Thursday, June 4, 2009

Democracy and Apathy

The Korean branch of the Human Rights Watch agrees with my previous post--democracy is being suppressed, or at the very least curtailed in South Korea. University professors have been protesting the denial of citizens' right to assemble. It's in the papers but it doesn't seem to bother the average citizen. Democracy is never a given, it's something that must always be fought for and defended. On the other hand, I suppose South Korea is doing a better job than the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (i.e. North Korea).

Lately, I've just been feeling very tired. I keep meaning to go to the gym but I come home and I'm so exhausted that all I can fathom doing is laying down and maybe reading. Of course this means I'm reading nearly a book a day and that I'm going to have to go to the store again soon or raid my friends' shelves. Another expat started an informal lending library for the people in the area. We all post a list of the books we have and then message each other if there is something we want to borrow. The thing is that I'm pretty possessive of my books and tend to like to observe how people treat books before I lend them out. Do they dog ear and break the spine or use a bookmark? Do they, god forbid, write in someone's book? How long does will it take them to read the book? And perhaps most important, will I have to hound them to get my beloved back? There are some books that I'm not quite as attached to, say, the books I didn't particularly enjoy reading but for the most part I'm neurotic about my books. My kids have all heard the lecture that books are special, special toys and we never bend them or try to eat them like candy. The thing is that you can't really lecture an adult on the proper way to treat your books without sending completely off. It's assumed that grown ups know how to treat their books. THIS PATENTLY NOT TRUE!

...I'm done. Not sure what I have planned for this weekend though hopefully something fun. I think I'm getting dragged to the movies one afternoon which is alright. I like going to the movies, I just don't really like sitting still for so long. Most of the time I'd rather wait for it to come out on DVD so I can pause it when I need to go to the bathroom or get a snack (or 3).

6 comments:

Nancy K said...

I would be so banned from borrowing books from you, as you well know!
NPR was doing a piece on the demonstrations Tienaman(sic) Square yesterday, anniversary? Didn't catch the beginning, but there was a recording of a young woman recorded at the time, and she quoted, 'Give me liberty or give me death' Such a different outcome but touching to have our fight for democracy so well known.

Kristin said...

I am completely possessive of my books in exactly the same way! If I lend one, I want to get it back within a week. Sadly, I'm not quite as good about getting books back to their owners as I want them to be about getting it back to me.

FredL. said...

I'm with Kristin- If, and now its a big if, I lend ourt a book, I want it back right away. I made the mistake of lending a special book to someone at my teacher's behest. That someone decided that he would like to keep it, and would pay me for it, which I accepted Little did I know that it is out of print! Burned Once, forwarned forever!


there are some individuals in my own home who do not "know" how to care for books- It dirves Malka and me UP THE WALL!

CousinFred

Alex said...

Nancy/Mom- The paper here has been full of Chinese demonstrations and what not, taking place in Hong Kong. Participants in the 1989 rally have been forced out of Bejing for the anniversary or are being kept under house arrest to prevent them from further action. Welcome to a totalitarian state. Ugh.

Kristin-obviously you would be someone I wouldn't mind lending my books to. :-p.

Josh said...

i'm happy that you feel the same way as I do about movies..... I HATE SITTING STILL!!!! Ask my wife.... it drives her up the wall... I wander in and out of rooms and conversations constantly.... :)

Alex said...

Sometimes I don't mind it once I'm there but the idea of it usually deters me.