[KS] Re: party pooper
goodwins at txcyber.com
Mon Oct 16 15:12:05 EDT 2000
REPLY sends your message to the whole list
Anders Karlsson wrote:
> If allowed (after all I am from Sweden)... (snip)... I have difficulties
> understanding the fireworks and national celebrations. Isn't the
> background of this prize really Korea's quite sad modern history
> (authoritative regimes and division)? The Peace Prize is given to people
> who work in troubled areas of the word. So in that sense giving it to
> Kim Dae Jung confirms that Korea is still a troubled spot in the world
> (the prize this time not only being a reward for past accomplishments
> but also carrying with it a wish for a future positive effects).
In all of what Anders Karlsson had to say in his original "party pooper"
posting the above is the only thing that actually resonates with me.
take some effort to begin to explain why --if I even can-- but I can say
sure that it's not because Anders is a Swede.
For a while now --at least since Jose Ramos Hortes in '96 and Jody
in '97-- I have had some difficulty fully appreciating how the prize can
awarded to individuals whose struggles, though admittedly life-long,
(up to and including the time the prize-winner's name is announced)
limited if any "real" fruits at all.
At times I have almost felt cynical about it; e.g., "The Nobel thing has
become an industry!" etc. But throughout, I have consistently wondered
the Nobel committee no longer exercises its right to keep the prize in
abeyance (as it did in 1914, 1915, and 1916) until a "truly worthy"
candidate appears. (My point is to raise the question of just what a
worthy" candidate is: not to suggest that I necessarily know the answer
that KDJ is not a worthy recipient this year. Please don't misunderstand
on these points.)
(Some food for thought:
American novelist Saul Bellow edits a literary journal entitled, "The
Republic Of Letters". "We really don't have any guidelines [for
submission]," writes Bellow and co-editor Keith Botsford on the
world wide web home page. Interestingly, however, "The Republic of
Letters," as Bellow and Botsford also tell us, "appears irregularly,
whenever there are enough texts of sufficient quality.")
That Roosevelt took the Nobel award for "peace" in 1906 strikes me as,
best, morally "shaky". (NB. Having said this, there are some who --like
Brian M. Linn at Texas A&M-- think epidemiologist Ken De Bevoise's 1995
study --a work whose findings extend the prior "consensus" as to deaths
attributable to America's significantly Rooseveltian-shaped policies in
Philippines following the war with Spain from between 100,000 to 200,000
to as many as 975,000-- is wrong-headed because overly "theoretical".)
On the other hand, that the International Red Cross received the Nobel
in 1917 strikes me as bang on! Between these two extremes there is a lot
room for argument.
Personally, right up through to 11:59 p.m. EST last Thursday eve, I
that the Nobel committee would be forced to pass on KDJ. Why? However
uncomfortable it may be for me to do I'll put a "realist" cap on my
bald) head and offer this as my reason: The "inopportuneness" of the
What I mean is that I thought for sure the committee would see that even
they decided to award DJ the prize for doing X (where X is something
"KDJ struggling against tyranny his entire adult life") the world
the cloistered halls of the Norwegian Nobel Institute would still
them as giving him the prize for doing Y or, in the case of those who
actually know DJ, X plus Y (where Y is something like "KDJ has achieved
breakthrough on the peninsula").
But I was thinking "realistically" that there is, as yet anyway, no
for believing in Y. And so I was convinced that the committee, not
to take the chance that their decision be misunderstood, would not award
the prize. Boy, was I wrong!
Incidentally, I also thought that even if the committee members were
"privately" convinced of Y (and they seem to be from the remarks they
when the prize was announced) they would still not publicly trumpet this
justification for giving KDJ the prize because, as we sometimes say, "it
takes two to tango" (e.g., in 1993 when the award went to Mandela AND
Klerk). (And I also thought that any ideas along the lines of
"KDJ-thought-of-the-rapprochement-idea-first" would be so far below any
the committee members --if not outright revisionist-- that no one would
grace it! After all, I thought, does anyone --outside the hawks in the
Pentagon-- seriously believe that, with the exception perhaps of the
agreement, ANYTHING the PDRK has done since the Great Leader's passing
July 8, 1994 has been "realpolitik" and not just, basically, random acts
Well, that's my two bits! I guess in the end I think it's kind of nice
the Korean people can collectively celebrate a Nobel Peace Prize.
knows Koreans have wanted to to do just that for a very long time.) So
"congrats" to all Korean list members and to all those with fellow
(College Station, TX)
More information about the Koreanstudies