Tag Archives: Faces of Korea

Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

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I’ve been writing and commenting on some pretty shallow subjects these days, so I thought I’d up my game and post on a slightly heavier topic than HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT PANCAKES IN JUST 10 MINUTES!

Let me begin my commentary on Stephanie Bitler (@stephiieb) and her incredibly brave and touching piece on adoption, biracialism, and, ultimately, depression called “It’s levels to this shit” by saying Korean adoptees have got to own the rights to some of the most unbelievable adoption stories. I remember interviewing adoptees for Faces of Korea all those years ago and scratching my head after each one and going, How does this kind of shitstorm happen? Ms. Bitler’s story is no different in this way.

Having recently been in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression, I’ve learned a lot about it, even if I can’t fully wrap my head around it from a firsthand perspective. Fortunately, much of (Western) society is slowly coming around and realizing that severe anxiety/depression is a “real” condition that requires the empathy of those who don’t suffer from its torturous side effects.

And it’s because of people like StephiieB and their courage to put their heart out on the table and expose their naked soul in the biting wind of harsh social critiques that others in her wake will have more strength to confront this subject both with themselves and with others.

By the way, if you like the title of my post, a line Ms. Bitler referred to as well, you can thank good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt, who apparently had something memorable to say every time he opened his piehole back in the day.

But I digress. I laud and applaud StephiieB for her soulful writing that was as down-to-earth as it was spiritually uplifting. With more discussions spurred by content like hers, we are sure to become a more open and tolerant society, especially when it comes to the subject of depression.

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The Ghosts of Books Past

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What stately, chiseled milksop hath graced the top of this post! Out, damn’d spot!

Many thanks to my old friend Joe Chung who just sent me this photo from my book launch for Faces of Korea at Seoul Selection bookstore all the way back in 2004. Owner Hank Kim was very kind to open the place up to my Mötley Crüe of Die Hard followers (i.e. my brother, his best friends Young-bum and Bum-suck, Bruce “Wha’chu talkin’ ’bout” Willis, Vince Neil and Tommy Lee).

While I clearly haven’t aged since then, I still can’t believe I was a mere 21 years old at the time! What splendorous days of yore, when frolicking in the meadows was still an admirable (and exciting!) activity to take part in on weekends.

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