Feeling conflicted about The Longest Day in Chang’an

I’m about 10 episodes into The Longest Day in Chang’an and I’m of two minds (at least) about this drama. On the one hand, it’s visually stunning, with every episode like a quality piece of cinema, with tension and creative storytelling. On the other it makes me uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, because it feels like there is a subliminal plot cooked up by the CCP to justify ongoing policies in Xinjiang and other provinces regarding ethnic minorities. Is that a stretch?

The plot revolves around finding and disrupting a terrorist plot by a gang of ethnic outsiders who look and dress unlike the ethnic majority of Chang’an. The police force and then ‘armies’ are called upon to take all means necessary to round them up. The threat of terrorism by Uighurs and other ethnic minorities is one of the main justifications given for the programs to forcefully homogenize and assimilate minorities.

Dramas and movies have long been used as propaganda pieces, this is nothing new, but when a piece is so visually seductive as what I’ve seen in this drama, I feel somehow especially more manipulated than usual, when in comparison with the amusingly jingoistic Arsenal Military Academy (also recently finished), where everything is much more surface level/gung-ho in its presentation.

Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll continue with this one, for these reasons. What do you think? How do you feel about blatant nationalism versus more subtle propaganda in your entertainment? What are the dramas that most come to mind when this topic is raised? I’d love to hear your opinions.

#commentary, #the-longest-day-in-changan

Happy Holidays Chingus!

I know that life has kept us busy lately and it’s been pretty quiet lately but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been any activity going on..just too busy to report on it!  Sadly the last few dramas that I’ve watched have been nothing to write home about!  Just finished Vagabond and it was a total waste of time but I kept hoping for a reward for my patience..lol!  Still, I live in hope and have my eyes on a few, especially waiting to see Lee Minki again.

Please have a safe and healthy Christmas and hopefully 2020 will bring us all amazing things.

Camelia

Robin I hope that things have improved for you and your brother and that he has made steady progress towards good health!

 

 

 

The young people…

Suicides in South Korea are not only sad, but very disturbing. Why young people in their 20’s and 30’s are ending their lives at an alarming rate, when they have such bright futures ahead of them, is hard to explain, and wrap one’s brain around. I can’t believe that it’s just a “fan” or social media thing, or even a “shame” thing, but a major cry for help both mentally and emotionally. The government has to recognize that there’s a definite problem there, and implement initiatives that address this issue. I don’t know that they haven’t already, but is seeking mental health treatment still a taboo?

Seems America is not faring any better. Apparently the life expectancy between ages 25-40 is shortened for the 3rd year in a row due to suicides, murders, mass shootings, etc. so sad 😞 😞

#commentary

I can’t help but wish that this couple had kept it private

It seems that every time I look I see new and bizarre articles about the divorce of Gu Hye Sun and Ahn Jae Hyun.

First of all it makes me sad to learn of it. I thought that they seemed very devoted and in tune, but what the heck does anyone know about another couple, especially one in the public eye? I do wish that they had kept their dirty laundry to themselves.

I understand that she might be angry and hurt and wanting to strike out at him and damage his career but in the end she’s hurting herself just as much!! More and more she’s appearing to be a woman with lots of problems and insecurities and he’s only looking more and more like a saint or a victim.

I know that it takes two and that neither one is probably accurate. I just wish that she had kept her dignity and just ended it as quietly and as quickly as possible, there is no way she will ever get him to want to return, and why she she even want someone who doesn’t want to be there??

It’s not a nice feeling to see two clearly unhappy people being the source of entertainment for everyone. I cringe for them…

 

#celebrity-news

Why I’ve been MIA lately…

The past few months have seen little of me on the site, and for that I’ll say “mianhae.” But the truth is, it’s not because I’ve been in a viewing slump (just the opposite), or because I’m not interested in our drama world (again, couldn’t be further from the truth), but because I’ve been more interested in reading than writing. In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, especially since my decision to officially retire from the workaday world of Instructional Design this spring!

That means that, in addition to my nighttime forays into delights such as WWW: Search and Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung (and the reality show The Barber of Seville) to name just a few of the titles I’m currently juggling, I’m enjoying a pretty darn nice summer on my back porch reading something fun. A lot of these are from Asian authors, so they fit in nicely with #kdrama, #cdrama, and #jdrama vibes, and in fact many of them would make really good foundations for serialization. One of them is actually in production and will air in 2020 on Netflix, so keep your eyes peeled for The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo.

In case you’re wondering what some of the other titles are, here’s a selection of the most recent ones — mostly in the YA and Fantasy genres (the mysteries and biographies are not listed) — and I highly recommend Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik in the audiobook format.

  • Uprooted + Spinning Silver, by @naominovik
  • The Bird and the Blade, by @meganbannen
  • Descendant of the Crane, Joan He
  • An Ember In the Ashes, by @sabaatahir
  • Shadow of the Fox + Soul of the Sword, by @jkagawa
  • The Invisible Library, by @genevievecogman
  • Spin the Dawn, by @lizlim
  • The Magic of Unkindness, by @dalekevan
  • The Witches of New York, by @sideshowami
  • Nevernight + Godsgrave, by @misterkristoff
  • Sorcery of Thorns, by @marrogerson
  • The Poppy War, by @kuangrf
  • The Night Tiger + The Ghost Bride, by @yangszechoo

What’s Wrong With the Reply Function?

OK, but why can’t I reply to any of you guys’ posts anymore? Did y’all block me for being AWOL? LOL. Apparently I can post but not Reply. I tried both on Chrome and Explorer. I guess I’ll try Firefox next time I can find a few mins. Or let me know if there’s some new protocol at work here. Thanks!

#wordpress

Stop promoting a drinking culture, stop demonizing relationships

By now you’ve probably seen the news about Kang Ji-hwan being brought in on charges of sexual assault and no doubt this just makes you about as sick as it does me.

Our mutual disillusionment

The report is that he and two women returned to his home after a company event and continued to drink, whereupon the two women stayed the night at his house and later found their fellow intoxicant and host assaulting them as they slept. The women called a friend (not the police – why, were they concerned that the police would do nothing or were they looking for some other sort of advice/help?) who informed the authorities. He was still considered intoxicated when the police showed up. So drunk that he claimed to have no recollection of the evening’s events.

Things like this never look good for anyone involved, especially the accused, but also the accusers. And there’s plenty of shame to go around.

I’m not going to excuse Kang Ji-hwan for any misbehaviors; he needs to take his punishments as he ought. Excessive alcohol consumption at company events needs to be seen as the detrimental behavior that it is; it leads to any number of social and physical ills, such as alcoholism, liver damage, cancers, and impairment leads to poor judgment and decision-making liabilities too, drunk driving, sexual assault, loss of control, fights, even regretted choices (like sex when drunk), and many other damaging events. The causal effects of alcohol are both immediate and long-ranging (such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).

As for “Miss A” and “Miss B,” they need to examine their choices too. I can understand the risk scenario; he’s a very handsome, desirable man and the prospect of spending time in his company so intimately could be very enticing. It seems that they went willingly to his house, but really, could they be that naive? Is it possible that they went to his home because they were not attracted to him or his fame? Of course, it’s always possible… Do women (and men) have the right to expect that they will not be sexually harassed or assaulted? Of course, but it’s also important to practice common sense by not exposing yourself to situations where something can go wrong. Why go to his house? Why continue to drink? Why not call for a ride home? The finger of blame and shame will point their way too; were they looking for some attention, e.g., social promotions, career advancement, or even physical/sexual relationships with him? Those are all valid questions in light of their poor decision-making, even if their intent was simply to continue a fun evening and light-hearted partying, with no thought to benefit or gain.

While they culture of “Drink ’til you drop” in South Korea (especially at mandatory company events) is certainly a key component in what transpired, there is another component that needs to be addressed: the puritanical mores that are imposed upon celebrities. The commandments are:

  • “You shalt not look with romantic and/or sexual intent upon another person,”
  • “You shalt not form romantic and/or sexual relationships with another person,”
  • “You shalt not flaunt any romantic and/or sexual relationship with another person,” and
  • “You shalt not have a marital relationship and/or committed sexual congress with another person.”

These are unrealistic and unhealthy. Fans that demand this level of sacrifice are not fans, they are deluded obsessive types who should not be encouraged. When an actor/actress/singer states that s/he lives for her/his fans alone and “doesn’t have time to date” they are sending an unhealthy message and I implore my fellow true fans to celebrate happy relationships a celebrity pursues.

It’s sad when a relationship doesn’t work out. Song/Song couple, it’s a shame, but divorce happens to the best and most optimistic of us, but life goes on and we can learn from those unhappy mistakes and grow. It’s not a reason to clamor for a sponsor to drop someone from commercial work; it’s just a sign that people are imperfect and the things you like about that person (s/he acts/sings beautifully, etc.) are still the same. Yes, if someone commits a serious crime, proven in a court of law, then it’s time to acknowledge that s/he is a flawed individual and make your own personal choice to step away from being a fan of that person, or equally to hope that s/he can pay for the crime and make amends and grow up (as in the case of drug misdemeanors).

This rant is over for now, but let’s hope that the discussion continues, as does an awareness of what’s needed to avoid circumstances that lead to dangerous choices, that can leave people vulnerable to predators, and to learn how to make more intelligent and responsible decisions.

#kang-ji-hwan