Elwood 5566

Paedofinder General – On a Lighter Note

Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized by 노강호 on July 22, 2010

Paedofinder General - formerly The Witchfinder General

One reason I love Roketship.com is that ‘a picture certainly paints a thousand words’ and with an added caption or speech bubbles that thousand is stretched even further. It seems my opinion on paedo-paranoia, expressed in Uncle Ernie’s Daegu  Antics Prompt a Rant, has attracted a few comments on The Marmot’s Hole and a few nasty ones which I deleted from my pages. Well,  popular sentiment has never been my bag. Boo-hoo sentimentality leads to war, one still being fought, and all sorts of other social travesties.  I work under the axiom that if it’s popular it’s shit – or in this case, suspect! Rap – that’s shit and a lot of it borders on repugnant. Most Hollywood movies are crap and the majority of celebrities fucking wankers! Even the  shittiest chocolate is the most popular and as for the Bible… boring. I’m a Mahler man. There’s more spirit and humanity in Mahler’s music than you’ll ever find in the pages of religious twaddle. Mahler should be a religion!  And then there’s Bruckner, and Handel… and a pantheon more! I’m a snob to anything popular and proud of it.

Mahler fiddled with my head when I was 12. Ich liebe Dich!

Then I found ( via The Marmot’s Hole), this excellent link to some animations which express exactly what I was trying to say  about Ernie’s Antics  and obviously  didn’t.  The sketches are very funny and encapsulate what I failed to articulate. Amusing animations have the capacity to go places where words often fail without causing irritation.

Paedofinder General: Fiddler on the Roofhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxQINcVBgU&feature=related

Paedofinder General: We Three Kingshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC6iQwoXc-w&feature=fvw

Paedofinder General: Don’t ever go with Strangershttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBFqe_3M2Z8&feature=related

And just who is Uncle Ernie? Fiddle About, from TommyThe Who

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© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Bogland Follow-up

Posted in Blogging by 노강호 on June 5, 2010
More shite from Bogland

Bogland

I’m tracking if any of my friends bother to read my blogs or indeed, if I actually have any friends. I recently uploaded one of those tagging widgets to my page which you can see at the bottom of my side bar. Every time someone visits my blog their country of origin is denoted by a flag. Every morning, before I even get out of bed, I turn on the computer and see if I have any new flags.  Then I sit and browse through a number of K-blogs with my coffee. I really need a stiff drink, except I don’t drink, because there is definitely some shite lurking in Bogland. Sometimes, the shit is so bad it is can actually be useful. I am trying to learn Korean, I have been for years and so any sites which can improve my skills are of particular interest. Ten years ago you couldn’t even buy a decent book to help you learn Korean and there was nothing online. Now we are spoilt  for choice. I subscribe to one website and to augment my learning visit a number of blogs and in particular those which function both as a diary and provide a Korean lesson.

This post is dedicated to all those twats who write blogs peppered with Korean words to which there is no given translation as if their audience, and more specifically, their mates back home, can actually speak and read Korean. Back in 2000, if you wanted to write with an east Asian script on your PC, if you had one, you had to buy Microsoft’s, Proofing Tools and online translators were basic in the least. A dictionary was essential except they were difficult to buy (in the UK) and very basic. The simplest way to impress your mates back  home and give yourself Malinowskian credentials is to look-up a Korean word, eg, ‘train,’ stick it in Babblefish or some other translator, and then paste it into your text.  ‘I got the 기차 to 대구 last 토요일,’ type blogs, are excellent for testing your knowledge of basic Korean words.

Then there are the copious reviews on restaurants and coffee shops. Anyone who has lived in Korea more than a few months should know that unless a corporate or franchise affair, the coffee shop or restaurant raved about today stands a very good chance of being a hand-phone shop in a few months time and a bakery within six. And then there are the blogs written as though Korea were some isolated little backwater, by authors who seem to think they’re Malinowski, except they’re a hundred years too late and tend to be uninspired by the mundane  and oblivious to the unique. Of course, there is a wealth of insights to share with western audiences except most  have been covered by a hundred other authors but there remain many ‘issues’ out there with hardly anything in print to highlight them. So, here is an example of a really naff style of blog writing:

Hello! 한국 is such a bizarre country. I have been in the Land of the Morning Clam’  for 6 months and am still having fun. Life in my 학권, ‘Venus English Phrontesterion,’  is really good except my bosses,  씻인석 시  and  식인숩 시, insist I speak without  a 미국 accent. I have difficulty telling them 미국 사람 don’t have accents. Only 외국인 사람 speak with an accent!

Downtown Daegu

As you can see, I can now speak and write in 하국어. Are you impressed? Yesterday. This one is red inside. Later, we 팔 김밥 . This  is a pancake  parcel with a filling. It is served with a watery soup called 코물. 마니 마시티!

More next time!

석미왕 프럼 왕주.

Oh, my flag tagger! Very colourfully informs me I have had two visitors from the UK, where the majority of my friends and family live, and 5 from Russia where I know no one. Even if I wanted to, it seems I have no one to impress!

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This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

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When the ‘K’ doesn’t stand for Korea! (Impressing Mummy and Daddy with a Krap-blog)

Posted in Blogging by 노강호 on June 4, 2010
More shite from Bogland

More shite from Bogland

I just love this type of blog post…

Didn’t like this and deleted it!

 

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Beyond the Blog – 'Roketship'

Posted in Blogging by 노강호 on May 6, 2010

A+ - beyond the blog

No, it’s not a spelling mistake! It’s ‘ROK’ as in Republic of Korea! When you get bored of Bogland  and just want to look  at pictures, try  Roketship . Here you will find  a refreshing and highly amusing cartoon blog on life in Korea. I’m quite jealous of a cartoonist’s ability to elicit a response to some ‘idea, in so little space and in such a minimal manner. Often a cartoon provides more impact than words.  It”s for this reason you can buy comic books explaining the theories of Nietzsche, pronounced ‘Nietzsch-iiiii ‘if you’re from the US,  or  similarly didactic comics on Marx or Hegel. I’m sure if I searched I could find such resources on Brain Surgery and Nuclear Physics. Now you can gain a sense of Korean life as experienced by the foreigner on ‘planet Korea’ without ever having to leave  your hometown. Let me assure you that from a cultural point of view,  Roketship is more informative than many travel guides.

However, you interaction will be enhanced if you have actually lived in Korea and  even if your sojourn has  been relatively short, you will find the cartoons encapsulate some of your experiences. My one criticism, I couldn’t find any turds, you know the whippy-whirly ones which quite fascinate me and always make me hungry.

Seriously, this site makes a complete change from the reams of crap that float about in Bogland.

Courtesy of Roketship

Courtesy of Roketship

Beyond the Blog – Pap and Crap in Bogland

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Blogging by 노강호 on May 5, 2010

Cataloging Crap

‘Blog-rolls?’ Is that a spelling mistake? No! Bloggers and writers! They’re worlds apart! The difference between a ‘blogger’ and a  ‘writer’ spans the same gulf as the one separating Britney Spears from Andrea Bocelli. Britney and Bloggers have a purpose, I’m not dismissing them outright. I’m new to blogging but certainly an old hand at writing – which doesn’t imply I’m successful or that my writing is any good, but I don’t class it as ‘blogging’.’ Trawling through blogs you realise that most of them are dull, passionateness and pointless. In just the same way the Bontempi heralded the deskilling of music, rendering florid arpeggios at the touch of a finger, a feat on a regular piano requiring years of practice, the internet has deskilled writing. In just the same way you can be a ‘musician’ today without being able to play an instrument or even read music, you can be a ‘writer’ without actually writing!

Boring!

There an assumption that if you record a  recipe, catalogue the weather, or  sequence how to get down town, that this bestows on you the title, ‘writer.’  Blog after blog churn out the same crap as if the authors are writing for a magazine with an established readership and in which someone else writes material of substance.  And yes! I am aware that his makes me sound like a horrid snob. Blogging allows us to ‘publish’ material that at one time you wouldn’t have dared release to an agent or publisher without ensuring it was the best it could be. Further, it allows you to develop your ability from the very first post. Let me give you an example of two boring posts, two examples of ‘blogging’ and not ‘writing.’ Remember Saturday March 6th? It snowed quite heavily over the country and this resulted in numerous posts that  all read something like this:

Just when you thought it was safe to ditch the duck down thermal anorak, and winter suddenly reappears. After several afternoons with spring in the air, Sunday morning saw Apsan Mountain, Daegu, dusted in snow. So, after an invigorating bowl of chicken and ginseng soup, we took the cable car to one of Apsan’s summits. It was freezing with icy patches underfoot and a wind that stung the ears. Icicles hung from the summit buildings and surrounding trees were covered in a powdery snow.

What a load of crap! And if you look up White Day, you’ll be treated to something like:

March 14th,  White Day, is when men who were given Valentines gifts on February 14th (Red Day), reciprocate, usually with gifts of chocolate, white lingerie or other presents. Like many of the silly days we celebrate around the world, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, for example, White Day is a fairly recent invention, not as usual  an innovation by  a card company, but by a confectioners based in Fukouka, Japan which launched the first White Day in 1978.

More twaddle! If someone wants to learn about ‘White Day,’ or ‘Childrens’ Day’ you can look it up in far more credible locations. And as for recipes, there are some amazing sites very professionally produced. Copying and pasting is no more writing than it is ‘research.’ Unfortunately, there are examples of blogs ripe with such shite and no one should get annoyed that a little weather report penned to mum or your mates back home isn’t hailed a literary masterpiece.

Writers write  because they are compelled to do so or because it is their living and if fortunate, both. Forget dreams of becoming the next J.K Rowling, on average, an author’s first book will earn around £3000. While some writers are ‘forced’ to write by impulse or economic necessity,  many blog for others reasons.  For some, it’s about keeping a journal and recording experiences and while some do  this in a school kiddy manner,   others clearly think they’re Malinowski  exploring some dark and distant continent. Personally, I prefer a Malinowski approach as pomposity is preferable to the boredom  instilled by mundane cataloging.  Others are concerned with ratings and posts are rife with boring trivia under the assumption that anything is better than nothing – hence the two examples quoted! Others are about self promotion even when it appears there is little to promote. Some are driven to blog  by political and social passions, modern day pamphleteers, if you like.  All this is fine, I’m not condemning blogging,  but let’s not allow blogging to deskill ‘writing’ either as a broad art form or as a skill possessed by an individual.

One of the best methods of  improving your writing is to know what not to write and this involves spotting  weaknesses in the work of  others so you can better spot it in your own. A  crowning blog  I recently extensively browsed, which shall remain anonymous, has had a profound impact on me. Spanning almost 11 years, which I think predates the blogging phenomena,  the  author provides an extensive history cataloging their literary achievements but within the blog and in all its hundreds of posts I could find nothing, absolutely nothing, of substance;  nothing seized my attention or drew me towards it, nothing hit me between the eyes! To consistently publish rubbish for 11 years under the assumption you are talented is self deluded in the extreme and is an attitude adopted by a great many talentless celebrities.  It has impacted on me  because I don’t want my writing to be twaddle or pointless, I want it to spark a reaction. So, my resolution:

1. Never to catalogue topics such as the weather, or social events. Such topics should only be broached if approached from an interesting or different perspective

2. Never to publish a post for the sake of maintaining some statistical target

3. Never to use ‘search terms’ to influence the contents of my writing

4. To spend longer re-drafting and never to write and publish on the same day

5. To avoid constantly prettying-up my site

6. To turn the PC off and go out into the real world on a regular basis

Of course, much of what appeals to us as individuals is subjective, but it is possible to identify well written work without necessarily being enamored by the content. Even though we might not like a topic or might disagree with its content, we should still be able to spot something well written and creative!

‘Writers’ shouldn’t be writing for the sake of writing. It’s not about typing words onto a screen with little creative forethought and when the words are amassed, publishing them instantly. Before blogging, the only way to get work published was to make it stand out. Content preceded all else else and drafting and redrafting was the standard process. While the internet and modern technology provide the writer  with some superb resources, it also encourages the cutting of corners  and the array of ‘toys:’ themes, widgets, statistics, other paraphernalia, distract the  writer from writing. I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of time prettying up my pages when I should have been up-grading the content.

Popular doesn't mean better

And have you noticed how the blogs with the highest hits are often the most boring? This should come as no surprise as it is a general rule that the shittiest ‘things’ in our society, pop music, fast food, Hollywood, etc, are shite! Yes, I know there are some great pop musicians and excellent Hollywood movies, but by and large the governing maxim is, if it’s popular, it’s crap! Last week, a 16 year old student asked me how my blog was doing. He wanted to know how many hits I’d had. ‘About 1400,’ I told him, proudly. For a moment, I thought the revelation had excited him until I found out he’s had 77.000 hits over a period of approximately the same  time. I looked at his site and it is very well presented but what lures an audience is the Jeremy Clarkson, boy’s toys appeal: guns, fast cars, fighter planes and You-Tube clips of people getting their brains blown out. Amidst all this typical ‘laddy’ content however, a bizarre twist which for me at least, gave the site a strange appeal, for amongst his categories of ‘Army,’ ‘Air-force,’ ‘Navy,’ and ‘Special Forces,’ were: ‘Recipes,’ ‘The Music of Erik Satie’ and ‘My School Trips.’

Beyond the Blog

There are some fantastic posts lurking in Bogland, quite often with little or no readership. I occasionally discover posts or blogs which demand your attention and which you cannot  ignore. Often their content is the same as the all the other crap except  that it’s written from a unique perspective or is hinged on a wacky, off beat idea, or it might simply an mesmerizing choice of vocabulary. Whatever, such writing takes you on a journey which you unwittingly subscribe to.  Often such blogs will make me wish I could had thought of their idea or that I had some of their skill.  In the pages of such work you can sense the enthusiasm and passion of their authors. When a ‘blog’ or any artistic product engages you to the extent it keeps you from going to bed or makes you late for work , it probably has a quality which takes it beyond the blog . But then a shitty movie or porn video can have the same effect, and Wagner, who I know is highly talented, often sends me to sleep. Perhaps I’m talking shite!

You think I’m a snob? I am, but I know my limitations because I wrote and published those shitty extracts above! And besides, as a teacher it’s my job to both encourage better writing and spot the merits and flaws in work of students. My own scribblings get treated the same way!

If you want some truly interesting posts / blogs, click this link. My opinion, of course….

Like all bloggers, I decided I needed a blog roll and that the more extensive, the better.  So I spent a a considerable ammount of time dwvising a system to rank and rate blogs and catologue their content. After researching about 15, I started falling asleep. Then, when I realised I had to contend with not just WordPress Blogs, but Blogger, Tumblr and so forth, it dawned on me what a gargantuan task lay ahead and I was already bored.  There an assumption that if you write a recipe, catalogue the weather, or write about what bus to take to get downtown, that this bestows on you the title ‘writer.’  Blog after blog. after blog, seem to churn out the same crap as if the authors are writing for a magazine with an established readership and in which someone else writes material of substance. A great many of us are teachers, perhaps not by training but by vocation, but it does make me wonder how we teach the skills of essay writing when the quality of our output is so boringly mundane. And it also becomes clear how little many writers have read and how little they actually think!  This makes me sound like a horrid snob. Remember April 10th

and spent a considerable ammount of time I am quickly coming to learn that the majority of blogs are shite. That’s a horrid and mean thing to say but if you In a sense I cannot wait to reach retirement so I can    employers would not like  Most of the stuff I do write about probably infuriates people

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