www.groovekorea.com / June 2014 36 Edited by Matthew Lamers (mattlamers@groovekorea.com) COvER STORy W hen Robert Koehler reads the news from his home country these days, he is of- ten left aghast. The longtime expat, mag- azine editor and author of one of Korea’s most popular English-language blogs sees the U.S. as in the process of “going in the toilet.” “Our economy is in trouble, our politics — on both left and right — are a national dis- grace, our pop culture more or less speaks for itself and our national discourse is, well, it just doesn’t seem serious,” the self-pro- claimed “poli-sci guy” says. In fact, he has returned to the U.S. main- land just once in nearly two decades. Koe- hler acknowledges that he is probably one of those rare expatriate breeds: a “lifer.” “I have been here 17 years. This is my new normal now,” says the candid Long Island native. “Now I look at the United States, I look at an American newspaper and I’m like, ‘That’s really fucked up! I mean, how does anyone live there?’”