplaced sheet to meet her. capturing images all the time. its what we do. its what we have to do. i will develop them later.

hasisi smokes!nampodong rifling