[LETTERS to the editor]Roh can emulate Churchill in retirementLee Chang-kyu, CEO of the JoongAng Ilbo News Magazine, wrote that it’s time to give President Roh Moo-hyun a break. “I think we should stop driving the president into a corner,” Mr. Lee writes. “As his approval rating has crashed, there is no room to go down any further.”
This reminds me of the boxer who is reassured by his trainer between the final rounds of a grueling title bout: “Now you’ve got him worried ... he’s afraid he’s going to kill you!”
“In fact, it is about time for him to get tired,” sneered Mr. Lee. He went on to accuse the president of having no sense of humor.
After he leaves Cheong Wa Dae in February 2008, Mr. Roh is entitled to a contemplative existence in Hawaii as a Sunday painter, without interference from the JoongAng Ilbo News Magazine.
“Never mind,” Winston Churchill wrote, “for four hours, at any rate, we will withdraw ourselves from a common, ill-governed, and disorderly world, and with the key of fancy unlock that cupboard where all the good things of the infinite are put away.”
Prostrated by the utter disaster of the military expedition into the Dardanelles Straits, for which he was, as First Lord of the Admiralty (in World War I), responsible; subsequently hounded from office and blamed for the heavy loss of life in all ranks by the British tabloids, Mr. Churchill retired with his family to Hoe Farm, a country retreat in Surrey.
There, Mr. Churchill later recalled, he picked up a brush and dabbed.
“Anyone could see,” Mr. Churchill expostulated, “that the absolutely terrified canvas could not strike back.”
(He had made a mark “about as big as a bean on the snow white field” ― on the canvas.)
“I hesitated no more. I seized the largest brush and fell upon my wretched victim with wild fury.”
Two hundred and fifty Churchill canvases, half the total number in existence, date from 1930 to 1939, when he was out of office, and during which decade the menace of Nazi Germany grew relentlessly.
Should Mr. Roh want to branch out, he can join contemporary artists Ezekiel Chihye Hwang, Kloe Sookhee Kang, Diane Chongmin Kim, Grace Kim, Jinja Kim, Chang-Jin Lee, Sandra Sunnyo Lee and Kwang Kyu Yi ― either individually or in group shows, at Honolulu Academy of Arts.
Mr. Roh is welcome to retire to Hawaii, and he is also entitled to write poems!
He can live on Roundtop Drive, and help tend to the nearby rainforest.
by Richard Thompson