Please, oh please don’t let McCain win

Stepping away from Korea for a second to offer up a plea/prayer/hope (call it what you will) that McCain loses this November. Speaking with a young Korean American colleague who hails from the deep south (not Korea, but the US) the other day, I was a little surprised to learn that she is leaning towards McCain this election. She cited Obama’s “less than reassuring” health plan as one of her main reasons.

Now, not to sound callous, but I could give a toss about domestic issues. Those will get worked out, some way or another, by congress or local governments. My feeling is that what is needed now, more than anything else, is someone to guide the (misguided) US back into the real World. Not some terrorist swamp that needs to be bombed back into shape, but a tech savvy (which means knowing how to use a computer), competitive, and eager world filled with potential and a growing — and as yet untapped — desire for some kind of integration.

An editorial by Roger Cohen in the IHT yesterday spoke of American exceptionalism, the kind Palin loads into the twin-barrels of her shotgun politics, or the kind Obama (hopefully) will offer. I’d add that one of America’s (and Americans’) most exceptional qualities is the ability to integrate, and that is what I expect from an Obama presidency.

A McCain victory will be a disaster for the world, a continuation and worsening of the state of affairs that the Bush administration has helped bequeth to the planet. And for those who do put priority on domestic affairs, then take a look at another editorial in the IHT by Garrison Keillor about McCain’s involvement in Wall Street affairs. It ain’t FOX News, but then what is.


Editorial attacks media for promoting suicide

An editorial in yesterday’s Korean language JoonAng attacked local media coverage following the suicide of South Korean actor Ahn Jae-hwan, who was found dead in his car on Sept. 8 after inhaling charcoal fumes.

Ahn was reputed to have incurred an enormous gambling debt, some say totalling upwards of $4 million dollars.

The author specifically took aim at the way in which local papers explained in detail the process by which Ahn took his own life, pointing out that several suicides occurred after the meida blitz and that all of them mirrored Ahn’s own methods.

South Korea currently has the highest suicide rate among OECD member states. Statistics show that the average number of suicides for OECD countries is 10 out of 100,000, but in Korea that number more than doubles to 22.

The author writes that media need to be more aware of their impact when reporting events, particularly in light of the country’s high suicide rate.

A similar incident occurred in Japan when media there reported on an outbreak of suicides using a toxic mixture of household chemicals.