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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Craigslist? Monster.com? Psychics?

The economy is bad around the world. The Korean won is dropping fast in value (so much for saving a ton of money over here), and the US has its highest unemployment rate in 25 years.

Now some of Korea's unemployed are taking job searching to a whole new level:

According to a poll in January of 1,557 job hunters by a recruitment Web portal called Career, nearly 60% had consulted a fortuneteller or were planning to do so.

The biggest reason: The gloomy prospects of a severely depressed job market call for extraordinary measures, they say.

Now, this isn't exactly the equivalent of calling up Miss Cleo and the Psychic Friends Network, but there is something shady about the claim by Paik Woon-san, chairman of the Association of Korean Prophets, that "one hundred percent of the people who consult me follow my advice."

Fortunetellers are widespread in Korea. Little tents are set up all along the streets where you can step inside for a few minutes and have your cards or palm read. Not being able to speak Korean prohibits me from visiting with them, even though I've always thought it would be interesting to talk to a psychic, but they seem to attract a lot of customers.

I guess when you're really desperate, there's nothing to lose by talking to someone and at least clearing your head. It's better that just sitting at home being miserable and wallowing in a pool of self-pity.


  1. but at least the dollar is appreciating!

  2. Who cares about the dollar?! I get paid in WON!!

  3. I went to one of those psychics and Beyonce translated for me. The woman was 100% accurate, although she made a prediction about October, so we'll have to wait and see.

    Brian Eno has a deck of cards that he used for creating music, and that I sometimes consult when I'm writing. It's called Oblique strategies (you can find it all over the internet). Basically it helps you to look at the things in your work in a new, sometimes uncomfortable, way. Eventually I started consulting the oblique strategies about my life as well, and going to a psychic is just another strategy. It's a tool that helps you reframe your outlook. When I experience synchronicity, due to fortune tellers, Oblique strategies, or for any reason, I usually attribute it to my sensitivity to beauty and my desire to live a poetic life. As a writer, I'm always consciously trying to make everything in my life add up to something coherent. Most people who visit fortune tellers are probably doing the same thing to some degree, although possibly, for them, it is unconscious.