Christina Aguilera in South Korea

I am back from vacation. I didn't do much. I actually started a new job with Jimmy. We are now online instructors at yet another college. This is fine by me. I would like to not work at all, but reality says I have to make money, because I like to go out with pretty girls, drink wine, dance in night clubs, and eat gourmet dinners at 3 in the morning. That' s been my life for the last week. Now I am about to start a new semester at the physical university here in Korea. This will be interesting. I'm supposed to teach a film course. I have not ever done that. I'm guessing I will like it. I like doing new things.

"What will be your films?" the Dean asked me yesterday.

"Shrek 3," I said.

"Shrek 3?"

"Yes," I said. "I miss Hollywood."

"What else?"

"What's one of your favorite Korean films?"

"Tell Me Something."

"I was thinking of showing Old Boy.

"That's a good movie."

"Is it?"


"I also want to show Running on Empty."

"How about Goodwill Hunting?"


As you can see, I am not too particular on what films I will show. I recognize that the students are at varying degrees of English comprehension, so I'm trying to keep it simple and fun. If I could, I would do an analysis of 80's music videos. Come to think of it, that would be a good class. WHIP IT would be high on the list. TALKING HEADS wouldn't be far behind. I would talk about Ronald Reagan, Tang, and Space Camp. I would show pictures of the Challenger space shuttle exploding, and then follow it with CINDI'S TIME AFTER TIME. I would weep openly in front of the class. I would say things like, "Sike" and "Iran Contra Affair." I would pretend Oliver North was a puppet, living under my power point presentation. I would whisper to him lines about mysticism and being existentially fucked. I would tell him that my interview with Noah Cicero will be out soon. I would also tell him I was curious what a concert in Korea would be like, so I accepted an invitation to see Christina Aguilera last night.

What can I say about the concert? Well, first of all, in Korea everything is severely subdued. There is very little dancing. Most of the fans just sing along, or shake these technological light wands to show their appreciation. As far as the diversity, I could see a handful of foreign teachers and diplomats looking a bit confused on the stadium floor. That was the minority. The rest of the crowd was a hodge podge of hip hop kids, parents, and children. Most were dressed for the occasion as if it were a night out on the club circuit; with short-shorts and cute tops to show lots of skin. Those who were a bit older, looked as if they were at a piano recital or getting off work. There were very few people who stood out as being outside of the common culture. Those that did have the occasional dreadlock or bong pipe tied around their necks, stood out like deadheads at a Phish concert in Dubai.

I wore my tried and true outfit of black tee shirt and jeans. My date wore a Spanish top that cut across her shoulders, a necklace that signifed longevity and happiness, and tight jeans, that made it difficult to watch the concert, until I saw Christina's dancers do the shimmy.

"Oh, dear Lord," I said, as they gave a good boom-bap-boom. "Oh my!"

My date laughed.

"They are all ass," I told her.

"Yes," she agreed. "They have good ass."

The highlight of the concert was BEAUTIFUL. It's a great song. Christina sang it gorgeously, and everything was picture perfect. In fact, out of the 100 or so concerts I've been to in my lifetime, I would say this was the most rehearsed and produced of the bunch. This doesn't mean I would rate it as a necessarily good concert, but it was enjoyable enough to garner a nod to Christina as an excellent singer and performer. She has definitely left her Mickey Mouse Club days behind. I will be curious to see where her next re-vamp takes her. My guess is a bombed Hollywood film or, if she's smart, a jazz record of 20's era music AKA Ella Fitzgerald. Who knows? I have absolutely no idea. I don't mind watching a Broadway show, and Christina's concert was very much a mash up of a Fosse production of Chicago and a watered down Pussy Cat Dolls. It was nice eye candy, and her music, with its backing of a 12-piece band with horns, was a great touch. It definitely made the concert much more enjoyable than a record spun offstage.

My official verdict is 8.5 Asses out of 17.

Top Ass Count of All Time

Stone Temple Pilots, 16 Asses, Tiny Vatican Tour, Philadelphia, 1996
Benji Hughes, 15.2 Asses, Los Angeles, 2006
Spindrift, 15 Asses, Deer Park Tavern, Newark, 1996
Rage Against the Machine, 15 Asses, Lollapalooza Tour, Philadelphia, 1992
Jane's Addiction, 14.3 Asses, Reunion Tour, Philadelphia, 1999

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