Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dead Duck?

I am going to die, probably. But when, and how? Hopefully from an awesomeness overdose and not for another 2,000 or 3,000 years, but realistically I’ll probably kick the bucket with everyone else in 2012. Because I live in South Korea (America’s ally, in case Sarah Palin is reading this) a few of my American friends and family think that war will break out at any moment and that I'm already as dead as Leslie Neilson (Yeah, I said it.) The North’s recent sucker-punch on Yeonpyeongdo island has lead to mounting tensions, as it is the biggest provocation in many years, possibly since the Korean War. Now, the “Puppet South” (a term of endearment from the “Prick North”) and the U.S. are rebutting this hyper-masculine posturing by proceeding with scheduled military drills in the Yellow Sea, further pissing off North. South Korea is walking a tightrope between war and being a submissive doormat.

I will admit that, despite their World Cup performance, North Korea is a formidable opponent. With the third largest army on Earth (19th in the solar system) consisting of over a million soldiers and between four and eight million reserves, the Korean People’s Army is capable of wreaking even more havoc than the People’s elbow and the People’s eyebrow combined!

There are plenty more reasons to be afraid, be very afraid. Kim Jong allegedly gets ill with a stockpile of weaponry much larger than the South’s. They have more ships, tanks, planes, troops, and of course, they have China. Everything from North Korea’s weapons stockpile to their alliance to their boisterous attitude is gigantic, but also a few years behind the times. They’re like Texas. Oh, and they have nukes. (I’m referring to North Korea. Don’t worry. Texas doesn’t have nukes.)

About a year and a half ago, my mother told me I would move to South Korea “over [her] dead body,” which I’m glad she relented on because I am not willing to murder my mother. That's just sick. I only murder homeless people that don't even have anybody to miss them so it's not wrong and I'm not a bad person....... I do hate making my mom worry though, so I’m going to try to shed some light on my “Situation” and reveal the glistening rock-hard guido abs underneath the Ed Hardy shirt that is Korea. I know a sudden "Jersey Shore" reference is hard to stomach, but war is a dirty game and there are no rules.

It’s tough to say with any degree of accuracy what would happen in a war between the North and the South, especially since NK is so secretive and China is so unpredictable. Fear not though, because I have made this handy and dare I say quite dandy list to help you decide who would win in a hypothetical war.

North Korea’s Advantages
-They’re fucking crazy
-They have nukes
-They have nothing to lose
-They have Nothing to Lose, starring Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence, on Blu-ray
-Their army is much bigger and they have more arms
-The U.S. is far away but China is very near
-NK has all these crazy tunnels under the DMZ leading right into Seoul, most of which haven’t yet been discovered
-South Korean men are into, and may get distracted by, fashion
-The North won in the American Civil War, and history repeats itself
-It’s advantageous to fight from a higher latitude (…or is it altitude?)
-North Korea is very clandestine and secretive, almost as much so as West Korea.
-Kim Jong Il invented the hamburger, is the world’s best golfer, and has been loved the world over since his glorious birth ten billion years ago
-North Korea is racially homogenous
-Most North Koreans don’t realize how horrible their lives are
-They have dragons

South Korea’s Advantages
-South Koreans are not crazy
-They have something to lose
-Their defense budget is considerably higher: 23.5 billion to NK’s 1.9 billion in 2005 (Zerohedge)
-The power of mint and berries, yet with a satisfying tasty crunch
-South Korea has a healthy burgeoning economy, with technology that isn’t insanely obsolete
-They can feed their troops and their civilians at the same time
-Their military has been trained properly.
-America, fuck yeah! Say what you want about the U.S, but we can still kill the shit out of people
-South Korea is fighting for something worth fighting for (Also the D.A’s advantage over Vold-… you know who)
- Kim Jong Il is handsome and brirriant and physicarry fit, but nobody erse seems to rerarise it
-The South shall rise again
-South Korea is racially homogenous
-Some North Koreans do indeed know how bad their lives are under KJI, which could create a Vikings/Brad Childress situation
-Every time South Korea loses KWII to North Korea, they travel back in time and prevent that one vital mistake from being made
-If real Chinese democracy takes off like the GNR album did, China won’t back the North for very long.
-Most experts pick the South to dominate after one huge surge from the North.

Of course, this is all hypothetical. This is IF there was a war. Realistically the prospect of war would be devastating to both sides as well as to all the countries of the world that would inevitably get sucked into the melee, which is a big reason we haven’t seen a round two of the Korean War. China and the U.S. don’t want it with each other anymore than Nas want it with Hov. South Korea doesn’t want war, and I don’t even think North Korea wants it. War is the worst thing possible, and should be avoided at all costs. And if you think war is anything but a last resort, sit down and watch Blood Diamond just to remind yourself how horrible pointless bloodshed is and also to remind yourself not to have faith in humanity. I’d like to think world leaders are aware of the gravity of war. However, as is usually the case with men, egos, power, and alliances are involved. Boys will be boys, and their boys got their backs, and this is why wars start.  Don’t believe me? Answer me this: What was the cheif reason WWI started?

A) Franz Ferdinand cancelled a show in Serbia
B) WWI was a hoax masterminded by Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck
C) Just
D) Austria-Hungary got super wasted and called Belgium’s sister a strumpet
E) It’s complicated
F) Egos, power and alliances
G) Both E and F
H) G, E, & F
I) None of the above
J) H

The answer is J. If you’re a history scholar you might disagree with me, and you may also disagree with your esteemed colleague, the department head, because history is so disputed, convoluted, and inaccurate that it’s impossible to know what happened in the past, much less what happened in the future. There are too many factors, too many variables, but in this duck’s opinion the most dangerous of those factors is ego, which is just fragile enough to murder millions because it got it’s little feeling hurt. If there is war, it’ll be to save face.

I know, I know. In all my stereotypical blogging I still haven’t scratched the surface of your real question. Should you, my reader, be worried about me? Obviously I mean the world to you, so undoubtedly you’ve been keeping up with the world news, which has you scared poopless about the fate of Ol’ Grey Duck. What the news doesn’t report, however, is that most Koreans, at least the ones living in here in Busan, aren’t terribly worried about any of it. They haven’t been worried since I arrived here.  I’d like to think there is some correlation there, that they breathe easier knowing that I’ll protect them, but realistically it seems more like they’re just used to Kim Jong Il rattling his cage once in a while. These things have happened so many times before and have never started a war, so why should we be worried this time? Sure, people name reasons why this time is the big one, but people do that every time.

If North Korea invades, I'll have enough time to swim to Japan.

Whenever there’s an incident, Americans get way more worked up than Koreans do, or at least worked up differently. When the North attacked a SK ship called the Cheonan in March of 2010, my mom, my dad, and a couple of my friends asked me if I was thinking of coming home. I laughed flippantly because earlier that night I was drinking Soju having the time of my life outside of Ministop. So were Koreans!  My Korean coworker said she’s more worried about her credit card bill than the Cheonan, or even this latest incident. My other coworkers more or less completely agree with her. Though the conflict is very real and can be quite volatile, and though there are whispers that this time may be different, it doesn’t feel like we’re on the brink of war. It just doesn’t. This country has never felt tense or dangerous the way Israel did. I love Israel, but the air was charged there because real war semi-frequently occurs there. I just don’t get that vibe from South Korea. At the risk of jinxing it, there is absolutely, positively, no chance whatsoever that a war between North and South Korea could possibly happen.


Grey Duck


  1. thank you very much for the in depth analysis and the fresh if twisted satire! my face hurts from laughing so hard, glad to hear there's at least a 60% chance you get out of there alive and in one piece. keep on truckin' homie!

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  3. D, amazing article once again. I wasn't sure what to make of the situation over there, but when you compared the NK and SK tensions to the Vikings and Childress scuffle, it made complete sense- and it is by no means a completely ludicrous comparison. You make excellent points about the advantages of both countries but your strongest point may very well be :

    - Kim Jong Il is handsome and brirriant and physicarry fit, but nobody erse seems to rerarise it

    Thanks for this history lesson on WW1. Answer "J" was exactly what I was hoping for. I know it wasn't a decision because it was fact, but it was great none-the-less. Keep the South safe. I know you were being modest by assuming your mere presence was not an absolute correlation, but it is. When the duck comes to town everyone can settle down.