Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oh, brother.
Great. There's a new kerfuffle here in magical Korea. Basically, there's this site, English Spectrum. It's advertised pretty heavily in Seoul (I've seen several large posters during my rare trips to Itaewon), and it's basically a place for foreigners to find jobs in Korea and chat and so forth. So far, so good.

Now, I haven't really used their job services, but I can tell you that their message boards are quite an ugly story. I spent a few minutes clicking around in their unmoderated Fun Forums, and it was...well, it was some of the most virulent, hate-filled crap I've ever seen. This was far beyond the 'Oh I am bored with Korea LOL'-level stuff I normally see -- this was heavy-duty, Aryan-level propaganda stuff. Very dark. In addition, they also had a message board area called Ask The Playboy, in which the cream of the ESL circuit would write for advice on, for example, scoring with married Korean women, and receive advice back along the lines of make sure you know the husband's work schedule. It was that bad.

Now. This being a highly-publicized website, in Korea, used by both Koreans and foreigners, it was only a matter of time before somebody wrote a newspaper article about it. How about that! And wouldn't you know it, Koreans don't like websites depicting Korean women as desperate and easy! Wow! Anyway, the Koreans flooded the site with roughly seven million yankee go home~~!!!-messages, the site's down for 'retooling', and I'm left scratching my head. Let's see: who's stupid here?

1. The Foreigners on the Boards: Hey, credit where it's due. I've seldom read a message board more vitriolic and hateful than the Fun Forums. I've seldom read more creepy horndog advice than Ask The Playboy. It's two, two, TWO cesspools of banality in one!

2. English Spectrum: I know! I'm going to start a website/company in Korea, give an open mike to the biggest idiot I can find, and allow completely unmoderated anti-Korean hate speech in a conservative, foreigner-phobic country! I'm teh genius!

3. Joongang Daily: Uh, guys...FYI: People being stupid on the Internet is not news. Unless you're trying to whip up the local population into a frenzy just to sell a few papers (you wouldn't!), you're just continuing the perennial Korean pastime of pointin' the anti-heugugin finger. You might be able to milk a candlelight vigil out of it, sure, but was it worth it? Oh, it was? Never mind, then.

4. The Playboy: Yeah, he was mentioned at #1, but let's give him special recognition. "Don't get caught" is NOT lifestyle advice.

I guess I'll change the bio I give strangers until this all blows over. Why, I'm Jean Claude, a student from Paris! Although Korean women are charming, I believe that the races should stay separate...and stuff.


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