Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Workin' out them issues

I found a great mail order bride site, full of highly marriagable little pearls from the Orient.

Here's a link to the catalogue.


I got dibbs on "Fog!"

She's quite the dainty one. I can already see her bringing me a nice hot cup of tea and offering to give me one of them exotic oriental massages after I come home from a hard day of work.

Tammadfinger Here's a picture of her silky hair. Nice, but a little short for my tastes. That will have to change...

Also, it kind of bothers me though that she doesn't include a picture of her feet. I definitely do not want my little lotus flower to have a pair of big ugly stompers. I long for the good old days before ugly Western Imperialism destroyed all the pure Asian traditions such as foot binding.

Geniescary3 Don't worry guys, there are still lots of other good ones left. "Jade" (pictured here) is still available. She looks like a good match for someone who needs some help around the farm or anyone who has some things around the house that just need some good bendin'.

But wait! There's more!



Merscratch4_1 Karenupsmaller_2

From left to right, we have "toy," "Vanango,""Meredith," and the last one I believe is Ozzy Osbourne's daughter, Kelly.

Hey...! Wait a minute...Oh! I get it! This isn't really a mail-order bride site at all! It's one of them sly parody things!

Well, this changes everything. Now I realize that the girls on this site are just releasing all that pent-up rage they've been storing for years against white men and their dominating ways.   

Shutupben_tn Here's some of that rage right here! Take that you Asian women subjugating, uneccesarily long penised white man!

(many more photos like that here!)

Obviously the women in these pictures are daily subjected to the unwelcomed advances of white men who stereotype them as submissive Asian women. Just look at their pictures again. Yeah, I bet white guys are just all over them.

Why else would they be so angry and include a bunch of photos of Asian women beating up white guys? I mean sure, there might a FEW women like this who might have some other issues, like being constantly rejected or ignored by white guys (or any kind of guy for that matter), but obviously that would be such an insignificant percentage that I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.

Right, I shouldn't have. Forget I even brought it up.    

And I can only imagine how angry Asian men must feel to think that we might be trying to steal such precious treasures from them. Poor guys...

This the site author's general rant against all the suffering imposed upon her by Imperial Whitey.

A choice selection:

I once threw piss (not my own, because I am a real lady-remember?) at a guy who fucked me over.

Well, no need to tell us the color of this now urine-drenched male, is there?

So let me get this straight. You took the time to find someone else's urine, bottle it, and then throw it at some guy who dumped you.

Yes, a very well-measured response. Don't listen to all those people (especially the white ones with penises!) who recommend counseling.

Cornered Here she is, cornered by a mob of white men anxious for her to fulfill their fantasies of finding a submissive Asian female to serve them and satisfy their sexual urges.

Looking at her picture, I do confess that there is a part of me that longs to take her home and have her cook my rice.

I feel so ashamed...

I'll let the site author finish this post off with these words from her "manifesto."

The idea behind my site is to catch the oppressor in the act of oppression and use my personal sense of humor as a political force. I wanted to subvert the expectations of a nasty guy in search of petite naked Asian bodies by showing him the full ugliness of "Sweet Asian girls."

Mission acomplished, my dear. Keep fightin' them racist and hateful stereotypes!


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Defender of the Hub

It's the holiday season, which means I've been extra busy furthering the American Imperialist Agenda here in Korea. But the Nomad turned me on to this letter to the Korean Herald Editor and I couldnt resist a quick bloggin.

Basically its a Im tired of all these foreigners who come to Korea and just bitch about everything and there is nothing wrong with Korea so just shut up and go back to where you came from rant.


Pictures courtesy of, which has a nice collection of Korean war propaganda leaflets from North Korean and China trying to get US GIs to make love, not war.

    I'm sure David would agree that they are appropriate here as well.

Unfortunately, the author, "David," neglects to specifically address the most common foreign complaints. Couldnt he at least mention one of the top complaints and show us why it is unfounded? Couldn't he at least admit that there are SOME things in Korea that warrant criticism? I guess not.

A few thoughts on some of the things David did choose to talk about.

"...often times foreigners come to Korea and the first thing they do is to look for places where foreigners congregate"

That's quite a generalization. I'm sure there are a lot of foreigners who first look for prostitutes or a Mcdonalds. Let's try to avoid stereotyping, ok?

So foreigners congregate around other foreigners, so what?In what country, big world-traveler David, do foreigners NOT do this? People naturally gravitate towards others with whom they are familiar. Koreans do it in the States; Bangladeshi do in Korea, and the list goes on. What standard are you holding westerners up to here? Don't you tend to hang out with other annoying self-righteous assholes like yourself? I know I do.

And just because foreigners tend to spend time with other foreigners does not mean they never have contact with Koreans. Ive yet to meet a westerner who does not have some Korean acquaintances, if not friends. Sure, some never do, but thats a minority.

Oh, and by the way, the next time (might it be the first time?) you are hanging out with some Bangladeshis or other SE Asian workers, ask them how easy it is for them to mingle with the Koreans. Im sure David has never actually met a 3D worker and found out about their living conditions and treatment by their gracious Korean employers, or how they are treated like shit by Koreans in general. I, probably like David, am treated well by the Koreans I work with thanks to my occupation and skin color (and my sparkling personality certainly helps as well). But its just ignorant to pretend that all foreigners are treated well here and should keep all gripes to themselves.


Towshongf Why ARE you all still in Korea?

Come on you stinking exploitin' ungrateful foreigners! Leave Koreans to the Koreans! 

So then David goes on to explain why Korea is such a great place to live and thus is undeserving of any criticism.

It is a country filled with beautiful traditions, many related to honor and love toward family, and respect for neighbors. 

Beautiful traditions? Yes. Korea is a very special place with beautiful traditions, just like every other country in the world (except all states in the American South; it is still ok to despise and stereotype those inbred, slaving, redneck, Jesus-freak bastards).

Honor and love toward family? Sure, some aspects of Korean households are very admirable. But then there a lot of other customs and practices that are certainly not. I really cant say Korean family values are any better or worse overall than any other country Ive lived in.

Respect for neighbors? Sorry, I dont see it. Perhaps this is true in some small towns, but David's got to back this one up with some examples. Some Koreans are respectful, but quite a few are certainly not. It sounds like David pulled this one completely out of his ass.

Most of the things foreigners complain about are the same things Koreans complain about: Lack of respect for the law, abuse of authority, following contracts only when it suits the boss, lack of respect for others in public areas, and so on. Some things suck, and its just PC nonsense to try to ignore it. I'm sure patronizing people like David think they are doing good by praising and defending Korea every chance they get, but in the long run they aren't. Would it help America, Canada, Britain, etc. if Koreans gave us nothing but praise and never pointed out our shortcomings? I'd rather have someone around who can tell me like it is (with the possible exceptions of people from France and Quebec).

I'd like to see how David would respond to Koreans living in America (or whatever country he is from) who complain about society there. Would he tell them to get a one-way ticket back to Korea? Gee, that sounds quite harsh when you put it that way, doesnt it? Kind of makes the person sound like a hateful asshole, as a matter of fact.

But then, thats just how I see things.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Stereotypes 101

Here's a little treat from one Kim Mi Kyung I found in the Korea Times.  Allow her to introduce her topic:

I teach a course on global, cross-cultural skills at a local college in Portland, Ore. To my surprise, I’m discovering that the first task in this class is the mind-bending job of teaching Americans some elementary truths about who they are.

What great expert in American studies is this Miss Kim (may we call you Professor?) who is up to this "mind-bending job" of teaching "elementary truths" about who Americans are? Let's read on.

My surprise stems from the undeniable fact that, at an important level, I certainly don’t know enough about American society to dare to teach Americans who they are. For example, my class itself knows that I mistakenly thought Lewis and Clark were Bonnie and Clyde when I went to the Oregon History Museum.

Don't feel too bad about being confused about famous people. A lot of us ex-pats here in Korea aren't sure if Noh Mu-hyun or Kim Jeong-il is the President of South Korea. All the same, allow me to politely withdraw the suggestion of calling you a "Professor."

So, you admit you don't know much about Americans "at an important level" yet you are writing an article about teaching Americans about Americans? Cool. When Americans do something like that people call us ignorant and arrogant. What words should we use for you?

Despite such wild treatments of the details, I find that not only can I teach my class what the rest of the world thinks of the country, but I must. Americans, I’m learning, have a serious aversion to basic empirical self-analysis.

Hold on a second. Let me replace the word "Americans" with "Koreans" and see how that paragraph works...hey! It fits perfectly!

One question: I thought the class was called "cross-cultural skills," not "Why the World Hates America." Getting a little off the subject, aren't you?

My first contact with this fact came on the very first day of my class, when I jotted down the most commonly observed American values. Americans, I chalked on the board, are widely supposed (or perceived) to be individualistic, competitive, self-absorbed, materialistic, obsessed with time and not overly concerned with nature. As I dashed down the list, I could hear the students gasping for air.

Wow! What a great teaching technique! On the very first day of class, go into the classroom and write a bunch of mostly negative stereotypes of your students' nationality. Excellent! You certainly have proved to us that you are qualified to teach a class on "cross-cultural skills."

All you teachers in Korea, why not give this a try? On the first day of class tell your students that Koreans are perceived as overly-emotional, competitive, materialistic, and usually drunk on soju. They'll love you for it! Don't worry about the fact that you might not actually know much about Korea. Miss Kim doesn't need actual first-hand knowledge of Americans to do it, so why should you actually need to know about Koreans before teaching them how they are?

By the way Miss Kim, are you sure that "serious aversion to basic empirical self-analysis" is not really serious aversion to some stranger labeling them with stereotypes? Think about it for a while, I'm sure you can come up with the answer.

Back to the fun!

Once the items were outlined, one of the students raised his hand and asked me, ``Are you telling me that I am individualistic and greedy?’’ He seemed genuinely perturbed. A female student jumped in telling me that ``I have read some materials on altruism and I agree with what they believe in. I don’t believe I am very self-absorbed.’’ Despite my quick caveats about the limitations of simplification and generalization, the points I’d assumed to be common knowledge seemed to be genuinely new and shocking to thoughtful residents of their land of application. what exactly are these "limitations of simplification and generalization" that you mentioned? Judging by how you decided to begin this course, I'm not sure you really understand what those words mean.

I know you are the "cross-cultural" expert and everything, but can I give you a little advice? Use of generalizations and oversimplification (which you admittedly did do, by the way) to describe another's culture the very first time you meet that person is something most cross-cultural skills experts probably would suggest one NOT do. 

Lovely irony though. I almost wish I could have been there!

Then, I flashed back to something one of my colleagues had warned me about. ``We, Americans,’’ the colleague had said, ``do not want to be described. We are not a very analytical people. If you tell us who we are, we get offended.’’

Wow! Another generalization! Perhaps you should rename your class "cross-cultural stereotypes."

Anyway, I doubt that was an American who said that because if he really were an American he would have been completely incapable of such an analytical insight.

Do go on, Miss Kim.

Being a Korean who thrives on others’ perceptions of me and/or us as a group, I had a moment of epiphany.

Word choice suggestion: change "thrives on" to "is obsessed with" and you'd be more accurate.

The class and I had a moment of culture clash. It felt refreshing.

Yeah, I bet it did. I would have loved to see the "refreshed" look on your face when you realized you had insulted and lost the respect of the students from day one of the class. Probably as "refreshed" as you feel right now reading this, huh? :)

Ok, sarcasm off, let me give some real advice to Miss Kim. It's painfully obvious that your first class didn't go so well and you are struggling to save face and justify what and how you taught. I get the feeling the article you wrote was done primarily out of a desperate need to convince yourself that you did a good job and the students, not you, are the ones to blame. You must be a moderately intelligent woman, and I'm sure a part of you deep down realizes that in a course called "cross-cultural skills" you, the teacher, displayed none of them.

But I'm here to help. If for some reason the school entrusts you with another class, try the following (seriously):

1. Start by asking the class what THEY think people from other countries think of Americans. You'll be shocked (hell, it might even be another "epiphany" for you) just how much they already know.

2. Next, ask them just how much they think the stereotypes are true. Be prepared for another epiphany when they start to criticize themselves. I know you don't know much about America, but you are in Oregon and you'll be surprised how many people there are ready to criticize Americans when approached the right way. That's the way Socrates would have done it (Socratic Method, look it up).

But most importantly, you need to clarify what your course is about and what your true aims are. Are you really trying to help them gain cross cultural skills, or do you feel some urge to make them see themselves as you do? You admit that you don't know Americans, is it not possible that some of YOUR perceptions might be a bit askew? Maybe you and the class BOTH have some learning to do.

That's what cross cultural experiences are all about, right?

You quoted Socrates later in your article ("Know thyself"). Perhaps the first thing you need to do is take that mirror you are so anxiously trying to thrust in the faces of your students and turn it around and look at yourself. Refreshing epiphanies are sure to follow.

Her email address is on the article, so being the kind and concerned citizen that I am, I emailed this post in its entirety to her. If I read Miss Kim correctly, a lengthy and angry reply is sure to follow.