Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Korean in CNN International

CNN International has highlighted one of my must-read blogs, Ask A Korean:
It was originally a small, amusing project.

"I was in my third year of law school -- before the economy went to hell -- and I found people asking why Korea is this way or that," the Korean tells CNN. "I thought I could start a blog for fun."

The Korean, who prefers to remain anonymous, is the man behind "Ask a Korean!" -- a Q and A blog for people curious about North and South Korea and Korean culture.

Now an attorney who lives in the Washington, D.C. area, the Korean was inspired by "¡Ask a Mexican!," Gustavo Arellano's satirical column that's syndicated across the United States. (In the same vein, among others, there's also "Ask a Frenchman!" and "Ask a Russian.")

Since he answered his first question ("Dear Korean: Why are Korean men such awesome pool players?") in 2006, he's fielded thousands of questions from readers.

"It's almost become like a public diary. I guess the content is what makes it interesting," he said.
Perhaps if I re-introduce Ask Kushibo, I'll get on CNN. The downside of that is that it means more work.

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  1. Bring back Ask Kushibo!

    Here's my question:

    What does "Kushibo" mean? Is it 95? If so, what is the significance?

  2. Indeed, "kushibo" is the number ninety-five in Korean. And no, you are not the first one to ask that. I'll simply reprint an answer I gave for its meaning from five years ago:

    It's part of my philosophy on life. In any given group at least 95% of the people (usually more) are mostly good, decent people, while up to 5% (usually less) are bad, dishonest, vile people. The secret to life and happiness is to not let the <5% ruin things for you.

    Also there's the added (and inadvertent) fact that "kushibo" (九十五) looks just Japanese enough that some extreme knee-jerk Japan haters will go on a tirade and start calling me "Jap" or "Nip" or "족발새끼" at the first sign of anything they deem "anti-Korean," so it's fun to play with their heads.

  3. Well, there's no accounting for taste. AAK has become one of my must avoid blogs. I wouldn't read his stuff if someone paid me.

    He's simply an shockingly arrogant dickbag who considers himself an intellectual and above his audience. He gets no clicks from me.

  4. Well, I won't say I agree with everything he says, but he does bring well thought-out arguments to many important subjects. But yeah, he can be a tad obstinate and authoritative. Still, knowing him (a bit) in person, I wouldn't call him a shockingly arrogant whatever that was.


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