Surviving in Trollworld

So, Facebook’s buzzing over some idiotic opinion piece (don’t click on that link: trust me, you don’t need to read it) by one Choi Shi-yong that mostly amounts to “Korea=civilized; foreigner=uncivilized” as the theme that runs through the stream-of-consciousness drivel. There’s some particularly patronizing garbage about how sometimes they do after all… when they’re taught respect by Korean society: […]

A Side Order of Context

  Something I find fascinating is how people talk and talk and talk about diversity as if it only means different races, and not different cultures–that different cultures and the frame of reference in which they operate ought to be transparent to anyone without the slightest bit of effort or context. For example, the above […]

Bev, Gandhi, and Chinese Drivers

The other day, I posted this video on Facebook: The responses on Facebook were interesting: Note that it was in the second response that the discussion suddenly focused on stupid things Koreans say to white people, like, “Wow, you can use chopsticks!” or “Please marry someone from your own country.” The second comment. It’s interesting […]

Three Questions About Western Historiography and Korea

Another excerpt from Donald Clark’s Living Dangerously in Korea, and two three questions: Given the speed of change in modern Korea, it takes some mental effort to recall the conditions of diet, health, housing, education, and living standards that prevailed in Korea at the time of liberation. In the 1930s, for example, life expectancy was […]

Donald Clark’s Living Dangerously in Korea

I’ve mentioned Donald Clark’s book Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience 1900-1950 a few times lately (and it will certainly come up again), but I haven’t really summed up my thoughts on the book, something I’m trying to do a little more since falling out of the habit last year. Here are my thoughts…