“Parasite”: Scenes from the Class Struggle in South Korea


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Truth is in the ear of the believer.

From Bong Joon-Ho, the director of The Host, Snowpiercer, and Okja, a movie with a name like Parasite implies sooner or later there’ll be a monster and bloodletting and bigger, badder, wilder, all-out, off-the-wall, jaw-dropping pandemonium, because moviegoers expect escalation. Several words in that sentence come true and thus is the prophecy fulfilled, but with Joon-Ho it’s best never to think we can expect the unexpected. What most of us think of as “unexpected” is actually very expected because we think along a select number of unconsciously rigid tracks. We clench Occam’s Razor between our fingers and use it to sketch our predictions, drawn from among the most common forms of what average storytellers consider “unexpected” rather than unimaginable forms of unexpected. Preconceptions are a drag even when we think we don’t have any.

Parasite tinkers with quite a few of them. Among the most common and beloved in many a Hollywood tales of late: “Poor = good. Rich = bad.” As us-vs.-them conformist mentalities go, “rich vs. poor” has become among the most exploited. If that’s among your favorite simplistic conflicts, I’m pretty sure Hustlers is still playing in a multiplex near you. Go have fun!

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The Hunger Boxers


Photo by a cheerful Gleaners representative. They strongly encouraged social media sharing. Consider it done!

No, that’s not a photo of my interim reign as CEO of the Box Factory. But I can dream.

Last week my employer tried something new: they gave several hundred of us the opportunity to spend half a workday (on the clock!) participating in scheduled acts of service at various charities throughout Indianapolis — charitable synergy courtesy of United Way.

I signed up and went forth to serve last Thursday morning at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, one of the most prominent resources in local hunger relief efforts. Oddly, my shift happened a full week before our local media declared today as Hunger Action Day. My coworkers and I may have missed that holiday, but I should hope our efforts were useful regardless of timing.

More about my day in a makeshift Minecraft scene…

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