Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another fan-death disbeliever!

Fan Death in Korea
The pain is horrific to bear!
(Image from OhmyNews)

Despite my best efforts, I seem to be fighting a losing battle against those who doubt fan death. Why do I say this? Because another fan-death skeptic has visited my blog, and this one is a Korean!

The infidel's name is "Julia," but we cannot blame her loving parents, for the accursed disbeliever tells us that her own dear mother:
...used to wake up EVERY night at 3 am to open my brother's bedroom door because he slept with the ceiling fan on. Because Richard would never heed her advice about leaving the bedroom door open if he was going to have his fan on, she was horrified that the fan (in a closed room) would SUCK the air our of the room and leave her with an empty shell of a human being as a son...
Such loving care -- careful love that only a Korean mother could bestow -- was wasted on this ingrate, who laughed at a sad song titled "Fan Death Suicide Pact Cult" that she heard in some bar and then returned home to Google the internet so that she could laugh at the sad stories of others who have posted warnings about fan death.

She even happened across my blog entry of warning about fan death and reported back on her own blog:
[H]ere's what one crazy ex-pat professor of English Literature says about fan death (it's just too insane to NOT share):

How can people doubt fan death!? Fans kill thousands of people each year, but most of the deaths go unreported because the fans were in a different room. It's a little-known fact that the whirling blades cause disturbance in the ether that pervades the universe, and the ripple effect impairs organisms up to 500 feet distant.

This summer, fans killed several of my son's pets. First a stag beetle died when our cat, driven mad by ripples in the ether, overturned the beetle's plastic terrarium and fought the poor beetle to its death. Miraculously, the cat survived. Our eel was not so lucky as the cat. Driven insane by the whirling blades' insidious disturbance of the ether, it managed to flip itself out of its aquarium -- through a tiny hole in the top!! -- and die. We found it on the floor ... shriveled and dry. That could happen to you, too. Since then, two other stag beetles have died. Snails as well. And a goldfish has turned deathly white! Scary.

Miraculously, our cats and children have survived, but we're taking no more chances, especially now that our two fans have begun to alter weather patterns in our apartment. In the past two days [this September 2006], they've actually been blowing cool air at night -- even though there's no air-conditioning unit attached! We think that the fans are now trying to freeze us to death, so we've put them away in a closet, completely covered in a bag zipped carefully shut to prevent them from doing even more damage.

Fans are killers. Why do you think that they're called fans? The word "fan" is short for "fanatic." You can't trust fanatics. Don't trust fans, either.
If you want to see the original post, check out his lunatic rants here.
As if her own scoffing at the truth weren't bad enough, Julia is in league with others opposed to fan-death theory. A certain Jennifer comments:
Wow, I'd be speechless, except I suspect the English professor is being satirical. If he isn't... well, then I really am speechless.

I think "fan death" will make it into a blog post, oh yes indeed! :)
Jennifer's skepticism even extended to doubts about my very sincerity, but Julia at least believes that I'm sincere (an important Korean virtue):
I would have thought that as well, seeing as how ridiculous his claims are, but if you read the rest of his blog entry... I don't know. I think that he believes in fan death...
At this point -- seeing that I needed to certify my sincerity -- I posted the following comment:
Yes, [Jennifer,] do blog on fan death:

"I think 'fan death' will make it into a blog post, oh yes indeed!"
Call attention to its dire threat!

Not only does it cause death, but even in small doses, it will make one ill.

Why, it's already driven me insane ... as duly noted in this blog entry [by Julia]. (Thanks for noticing.)

Indeed, I am so mentally disturbed by the etherial effects of those whirling blades that I even believe this nonsense about fan death.

I realize that this belief is crazy, but ... well, so am I.
That's the sad part, of course: I'm truly insane. Those whirling fans have driven me mad, forcing me to scribble all sorts of egregious nonsense. Yet, even my "nonsense" has more sense than non. I count five letters to three, which implies that sense wins out.

Need I remind you, therefore, that fans drove the brilliant Hwang Woo-suk to utterly destroy his illustrious career in cloning? Recall how Hwang's fans made the poor doctor look even more ridiculous?

Or note how fans are also responsible for the disgraced Shin Jeong-ah, the disgraced Lee Ji-young, and the disgraced Lee Hyun-se. How, you might ask, are fans responsible for their false academic claims? A moment's sober reflection will answer that question.

Koreans are such fanatics about obtaining higher degrees from elite universities that each year, high school graduates even kill themselves for failing to score high enough on qualifying exams for admission to Korea's top three universities. Although Shin Jeong-ah, Lee Ji-young, and Lee Hyun-se escaped almost certain death by academic disappointment, they did glimpse the abyss gaping at their feet. They faced a stark choice: either die or lie. Thank God they made the right decision, and we should respect them for choosing life.

Besides, it's not their fault that they lied. Academic fanaticism drove these three to deceive everyone! Read the authoritative words of Thomas R. Ellinger and Garry M. Beckham ("South Korea: Placing Education on Top of the Family Agenda," Phi Delta Kappan, April, v. 78. no. 8, p. 624) for what they tell us about this sort of fanaticism:
South Koreans view education as they view the rest of life: a process of winning and losing. They have no concept of a game played well for its own sake. The family emphasis on educational achievement is so strong that it has been dubbed "education mania." (quoted in Paul Robertson, "The Pervading Influence of Neo-Confucianism on the Korean Education System," Asian EFL Journal, June 2002, Volume 4, Issue 2, Article 1, paragraph 8)
And what is "education mania" but insane fanaticism? Indeed, such fanaticism made academic fanatics of Shin Jeong-ah, Lee Ji-young, and Lee Hyun-se. In short, they were themselves, literally, turned into academic fans!

But it's a fate that they share with all Koreans, for each and every Korean is secretly an academic fan for whom education -- like life itself -- is a process of winning or losing! Most, of course, lose out and grow self-destructive. I think that Korea's current, unsustainably low birth rate can only be explained as the collective suicide of all those failed educational fans. In other words, fans are killing the entire Korean nation.

Fans are truly insidious...

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At 5:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there a fan in close proximity when you blogged your police experience?

This might have been some cause for all concerned for the confusion?


At 5:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I have a fan on at all times. Not being Korean, I'm apparently less susceptible to its insidious effects, but even I struggle against its mind-depleting powers...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:29 AM, Blogger Julia said...

Would you mind terribly deleting the links from your blog to mine? It's not that I mind anything you've written--I did after call you crazy and posted my own link to your blog! ;-) It's just that my blog really only has a readership of about 3-4 people, I write and post pictures of my personal life, and I'd rather keep it that way. I'm kind of freaked out by all the people visiting my blog through yours! (My statcounter is off the charts--comparatively--because of "Fan Death"...) Please feel free to keep your posting--if you could just de-link it from mine, I would be very appreciative.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But perturbing the ether!

That can not but have profound and deleterious effects on even the most Ozarkian abetted immune system. Just the thought gives me the heebie jeebies.

I'd be taking my echinacea were I you.


At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is but one linking I've done from your site Jeff. My fears of impending doom from fan related things will keep me from hers.

I consider myself warned, this fan thing must be more widespread than even I imagined.


At 7:05 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

No problem, Julia, I've delinked from yours. I had wondered if you might not wish for the links, but since you had linked to my blog entry, I made a judgement call. I guess that I'm not a very good judge.

At any rate, just in case you were worried, I'm not offended by being called "crazy" since I'm being satirical anyway.

Besides, it gives me something to blog about.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:06 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, one can never be too careful!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:22 AM, Blogger Julia said...

I did feel quite sheepish after reading some of your other blog entries, but people who know me well will tell you that I am quite gullible. I get tricked all the time!

And thanks!

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

No worries, Julia, for other commentors have also missed my satire.

I guess that means that my satire is either really good or really bad.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first heard the term "fan death" (with no context), I honestly thought it referred to Korean gamers dying of exhaustion after playing MMORPGs for days on end. And I was thinking, "Yeah, that's totally possible. It's even happened a few times!"

Then when I learned that we were talking about actual fans and not fanatics (again, though, with no real explanation), I thought it was referring to the urban legend that kids jumping on beds could get their heads chopped off by rotary ceiling fans.

Finally I decided to Wikipedia it. I was just flabbergasted that people could actually believe something like that.

Still, I can kind of see where the myth came from. If I sleep in a room with a fan blowing on me all night, I will sometimes wake up with a cold or a stuffy nose (I also dislike air conditioning blowing directly on me, whether asleep or awake). And we all know it's only a hop, skip and a jump from a cold to death.

In all seriousness, though, all it takes is a little media hysteria to go from something not being too good for you to something killing you.

To Julia: I think you're fortunate that Dr. Hodges, while insane, is a nice guy. Any time you link to someone or something on the internet, there is always the chance that they will link back. If you really want to keep your blog private, you might consider password protecting it and giving out passwords to your audience only. Security by obscurity isn't a very good strategy.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nice guy? Me? Ah, yes, my little ruse is working. All, all are falling into my trap...

Oops, mustn't let outsiders know my secrets. I'll just hide this comment behind a code that only the select know:


Good. Now, I've hidden it from prying eyes...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had an eel for a pet?? That's ... interesting.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Actually, it was my son's pet. He got it at a street market, where it had been destined for somebody's dinner table, but my mighty son, En-Uk, broke those bonds of destiny and liberated it ... into captivity in our home, where it succumbed to a fate worse even than being devoured: fan death.

Undeterred, my son obtained two more, which have, so far, survived.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another deadly household appliance whose danger many to this day go all too unaware of is the metal toilet paper dispenser axle. If one is foolish enough to spin the roll even a few rpm’s over the safety limit, the bearings of the insidious device will begin to shoot off sparks, and the universe will stop for an instant, an eternal instant, since time will stop. The universe will switch directions and begin to contract, eventually erasing everything, or the toilet paper roll will ignite. Please, in the interest of progress, spread the word about these infernal death traps.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I take it, Daniel, that the former possibility is merely a theorectical one since, in principle, we could never know the fact if time were to stop.

But I'll keep the latter possibility in mind.

Thanks for the warning -- and I note that a spinning object is again at fault...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spinning objects are not to be trusted, let alone allowed to take jobs that belong to hard-working citizens. If only we could build a wall to keep them out..

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

We should leave them twisting in the wind.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Succinct Dr. Hodges. And via charles's remark, "security by obscurity."

Forgetting for some moments these thoughts of whirling things I recall a certain Procul Harum line, that "life is a beanstalk."

Julia, feeling sheepish and gullible is not the unique feeling as one might at first suppose. charles' observation might well have provided this one an answer to a question privately posed.

Dr. Hodges, forgive my elliptical processing. It seems I forget sometimes where I am.


At 5:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Julia may be a bit gullible, but she has an interesting blog that she shouldn't hide from the world.

And she's probably not as gullible as she imagines, for the reasoning of fan-death believers is already so ridiculous that who's to say my posts 'defending' fan death aren't sincere?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have caused some fantastic fan referrals to my site as well; my stats have gone off the charts since your link. Could that not be construed as Attempted Fan Murder?

The fans are wielding their power over you. I wish you a breezeless day...

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Lexiphanic, those stats are off the charts because I visit your site repeatedly each day just to gaze at your lovely eyes.

Fanatical fan, yes. Killing looks? Yours, maybe, but not mine...

Jeffery Hodges

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