“Agrarian daughter”: taking Korea back to its roots?
The electronic crystal ball has shown me two words: "agrarian daughter". I see an oriental countryside. I see a carrot. I see a ballot. The future becomes clear.
Park Geun-hye, daughter of former military leader Park Chung-hee has been elected leader of the Grand National Party, South Korea's main opposition party in an attempt to shore up their image before an April 15 parliamentary election. I foresee that the party won't get quite what it was looking for.
Mr. Park is credited with transforming the country from an agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. I foresee that his daughter will refocus the country on it's agrarian roots during the campaign season--not intentionally, mind you--but by using agrarian symbolism which will be misinterpreted by the populous. She will speak of the need for "grass roots" movements, claim a "ground swell" of support, and speak of "cultivating" the GNP (Grand National Party) in order to "grow" the GNP (Gross National Product). Campaign materials will feature images of a verdant countryside, farms, and time-lapse photography of growing crops, and extol the labor of those on whom's shoulders the country is made great.
Unfortunately, since people pay very little attention to the substance of advertisements, the impression the populous will take away from the is that she was saying something about farming.
Can this future be avoided? Yes, by including a greater variety of imagery in the television spots. By juxtaposing agrarian, industrial, technical, and political images in each ad, the meaning of any part of the ad can be sufficiently diluted to ensure that they convey no incorrect impressions. The downside will be that they leave no lasting impression at all, and the party will lose miserably. The party must choose between being seen as the champion of the farmer or not being seen at all.