October 4, 2008

Koreans for Obama?

Mom was watching the television screen from about six inches way during the televised invasion of Iraq. A staunch Bush supporter, motivated to vote for the first time ever when he ran, she felt as though God personally answered her prayer when Bush was put into office.

She was watching with my brother who was freshly graduated from a very liberal college (where he had most memorably declared there to be no biological difference between females and males), and had moved home to consider his next move.

Mom, when the first tanks rolled in, threw her hands in the air and screamed. In victory. She jumped to her feet and marched around the room chanting,”GO BUSH-Y! GO BUSH-Y! JOO-YOOOOH!" And in the next moment, "NORTH KOREA NEXT! NORTH KOREA NEXT! KIM JONG-IL IS NEXT!”

My brother told us this story immediately after, my sister and I as horrified as amused. These are the moments when we feel as though we can see the great divide between mom-world and ours, and really there was no way to bridge it except to simply experience it.

These days with the current election Mom has opted out of politics again. She would never vote for Obama, a black man, and she feels personally betrayed by Bush who was obviously responsible for the current economic crisis. Ever the practical Korean, her pocketbook is where her culture meets her faith – she believes in a God who rewards materially those who obey, which is also not so incidentally the creed of her immigrant generation. I broached this topic just once, making some slight comment about her having believed in Bush and the primal, deep earth Buffy the Vampire slayer growl she uttered in response shut me up immediately – it was a warning that this wound ran way too deep, way too fresh and there was no Confucian way she was going to discuss it ever not to mention with her uppity, democrat daughter. (Something my husband still has a hard time grasping, the perfect ordered-ness of Korean society where everybody is ranked and this dictates how you related – he still tries to sit with the adults at our family get togethers, plopping down next to my sixty year old aunt and asking her these direct, American questions. In English. :)

My uncle understands the current election as generational. For Koreans it is answer enough to say that young people like Obama and older people like McCain. That the divide can be marked like this is highly satisfying for them, and tend to be the first and last thing said in any political discussion about the election.

Which makes me wonder now, Are there any Korean parents out there who do support Obama? Anybody?

October 14, 2008

Via Satellite Internet


Just a quick check-in to say hello from Yosemite. We've been getting our zen on with all this crazy beautiful nature and actually contemplating doing a bike trail. We are that inspired.

And if anyone's interested, we highly recommend where we're staying, the Evergreen Lodge - friendly wooden cabins built up right into the trees in a beautiful old forest, excellent dining (rack of wild boar and local mushrooms!) and s'mores by the fire pit under the starry skies. The website does not represent well though but the basic info. is there.

October 23, 2008

12 more days!

Oh, I can't stand the tension! Can the election just happen now please? All the stories and comments people left two entries ago made me feel so proud and added to the overall anxiety of the Democrats screwing this thing up! Ahhhh!

In the meanwhile, two pieces in the NY Times today really moved me and I wanted to share: the first is titled 'Barack Obama for President and it's the NY Times endorsement for Barack. It is an especially articulate and devastating appreciation of the Bush legacy, in three short pages. The other is the op-ed by Nicholas Kristof, 'Rebranding the US with Obama', it gives us an amazing glimpse of what might be, how transformed the US could be to the world.

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