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[GOING TO THE BLOGS]Americans giddy over Bush-whacking

Nov 12,2006
Saturday marked Pepero Day, the manufactured Korean “holiday” where lovers and friends exchange chocolate-covered cookie sticks with one another. But for American Democrats residing in Korea, a more fulfilling treat was delivered a few days before in the election results back home.
The “thumping” of Republican candidates across the U.S. made some bloggers positively giddy, such as Jane from “Jane’s Daily Blah” (http://janesdailyblah.blogspot.com/index.html) who succinctly titled her post, “It’s a good day to be a Democrat.” Sharing Jane’s enthusiasm is Iosue Andreas, from “The Western Confucian” (http://orientem.blogspot.com/), who ― alluding to the general unpopularity abroad of Bush administration policies ― writes, “Today, it feels a little bit easier being an American overseas.” As bloggers of one political persuasion engaged in celebration, others took the results in stride. Writing at “One Free Korea” (http://freekorea.us/), Joshua allows, “It’s a solid win, more so in the Senate, but not a blowout in light of the historical trends. Dislike of the governing party turns voters out for mid-terms, and governing parties tend to lose seats as a result.” In another post he reflects on the future dynamic of U.S.-Korea relations, “America has moved to the left, but it’s uncertain just how far. At the same time, Korea seems poised to move right, and it’s not at all clear that either side will stop to shake hands if, and when, they cross paths.” Finally, Kevin provides a centrist opinion of the election results at “Big Hominid’s Hairy Chasms” (http://bighominid.blogspot.com/), “The GOP needs a good chastening, and the three branches of government need to enjoy some dynamic tension to compensate for years of listing to starboard.
Andrew Sullivan says it best when he notes that ‘the country wants to go back to the center.’ That’s where we should be most of the time, with only rare exceptions. The center is boring, true, but it’s also healthy and balanced, hence my distrust of avowed lefties and righties.”

Lotte sticks it to us with their holiday
As mentioned at the start of this column, Nov. 11 was Pepero Day and Going to the Blogs would be remiss were it not to mention a few bloggers’ observations of the occasion. At “The Daily Kimchi” (http://thedailykimchi.blogspot.com/), GDog pays tribute to the marketing brilliance of the holiday.
“Pepero Day is also known as ‘I’m going to get rich and get paid’ day by shareholders of Lotte, the company that makes the fun and tasty snack. At work yesterday, students were giving out boxes of Pepero to teachers and staff like presents on Christmas day.” While shareholders may be happy, one man’s blessing is another woman’s curse. Writing at her blog of the same name, “Music from my Seoul” (http://quebecseoul.blogspot.com/), points out the pitfalls of the holiday. “Teachers hate it because children get high on sugar and there are crumbs and plastic wrap everywhere.” Meanwhile, Joel suggests at his blog, “About Joel” (http:// aboutjoel.com/blog/), that the day should be celebrated in Korea as it is in China, “[In China] it’s a day for people who DON’T have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Why you ask? Because it’s a day with nothing but ones and one is the loneliest number. The Chinese have the right idea.” Perhaps Joel has a point, but then that’s what Black Day is for. Makers of jajang myeon ― noodles covered in black sauce ― wouldn’t be pleased.

Love me, love my cats and dogs
Though it could be argued that dying a dog’s ears pink is the severest form of cruelty to animals, the plight of homeless dogs and cats in Korea has become the passion of one expat. Karen writes of her mission at her blog “Lonely Lifetime” (http://www.lonelylifetime.com/). The Web site “is a project to gather English-language information useful for helping animals in Korea. This is not an animal shelter or a rescue center. I am just one person relatively new to animal welfare trying my best to help.”


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