Back to Seoul, following some fun adventures in bus stations, buses, Rawa Island, Singapore and airports. Excuse the relative absence while on the road, but there was little time for scribbling here. Meantime the world continued to deteriorate, or at least the official version did. The stockmarket is heading to the 5000 level I thought it would land at, though of course the prognosticators of the industry did not want to concede such a fall. 2/3rds the value lopped in a matter of a year. In computerese, fraud in/fraud out. So the charade is about done, the fake wealth exposed, and the crooks too. As usual the grand public is a handful of steps behind, but shortly we may expect that the general call for heads to roll will reverberate and the real criminals will begin to be hounded.
Soon to be ex-Premier of defunct Liberal Democrats (Orwell-speak) in Japan
On the way to 5000 or lower
It wasn’t that long ago that suggestions that our culture was terminally corrupted would be met with silence or with an admonition that we weren’t some deviant 3rd world den of sleaze. Today, outside some really uptight Republican deep inside exactly such shit and hence in total denial, you’d not get much argument. Yep, we’re in the pits. Yesterday the Dow dropped another 250, about to break the 6000 level and heading to the 5000 level which I thought a long time ago would be the bottom. I.e., the “market” levels off at 1/3rd its alleged value of a year ago, more or less. Meaning 2/3rds our “wealth” was a fraud. Ask Madoff, or better yet, ask his “clients.”
Ironically, while the world – thanks to “globalization” – is in a collaborative economic tailspin (the socio-political echo shortly to follow), in my own life, having made a gamble on such things, and in fact having imagined the world would collapse in such a manner in my own life-time, and Social Security etc. would not be at hand when the time came, things seem to look OK. Yonsei here is eagerly courting my presence another year, and it seems other options are similarly opening up. My retirement, after a fashion, comes in the form of a job. Though if things collapse as fully as I imagine possible, these jobs my go up in the air in short order, in which case quelle surprise!
Shortly classes recommence, and the not-too-difficult work cycle kicks in. 2 half days a week. In this term one of those classes is to make a feature film – me and them. Undecided how to tackle it, but we hope we can make something good, or perhaps two somethings – theirs and mine. By spring I expect the fiscal avalanche to be more visible, and perhaps these spoiled souls will be stirred by tangible problems more severe than boy-girl and the like. I understand that President Lee here continues his mis-steps, and having come in as the bizman who would resolve all the Korean economic plans, he now presides over his part of the globalized fiscal freeze. So much for magic wands. His ratings are in the outhouse now, so perhaps as homeless hit the street and the next wave of the close-down arrives, there’ll be more demos all about. About time. Perhaps a better topic for a film than last spring’s lovelorn losers in Love in the Shadows. Of which, following a tepid audience response in Rotterdam according to Sangwoo and Sihyun, they are re-editing their parts to make it a bit more brisk, and we are awaiting word from other festivals – Sydney, Jeonju, Singapore. I just sent off Parable to the Cannes festival – a first for me to even try to roll the dice on chic Cannes. I did so as they said they can screen digitally, so while I am doubtful they’ll take it, they just might. At worst a foot in the door for something next year. Though if it gets in I know a few people who will be thrilled to pieces – Steve and Rachael and Ryan.
[March 3 2009: Check Howard Kunstler on this.]