Friday, May 29, 2009

Roh Moo-Hyun Funeral

So the last time it was Saturday, former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun committed suicide because he was accused of accepting bribes when he was in office. His funeral was scheduled to take place on Friday, and the location was about 45 minutes away from where I happened to be staying at the time, so I went uptown to see what I could see.


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I arrived at around 6:45am or so, which turned out to be entirely too early. I went at that time because the TV was showing a procession already starting, and I didn't want to miss anything. When I got there, there were hardly any people around, and only a few guards around the main entrance, which you can see above. I'm not quite sure what the TV was showing, but it sure wasn't taking place near here.

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Some time later, the rest of the people started to arrive, and they consisted almost entirely of police and military. The six or so guards with riot shields turned into two rows of guards, and there were hundreds of people in uniform getting into formation all around. There were only a few private citizens, and they seemed to be mostly students and guys with cameras. There were plenty of cars and busses unloading statesmen and families, though all of this was taking place inside the gates and out of view. There was a lady outside who looked like she was taking interviews, but for the most part it was difficult to tell if people were hanging around because of the funeral or if they were just waiting for a bus or something.

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Around 7:30 or so, most of the people who had been hanging around the gate were shooed away, but for some reason, a few of us were allowed to stay right next to the entrance. There were police barriers running up and down the streets, and rows of police choking the sidewalk in front of me, and I suddenly found myself effectively trapped between the wall of the temple grounds and the orderly mob of police above. It didn't look like anyone else was going to be getting close to the gate, and it also didn't look like I was going to be able to leave very easily.

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The other people stuck with me were the guy in the bike helmet who kept calling everyone "fucking idiots", and the lady facing the wall there who alternated between crying softly to herself and screaming at the police. I began to worry that we were left where we were because the police thought we were crazy and didn't want us mixing with the crowd. The guy in the helmet mouthed off to some pretty official looking guys whenever they tried to address the small crowd, and I was beginning to feel as though I was in the wrong place at what could easily become the wrong time.

By around 8:30am I needed to get back to my hotel to get some work done, and aside from a slow trickle of invitees entering the compound, there didn't seem to be much going on. Someone called out "at-ease" or something, because suddenly the crowd of police started stretching and adjusting their belts, and I took that as my cue to head back. I found out later that the funeral wasn't scheduled to begin until 11am, so I very nearly went for nothing.

The real story here is that all of the pictures were taken with a DSi. No zoom, no control options whatsoever, just a point it at something and snap away. I cropped the last picture and reduced the size of the rest to 50%, but they are otherwise untreated. For a piece of crap electronic pin-hole camera, I have to say, it works pretty well.

10 comments:

_J_ said...

I think this is the only sensible use of the DSi. It is not for gaming. It is not for utility. It was meant to be snuck into the end of blog posts as a non-sequitur.

MA17 said...

As someone who never got a Lite, I do appreciate the form factor and the adjustable brightness level (I'm battery-conscious and also am sometimes outside), but this really only applies to people who never got the Lite, natch.

Being able to download games on the relatively cheap is also kind of cool. Nintendo hands out 1000 points for free if you buy a DSi before some sort of deadline, and I used half of those points for Pictobits, and I found it to be a fun falling-block-matching-color variant. The rest of the downloadable games appear to be garbage or Wario Ware mini-games, so I don't know if I'll ever use the other 500pts.

If my track record with Wii Ware and Virtual Console is any indication, I will not.

_J_ said...

No gba slot means that the DSi can die in a fire.

How cans I import my pokemons without a gba slot? HMM?

MA17 said...

There's no contract that comes with the DSi that says you have to destroy your old DS, you know.

kylebrown said...

Yeah i have no use for the DSi, either. I use the GBA functionality nearly as much as I play DS games. I am surprised by the quality of those photos, however.

Roscoe said...

The downloading games is the ONLY thing I really like about the DSI, and I'm not convince the Lite and Phat couldn't just as easily run those games.

Roscoe said...

I ought to clarify a bit onthe camera.. I don't DISLIKE it.. I just have little to no use for it.. couple that with the limiting of software to the newest version, and.. .. ulcers form.

Mike Lewis said...

Gamestop has (or had) a deal where they would take a classic DS for 70$ trade in.

it was kinda tempting but i would miss the GBA slot to much.

Roscoe said...

trade in a classic as in Phat? or any DS for a DSi?

_J_ said...

"There's no contract that comes with the DSi that says you have to destroy your old DS, you know."

You lie.

I still do not understand why we as a species have taken to putting cameras in everything.