Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sewol: Blame 'Development'

When a disaster occurs elsewhere, its easy to say that it's a shame, a terrible thing, just awful that it happened.  When it occurs much closer to home, words don't carry the same impact, seem meaningless, as the lives of those you know are affected much more profoundly.

The Sewol ferry disaster is beyond simple words of sympathy or expressions of anger.  So many young people losing their lives because of the inaction and indecision of a few who were supposedly trained to deal with situations that occur at sea renders such statements hollow in a way.

Still, the anger did rise in me today when around the water cooler Mrs. Cho went on about the sickness in Korean society, all due to excessive rapid development; in the process core Korean values were lost and forgotten, since money and fierce competition destroyed the value of life.

I kept my mouth shut for once.  I couldn't get into it, since watching the news unfold that over 300 mostly kids died pointlessly struck home as to how vulnerable we all are.  Still, this tendency for some Koreans to point to some illustrious, idyllic past, where everyone lived in harmony and helped one another, in contrast to the bustle and inhumanity of modern life, all caused by following the western plan to modernize and develop, really gets on my nerves as well as demonstrates a true lack of historical perspective.  Korean society has always been cutthroat from my readings of it, with the majority of the population constantly having to eat shit all the time: the caste system, the Nobi, a general lack of concern for life and welfare, have long been features of all civilizations, and Korea is no exception. Life in the lower classes in Korea has long been brutal and unforgiving, yet some like Mrs. Cho think otherwise. Yet to use this tragedy to grind her political ax was beyond the pale.  I generally avoid talking to her, since, well, idiots, and life is too short to spend time engaging them all; I wish I had done the same today. Next week I wouldn't be surprised if she or someone else went on about how the Sewol being built in Japan was somehow responsible for the disaster.

But enough.  Well wishes for those who have lost and suffered is the best answer.  Stop thinking about morons and their lack of empathy and understanding. 

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