My Views on the U.S. Presidential Election

I am a mass of conflicting impulses.  This post is one such example.

Many, if not almost, all of you are not citizens of the United States or do not live in the United States.  I am a citizen of that country and something has happened that I thought would never happen…a man who I think is dangerous has become president of the United States.

But, there is nothing I can do about it, at the moment, even though my emotions run high.   I don’t know how this election and how this new president will affect the world-wide way of things.  I hope, beyond hope, that I have misjudged this man I despise and that he makes the United States and THIS WORLD a better place.  Below is a post I made on Facebook. I’d put this on Naver, but it is in Korean and I don’t know it well enough to post anything.

*****

In these last few days after the presidential election, friendships have been damaged and families have undergone major strife, both sometimes beyond the point of repair.
I feel things to the extreme, so all of this conflict among all I know has been mentally and physically stressful.
A day or two after my initial shock of the election results, I realized that my point of view is by far not the only valid one (though I do have a strong attachment to my view). Since then, I have been trying to spread the word of compassion. Whether that has made any difference, I don’t know.
This morning, I read on Cf Shih‘s wall a quote from the Buddha that makes the point more effectively.
“Conquer anger by love.
“Conquer evil by good.
“Conquer the stingy by giving.
“Conquer the liar by truth.”
~~ The Buddha, Dhammapada 17.3
I thank, Cf Shih for helping me understand the truth.
I know there are comparable teachings in other religions. Please, seek them out and understand their message.
I ask/suggest you use these truths to help guide you in whatever path you choose, in your personal life, work life, and in promoting your causes, political or not.
Because of the love and compassion I have for friends and others, I will always have the back of those in need, whatever that those needs might be. I hate to think those needs may include protecting the rights of others, but helping those in need is helping those in need…and I will try to do so with compassion in my heart and with the words of the Buddha shown above in my brain.

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episodes 19 and 20

WTF, South Korea?

Oh, the cries…

We knew there would a sad ending to this drama.  This ending was over the top sad.

Episode 19 didn’t impact me much.  It was just an extension of Hae Soo’s anger over the death of  Chae-ryung and the difficulties the king had with various members of the court and his brothers.  The fact that Chae-ryung was a spy and killed King Hyejong (Wang Mu) didn’t seem to matter to Hae Soo.  The woman killed the king, for crying out loud.  Love is all warm fuzzies and all, but murder is another thing, all together.

Regardless, Hae Soo broke her promise to stay with the king if he wavered.  Yes, King Gwangjong (Wang So) was possessive to the extreme, but that was how royalty was to those “below” them back then.  It was the only way he knew how to express his love.

He tried his best to make Hae Soo feel better the only way he knew how, to the point of wanting to make her a royal concubine, and then second queen after bearing a child.  That was how things were done in the palace and she had served long enough there to know this.

And I still can’t get past her blindness when it came to Chae-ryung.  That was just plain delusional.

The episode ends with Hae Soo leaving the palace to go live with the exiled Wang Jung.

Episode 20… oh, the cries.

People are spying on Hae Soo and Jung… what a surprise (sarcastic remark).  This is how So finds out that Hae Soo is sick.  But, he lets his jealousy take over when he misinterprets a conversation between Hae Soo and Jung.  From then on, he wants nothing to do with Hae Soo and Jung.  He feels she left him, after promising not to, which is exactly what she did.

Predictably, Hae Soo is pregnant with So’s baby.  Shortly after giving birth, Hae Soo (predictably) dies.

When So finds this out, he finally reads the pile of letters Hae Soo has been sending him (he thought they were from Jung because the handwriting on the outside of the letters was not hers).  For months, Hae Soo waited for So, yet So’s stubbornness and pride prevented him from reading Hae Soo’s letters.  He never went to her.  She died without seeing her true love, again.

Of course, everyone is upset and So takes her ashes.

In all this, I felt attached to all the characters who interacted with Hae Soo.  Jung loved Hae Soo with all his heart.  It had to be difficult for him to know Hae Soo was in love with So.

Predictably, Gwangjong (So) becomes a benevolent king after reading a book by Taizong of Tang on the wise ruling an empire.  Part of that may also be due to So’s love of Hae Soo and her benevolent, yet posthumous, influence.

Here’s where tears come in.  Several years later and on the anniversary of Hae Soo’s death, a little girl runs into So.  The girl reacts in the very same way as Hae Soo did when she ran into him all those long years ago.  When he asks the girl who she is, Jung runs up.  The girl runs to Jung and calls him “father.”  So realizes the girl is his daughter and tells Jung to give her up.  Jung refuses, explaining Hae Soo’s final wishes about the girl.  Because that was Hae Soo’s wish, So releases Jung from exile.  He most likely did this in hopes of being able to see the girl from time to time when Jung visited the palace.

Back in present day, it seems Hae Soo had almost drowned when she rescued that kid from drowning in the first episode of the drama.  She went into a coma and didn’t wake up for a year.  Now healthy, she has recurring dreams about a man with a scar on his face and she remembers always crying with these dreams.

Working at a cosmetics store, which happens to be near an exhibition of Goryeo artifacts, Hae Soo (now back to being Go Ha Jin) meets up with a man we recognize as Choi Ji Mong, the palace astronomer.  She doesn’t recognize him, but almost faints and leaves the store.

She wanders into a room of drawings of the Goryeo exhibition and she recognizes them.  She knows the artist (Baek-A) and is compelled to look at the drawings.  Each one brings back memories.  She remembers her whole time in Goyreo.  She reads the history of Gwangjong and realizes she did change history and he became a benevolent and wise king.  When she sees a drawing of him all alone in the outside court of the palace, Hae Soo collapses in tears, apologizing over and over again for having left him alone.

We transition to So, all by himself in the outside court of the palace, and he seems to have heard Hae Soo cry out her apology.  He remembers a conversation they had once contemplating what might have happened if they had met in a different place and time.  He vows to find her, no matter the place and time.

Yeah, I cried.

When I started to watch this drama, I had high hopes.  This is because I am an avid Lee Joon Gi fan.  He didn’t disappoint me.

I felt uncomfortable with IU, at first.  I felt her portrayal of Hae Soo was over the top and childish.  I understand, now, that her character was just that… over the top and a bit childish.  As Hae Soo mentally matured, I began to realize that IU did a great job at portraying Hae Soo and did an awesome job in the rest of the drama.  I have new respect for her as an actress.

The biggest thing that disappointed me had nothing to do with the drama, itself.  I am in love with this drama and will recommend it to anyone who wants an intro to kdrama watching.  Why not get them addicted to kdramas with the good stuff?

I was totally disappointed in the national ratings of the drama.  WTF, South Korea?  Scarlet Heart: Ryeo seems to be a huge success, internationally.  We want a season two.  We hear rumors of two extra episodes and we can’t wait to see if that’s true.  What in your part of the Korean television universe went wrong?  I don’t get it.  If someone in South Korea ever reads this, I’d love to have an answer to this.  I have comments turned on.

Anyway, I loved this drama.  As it seems to have done well internationally, the door may open for its actors and crew for more projects within the international realm.  I think that would be awesome.

Watch Scarlet Heart: Ryeo on Drama Fever.