Category Archives: ethics

琅琊榜 (Lángyá Bǎng)

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자장가 – 신돈

신돈 – 자장가 어젯밤에 바라본 달님이 엄마얼굴 닮아서 오늘 밤도 하늘을 보지만 구름속에 가려져 작사 : 김태윤 작곡 : 노형우 ,황상준 편곡 : 노형우 Shin Don – Lullaby Last night the moon shone Recalling a mother’s face Tonight we see the sky Shrouded in the clouds Lyrics: Kim Tae-Yoon Music: Noh Hyeong-Woo, Hwang Sang Jun Arrangement: Noh Hyeong-Woo

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Love in 운명처럼 널 사랑해 (Fated to Love You)

Every once in a blue moon something comes along that has you so entranced, so engaged, so… moved… that it leaves you at a loss to comprehend just what is happening to you. As you try to make sense of it, it sparkles and shines with every gesture. Words issuing from it are musical pearls of poetic truth that imbue the very air with a richness never before imaginable to your dopamine-saturated mind. Thus … Continue reading

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Pragmatic Altruism vs. Noble Idiocy in 운명처럼 널 사랑해 (Fated to Love You)

I have long wanted to examine pragmatic altruism in KDrama narratives, a trope which exemplifies certain Confucian ethical tenets, yet is repeatedly deprecated as “noble idiocy” at interweb oases where KDrama aficionados gather, including DramaBeans, the go-to resource for KDrama news, recaps, and commentary. Finally compelled by this summer’s revelatory 운명처럼 널 사랑해 (Fated to Love You), a romantic comedy at once loud and subtle, playful, sly, culturally erudite and deeply moving –whether in mirth or in woe– … Continue reading

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성균관 스캔들 – ’tis not poetry

Without love for the people and concerns for the nation, ’tis not poetry. Without aching for our era and outrage at the world, ’tis not poetry. Without striving for good and guarding against evil, this too, is not poetry. attr. Jeong Yak Yong (Sungkyunkwan Scandal)

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주몽 (Jumong)

  “Trust is more important than life. Kill them all!” So declares Soseono (소서노) with admirable equanimity on her first outing as the leader of the trade troop owned by Yeontabal (연타발), Chief of Keru and Leader of the Jolbon (졸본) confederacy. Soseono is destined to inherit the troop from her father and this is her first opportunity to prove her mettle as a trader and to freely wield her authority as the troop leader. … Continue reading

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황금의 제국 (Empire of Gold)…

Among all the sins a man might commit, betrayal – a species of fraud – ranks among the most ethically abhorrent. The key to understanding the gravity of the sin of betrayal, and the crime of fraud, is the fundamental role of trust in the organization, function and governance of society. In Aristotle’s model of the ethical spectrum whereby human relationships range from the primarily transactional (business and trade) to the largely … Continue reading

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Notes on 자명고 (Ja Myung Go)

There is so much to say about Ja Myung Go, the first of which must be that it is beautifully complex… and also rather narratively intricate at the beginning. The complexity is wonderful: it is in the characters, in the political intrigue, in the lost history of Naklang, in the legend of Prince Hodong’s tragic love(s). But the initial narrative intricacy can be disorienting, especially since the significance of what happens in the … Continue reading

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Boys Over Flowers, or “The Education of Gu Jun Pyo : a Bildungsroman”

Recently, I stumbled upon Boys Over Flowers (꽃보다 남자), the second kdrama series I ever saw nearly a year ago, and found myself watching it all over again! Had you asked me a few weeks earlier, I would have declared myself no longer compelled to revisit the tale of Jan Di’s misadventures among the spoilt rich. Don’t get me wrong: I greatly enjoyed it the first time around. I remember breezing through each episode … Continue reading

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Notes on 돌아온 일지매 (The Return of Iljimae)

Chapters 1-2 Okay… the first adjectives that come to mind during episode 1 and most of 2: “weird” and then “bizarre” and then “camp.” I barely made it past the first (structurally very rocky and disjointed, hyper-didactic, excessively-yet-not-quite-adequately-expositional) episode… Were it not for the fact that I have committed to following this drama through, especially since I enjoyed SBS’s Iljimae so much, I would have had a very difficult time moving on to episode … Continue reading

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일지매 (Iljimae) – birth of a hero…

Just finished watching Iljimae and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went in expecting little more than a two-dimensional comic book hero in a campy fusion sageuk. Instead I got a light-hearted yet touching folk-hero novel that is amusing and moving — with plenty a wink and a nod yet full of pathos as well. And tropes, tropes and more tropes… yet sooo much fun to watch as the story of Lee Joon Gi’s Iljimae … Continue reading

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