Sunday, September 09, 2007

Frack You KBS

CORRECTION: In all fairness to KBS, it looks like the line in question in this post was mistranslated, and I didn't check the original (linked below) directly, since I was blogging in a mad heat from work. So, the line in question was actually different in Korean, as Robert noted in his comment to this post. But since I don't erase posts, and one of the points of this blog is to keep an ongoing record of my thoughts on a lot of things, I print this correction and point you to the relevant correct translation here for your convenience. You can also just read it in the comments section below.

Take note, however, that my overall stance on this show, as well as my little line of invective in response to KBS's obvious agenda in undertaking this kind of yellow journalism – stands. You can read my other opinions about this subject from my last few posts
here and here.

Thanks, Korea Beat, for covering this. You are one part of helping foreigners defend themselves here by at least allowing a lot of the stereotyping that goes on behind the safe lines of the language barrier to at least get to the ears of the people in question.

And all my the schools I worked at wondered why I never allowed any Korean news crew into my classroom. Well, here's what KBS is saying:

Police claim that S would even smoke marijuana into the early morning and then go to school and teach the students. Police explained that not only S but most foreign English teachers teach English by day and smoke marijuana by night.

A source at the foreign affairs division of the Seoul Police Department said, “American and Canadian English teachers think Korea is a ‘land of opportunity.’

OK. I've known some foreign losers here. I've also come across some people whom I personally don't like. But "most foreign English teachers teach English by day and smoke marijuana by night?" I say again: "FUCK YOU, KBS."

Now, foreign English teachers aren't all saints, and yeah, a lot of us/them do enjoy the easy access to Korean women, which is a part of the draw to teaching in Asia for many young men fresh out of college and looking for adventure. But trust me – you don't need any drugs with which to "seduce" Korean women, since white skin is more than enough in many normal bars and dance clubs in Korea. Maybe that fact doesn't sit well with you, me, or some conservative, insecure Korean men – but it's a fact that there's a joking quip that white men are "issued their Korean girlfriend right off the plane at the airport."

No drugs required. All you need is decades of American movie, television, and other forms of pop culture immersion, along with an ample helping of the cultural colonial attitude best summed up as what Koreans know very well as 사대주의.

And as for the allegation itself – WHAT THE FUCK? I must apologize to my delicately-tempered readers, since my use of colorful language is rife today, but WHAT THE SAM FUCK? On what basis is that statement made, on what foundation do the incompetent Korean Keystone Kops have to make the allegation that "most foreign English teachers teach English by day and smoke marijuana by night"?!

Where does that come from? On the basis that the majority of the English teachers they arrest perhaps do so? Well, that's some pretty faulty fucking logic, if I may again engage in colorful turns of phrase. I won't even comment on how idiotic that statement is.

I will comment on how extremely far-flung from reality that statement it. Even I, after nearly 8 years in and out of Korea, after going through the idiotic Ohno-inspired "Fucking USA", the anti-American bullshit of late 2002-2003, the abominable niggeration of the Bubble Sisters, and even other stupid news coverage – even I am flabbergasted at such an irresponsible, unfounded, and so socially dangerous a statement as that.

"Most foreign English teachers teach English by day and smoke marijuana by night." Jumpin' JE-hosaphat, that is seriously wack.

That's just soooooo far from any reality I've observed here in Korea, even when the quality of foreigners was far, far, far worse than it is now, which is a VAST improvement over when *I MYSELF* found foriegners to be scary, back in the early 90's in Korea. That's when the media should have been concerned – not now.

But we all know why this is happening – AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.

Fucking Korean media – pure, Hearst-level, 1890's yellow journalism. At best, something to put at the bottom of my kitty litter box. Why I am surprised?

Next-after-next SeoulGlow episode: interviews with fellow foreigners about their reaction. And a friend or two to help with the subtitling in Korean, if you got it. We, as this constructed "community" of "foreigners", need to at least make a statement.

Fuck, I'm pissed.

If you be down, I'm considering taking this Saturday night to go to Hongdae – the spawning grounds of us evil, drug-peddling, Korean-women-corrupting foreigners – and doing interviews in the various nooks and crannies there.

Who's game?

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