Mothers and Children

Mike Myers did a strange and hilarious movie in 1993 called, So I Married an Axe Murderer. He played a lovelorn version of himself as well as his updated former SNL character: a Scottish soccer hooligan father. One of the best lines in that movie is a small rant before dinner. “Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as ‘The Meadows.’” Continue reading

About Life, Death and Falling Felines

Living on Earth is hard on the heart. We see things, feel things and hear things that can hurt us, hurt our soul, hurt the everlasting spirit that we know is inside of us and has been in and of this galaxy in many forms and shapes since time immemorial. We cannot avoid the pain; we cannot avoid the love, the moments of bliss or the moments of terror. We are cursed and blessed with the gift of consciousness. Continue reading

Art for Art’s Sake: Do You Like the Painting, or The Name at the Bottom?

Do you like abstract art? Do you like these two paintings? Can you decide which one is worth 75 million dollars? It was the red and blues squares on the left, not the triangles. (The other two sold in the tens of millions at previous auctions.) Yes, it would take Alex Rodriguez, on his 25 million a year contract, over three years to save up enough to buy this masterpiece of color and inspiration. Continue reading

강남 스타일 = Gangnam Style

About 12 years ago, PSY hit the K-pop airwaves with his first album, immediately being fined for its inappropriate nature for sensitive Korean listeners. He remained his idiosyncratic self throughout the next decade, singing, writing, getting busted for marijuana, serving his mandatory military time, and getting married with children. This is also a guy who studied at Boston U, and University of Berklee. Moreover, he is fluent in English, making him a marketer’s dream. About a month ago, he released the amazingly irresistible video, “Gangnam Style.” It was all over Korea. We spoke about how this could totally be a hit song in America. We were right. Continue reading

Guns, Killing, MTV and The American Celebrity

Back in 1992, a new band named Pearl Jam made a seminal video of teenage angst, called “Jeremy.” “The boy was something that mommy wouldn’t wear.” The boy screamed and cried for attention and never got it. He felt awkward at school and felt awkward in his own skin. It’s the high school curse to never feel at ease anywhere you are. Continue reading

One Year–Two Jobs

Once a year in Korea, the students give presents to their teacher’s in honor of their tireless struggle to enlighten and educate the young minds of the future. In my kindergarten and elementary hagwon, I got a few notes and a few little presents, nothing like Christmas, but still satisfying. Even if the students were forced to give gifts by their parents, it is nice to receive things handwritten in childish script. Ones that say: “You are handsome and strong,” “I will work harder for you,” “Thank you for being a great teacher,” and the classic, “I love you.” Continue reading

First Grade Moments

Today, my favorite student (any teacher will be honest and tell you they have a favorite) shocked me again.  Olivia is the happiest little lark I’ve ever met.  She is about 5 or 6 years old, never frowns and has a bright round face with a perfectly infectious smile.  She used to call me over to her table, “Teacher, teacher, come here.”  She’d motion with her hand as if she had a secret to tell and look at her feet trying to remember why she’d called me over. Continue reading

Like…

“I don’t like him.” It hurt me to hear that; and I was completely unprepared how to stop the feelings from being hurt. The other boy quickly replied (unconvincingly), “I don’t like him either.” I could see from his drooping head that he felt sad. Kids are not nice, they don’t need to pretend they like someone because they work with them, or live near them, or have mutual friends, or need something from them. Kids tell others how they feel, when they feel it. They are filter-less, emotional creatures with terrifyingly simple opinions. Continue reading

Spring Break

Spring Break is a common ritual for American college students. Perhaps the Europeans or Aussie’s do it, but they’re not Americans and therefore could barely imagine the immature debauchery and self-justified indulgences in which Americans engage their young bodies. Working out the month before, applying self-tanning formulas and maintaining a strong alcohol tolerance (almost by accident of going to an American University), we prepare for the yearly rite. Continue reading