Open Thread #15: BOOKGASM

Sorry everyone, but having just had 15cc of blood removed from my 2 week “swellbow” this afternoon, then I’m going to have to have to take a break from writing for a few more days. Fortunately for my sake though, my reading for August came just after I arrived home from the hospital, and I’d love to hear from any readers who have also read Japanese School Confidential, and/or Guyland as I get stuck into them this week. And The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo too of course, but comments about that would be better placed in this earlier comments thread!

But please feel free to discuss any other issues that interest you, and on that note now seems as good a time as any to mention that I’m now open to anyone guest posting on the blog also, on any Korean sociological, gender, and/or advertising-related topic, as frankly I lack the time to cover even just those I’m especially interested in these days, let alone anything else. It would be great to hear both fresh perspectives on those and/or about new topics though, so if you’re interested please either email me or leave a note in the comments!^^


19 thoughts on “Open Thread #15: BOOKGASM

    1. Actually, they don’t. Taking a quick look at the last 10 pages of the blog for instance, or the last 30 posts, “schoolgirls” barely get a mention beyond reports in the Korean Gender Reader posts on their being victims of rape and so on. And even if you meant actually “teenage girls” instead, there’s only a couple more Korean Gender Reader stories about them in the context of the modeling industry, and precisely 1 other post in which a teenage girl can be said to be one of the main topics of the post.

      These are hardly disproportionate numbers for a blog primarily about Korean gender issues. Perhaps as a first-time commenter here, you are also a new reader, and simply confused me with another blogger?


      1. yes it’s my 1st time reading your blog. have 10 pages? heheh, I just opened your blog and scrolled down a few pictures, so it seemed to be rather heavy on teen sexuality from my 1st impression. Your summer reading is about Japanese school girls so maybe you can see my mistake. Thanks for the reply.


        1. No, I don’t see your mistake: it says more about you than the contents of this blog that you focus on and exaggerate the numbers of the subjects of one, perhaps two recent posts. And besides which, what exactly did you hope to achieve with asking such a puerile question anyway?

          p.s. I actually have 346 posts, or 115 pages at 3 posts a page. Please consider actually reading some of them before making any more sweeping pronouncements about their contents.


  1. hmmmm….James, you seem angry. I don’t think you have to be. It’s looks like an interesting blog from what you’ve said. It’s just my 1st impression as a 1st time reader, as you’ve mentioned. I just took some time to read so of your other posts on different topics, and they are very interesting and well-studied…I guess you have a lot of time on your hands. You’re very lucky man. so I’m a little shocked by your response….maybe you’re stressed.

    On a different note… Mr. Turnbull. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say to me when you say it says more about men than the contents of this blog, but I really don’t appreciate sneering remarks like that. As a professional blogger I think it’s what you are, I hope you conduct yourself in a professional manner next time. And I hope that your professionalism will inspire me and other people to read more of you blog and I hope that my questions don’t seem puerile to you in the future.


    1. Sebastian,

      at best, your original comment was incredibly naive. East Asian schoolgirls are hardly a neutral topic people talk objectively about in the blogosphere, and indeed for years now I’ve had to deal with several trolls a week that take one glance at the blog, notice a picture of an attractive woman, and then either implicity or explicitly accuse me of being more interested in girly pics than gender issues. Your comment was a very good example of the former type, and if you can’t see how it could have been interpreted as such then that’s your problem.

      Either way, don’t expect an apology for my suggesting that your mistaken first impression of the blog says more about your own interests than mine (you focused on the teenage girls, not me), nor for me to shed any tears if my “sneering” and “unprofessionalism” dissaude you from visiting the blog in the future.


  2. mr Turnbull, I can see this is a sensitive topic for you ( perhaps you could explore your own issues into is sometime on your blog). I also see you have a history of people commenting as I did, and I didn’t intended to stir your passions in this way.

    I didn’t ask for an apology from you, its’ your blog and your conduct and your unprofessionalism. You say it says more about my interests than yours. My interests vary wildly, and I’m sure you have varying interests too…it’s important to have them….but I never accused you of anything from the start. I never insulted you. Your 2nd reply into this thread had you hurling insults at me. Mr. Turnbull, it’s something to think about. You seem to be an intelligent person with refined research skills, but personally you certainly lack control. It’s not for me to tell you this, so maybe I’m wasting my time.

    I was secretly hoping you would take the high ground on this matter, because this is your blog, and a very public and popular one, but I think I will have to do it just to end it and see that your time isn’t being wasted on me ^^ But I hope that if you learn one thing…however wrong someone may be its’ important to respectful. Thank you. Best to you and your blog ^^

    (I apologize for all the typos)


    1. Yes Sebastian, from the wealth of evidence that you have provided now I see that the above unpleasantness was entirely my fault. Like you say, I am oversensitive, I should explore my own issues, I am unprofessional, I hurl insults, I lack control, and I am disrespectful.

      Please bear that in mind before you think about commenting on my blog again.


  3. Aaanyway, re: what was talked about in a recent post (western male as a CF fantasy, and my related k-pop anecdotes): Girl group Secret’s comeback concept photos with a white dude: You can hardly see him, but maybe we will in the remaining photos to be revealed, as they do the ‘one a day’ tease.


    1. Thanks for passing those on, and just by coincidence as I was looking at those a post with all the photos went up at allkpop here (alas, the guy remains anonymous). The cynic in me just things that they’re there because of the “all white” theme allkpop refers to, but it’s better than nothing, and it would be nice if netizens make no big deal of it. Which, as far as I know, they didn’t about these racier ones with Shin Min-ah and Northern Irish model and actor James Dornan that were taken in Milan in August last year, so I don’t expect them to!^^


  4. Ah I read your blog all the time and I thought I should make a comment (FOR ONCE heh)

    Wow. James you are one awesome dude. Those earlier comments were very interesting.

    Although I am sorry to hear about your swellbow. I really hope you take some time to rest good sir. Don’t cause yourself any pain :(

    But I’ve been seeing “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” everywhere lately! I’ve seen the books at Borders (and even the grocery store) and I know there is a movie out as well. The movie seems to have decent reviews so perhaps I will watch it?


    1. Thanks for taking the plunge with your comment (the more the merrier and all that), although I’m not sure “interesting” is how I’d describe those earlier ones!

      My elbow is fine thanks. Actually I just got back from my second visit at the hospital, and although it’s still bigger than the other elbow you wouldn’t notice anything different about it if you weren’t already looking at it. I didn’t have to get it drained this time, and don’t need to visit again.

      As for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, as I type this I’m up to page 311 of 643 (was reading it when your comment came), and I’m going to have to join Pre in the earlier comments thread as one of its critics. Not because it’s not an engaging book – quite the opposite – , but rather because so far it’s definitely not “a strong demonstration of the way patriarchy works at all levels of society: individual, interactive, institutional, structural and cultural” or “a fictional demonstration of what happens to women who don’t know their place and won’t conform to patriarchally-established gender roles and even worse to those who fight back against patriarchal control” as described at The Global Sociology Blog, and what got me interested in the first place. Rather, it reads more like a standard murder mystery cum thriller, albeit a good one, and the only reference to feminist themes and so on comes out of blue in Chapter 12 (p. 245), reads more like a lecture than a story, and is very forced.

      Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying reading it. But not for the reasons I bought it, as even if I wasn’t already “The Korea Gender Guy” (TM), I’d still have learned nothing about patriarchy from it. Will get back to you in 300 pages though!


      1. Just finished it. Obviously a page turner, but at the moment I find the notion that it contained a “demonstration of the way patriarchy works” etc. simply absurd. I’ll have a break from it for a few days, and then read more reviews, but at this stage I’m not very optimistic that I’ll change my mind about it!


  5. Just posting here, because I don’t know where else to ask this question…

    I’ve been searching for a lovely photograph featured in one of your previous entries. I can’t seem to find it, though, so perhaps you, James, or one of your readers could help me? The photograph shows a (presumably Korean) man and woman kissing on a side walk. If I remember correctly, it was taken at night and is in black & white.

    Anyway, it’s a wonderful photo… and I wish I had saved it.


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