Monday, September 5, 2011

Kvetchpat of the day: Do you know South Korea?

KoreaBeat, among other places, highlighted this video by one David Dutton.



A well-done piece of work, one which tough-guy KoreaBeat himself said made him feel "a little misty-eyed with nostalgia."

But wait, to just let this blatant propaganda slide would be disingenuous, nothing more than promoting false advertising.

See, some people think I only write shiny, happy stories about people in Korea holding hands, that I ignore all that bad stuff because I'm trying so hard to protect Korea's image, whatever that means.

Well, on the off chance they're right — and they might be, if you ignore all the critical stuff I write — I thought I would print, without editorial input, the following comment from one of KoreaBeat's commenters, giving it "equal time" as today's Kvetchpat of the Day:
This video is a great example of how camera + editing = lies. South Korea is a depressing country which thinks that e-sports are better sports than real sports. It has a fast increasing gap between rich and poor. Pollution problems that are as the soundtrack sings 'poisoning your body'. The longest ongoing war in modern history with more than a million casualties. South Korea is losing it's soul as its culture is eaten from the inside out by the gaudy golden arches of Americanization. But don't take my word for it that Korea is to anyone but the most shallow tourist a depressing place, just check the suicide rate statistics...the highest in the OECD. Funny though, the video didn't show anyone throwing themselves in front of a Seoul subway train; an event that happens at least once a day here.
Hmm... perhaps I should fisk this, talk about how anyone who has been in Korea for a significant length of time knows pollution is considerably better than before, not worse, and although South Korea has a serious problem with suicide, the Gini coefficient (a measure of the gap between rich and poor) is fairly manageable, but right now my real-world responsibilities aren't giving me the time to do so.

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