Sunday, September 13, 2009


I don't like Flo Rida or K-pop, but this is a pretty funny video with Korean plagiarism.

"Dokdo is ours" had a funny write-up as well. The amount of plagiarized art and fashion in Korea is mind-boggling considering their relative financial clout. It reminded me of the first time I saw this MC Mong video (plagiarism starts around 0:40 or so) which is a blatant rip-off of the DJ Shadow and Thom Yorke song for UNKLE called "Rabbit in your headlights." The most obvious proof it's a rip off is at 4:20 in the UNKLE video and 3:46 in the MC Mong abomination.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reflections on a mistake

I find myself a few days away from the one year anniversary of my exodus from Korea and I'm baffled by my unimproved recollection of the trip. I've lived abroad before and experienced the cleansing properties of time on the blemishes in my memories of countries. One year after returning from Italy I had completely forgotten the heat, hostility and prurient young men, subconsciously focusing on the Uffizi, the duomo, meeting random Italian teens and hanging out well into the morning.. a laundry list of fond memories and irreplaceable experiences.
One year after leaving Korea, my memories of Korea are limited to experiences with other foreigners. My memories of actual Koreans are limited to the rude grocery employees down the street, the banality of work meetings, the incomprehensible logic of the Korean masses marching against American beef or whatever the latest faux political issue was; simultaneously hating America but depending on its army at any sign of danger, and other offenses I couldn't expurgate in my memory.
I remember arriving in Michigan, seeing my adopted Korean-American friends and being so relieved at the sight of a Korean that didn't, on some level, offend me.
I've concluded that although Korea is rife with ammunition for any person looking to dislike its nationalistic, racist, megalomaniacal, startlingly credulous existence, perhaps there's something more personal in my hatred of the country. Having been born in Korea and adopted at a young age, perhaps my hatred for Korea is in its representing the absence of everything I care for in my current life. Maybe every time I see Korea, I see myself except without my family, my money, my education, my friends, my travels and the experiences that collectively make me, me.

Or maybe I just don't like getting sneezed on. Pushed. Stared at. Feared.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Koreans Cheat

So, here's a nice post about how common place cheating is in Korea.

That being said, I have never in my life seen nor heard of the level of unethical practices on the scale that I observed in Korean schools.
Many Koreans I talk to absolutely don't believe me when I say that money in white envelopes doesn't change hands in the American system.
But in Korea, this is common enough that people actually think this is commonplace in the rest of the world. And from observing what happens in Korean schools, from listening to my students, and from getting into raging clashes with administrators as I refuse to be cooperate with such corruption directly, I know it is commonplace.