State Backed Pop

The Korean Invasion

Interesting.  Heard of this before.  Good example of Karatani’s notion that modern-day nations are actually marketplace-state-nations.  The marketplace economy of South Korea was bad, so the nation asked the state to fix the marketplace for the better.  The state came in, and shored up the economy in the long term by investing in the arts.

This brand of art obviously does not threaten the state in anyway, it’s main goal is to promote Korean nationalism, thus fixing the economy of South Korea.

Thus, we can add k-pop to the list of state strategies for managing the economy

  • kpop (state backed pop)
  • postfordism (state backed consumerism)
  • totalitarianism (state backed ideology)
  • mercantilism (state backed industry) 
Trade is a game, and nothing can be won from beggars. If one won everything from everybody all the time, it would be necessary to give back the greater part of the profit voluntarily, in order to begin the game again.
—  Isaac de Pinto - Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit, Amsterdam, 1771. p. 231, quoted (disparagingly) in Marx - Capital, ch. 4, fn. 4
Granulated Eyelids

by Jami Willow

I needed a gift
To present to myself
But I didn’t know what
To give
I approached
A man in a suit
I asked him for
Suggestions and a pen
He looked thoughtful
For an eternity
And moments
Later expounded
Granulated eyelids
I thanked him for his
Time and thought
He opened an umbrella
And flew away

I walked along
I saw a woman
In a gingham dress
Posed I the same query
She busted out laughing
Asked me if
I were serious
I made no attempt
To answer
Shook my head sullenly
She stepped back
Examining me from
Head to toe
Granulated eyelids
She suggested
The woman turned
And disappeared down
Her rabbit hole

Armed with knowledge
I sauntered into
My local merchantile
The shop keeper gazed at me
Breathed in heavily
Wiped pseudo sweat
From his furrowed brow
May I help you
I explained I had come
To his shop
To purchase a gift
For me
With suggestions firmly
Entrenched in my
Cerebral cortex
My mouth fashioned the
Words I was not
Stated I in clearest tone
Then replied the
You shall have it
And plenty of it

He handed me
An empty bag
I brought it home
I placed it on the table
And enjoyed its presence
Having never owned
Or borrowed
A recepticle as this
I was astounded at
Its resilience
I ended up begining to
Store my thoughts
And dreams in it
I emptied my head
Into the bag each day
The very best of gifts
My mind congratulated
Itself with gusto

Until the darkest day
The bag caught fire
As I emptied most of
My anger into it
Glowing orange embers
Was all that was left
I became sad
Never had I depended
So much on such
A useful tool
But now it was gone
I sat upon my stoop
Gazed into traffic
And thought
Perhaps I should have
Bought a box of
Granulated eyelids