Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Which is more important: an inanimate object or a sound?
The Korean government, for reasons unfathomable to me, is engaging in a debate about whether or not to change the ranking of National Treasure No.1. It appears that "large old gate" otherwise known as Namdaemun may be pushed out in favour of "proper pronunciation of words" otherwise known as Hangul. Lets get one point clear, I am all in favour of looking after and being proud of a nation's national treasures be they living, man-made, natural or whatever. I see less point in ranking them by importance. Afterall, comparing hangul against Namdaemun is your classic oranges and apples conundrum - and at least those two are fruits. The article mentions no criteria indicating this is a purely subjective issue which inevitably means there is no right answer. What a mind-boggling waste of time and even more so when you consider that as public servants, taxpayers are likely funding this debate.
I'm also curious as to which other countries bother with such a ranking system. Google attempts at "National Treasure No.1", and "National Treasure ranking system" seemed to show only Korean and one Chinese site. Which leads me to believe that Korea and China are the only ones fool enough to waste their time on such things.
Let the Party Begin
The next round of six-party talks are due to begin next Wednesday. North Korea is complaining about something Bush supposedly said against an unnamed "Tyrant in North Korea" and blaming US for not acting in the spirit of the Agreed Principles. It is mostly expected that not much will happen at these talks and then Japan, China, South Korea and US will all act buddy-buddy during the APEC meeting as if they are making good progress.