An ajumma power grab, and other predictionsFunny. A few days ago, this very newspaper ran a back-page feature full of predictions for the year ahead, for which the reporters consulted a geomancer and an astrologist, but not me. This despite the fact that Itaewon Wanderings has made numerous predictions in its two-year career, all of which, as far as you know, have come uncannily true.
It’s a wonder I don’t moonlight as a soothsayer. That said, here are my calls for 2005:
U.S. President George W. Bush, invited by Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, will make a historic visit to North Korea’s Gaeseong industrial park, to see the workers who earn $57 a month making pots and pans for South Korean capitalists. All will be copacetic until just before Bush departs, when he’ll drop the “I loathe Kim Jong-il” bomb, burning the bridges behind him.
Not long after, Kim Jong-il’s dictatorship will implode, and the entire world, save South Korea’s progressives, will rejoice. Flummoxed, Roh aides will express regret that a follow-up North-South summit is suddenly unrealizable.
Governments in the region will be alarmed by the North’s leadership vacuum; Kofi Annan will express “serious concern.” But before you can say “empty subway seats,” a clutch of middle-aged Korean women will push forward and fill the void, creating the world’s first functioning ajummacracy.
Kim Jong-il himself will move to sunny Florida to become a professional golfer, hiring Paris Hilton to caddie. After nailing history’s first hole-in-one on a par-five, he’ll go on to top Tiger Woods in the PGA rankings.
Continuing his good-neighbor crusade, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, General Leon LaPorte, will declare Itaewon’s Hooker Hill off-limits to U.S. military personnel. The Hill will then be razed and reborn as the site for a new and badly-needed Korean government body, the Ministry for Boosting the National Birthrate.
Michael Moore, though chastened for having contributed to John Kerry’s defeat in the U.S. presidential election, will release a documentary about the extensive corruption in America’s health insurance industry. The industry’s credibility will soar.
The luckless-in-love movie stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will meet the wives of Nicolas Cage, Woody Allen and Wesley Snipes at a Hollywood party, then come to Korea on a spouse-scouting sally.
The United Nations will pass a resolution recognizing the animals of South Asia for their self-saving actions in the minutes before the Dec. 26 tsunami. All species will be honored, though some will object to the inclusion of lemmings and moths.
Seoul will continue to be ranked as one of Asia’s worst cities by unimportant business journals, but will continue to be one of the best. There you have it. All in all, 2005 looks to be a pretty good year, if I do say sooth myself.
by Mike Ferrin