Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Letter From an Avid Reader!

This morning I got this letter from what I would describe as an avid reader:

I wonder how your wife and her family would feel knowing that you look down on them the way you do.  I don't buy that you actually work in conceptual design, but pretending to have a job where you 'create' poor English slogans to put on products to dupe Asians is in bad taste at the very least.  It demonstrates simply that you are just like all the other asshole white people out there who come over to Asia and look down on your kind and generous hosts.  Your wife and her family welcome you warmly, and you respond with mocking.  You sir, are nothing more than a neocolonial ass.

Dear xxxxxxx,

Actually, this isn't the first time I have been reproached for this.  I would recommend you reread my post on what I do, and think about what it means.  But since so many people seem not to get it, I suppose I could spend a few minutes clearing it up.

Yes, I will admit that I am white, good guess, although I consider myself more pink than anything.  I don't get this white thing, when most of the Caucasians I see are actually more of a light pink than anything else.  But I digress.

When I originally took my job, the main thing I focused on was how so many waegs seemed to complain about the terrible English on products.  Can't 'they' even hire someone to copy edit?? was a common statement.

But what if it turned out to be other waegs who were churning out these products?  The reaction would generally be that it showed how politically incorrect those waegs were, taking the piss out of the local population.

But if you are one of those who thinks this way, who starts from the assumption that most of the people you see wearing those shirts, using those notebooks and what not, need to be educated and protected from being exploited in that way, well what does this say about your view of Asians?  Who is the one underestimating whom?

Also, if you are one of those who would go out and buy some crap product with English on it just to look cool without having an idea what it means, what does this say about your priorities in life?

So by creating this kind of stuff, and readily admitting that I do, hopefully a few more people will be forced to look in the mirror and examine just what exactly informs their perspective.  Or at least pick up a book and study more.

Sadly, this probably won't happen, since anger is far more nourishing than the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Do Koreans sometimes wear clothes with ridiculous English slogans on them?  Definitely yes.  Just like white people who get dumb tattoos of Chinese characters that say ridiculous stuff like the idiot above. 

If Koreans want to just look cool by wearing something with ridiculous English on it, maybe they should reassess their love of the language and reconsider the role it should play in their lives.

But to think that all Koreans are easily duped and taken advantage of by the white man, well, who is really being the neo-colonial bastard?


Anonymous said...

I'm not white. Your response doesn't deal with the fact that Asians do see you for the asshole you are. You can try to dupe us, but we see you for what you are: a loser white guy with no class.

F5Waeg said...

I figured that more than a few Koreans were hipsters, wearing shirts that say "I like the cock" ironically.

Anonymous said...
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F5Waeg said...

Wow. Ok. Anyway, my point still stands: if you think Koreans are so easily duped by the big bad white man, what does this say about your view of Koreans? Obviously you don't think very highly of your country.

Luckily, you have seen the light and can lead them into seeing the truth, right?

Roarchild said...

Do a Jake and block them so they get broed and move on.

Your wasting your time trying to get through to them and will just cause more grief you don't need.

Anonymous said...

i really enjoy reading this blog. it beats reading about people professing their love of kimchi and soju after only 2 days here. also, keep up with funny slogans. koreans i know get a laugh when they see someone wearing a ridiculous shirt just as much as i do.

Anonymous said...

"Conceptual Design". Umm, yeah anyways.The slogan thing:yes, they often make zero sense. Ask Enquired was a common one on clothing a while back. Some of them make me chuckle like "Bravo your Life". But look, these slogans in Konglish are just that. It's English FOR KOREANS. It follows their grammar, their learnt mistakes or what you could generously call their mis-readings. It is certainly not for communication as if they were using a t-shirt or whatever product to communicate with the rest of the world anyways.

Anonymous said...

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