Monday, October 5, 2015

Minhwa, The Potato Famine

Minhwa is a traditional Korean art form. 

_____(Q) These are insights that would never have been publicly promulgated through the media of the dominant culture. 

_____(R) Minhwa is basically, therefore, the raw, insightful and passionate ‘real’ people (magpies)attacking the established and respected hacks (tigers) in power who control things through connections, quid pro quo arrangements and whatever other forms of shadiness they can think of to try to seem relevant and important. 

_____ (S) Minhwa has represented the experiences and desires of the common people, revealing insights only the people could know about life and society. 

_____ (T) Therefore the tigers aren’t really tigers in Minhwa, they are buffoons just as the aristocracy and power-brokers were, or have been, overwhelmingly, buffoons. 

_____(U) Because it is from the relatively powerless common people, there is often sarcasm and humor in Minhwa, and perhaps some secret social symbolism and criticism, as with magpies mocking vicious and powerful tigers who suddenly look stupid and ridiculous.

copyright: Daniel Gauss  2015

While over one million people starved to death in Ireland from 1845 – 1850, boatloads of grain regularly arrived from Ireland, through the port of Liverpool, to feed the citizens of England.  

_____ (Q) The Irish people had been colonized by the English and most Irish worked for various wealthy (mostly English) landlords.  

_____ (R) Thus, the tenant farmers who were dependent on the potato starved while the wealthy landowners reaped tremendous profits from the Irish grain they exported.  

_____ (S) These landlords never even considered stopping the transport of food from Ireland to England so that the Irish themselves might be saved while the potato crop was decimated by a fungus.  

_____ (T) Yet, a famine is when there is no food – there was an overabundance of food…the Irish just weren’t allowed to eat it. 

_____ (U) This was free market capitalism at its most transparently inhumane, but it has come down to us through history whitewashed as the potato ‘famine’.

Copyright: Daniel Gauss 2015

Answers are below:

Minhwa: 2,4,1,5,3 ----> Q=2, R=4, S=1, T=5, U=3
Potato Famine: 1,3,2,5,4

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