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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Usual, Plus Sickening Violence, Aussie Anthem, Korean Rock Concerts and Spiderkids 

As expected the verbal sparring didn't take long to start now that the Poms have arrived in Oz.

"Probably (Australia coach) Eddie Jones has never had a better chance of beating England...he hasn't succeeded yet," Woodward said.

"We're missing frontline players. They've got a far more experienced team and they've obviously got a lot to prove. They won't have a better chance of beating the English team for a long time."
You can guarantee that Australia will not want to add to England's current winning streak over them of five. That would be starting to get a little bit long for the side ranked third in the world me thinks.

And Chris Rattue (always love reading his articles) pretty much wraps up the English tour right here.

My favourite lines being:
Lawrence Dallaglio may have the look of a Roman centurion but he acted like a petulant kid in the aftermath of the Eden Park test.

Sir Clive Woodward whinged about the match officials - which partially worked as a smokescreen for England's inept performances - and stupidly, ungraciously claimed England were still the better side.

Shaw - the chief boof-head at Carisbrook - lost the plot, even if his knees-down may not have been quite as violent as a sending off suggests.

And Danny Grewcock is an out-and-out thug. His record shows that. People don't mess with that Danny, an English journo told me. He's got a black belt in karate, you know. Well that's appropriate, because it matches the black hole between his ears.

Every compliment paid to the first-class All Blacks - who after all had shown this version of the world champions to be second class - was followed by a planeload of provisos and excuses. Eden Park was England's lost chance for redemption on a number of fronts.

Back in real reality now though. Most of you will probably have caught the news about the latest victim of the gutless fundamentalist crusaders in Iraq. It's of course been massive news in Korea.

There's not really much you can say about it in many ways. It was not the news I wanted to hear at 2 am last night when I should have been trying to get some sleep.

Basically the Koreans are caught between a rock and a hard place because the US has 37,000 troops stationed here in Korea and has been 'defending Korea' from the North Koreans (and the Russians and Chinese more indirectly and historically) for over 50 years. And so the Korean forces are not there because they care about the Iraqi people and want to help rebuild the country or any of that claptrap. They are there because the US twisted their arm and they felt an overwhelming obligation to help their historic allies.

And it was basically for this reason that they could not (and cannot) leave Iraq (or hold the troops they are about to deploy in Korea). Sadly the majority of Koreans did not want their forces sent to Iraq in the first place and all this senseless killing (the dumb pricks who did it should have done more homework) may end up doing is to make Koreans more supportive of the upcoming deployment of 3,000 troops to join the 600 already there. And I don't think I could blame them.

In fact it even went this far;
Internet bulletin boards were flooded with postings yesterday expressing outrage at the hostage's execution. The Defense Ministry was even forced to temporarily shut down its Web site following a barrage of emails, some of which called for South Korea to launch a military strike on the Arab insurgents responsible for the b_he_ding.
Meanwhile onto something far more mundane across the Tasman...

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday ordered all schools to fly the Australian flag, remove "political correctness" from new plain-language reports and ensure children exercise for at least two hours a week.

Howard stopped short of introducing the compulsory singing of the national anthem at the start of each school day, but said the idea was one that appealed to him.
While I'm all for plain English (especially when talking to parents about what a rotten little shit their son/daughter is in class) I'm not so sure about the anthem thing. I mean would you like to stand through the national anthem everyday before you started work? I'm sure there are many of us that, at 8 am working a shitty job for peanuts, would be more likely to cut down the flag pole rather than hoist the stars and .... whoops I mean Southern Cross (with the red stars) and Union Jack.

While it's only suggested for schools and not all workplaces I have to ask what makes children so different that we have to torture them daily and not everybody else as well? In Korea the anthem is played before class daily and while it does serve to make them proud of their country, it also serves to make many of them rather too nationalistic - for many folk I know - to handle when they get older.

Now if it was just played on Monday mornings I could probably stomach it ...... briefly before vomiting.

Anyhow, it's not NZ so we will just have to wait and see if the madness spreads over the ditch.

And onto the fun stuff...

This Saturday just been I went into Seoul with my fiance to watch a concert by a hugely popular Korean band called 'Seo Tai ji' - named after the singer - who also happens to write AND record all the music before gathering together his band to perform live. I'd completely forgotten about this concert as we bought tickets ages ago and only realized days before the gig that I would miss the AB's test. Thanks for the text updates bluebeardnz! There I was standing in the rain in a line along the road that stretched for several hundred metres as thousands of people tried to get in order of their ticket number. Yes, in Korea you must lineup in the precise order that you bought tickets in. It works here where all the concert goers are amazingly polite to each other (Korean females really are lovely in all senses of the word) but I'd love to see it tried for a rock concert in NZ.

As usual I was the only honky there out of several thousand. In fact I was also the tallest person there and just about the only male as well ("paradise" I hear you blokes say?... yes, it damn near was). Seo Tai ji kicked arse (despite the acoustics being pretty shit), playing a mix of hard rock with melodic breaks and a little bit of hip hop thrown in for good measure. The support acts were a death metal group called 'ARES' (from Greek Mythology). They were pretty decent as death metal goes. I mean there's only so much creativity allowed in that particular genre (and yes I've been to a 'Pantera' concert so I know a little about noise). The second group on was called 'Peter Pan Complex'. Not sure where the hell that name comes from but they sounded very good despite the sound problems I mentioned (including the sound cutting out completely for the climax in one of their three songs). I'll have to check their album out. They reminded me a lot (and have no doubt been influenced by) another recently born Korean band called 'Nell'. They both sound rather like 'Radiohead'. I'll try and sought out some audio or video clips when and if I can.

Seo Tai ji spent a bomb on pyrotechnics as they tend to do and various video clips accompanied the songs. There was even a brief home video clip of Seo Tai ji arriving in the US in 1995 in an Air New Zealand plane. It was at this time that he basically vanished off the face of the earth with none of his fans knowing where the hell he was. He'd been in a three man dancing, poofy pop group before this time and decided to get the hell away from it all I suppose as he didn't quite feel comfortable in the commercial scene.

Anyway, he returned sometime around 2000 and had totally reinvented himself into something rather too visually close to 'Korn' for my liking, but the sound was different enough. The music since then has been even more original and I'm sure he'll continue to turn out some cool music in the future.

Right so anyway, here are a few video and audio clips so you can check him/them out for yourself.
(NOTE. If any of these 'daum' ones won't play straight off then click the back button which will take you to the previous video and then hit the forward button which will bring you back to the linked video and it will play no problem.

Also don't go blaming me if your computer is too ruddy slow to play anything!

ROBOT: It takes a short time to get into the song.

HEFFY END: Takes about 2+ minutes for the song to start but it's an interesting video and a great song IMO. I think it's the video sequel to ROBOT. Or is it the other way round?
(Audio Only): Heffy End

I KNOW: Opens in Windows Media Player or equivalent (I hope).

This link takes you to several videos.

And a song called Go-yang-ee (cat) from 'Nell', the Korean answer to Radiohead.

You'll need to listen to any of that lot with an open mind and probably more than once I think. Took me a while. Cynical remarks are best kept to yourself.

Also stay tuned for some mad flava breakdancing video links in the near future. Korea have some of the best break dancing crews in the world including the World Champs from a couple of years ago. And their moves are DOPE!

Finally, I was teaching tonight and I had my back turned for all of five seconds on the kids. When I turned around one of the eight year olds had climbed the door frame in a star-shape with her feet and hands both spread on the opposite side of the door. Her head was basically touching the top of the frame. She only measures about 4 foot.

Impressive stuff. I'm going to get her to teach me how to do it next week.

Hi!! I'm one of Seotaij's fans.
I really enjoy your reveiw about the concert.^^

May I copy this review to another web-site?

I want you to share your feeling & thought to many foreigne music fan - Not Korean.

Please visit this web site (

Now.. I'm going to write your reveiw to that web site.

If you don't want it..
Please just reply me then.. I'll remove it. (

Thank you for reading this comment and Have a nice day~!

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