Blogospheric Navel-Gazing Re: South Korea

I think it’s highly problematic to think about or refer to a “K-blogosphere,” i.e., predominantly USian and Canadian English teachers living and working in South Korea but sure, it’s kind of a thing.

That said, IMO it’s a much better space than it used to be.  Sure, there are still some pretty stupid, it not downright racist voices out there.  And there’s no excuse for that.

But when I came to SK in 2008 (ZOMG pre-tumbr!) one of the most popular K-blogs was a guy who routinely referred to Koreans as “rice-tards” and “peasants.”  He encouraged Japanese nationalists to spout bile and racism in his comment sections (and they were happy to oblige!).  His typical schtick was to do the ching-chong-Chinaman style mockery of Koreans who spoke less than perfect English, espeically with children (his own students, natch).

The more mainstream K-blogs said literally nothing about it.  Granted, it’s not their job to police others but the downright racist bullshit coming out from this one guy was so obvious and reprehensible and the chirping of crickets in response was noticeable.

So I called him on it.  And eventually he erased the entire blog because I think deep down in his little reptile brain even he realized that any future employer, South Korean or otherwise, would pretty much laugh him out of the interview room if they realized what a vile little fuckwit he was.

The thing is, I cut my “internet teeth” on forums where that kind of talk would get you mocked, ridiculed, and banned.  So I’m not trying to point out how awesome I am as much as it was genuinely shocking to me how many bloggers in South Korea lacked what is, to my mind, basic internet decorum.

The whole point being, if you think it’s bad now I can assure you it used to be much, much worse.

Now, get off of my lawn.


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3 Responses to Blogospheric Navel-Gazing Re: South Korea

  1. Conor says:

    What we have now, while not as colourful and creative as ching-chong-chimamaning, is this pseudo intellectual racism by over educated and under appreciated kindergarten teachers.

  2. wetcasements says:

    I’m all over the place on this, but IMO big tents are good. There’s plenty of room for all kinds of thoughts and discussions. There’s no one, true way to blog about living in South Korea as a foreigner. There did seem to be this kind of weird consensus/boy’s club five years ago that doesn’t exist any longer. That’s good.

    But the ultimate problem is that somebody making the internet equivalent of fart-noises is always going to get more attention than somebody just kind of living their life and talking about it and taking pictures and such. My favorite blogs by foreigners living in Korea are “quiet” so to speak. High signal to noise ratio. Humble, even.

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