Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Link Rundown: Wish I had the Free Time to Write these three up Properly

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.


Anonymous said...

The kimchi shortage is driving people crazy...

I'm no Picasso said...

Rob! That's the old post you've got linked there, just so you know. Here's the new one: http://imnopicasso.blogspot.com/2010/10/even-closer-call.html

A big thank you to you, and the other male bloggers, by the way, who show a constant concern for our (female) safety. I know the link you're talking about, but I also don't have it at hand.


Glad you threw a post together on these things! They're all very newsworthy mentions & some shocking. We take Korea's safety for granted too often. And as foreigners, sometimes we feel we have no choice but trust many situations, which in the U.S. we ordinarily wouldn't (like giving your co-teacher your bank account information). Korea can distort your safety-reality, but we should nonetheless be on our guards. Dropped by Picasso's blog to read up & comment. Thanks for linking to her.

On a weird tangent, while I haven't come across Ajummas busting down on people on the trains in Daegu, today I did see some pretty scary hunchbacked ajummas physically fight w/ each other over a piece of cardboard! Jaw-dropping.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in TongYeong, which has a relatively small population of around 150 000, for the last two years. I have always felt safe because so many people, both Korean and foreign, have boasted the city as having a very low crime rate. What they don't mention is that when crimes are rarely reported, the crime rate stays low.

About a year ago, I woke up at 3 AM to the sound of a woman screaming. I went outside, where many people in our small neighborhood were gathering. The police arrived and entered the home where the screams were coming from, and they came out after a few minutes. They made an announcement to the people gathered outside. I turned to my neighbor and asked what happened. He said; "Don't worry. Police say it's his wife, so no problem." Everyone went home. No arrest was made.

A few months ago, a Korean hogwan teacher was mugged; she was shoved violently and her purse was snatched. She never reported it to the police.

Last week, my co-teacher was followed home by a man. She locked her door, but the man climbed a fence to her second story window, broke in, and attacked her. The police were called, but despite CCTV presence on every street corner in the neighborhood, they have not found her attacker. They've also accused her of making the whole thing up. She now regrets calling the police.

I guess my point is that people in smaller cities tend to let their guard down more easily. Thanks for doing your part to help women get informed and stay safe.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Before I waded into that spat on the subway, I definitely would have weighed how it would seem to the others: a giant, horse-faced foreigner laying hands on a couple of Korean ladies.

Anonymous said...

KRD is back? damn, is he that retarded?

Roboseyo said...

If you actually read it, anonymous, you'll find that David S Wills' blog is a totally different blog than KRD. Settle down there and give people a fair shake.

T.K. (Ask a Korean!) said...

I have been rousing some rabble at GoPF on this -- I think the girl in the subway deserved a hard slap in the face. Being an Anglophonic defender of Confucian virtue is a lonely position.

My wife's reaction was the best: "If the girl gave up her seat like she was supposed to, none of that would have happened." That's the A+ answer.

gordsellar said...

It's actually an A- answer, primarily because the spat wasn't about the woman not yielding a seat. It's not normative in Korea for older Koreans to demand younger ones to yield seats in the middle of the car anyway -- they take the seats on the end -- and besides all of that, the old woman has a reputation as a violent nutter. So no, it's not an A+ answer at all.