Normalised into Indifference: MBC etc.
I think I’m normalised to a lot of the larger complaints made about living in Korea. Complaints like ‘Korea is soooo racist’ and other ones, but I’ll stick to the racist thing here because it’s topical. By topical I’m obviously talking about the video of the naïve and innocent foreigners who admitted to MBC about having sex with Korean women, which in turn encouraged further reporting of rumours about someone’s friend who may have overheard something in a Caffé Bene.
I’ve had a bit of time to think about this, but I’ll keep it short as there isn’t really much to say. I have no doubt that all that was said in the video was true. Whether it was reported on ethically and the footage actually involved the aggrieved is debatable.
Every year, at least, something like this comes out and the internet goes up in a storm of complaint. Have we not gotten used to this and learned to laugh it off yet? Not really. Facebook groups pop up and fury is shared and liked, and then any potential movement fizzles out after people’s timelines get filled with status updates about little Jimmy pissing in his pants again, or something.
I’m normalised by this because I just accept it as part of living in this country. In fact, knowing this video came out has kind of forced me into being offended by it. But, I’m not really. A little disappointed, yes, but mostly my feelings range somewhere between ‘oh well, what can you do’ and jealousy. I’ve been hearing these stories about guys getting lucky with Korean girls for years, but never have I witnessed it, which leaves me to believe… I’ll stop.
This reminds me of another little short like this, which may or may not have been on MBC also, and it dealt with the issue of English teachers without real university degrees. This time it featured an interview with a native English speaking teacher, shown in the footage to be tall and playing basketball, face blurred and voice altered to protect his identity. He admitted to teaching English without a diploma. The dishonesty of this. He probably would have admitted to having sex with Koreans too if they asked him.
Now, taking aside the fact that he sounded a bit like a gyopo (too me many gyopos have a particular sound to their voice, don’t ask me to explain it), this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s his fault nor does it point to anything particularly wrong in my view. If he got a job then the fault is with the employer and immigration (which is what OUR taxes are spent on) for not being more vigilant. When I got into a hissy fit, Herself told me to calm down because I had nothing to worry about because I had a degree and my employers knew this. This video didn’t apply to me and most Koreans were smart enough to recognise that this was not representative of the reality.
I’m not particularly annoyed by this new instalment to the vilifying of English teachers in Korea because I know it doesn’t apply to me, and any person who is stupid enough to believe the stories portrayed in a five minute slot as poorly produced and riddled with fallacy as that is welcome to their shit opinions. Just as much as I am welcome to mine.
What I will say is what annoys me about the current video being complained about is the hypocrisy it promotes. It seems to imply that the women were duped into having sex with the foreigners, like as if they were offered sweeties in exchange for a blowjob. Generally speaking, if it’s not consenting sex then it’s rape. I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest that the women who have sex with foreigners probably choose to do so. And there is a chance they enjoyed it. And there is a chance they talked about it with some of their friends. But they probably had the sense not to do it in front of a stranger on the street.
From a broader reaction point of view, this Facebook and blog anger serves no function unless there is some real action. If you’re pissed off, make a formal complaint and ask your friends to do so too. Show it to people and explain the fallacy and faults of the show (if they don’t know already). Education and positive and constructive criticism is the only way to overcome this. It takes time but with perseverance things change. The broadcast was basically an incitement to anger and shouldn’t be allowed. Bitching online won’t solve anything, unless of course we are all Korean netizens.
MBC should apologise, and maybe they will, but I can’t imagine they’ll do it in English. If they don’t apologise, why not contact their competitors as I’m sure they are as starved for content as MBC and would love to fill four minutes of their schedule with nonsense.