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autotune the news
singapore sunset
I am a nut for spy shows. I am not entirely sure why. I enjoy all that politics and propaganda and travel and conspiracy and betrayal. I guess it helps there is some overlap with my real-world interests. Recently i've been watching The Americans, Berlin Station, Counterpart, Mr Robot, Travelers... All reasonably entertaining. I am particularly loving Counterpart for its gimmick that lets it tell a Cold War spy story in the present day. Today i started to watch The Looming Tower, and man it's kicking up the feels.

The Looming Tower so far feels a bit like a Generation Kill take on the 9/11 Report. Or, at least, the comic book adaptation i read of it. It's set in the late 90s and follows the grand clusterfuck that was American intelligence during the peak of Al Qaeda. It sort of hits interesting pangs of nostalgia for me because not only were those years turbulent "coming of age" years in my personal life, but it's also covering political events that were among the first that i followed independently.

Certainly i have memories of other major events of my childhood. Chernobyl in particular was the first time i remember something in the news really terrifying our whole community. After that i have vivid memories of a couple of other things that happened close to home like the Townsend ferry disaster and the Lockerbie bombing. Then the 90s brought us the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which might be the only current event i ever wrote a report about for school. But, yeah, once i moved out of home the embassy bombings dropped, then the Cole, then 9/11 - those felt like i had hit a critical point of awareness. I remember back in 1993 my mother trying to explain to me why the Oslo Accords were important because i didn't have enough background to understand it myself. I might be putting a greater significance on it now in retrospect, but i think 9/11 might have been the first major current event where i didn't need someone to explain it to me; 9/11 felt more like a development in a story i had been following for a while.

And that story is what this show is about. I'm curious to see how they depict the whole thing, given it's an American show. I seem to recall the 9/11 Report comic book was fairly scathing, though admittedly it's been a very long time since i read that. I guess at the end of the day it's just a TV show so the most important thing is that it's enough of a distraction to let me relax for a bit.

Yes, work is still killing me. I have no energy. Last weekend i spent the entire weekend at home. The weekend before that i did bike a decent way into Longgang District, the day after my reservoir jaunt. I found a neat spot where i could snap a pic showing all three eras of Shenzhen in one frame - small-hold agriculture, factory and high-tech park.

That was a good weekend. Last weekend was not. I am spent. I bought new socks. Apparently that is how i spoil myself now. I am too tired to even set up an appointment to get the internet hooked up. Thank God for my friendly neighbors and my daily gigabyte of 4G data.

Maybe this weekend i'll feel awake enough to do something interesting. To write something worth reading.

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The earliest thing i can remember on the news is the fall of the Berlin wall. I had a look at Shenzhen when i was searching for TEFL jobs. I got an offer for Beijing but Korea was always my first choice so i was delighted when i ended up in Busan. I thought i was well traveled but a brief glimpse at your journal shows you're way ahead of me!

I'm glad you got the place you wanted! I find Shenzhen a very interesting city for political and sociological reasons, but it doesn't have a lot to recommend it if you are looking for "traditional" culture or sightseeing. I don't know anything about Korean geography, but i looked up Busan when i added you and it seems like a very pleasant place to live.

I have traveled a fair bit, it's true, but mostly my "well-traveledness" is a function of not really having a home country. Every few years i get itchy feet and try somewhere new. I'm lucky to have a job where i can do that! I've only just settled in China, so we'll see how it suits 😊

Yes Busan is great! It's more like a series of city centers strung together and interspersed with mountains. It has everything you want in a big city with added beaches and so many mountains for hiking.

You've totally sold it to me! I guess Shenzhen is similar, but no beaches (well, a few, but not enough to be able to find a quiet one).

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