Tuesday, December 18, 2007



December 17, 2007

Applying the Same Rules of Logic...

Here's a mock editorial piece that could have been written by a fictional American paper, if the American public still accepted such racist, jingoist drivel:

Crazed Korean Murders Fellow Students
Cho Seung Hee was the single-most tragic mass shooting incident in American history. It was perpetrated by a Korean, who came to Our Country to benefit from its good schools and openness in allowing those around the world a new life; and this is how Cho repays America?

Korea is the #1 sender nation of foreign students to study in the United States. In South Korea, every year, students kill themselves in droves because of academic, parental, and societal pressures; those pressures obviously do not stop at America's borders.

Cho was one such family; it is rumored that his mother called him "the dumb one," as is typical in most Korean families, which only value their children as study robots, not as real people. The family-based American culture, which looks at children as human beings, rarely sees children committing suicide because of academic pressures, although there are some problems in Our society, of course.

But this is a different kind of danger, one that has the potential to take more of our children from us. How many ticking time bombs sent from Korea are sitting in Our Nation's classrooms?

Jane Doe, an expert on primary educational development from world-esteemed Harvard University, says, "I hear about these children all the time. Their parents give them tutoring, send them to Korean schools, and refuse to acculturate themselves properly. When these Koreans come to our classrooms, they are like little robots. There is something essentially different about them. Who knows when they will crack?"

This is a real threat to Our Nation's children. Without extensive mental screening of all children of Korean descent entering our country, it is only a matter of time before another Cho Seung Hee destroys more American lives.

Why do we allow Korea to continue sending its time bombs to American soil? Is this not just another form of terrorism, not too different from Al Qaeda sending its own bombs to destroy the lives of good, hardworking Americans?

Do we Americans not know that Koreans are also responsible for the worst mass shootings in world history as well? Woo Bum-gon holds that record – another Korean. Even his name suggests "bomb" in English.

What is it about Koreans and mass shootings? Perhaps it is part of what they themselves call the "thin tin pot" culture, which says that the Korean temperament is "quick-to-boil, quick-to-cool." Is this the kind of person you want YOUR CHILD sitting next to in school? A child from a country of gun killers who they themselves say are "quick-to-boil?"

Our Nation should protect Our Children from such Koreans by requiring all Korean children to undergo intense psychological testing before being allowed to continue attending Our Nation's schools and universities.

Our Nation should also prohibit anyone of Korean descent from owning guns, since we have to stop this problem of mass shootings in Our Nation. Haven't we had enough mass shootings? Do we not want them to stop?

In order to stop another Korean time bomb from exploding in the faces of Our children, this unwatched, unchecked "Korean Wave" of students with psychological problems needs to be addressed.

Because who knows when the next Korean will start waving a gun around? And will it be your child who will be next to stop a bullet? Let Korean students kill themselves as they please in their own country. They should not bring such a culture to Our Nation.

If some newspaper published something like that, Koreans would have had a field day of protest. Yet, this is just what has happened in Korea. Because of a single freak – who didn't actually break any laws in KOREA, and wasn't even an E-2 visa holder, so the new regulations wouldn't have stopped him, anyway – and a few cases of standard yellow journalism that passes as news here in Korea, we get these racist, unrealistic visa requirements.

Same logic as applied in the mock piece above. I'm glad I come from a country and culture that wouldn't allow such clearly discriminatory drivel to stand, and proved so by NOT seeing the appearance of any pieces such as the one written above appearing in any major newspapers I have heard of.

If some crazed foreigner went on a wild killing rampage, killing say 20 or so university kids before sticking the gun in his own mouth – what do you think would happen in Korea? Discriminatory laws being passed is the LEAST I would hope for, people. That day, I wouldn't even leave my apartment.

The Need to Confirm the Identity of White Foreign Mothers

Oh, this is gonna be good.

I'll channel the two dumbest lines of argument that could come from this case.

Since it's another case of "white foreigners" harming the person and the pride of the Korean race, based on this case, all overseas adoptions should stop!

Or maybe we should just subject all potential adoptive parents to drug and HIV tests, make them submit a criminal background check and their original diploma to the local consulate.

But wait, you say? The requirements are already stringent?

At Bethany Christian Services in Indianapolis, part of a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based not-for-profit adoption service with offices in 30 states, branch director Linda Wrestler said confidentiality prevents her from discussing specific cases.

She said, however, that every client or couple seeking to adopt faces rigorous scrutiny.

The case studies include parents’ written autobiographies, criminal and social services checks, verification of employment and finances, birth certificates, health records and personal references.

Because such checks are going to prevent all bad things from happening in the world, right?

December 16, 2007


I give up. You know what we should do, if we want to use the "politics of shame" to show just how stupid these requirements are? A slight affectation of a unified movement to discourage new teachers from coming to Korea might be an interesting proposition.

And in saving some newbies some trouble, and actually filling the Google rankings with advice to avoid Korea, that might result in some interesting reactions from the Korean side of things. Here's my message, which is somewhat affected, but still sincere:

Let me just say right now that the only reason I'm staying in Korea is because I have an F-4 and am not subject to these requirements. But I am ever required to give drug and HIV tests in order to work, or rip out my single original copy of my diploma sitting in a frame in my mother's home in Ohio, it will be time for me to leave this country.

I'm not going to pop a vein and allow my personal privacy to be violated, nor allow some administrative bureaucrat to slide my pristine copy of my diploma around some copy machine when a transcript with a raised seal will do.

If that transcript is good enough to get a job with the CIA, it's good enough for the fucking Korean Ministry of Education.

I've got shit I need to do here, and shit I enjoy doing here. I'm grandfathered in. I've put too much energy into this country, society, and language to quit now. That's why I'm staying. That's the only reason.

But my patience with this country has worn pretty thin, and I'm having trouble right now not going over to the "dark side" and starting to hate this place. I might have to start looking for ruby crystals for my lightsaber soon. I'm struggling with another "dark time", just as I did in early 2003, when I would hear the word "nigger" more times in a week than I had in all the time I had spent in Korea to that point (more than 3 years, actually).

Things are changing, people, and it's for the worst.

My advice for newbies interested in teaching English as a means of living in Asia, I am sad to suggest:


Korea and Koreans, no matter what is said, doesn't really want foreigners here. We are treated like criminals by the law, and in the law. The media represents us as nothing more than drug fiends, AIDS carriers, and child molesters.

If you don't want to be treated as such by the law, required to submit a criminal background check, submit to drug and HIV tests, and have to submit your original diploma just to teach in some unprofessionally-run institute or elementary school in which whatever skills and ability you have won't be respected anyway...


Japan is much more urbane and sophisticated, more global and developed, and much more able to be a place where you can enjoy your life as a foreigner.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but I've come to the conclusion that much of my ability to enjoy my life here is simply because I have an F-4, which essentially allows me to be treated somewhat like a human being here, and allows me to survive here.

If I had to have an E-2 visa, I would be giving up my rights to privacy, personal dignity, and self-respect. And I can't, in good conscience, continue to lie about a culture that I do care about, because it has become outrageously racist and xenophobic to the point that basic gestures of respect are ignored in regards to foreigners here.

I've lived here since before it was comfortable to live here (from 1994-1996) and from 2002 to the present. I've studied Korean and defended the culture and its weak points to no end, no matter how much I've offered criticism on this blog.

But I'm going to stop that now.

If you have to come to Korea on an E-2 or C-7 visa, given the ludicrous requirements and the extreme power any organization you work with will have over you, which speaks to the basic problem of a lack of professionalism and even the possibility of being exploited by your employer even BEFORE these regulations went into effect – I would warn you:


GO TO JAPAN, since you will enjoy yourself more, and not be subject to the increased level of unprofessionalism and exploitation that will be one of many side effects of this visa change.

Or, GO TO CHINA, which has a much richer cultural heritage and history that is obvious everywhere you go, and learning the language will benefit you more than Korean, anyway.

IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER IN THIS RACE, and all other things are equal, why would you choose Korea? In all honesty, right now, I can't give this country my endorsement for foreigners to come live here as teachers, unless you have "Korean blood", which Korea will recognize as your ticket to being treated like a human being.

If you have some other specific skill that will allow you to exist here on a non-teaching visa, perhaps you will also be able to enjoy life.

But if you are a nice kid who just wants to spend some time in Asia after college, or are the kind of person who is truly interested in learning about other cultures, save yourself the humiliation of jumping through these hoops only to be treated to broken contract terms, stigmatization of having to prove that you are NOT a needle-sharing, HIV+, child molester – spare yourself the indignity and frustration.

Korea isn't a country for "nice people" to just come and have an experience in anymore, but a place where only the thickest-skinned survive, those very, very desperate to teach here, or have a clear and specific reason to be here.

If you're just a nice kid from Saskatchewan or Iowa, go to Japan and China. You're much more likely to not end up bitter and cynical, like me.


Agree with those sentiments? Then in your own words, on your own blog, tell the would-be English teachers of the world to "CHOOSE JAPAN!"

What do you have to lose? You get to use the other side of that double-edged sword of Korean national pride to perhaps show just how stupid these regulations are, while doing something concrete to help raise your billable hours in the long run.

Wouldn't that be a hoot? The expat blogosphere trying to put a dent in the supply of English teachers? Korea doesn't seem to want us? Let's help out! Do your part and advocate "GO JAPAN!" today!

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