Monday, October 10, 2005

Kang Chol Hwan Reception

The Korea focused bloggers, notably The Flying Yangban and also via the Marmot and Cathartidae had comments on the recent Kang Chol Hwan Reception. And according to accounts it went smoothly and rallied quite a crowd. Great! Except....a google search in English (Kang Chol Hwan October) only reveals websites of the bloggers and in Korean (강철환 10월) only reveals stuff about his book. That is to say, it appears that no papers reported the event in either English or Korean.

Assuming that my search results have led me to the right conclusion, I may humbly offer my opinion: next time the organisers might be well served to do up a press release of the event and distribute to the papers. Possibly even specifically invite the media if that was not already done. Afterall, while its good to draw a crowd to these events, it is equally important that such events be reported to the broader public.

On a side, Cathartidae noted that he opted not to take his book for signing. When Mr. Kang was in DC I was most upset that I had lent my copy of his book to a friend and couldn't get it back in time to take it for signing. It did cross my mind that it was not exactly classy to ask a former gulag resident for his autograph but I did feel it would be a good chance to meet him, however briefly, and show support for what he is doing...And to get his autograph for me book.

Rocking Out in the Capital of the Free World

Its been a busy time for concerts in DC. The absolutely incredibleJohn Butler Trio from Australia has been touring in US and I managed to catch them in DC at the 9:30 Club.

The following night my friend and I hired a car and headed to The Nissan Pavilion to see Coldplay. Although the band was great the venue was the most ridiculously located venue in the history of venues. We were stuck in horrendous traffic for HOURS because the only way to get to this middle-of-nowhere place was by car (no public transport, shuttles, nothing) and for a great part of it, the road was only one lane! To all the deities from and any and all religions who care to be my witness I will never go back to that venue from hell again. I think I was nearly kicked out of the car several times for kicking, screaming and generally complaining the whole way.

We could not stand to be stuck in traffic on the way home and followed other similar traffic-jam hating souls and took our chances by cutting into the Virginia forests to get home. This proved much quicker.

And then, this week I ventured back to the 9:30 Club (I seem to spend a lot of time there) to catch The Cat Empire who were in US from Australia on tour. As with the John Butler Trio I am enormously impressed with the bands and music coming from Australia these days.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui