The comments below the original post have been really awesome, though: thanks, readers, for your contributions.
1. It's interesting to note that the person who started the "English Teachers Out" blog seems to be having second thoughts about the wild generalizations s/he made in the original post.
The writer of English Teachers Out has also impressed me, no so much with his logical reasoning, but with his willingness to put his own name and other blog address out there, after being called out by the Metropolitician.
2. As several readers pointed out in the comment: I overstated things when I said "Public drunkenness is a national disgrace"... it's fairer to say that Korea's drinking culture can be polarizing: in the comments I said:
then again, the WHO's recent report tags Korea as the world's biggest per capita consumer of spirits, and the fifth biggest per capita consumer in the world...it IS kind of embarrassing that I have to tell my friends visiting Korea, "Unless you want to see Korea in its worst light, be back in your hotel room by eleven"To qualify that, I wouldn't say that to all of my friends, but certainly to the friends of mine who don't like drinking, or who get embarrassed or upset by seeing that kind of...uh...unrefined behavior. To other friends of mine, I'd say that the drinking culture might well be the best thing about visiting Korea, depending on their position, age, background, concern about stepping in vomit puddles, etc..
So yeah. Off my puritan high horse now.
The fact remains that, the amount of public drunkenness in Korea makes the country/drinking areas ripe for the formation of blogs like this: low hanging fruit gets picked.
3. Black Out Korea seems to be plugging along unapologetically. For now. We'll see what happens next. I don't know who or how, but last year a few other K-blogs got traced to their homes by netizens, such that one told me in an e-mail that s/he even moved houses because s/he didn't feel safe.
4. Black Out Korea DOES show the faces of some of the passed out people. I was incorrect to assert that faces weren't shown.
5. Passing out in public is one thing. Taking pictures of a passed out person is another. Posing with a person who's passed out like a "trophy" - one phrase I read somewhere - is stupid and reprehensible. Whether we want to be or not, we're cultural ambassadors in Korea, because we look different, and we're making our group look like assholes with these kinds of frat-boy pranks: Korea is not one big college town, and Koreans are human beings, and those who act as if those two statements were untrue make things harder for those of us trying to make a good life here, and for those who come after them.
6. It's disheartening that after a really successful event on Sunday, talking about improving the image of English teachers in Korea, and exploring the confluence of cultural phenomena that led to English teacher scapegoating, that this has been the main focus of attention on many expat k-blogs and forums I've visited this week. ESPECIALLY when two English teacher deaths in Busan SHOULD be the subject of a rallying cry for more support for English teachers and expats in Korea.
7. Blackout Korea, particularly when it's publishing the "trophy" pictures of white people shaming Koreans, is pretty asinine, and it should be made clear to anybody that the vast majority of foreigners and English teachers think so.
However, it's not even close to the offensiveness of the worst "korean culture" blog: Texts From Korean Girls, which, while the work of just one blogger out of the tens of thousands of expats living in Korea, really takes the cake for making Korean women look like idiot whores... and by doing so, makes western men look like vile scumbags who first take advantage of them, and then laugh at them afterwards...
The only good thing I can say about Texts From Korean Girls is that it hasn't updated since October.
Come on, guys. Seriously, fucking grow up. This is the reason Wifeoseyo, shortly after telling her family she was dating a Canadian English teacher, had to have a conversation with my future mother-in-law, to assuage suspicions the had developed after reading some news reports about foreign English teachers in Korea.
And I'm done. The outliers on either side don't deserve any more attention from me. Or you.
Update: to be fair, after talking so much shit, I should link Blackout Korea's defense/explanation of what he's doing, and how it should be understood.