Category Archives: Arts, Lit., Entertainment

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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50,000

50,000

  • And, now just under the number of hits, This Blog has received.

Just six weeks ago This Blog celebrated 400 posts, and at that time the blog was sitting on 44,261 views. But, in the space of a month and a half the blog has been exploding in hits thanks in no small part to the unexpected success of the blog entry on “Buddha” Boy – Ram Badahur Bomjon which has gone gangbusters. So, unexpectedly this milestone has jumped up upon this humble blog.

I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read, view, scan, skim, comment, discuss, dismiss or reject any and every item written on This Blog.

Cheers

I feel the urge to overkill .. Urge Overkill

One of the glaring omissions from last week’s music compilation in the post Looking back :: 1995 would have to be Chicago-based Urge Overkill, who were a colossus during that period. The alternative rock outfit, renowned at the time for wearing suits on stage in contrast with their long hair and sunglasses created hit after hit in the mid-1990′s some of which were commercial hits, all of which critically acclaimed. You may remember hits such as “Sister Havana” from their fourth album, Saturation which thrusted them into the limelight and their cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” which notably featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp FictionBut, those two notable singles only scratch the surface of what Urge Overkill produced over their two most celebrated albums Saturation and Exit The Dragon between the years 1993 and 1995.

 

Consisting of founders and mainstays Nash Kato on guitar and vocals, and Eddie “King” Roeser on guitar, bass and vocals; the band was formed at Northwestern University in 1985 where the two first met. They’ve since seen a number of members come and go, and went into hibernation between the years 1997 and 2004, not long after their peak in 1995 to re-emerge in 2004. The band’s still performing and producing, with their latest developments available at their website.

Recent shot of the boys in the studio, note Nash Kato on the far left and Eddie Roeser on the far right

Their fourth album, and first to reach the dizzying heights of stardom, was Saturation featuring singles “Sister Havana” with electrifying riffs and vocals, “Dropout”, “Bottle of Fur”  and “Positive Bleeding”. This was their breakthrough album which garnered them commercial and critical attention as a force to be reckoned with on the alternative rock circuit.

 

Their next album, Exit The Dragon, featuring singles “The Break”,  “View of the Rain” and “Somebody Else’s Body” was one of those rare delights in life, particularly in music. It was an album without one bad song, an album you could listen to again and still enjoy, finding new things to like about – even to this day. It created commercial and critical success but in all honesty, probably deserved more. A truly great album. “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman” was actually not featured in this album, being released in 1994 but this hit single no doubt propelled more and more to listen to the band and get their hands on their future releases.

 

Unfortunately, at the peak of the popularity the band went on hiatus of seven years whilst Kato and Roeser pursued their solo endeavours, with Kato releasing an album in 2000, Debutante. But, Kato and Roeser got back together in 2004 to re-form the band, produce and perform again. The only single released since the heady days of the mid-90′s is “Effigy”, released in 2011.

 

Urge Overkill, thank you for your music – particularly that of the mid-90′s which left an indelable and iconic mark on that period of time – and not just musically.

Four hundred posts – this one’s made for you

Sit back and help yourself to an Export Swan Lager, this one’s made for you! ;)

Who’d have thought it, 400 posts, hey?

This Blog started as Jeonnam Life five years ago when I was still residing in Suncheon, South Korea and has had an interesting lifespan. Prior to Jeonnam Life, I had a blog and website which I first started in 2000 (I believe) with the blog commencing in 2002 and containing a lot of Korea related posts until it was hacked and vanished overnight in 2006 – wasn’t even able to retrieve posts alas. It took me two years to muster the energy to re-start a blog as I was so pissed at losing a lot of material which no doubt would have been interesting to go back to time to time, to match memories with recollections. But, them’s the way she goes sometimes. Anyways, back on topic …

There’s been a re-format of most material as I moved from Korea and there were numerous times when I thought of closing it down due to inactivity but ultimately decided to keep it going and am glad I did.

So, I thought for this momentous post, I’d scour the site’s stats to lay down some info on what’s happened here in the past five years.

There have been:

400 posts

403 legit comments

(and an infinite amount of spam)

44,261 views

- and I thank every single one of you, knowing that 60% of those views have probably been me …

My top viewing day was:

December 6, 2009 with 331 views

but, looking at the stats, I wonder if a spambot just visited my site repeatedly as the figures don’t make sense when matched against referrals and page views.

March 2009 was my most viewed month with 1,973 views

and

2009 was my most viewed year with 14,693 views

This year so far I’m sitting on 4,574 views. Need to ramp it up and get people here …

Overall I average

24 views per day

to the site which is equal to an average of

730 per month

or

8,760 per year

I aim to reach at least 10,000 views per year – I’m competitive like that.

The top five country view tally since February 25, 2012 (the furtherest I can go back) are:

  • United States with 3,007 views
  • Australia 1,810
  • Republic of Korea 726
  • Canada 477
  • United Kingdom 422

The top ten post views of all-time are:

The top referrers have included Google, Google Images, Yahoo and Stumbleupon. While, the top searches have been:

  • basic korean phrases with 214 searches
  • genghis khan 203
  • yeonpyeong island 203 as well
  • south korea map 193
  • map of south korea 176 searches

I look forward to many more posts with you as more posts equal more stats, I think I need a lie down now I’m so worked up …

Michael Ruppert – Information warrior

I first came across Michael Ruppert‘s work a couple of years back via a discussion board, stumbling upon his award-winning documentary Collapse, focusing on the inevitable collapse of the oil industry once peak oil is reached and its implications for the world as a whole and his groundbreaking work on the CIA racket bringing narcotics into the US and actively playing a role in their distribution. (Here’s a prior blog entry on Peak Oil, largely compiled through Mike’s research).

Born into a family with strong law enforcement and surveillance pedigree – his father was a CIA agent and mother a code breaker during WWII – Ruppert was first scouted as a senior at UCLA to join the agency but had always wanted to serve as a police officer. His sharp intellect and background soon had the CIA knocking again not long into his service with LAPD but events he would discover through research and evidence led him to a different path entirely.

 

I quickly became fascinated with his work, initially his insight, research and evidence through his investigative work into discovering a CIA plot to launder drug money whilst funneling drugs into the US from Mexico.  Mike was an LA police officer at the time, working with the narcotics squad. He was so disgusting and disappointed with his discovery that he immediately resigned in protest and set about bringing the truth to the masses. A move that his seen him be a tenacious investigative journalist – or ‘warrior’ in his own words – to this day, three decades later. Mike, in good conscience, immediately quit the force to set about exposing the racket and having those guilty brought to justice, only to find the operation was sanctioned right from the top and that his life was now in danger.

Far from letting this event silence him, it propelled Mike to thoroughly investigate many aspects of Government sanctioned and media propagated collusion, falsehoods, crimes and corruption. Following his work on exposing CIA’s involvement in the narcotics trade, which included famously confronting former CIA Director John Deutch on the matter at a public meeting in an LA high school forum which is said to have ultimately cost Deutch his position, Ruppert went on to cover a wide range of political and governmental issues through the newsletter, From the Wilderness - doing which time he conducted lectures, released books and appeared in documentaries. He’s since been President of the Collapse Network before resigning to focus more on other pursuits including his online radio show The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network.

His work, thoroughly researched and verified, culminated in the proof that collusion, corruption and crime of an industrial scale reached all the way to the highest echelons of the United States Government. Understandably, this garnered Mike many enemies in high places – most notably Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld following his exposé on Pat Tillman‘s death (furthered covered in his recent Media Mayhem interviews with Allison Hope Weiner at the bottom of this post), which led to Mike flee to Venezuela to ensure his safety.

His work in ‘The Truth and Lies of 9/11‘ taken from a 2004 presentation at Portland State University - on exposing inaccuracies of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan gained attention for its insight and findings, many of which have since gone on to be proved correct – or at least, widely and increasingly assumed. His newsletter and presentations continued until 2006 when he decided to withdraw from investigative journalism and public lecturing following a false sexual harassment case and destruction of his computers led him to flee to Venezuela for some time.

 

Mike decided ultimately that he couldn’t sit back and let his insights and knowledge in the topics of peak oil, corruption, State sanctioned drug trafficking and crime go unchallenged and returned to the States. He’s written three critically acclaimed books, Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World and A Presidential Energy Policy: Twenty-Five Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money of which I’m currently reading Crossing the Rubicon and can vouch for its extensive, enlightening and often times disturbing insight.

 

Mike Ruppert’s critically acclaimed documentary, ‘Collapse went a long way to exposing the size, scope and seriousness of the peak oil conundrum to a wider audience, and what is likely to lay ahead when (not if) peak oil is reached and surpassed. The documentary is in many parts confronting, disturbing, alarming, pessimistic and worrying –  so much so the late Roger Ebert said of the documentary,

“I don’t know when I’ve seen a thriller more frightening. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. ‘Collapse’ is even entertaining, in a macabre sense. I think you owe it to yourself to see it.”

Yet the documentary is equally fascinating, enlightening and in parts guardedly optimistic and heartwarming.

I was pleasantly surprised to come across the before mentioned two-part interviews Mike conducted earlier this year with Allison Hope Weiner as his voice and presence had been conspicuously and unfortunately lacking in recent years – in the interviews mentions that he has decided to a more reserved role in his journalism these days as he is getting older. His interviews, as of all his work, are fascinating, informative and thought-provoking. I could listen to this man talk all day as his knowledge and intellect exceed just about any investigative journalist or independent media activist around. I strongly recommend watching the two interviews in full where he covers his background, Pat Tillman’s death, his initial work in uncovering the CIA drug racket, 9/11, Dick Cheney and George W Bush through to more recent events such as the Occupy movement, Obama and Bin Laden’s death, and Christopher Dorner.