Well, I've got a bunch of ATEK stuff on my plate, keeping me busy with this and that, so I don't have the time to give any of these posts the time they deserve: I'd love to write each one up on its own.
1. HOLY CRAP! In a post reminiscent of a previous one, I'm No Picasso was sexually harassed, and quite nearly attacked last weekend. She came out OK, but not without things getting pretty sketchy. A while ago, I asked ALTAWATSAC to write an article on women's safety in Korea, and she wrote a great one, which I wish I could link; unfortunately, her blog seems to have vanished.
So, female bloggers near and far: drop me a line, write me a letter, or leave a comment: I'd really love it if one of you would write an update to the now-defunct ALTAWATSAC's article about women's safety in Korea. I'll link you, I'll tweet you, I'll post your blog on my facebook pages. I'll tell everyone I know about you, and you can revel in all fifty (give or take) new readers of mine that I'll send your way.
2. HOLY CRAP! A young lady was assaulted and nearly scalped on the subway when an older lady decided to throw down. The screamingly outrageous incident was captured on video, and we were all left with a cautionary tale about how ugly it gets when Koreans take the Confucian privileging of seniority as license to treat others like crap. They're forgetting the other side of that Confucian age thing, if they neglect to live up to the duty of the senior: to be a role model, a mentor, a virtuous example, and to look out for the juniors.
Here's the shocking video.
Write-up at Popular Gusts, who links the always insightful Gord Sellar, riffing on an older article about subway seat entitlement from the Joongang Daily. Commentary on the video seems divided into those who think the young lady was disrespectful, who think the old lady was a disgrace, and those who think it's a disgrace that others on the subway car averted their eyes and let the whole thing play out without getting involved in the least. Count me among that third group. So much for civic-mindedness on the Seoul Subway. HiExpat may have been the first expat website to get to the video and report on it in English.
Roboseyo predicts that, within five years, in the same way that the "no gays in Korea" meme slowly died a quiet death, the same way the "Korea is one blood" meme has quietly been fading, the "We should understand: he/she's had a hard life" justification for outrageous behavior by older Koreans will run out of gas, and the backlash will begin. It's not there yet, but starting with the Namdaemun Fire, when "He's had a hard life" paled in comparison to "yeah, but that was f*****g National Treasure NUMBER ONE," I think the backlash is on its way: this video going viral is one example of the quiet backlash developing.
To be clear: many seniors in Korea ARE awesome people, and super-nice. However, it's a shame that, in the same way a few English teachers get busted for sending themselves pot brownies, and we all look bad, it's a shame that a few seniors are out doing their best to establish this stereotype of Korean seniors all being battle-axes, harpies, and general assholes.
3. Be A Good Person Finally, I got a message from a fella named John, telling me about JangHeung Area Childrens Center: he's trying to raise money for Christmas presents for the group home where he volunteers: it's a home for kids whose family lives are missing a few ingredients: one or both parents, or the kind of mentorship and role-modeling that puts a kid in good shape for the future. He's put a link, which didn't work for me in Chrome (update: link has been corrected), to the Children's Center's website, here: http://jncsw.org/jang17/ and Brian in Jeollanam-do's covered the same fundraiser, here, and his post includes information on where to send money: http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com/2010/09/collecting-donations-for-childrens.html. If you're looking for a way to make your Christmas in Korea a little more special, why not do it by making Christmas brighter for a bunch of kids who need it, instead of by tracking down a mini-christmas tree with fake snow on it in Namdaemun.
Finally, if you want me, Roboseyo to have more free time to bring my bloggy bits forward on the internet offering table, here's what you can do:
1. Join ATEK (atek.or.kr/join)
2. Become a General Member (atek.or.kr/welcome)
3. Run for the position of Communications Officer in your regional association (PMA) (atek.or.kr/officers)
And help me share the communications load, so that I can do more blogging.
Particularly, if you have training, experience, or ambitions in Journalism, ATEK communications is a place where your skills, experience, or ambition is greatly needed, would be greatly appreciated, and seriously, seriously, can be an amazing resume builder. Even if you have none of the above experience, training, or ambitions, believe me, there's stuff for you to do.
Plus, you'll also be helping English teachers.