Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Dont canonize the living

December 25th, 2005 . by Matt

Koreans learned a big lesson about virtually deifying people that are still alive with the Hwang Woo Suk cloning scandal (meaning the cloning that never happened).

Here is a background for people that dont know about it.

San Francisco – In a further blow to the credibility of the South Korean researcher who claimed to be the first to clone a human embryo, the journal Science yesterday said it is investigating a 2004 study it published that first brought Hwang Woo-suk to prominence.

At issue are two vital photographs that Hwang used to illustrate his breakthrough claim. They appear identical to photos published previously in another journal on an unrelated topic.

The latest allegation adds to a long list of charges levelled against the fallen “cloning king” in the past month.

Hwang maintains his findings, published in two Science papers in 2004 and 2005, are legitimate. But he has admitted to ethical lapses and sloppy reporting, and has asked for the 2005 paper to be retracted.

The mess has prompted a growing number of critics in the scientific community to assert that Hwang’s credibility is all but destroyed; many doubt that his claims to have extracted human embryonic stem cells from cloned embryos will hold up.

If the photos are duplicates, the mistake could be due to careless handling – an excuse Hwang gave for a similar photo foul-up previously exposed. Others, though, including two co-authors on the 2005 paper, are beginning to believe that much of Hwang’s work was fabricated.

Koreans have invested a lot in Hwang. Indeed, they turned him into a historical figure before he was even dead.

“We are happy as long as Professor Hwang is with us”

Comics that teach about the great Professor Hwang

“Children! Lets learn from the Success of Professor Hwang”

“The scientist that changed the world – Hwang Woo Suk”

The reaction after hearing about Hwangs fraud

People shocked to tears by Hwang

Poeple removing pictures of fallen hero Hwang from buses

People that are still alive arent meant to be treated like saints. I wonder if this scandal will make Koreans more circumspect in the future, or if they will precipitously create new heroes.

Hilarious happening

December 24th, 2005 . by Matt

I love reading all the antics of the ‘politically correct’, and it seems like 2006 will be a good year for it. Although in a sense I feel outrage at the whole nitpicking stupidity of political correctness, it sparks hilarity in me and the world would be a much duller place if people were more sensible.

David Howard got into trouble for being niggardly with his vocabularly

One of my favorites was the ‘niggardly scandal’. This classic from 1999 is about an aide to the Mayor of Washington DC, David Howard, that used the word ‘niggardly‘, a word that means stingy, in a conversation about the city’s tight budget with other city aides, one of whom was black.

From the Washington Post –

David Howard, a top aide to D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, resigned last month after being criticized for saying the word “niggardly” during a meeting with two city employees. Howard’s resignation, and Williams’s decision to accept it, raised questions about whether the mayor acted too hastily and fueled discussions across the nation about appropriate word usage. A look at the key dates in the Howard situation:

Jan. 15: In a discussion of how little money his office would have to serve residents, Howard, the head of the mayor’s constituent services office, tells two associates that he’ll have to be “niggardly” with his agency’s budget. Niggardly, meaning miserly, has no racial connotation, but soon rumors begin spreading among some city workers that Howard had used the “N-word.”

Jan. 25: Howard offers his resignation to Williams, who accepts it, citing the District’s sensitive climate for race relations.

This situation provided for much editorial hilarity, like this one from US News –

A waspish, niggardly slur

The nonimpeachment story of the last week of January was the controversy over the word “niggardly.” David Howard, a white mayoral aide in Washington, D.C., used the word in conversation with a black official, who took offense because he felt that niggardly, which means miserly or cheap, was a racist term. Howard offered his resignation, which was accepted by Mayor Anthony Williams. The mayor explained that although Howard didn’t say “anything that was in itself racist,” using a word that could be misunderstood was like “getting caught smoking in a refinery with a resulting explosion.”

The resignation of Howard was, of course, a shock and a tragedy but it had a good result too. It sensitized us all to the hidden and hurtful ethnic slurs that darken–oops, sorry–that afflict American life and allow the wily perpetrators to get off scot free–er, without any punishment at all.

That’s why in February and March of 1999, America’s alert press corps turned up a staggering number of coded insults. For example, at a fancy dinner in Washington, the British ambassador called the Japanese ambassador a “jolly good chap,” exactly the kind of sly detraction that no one would have noticed before the consciousness-raising Howard case. Luckily, a savvy columnist pointed out that “chap” is unmistakably close to the insulting word “Jap,” so the British ambassador was recalled and is now serving as second assistant to the operations director of the Liverpool sewage works.

But all turned out alright because of the negative reaction by columnists and commentary on the internet (yay, internet power!).

But columnists and commentators pounced on the incident as yet another example of the ludicrous state of politics and race relations in Washington.

Williams, who is black, had promised to bring a new era of respectability after decades of excess under his controversial predecessor, Marion Barry. But Howard’s resignation led to accusations that the new mayor was kowtowing to remnants of the Barry regime.

Both aides who heard Howard use the word “niggardly” were holdovers from the Barry administration, and one was a candidate for the job Howard was given.

“The recently completed review of the incident confirmed for me that Mr. Howard did use the word ‘niggardly’ but did not use a racial epithet,” Williams said, adding that the employee who complained misunderstood Howard to have use a racial slur.

David Howard has learned his lesson too.

As for Howard, he says that in the future, he’ll use the word “parsimonious” instead.

Which brings us to our Christmas 2005 rogues gallery

Made a funny political statement but lacked the foresight to see the consequences. A disability in my book

This one might even be funnier than the niggardly scandal.

SALEM — Former state Sen. Neil Bryant has withdrawn his name from consideration for a state board appointment after apologizing for writing “white/male” on a form asking if he had a disability.

Bryant said Tuesday that he told Gov. Ted Kulongoski last week that he had made the notation in an attempt to be humorous, but he wound up kicking himself.

“I sincerely and profoundly apologize for any discomfort I have caused,” the Bend attorney wrote in a letter Thursday withdrawing his name. “No one is to blame but me.”

Kulongoski had nominated Bryant for the Oregon Health & Science University board earlier this year. Bryant said he filled out paperwork in the summer, and the Oregon Senate was expected to approve his appointment next month.

The three-page form from the governor’s office asks for information on gender and ethnicity to assist the state in meeting its affirmative action objectives. It also asks the candidate to indicate whether he or she has a disability.

“I responded ‘white/male,’ ” he explained in his letter to Kulongoski’s office. “I did this to be humorous. I did not qualify for any affirmative action objectives on the form. I should have simply responded ‘no.’ ”

After Kulongoski was told of the wording, he and Bryant spoke by telephone Thursday.

“His first question was, ‘Neil, what were you thinking?’ ” Bryant said.

Bryant faxed his apology to the governor’s office that day, said Anna Richter Taylor, a spokeswoman for the governor.

“They had a conversation, and both agreed it was in the best interest at this point to withdraw his name,” she said.

The Oregonian pontificated that what he wrote was not funny, but offensive.

There’s no defense for former state Sen. Neil Bryant’s attempt at humor on a state affirmative-action form. Responding to a question asking if he had a disability, he wrote “white/male.”

Some no doubt think that’s funny, but it’s not. It’s offensive to a great many people, and Bryant ended up apologizing for it, as he should have.

That should have been the end of the matter.

Inexplicably, it wasn’t. The faux pas cost Bryant an appointment to the board of Oregon Health & Science University. He had to withdraw his nomination after being taken to the woodshed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

There are various reasons why this is simply hilarious. The first is that this was a clever political statement. By writing ‘white/male’ on the part of the form designed to help fill affirmative action quotas, he was making a subversive political statement against racial preferences. I dont see how this statement could be considered offensive either – to who, for what?

Mr Bryant did make some errors however. His biggest one was not being able the predict the kind of reaction that he would get in the politically correct environment in America (and indeed, most western countries). That level of impolitic itself might be thought to disqualify him. The other thing was that after being criticised, he tried to represent it as ‘a joke’, and not the incisive and funny political statement that it was. By calling it a joke, he made himself a target for people that say what he wrote was inappropriate and unprofessional – which it is, if it is simply ‘a joke’.

Some people might say that it is crazy to suggest that white males could be disadvantaged by affirmative action considering that the majority of the elite are white males. Sure, minorities and women are not in most of the top positions in society, but neither are 99.99 percent of white males. Some white males certainly have institutionlized advantages (think George W. Bush), but this is the result of their class and socioeconomic status, not their skin color. The existence of the so called ‘white trash‘ certainly shows that there are millions of white people that are somehow unable to reap the benefits of ‘white privilege‘, the conference of which is supposed to be automatic.

I dont think that Bryant should get the job (which is an unpaid position anyway) – no one that jokes on their application should expect to get the job. But it was funny, and it was a political statement. It was also the unvarnished truth – for purposes of affirmative action, being white/male is a disability. He should have had some more backbone, and stood by his words.

These kinds of things are hilarious. I find it much more productive to ‘take the piss‘ out of the politically correct rather than getting angry about things. In the end, humor and satire will win over heated debate.

혐일류! 嫌日流! The Hate Japan Wave!

December 18th, 2005 . by Matt

What the cover of Hyomilryu will probably look like when it is released

Never let it be said that Koreans arent original, because in the wake of Kenkanryu comes the Korean counter attack, Hyomilryu! (The hate Japan wave)

According to the Joins.com article, Hyomilryu is being created because Kenkanryu looked down on Koreans, and distorted history. At this point, chapters on the world cup and Dokdo/Takeshima have been completed. Hyomilryu is due to be released in Feburary or March next year, and before it is released some of the content will be made public.

I look forward to this being released. I will even read it. Still, unless they have some amazing new evidence to present, I wonder how they will manage to make it convincing. Moreover, how they will criticise Japan for its conduct in the world cup.

Occidentalism.org email addresses giveaway

December 18th, 2005 . by Matt

Matt hard at work writing Occidentalism

I have decided to give away 5 occidentalism.org email addresses to regular readers, after getting requests from people. The only condition is that you dont use it for spam or criminal activity (yes, I know none of the people here would do that). Anyone wanting an occidentalism.org email address should email me at [email protected] I will be considering people that are regular commenters, so be sure to tell me your username in the email.

Tribute to picking up

December 18th, 2005 . by Matt


Recently lots of asian (American) guys online are complaining about not being able to get a date with asian women. Now, I have never noticed any guy with game having trouble getting a date, no matter what his racial background. I happen to think this kind of talk is an excuse for personal failings, and an attempt to politicize these failings so they dont have to deal with them as something that needs to be changed.

About a year ago an asian friend of mine suddenly became interesting in dating girls (before that computer games were his life) and noticed the inter-racial dating trend, and thought it would be impossible for him to get a date. The conversation was thus –

Friend: Its impossible for me to get a date. All the asian girls are dating white guys, and all the white girls are dating black guys. There is nothing left for asian guys.

Matt: What about black girls?

Friend: @#$%^&*!

Anyway, my answer to all asian guys (in fact, any guy!) thinking those self defeating thoughts is this video.


Galbijim – cool new site for foreigners in Korea

December 15th, 2005 . by Matt

David announces his new site ^^

Some of you may have noticed a new blogroll link to the Galbijim wiki in the last couple of weeks. In truth this wiki is part of a new site and is being fronted by well known foreign newspaper and media figure David MacLeod, and will become a great meeting place for foreigners to exchange views, seek work, and most of all, get valuable information about living in Korea. Because David has made this Wiki, it means that everyone is able to contribute their knowledge to it, and there is already a great deal of information on it.

David has some information that I want to share here on Occidentalism.

The Galbijim Wiki was started as part of the Galbijim.com site as a place to store all Korea- related information for expats in the country. Though Wikipedia has a certain amount of information on Korea, as an encyclopedia information too specific gets deleted. That means that you could write an article on a station on the subway for example, but not the small store outside exit 7. You could write an article on the Korean language, but not usage of the word 화이팅 (fighting). At the same time, other expat-related sites on the net have a lot of information but the majority has to either be gleaned from postings on bulletin boards, or it is contained on static sites that only get updated when the owner feels like it. The Galbijim Wiki, however, uses the exact same software that Wikipedia does, which means that any page can be edited by anyone. If you see a page that is too small, needs some work or is inaccurate, hit the edit button and write in the changes. Since the content isn’t copyrighted to an individual you can copy it and use it wherever you want, and if you have pictures you want to upload that you don’t care about the copyright too, you can do that too. You can even create or modify the Korean lessons on the wiki and upload sound files as well.

To give you an idea of exactly how varied the subject matter can be, take a look at these pages:






Lastly, facts are welcome while mere opinions are not. It is better to write “yy is a bar in xx town that is located in the centre of the city and has a large foreign clientele” than “yy is a sleazy club with loser expats” – the second sentence would just be deleted. If a bar *is* sleazy, however, you can mention the fact with something more objective like “yy is a popular bar in xx town, but avoided by many that consider it to be sleazy”. Besides that, however, all content is welcome, you can ask questions on the wiki itself, and it does not bite. At present it has over 2100 articles and needs much, much more.

By the way, if you know about the old Korea Wiki, I was the one that started that but have since stopped. It’s a free service and the server was way too slow, which is why we moved to the paid service we have now. This is its successor, and already ten times the size.

Be sure to take a look at David’s site!

I thought the Chinese shot people for this

December 14th, 2005 . by Matt

A completely irrelevant picture here because I couldnt find pics of the stalker or the victim. Loosely China related though

The court in the north eastern Chinese city of Harbin has dismissed charges of harrassment against a man that was stalking the woman he loved.

A CHINESE man who repeatedly broke into the home of a neighbour he secretly loved, at one point sneaking out with a bra and some photos, has been let off the hook by a Chinese court, Xinhua news agency has said.

Unlike western stalkers that tend to leave terrifying photos with faces cut out and the like, this stalker –

But the court in Harbin, capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province, dismissed harassment charges against the burglar. It heard that on the times he entered the woman’s apartment while she was out, he had washed her dishes, done her laundry, left her snacks and even fixed her computer.

“(The man) said he loved her secretly, but couldn’t muster up enough courage to speak to her. He placed a bet with his roommate that he would win her heart,” Xinhua said, citing a report in the Shenzhen Daily. It did not say when the charges were dismissed.

He once planted a note in the apartment reading: “Don’t panic. I hope you can understand my feelings for you.”

He told the court he swiped the woman’s MP3 player because it was in need of repair, but admitted he “took her bra and photos out of love for her.”

It sounds like the court is being very lenient. Actually, I am feeling fairly amused that a Chinese court would show more mercy than the court in my country. In Australia, he would have had the book thrown at him. I also wonder what the woman thinks of the whole event.

Children of the Secret State

December 14th, 2005 . by Matt

north korea
This guy probably wont be invited back to North Korea

A few months ago I saw ‘Children of the Secret State‘, a discovery channel documentary that took a look inside North Korea and how the so-called ‘socialist paradise on earth’ treats its orphans. This is definitely a video that I wanted readers of Occidentalism to see. Now amazingly, this video has been made available on the google video service (Note: I have been told that the google video service is not being offered to Korea at this time – most other countries should be fine).

You heard it on Occidentalism first. It is very worthwhile viewing, so take a look.

The riots in Cronulla

December 13th, 2005 . by Matt

I am intending to write a post about the riots in Cronulla, which is about an hour or so from where I live. Bear with me, because I am trying to get past the incredible media bias of the Australian news media (Korean media pales in comparison) in an attempt to get a coherent understanding of the situation. I may actually go to Cronulla on the 18th.

Japanese cultural pointers

December 10th, 2005 . by Matt


Here is an interesting video containing ‘cultural pointers’ and language instruction for foreigners wanting to eat Japanese sushi, sent to me by Curzon from Coming Anarchy. Be sure to follow these instructions to the letter next time you go to an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant.

Have fun!

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