Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letter from a Long Time Reader!

Hey waeg, long time reader here

Was wondering if maybe you could weigh in on the recent blackface incident on MBC.  I'm collecting data for a paper on the subject, and it would be great if you could write something sharing your thoughts on the issue.  In case you didn't know, Roboseyo and Expat Hell have written about it:



Hi *********, thanks for your missive.  I like receiving mail.  If anyone wants to send me one, feel free; the address is in profile.  Cute girls who include photos go to the front of the line.

Yes, I knew about the blackface incidents pretty much in real time, as I browse around the waegosphere on a fairly consistent basis.  Will I write something about the incidents?  Well, I suppose I am, although I had no intention to do so until I received your email.  If you are a long time reader, you know that's not my shtick.

I'm pretty sure I wrote about this once before, but to recap: I'm not about all the stuff you can read on any number of other blogs in the waegosphere.  I suppose I should, since it may drive more traffic, and I am a complete link whore.  But most of what I write about is the boring mundane crap I experience on a daily basis.  Yeah, yeah, this is part of the everyday mundane stuff, but I try to focus on stuff that I do. 

I'm glad there are many blogs out there that deal with current events.  I read them and stay informed.  It makes me happy to know that I can go to a number of sources to check out what's going on in society as a whole.

Writing about it all?  Just not my thing.

If I were to weigh in, it would be to parrot a lot of stuff that is out there anyway: I can't believe this is still happening!  I can't believe how thin skinned some Koreans can be when you talk about Korean culture or society in a slightly negative light, yet stunts like this barely raise an eyebrow!  Does this help you with your research?  I won't touch on the ethics of asking someone to write something so you can use it as a source.

For the most part though, I've worked hard to get to the point where I can't really get that worked up about that kind of shit anymore, at least most of the time.  Sure, I have my moments, but they've become fewer over the years.  Just par for the course of living in Korea it is, and I've gotten to the point where being angry all the time isn't worth it.  I'd prefer to just walk around with smug unstated superiority, exuding confidence and a devil may care attitude, since yeah, that's the way it is.

I jest.  In all seriousness, living your life in a way that will make others change their skewed opinion about you is the prerequisite.  You don't need to be no Gandhi, but getting involved in the community is a must .  I've learned that getting all worked up, talking only about the evils in Korean society, constantly making reference to stuff like the blackface incidents will do jack shit to convince people that maybe some of the opinions they hold are mired in dogshit.  It's mostly about being informed and waiting for the right moment, and when it comes, be succinct, to the point, and able to reference in a manner that doesn't bludgeon your conversation partner over the head.  That takes finesse. 

So I've filed all that stuff away for later.  I already knew a lot about the history of blackface, so I don't need to go reread all the wikipedia stuff about it. 

My girls need a role model who doesn't flip all the time over stoopid shit.  Instead, we had a conversation around the dinner table.  I went to the apartment tonight, and we talked about March 1st and what it meant at the time, the history, the situation, the whole kit and kaboodle.  Then I asked them how many people had been the leaders of the movement.  When the eldest said 33, I asked: what you don't know about number 34?  Maybe it won't hold, but I know that kind of conversation does have some lasting effect at least some of the time.

Time for some Max.

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