November 3, 2009

How South Koreans feel about Americans

From the NYT;

Today, the mix of envy and loathing of the West, especially of white Americans, is apparent in daily life.

The government and media obsess over each new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to see how the country ranks against other developed economies. A hugely popular television program is “Chit Chat of Beautiful Ladies” — a show where young, attractive, mostly Caucasian women who are fluent in Korean discuss South Korea. Yet, when South Koreans refer to Americans in private conversations, they nearly always attach the same suffix as when they talk about the Japanese and Chinese, their historical masters: “nom,” which means “bastards.” ...

Ms. Hahn said that after the incident in the bus last July, her family was “turned upside down.” Her father and other relatives grilled her as to whether she was dating Mr. Hussain. But when a cousin recently married a German, “all my relatives envied her, as if her marriage was a boon to our family,” she said.

The Foreign Ministry supports an anti-discrimination law, said Kim Se-won, a ministry official. In 2007, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that South Korea adopt such a law, deploring the widespread use of terms like “pure blood” and “mixed blood.” It urged public education to overcome the notion that South Korea was “ethnically homogenous,” which, it said, “no longer corresponds to the actual situation.”

But a recent forum to discuss proposed legislation against racial discrimination turned into a shouting match when several critics who had networked through the Internet showed up. They charged that such a law would only encourage even more migrant workers to come to South Korea, pushing native workers out of jobs and creating crime-infested slums. They also said it was too difficult to define what was racially or culturally offensive.

“Our ethnic homogeneity is a blessing,” said one of the critics, Lee Sung-bok, a bricklayer who said his job was threatened by migrant workers. “If they keep flooding in, who can guarantee our country won’t be torn apart by ethnic war as in Sri Lanka?”

Generally speaking, rescuing your country from conquest and then garrisoning your troops there for half a century to prevent another war doesn't make you popular. The French loved us when we owed them a favor for the Revolutionary War, but us bailing them out in two 20th Century wars has reversed their feelings. Thus, President De Gaulle kicked American troops out of France in the 1960s, which probably helped turned down the emotional temperature.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

82 comments:

Underachiever said...

Benjamin Franklin said, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged."

Because of cognitive dissonance, doing someone a favor increases how much you like them.

Anonymous said...

"Because of cognitive dissonance, doing someone a favor increases how much you like them."

I don't think it's merely cognitive dissonance. If you feel like you "owe" someone, that person has power over you. If someone "owes" you, you have power over them.

Think about it this way: whose phone call are you going to return, the guy you owe $1000 or the guy who owes you $1000?

Anonymous said...

The USA should send its troops home. Let S.K. fend for itself. It has twice the North's population and a GDP 40 times bigger.

douchbag said...

"...recently married a German, “all my relatives envied her, as if her marriage was a boon to our family,” she said."

I don't think they would had said the same thing if she married some guy from africa.

So, if evolution is what drives human differences. Why would some asians(and there are many asian women & men) like to marry some guy from europe. I mean, his genes are not as adapted for the korean climate, as a native born korean, or even maybe someone from the equator.

How does this makes sense from an evolutionary point of view? Wouldn't evolution dictate that she would not want someone from europe or anywhere else but her own ethnic stock?

Harper said...

This is somewhat misleading.

White Americans are very much at the top of the foreigner/non-Korean heirarchy over there. Though the rowdy bar hopping GIs and some of the sketchy American English teachers have a bad rep and this spills over sometimes to the rest of the US expat community.

Also I believe the polling data shows that a majority of Koreans are favorable to the US and to Americans.

Deckin said...

I'm sure others have hit this by now, but how did you pass up the differential treatment in Ms. Hahn's family depending on whether the outbreeder took up with a German or a Pakistani? Those silly Koreans, so damn unpredictable!

Dutch Boy said...

I spent 16 months as a GI in Germany and I can assure you that American soldiers are not good ambassadors. It's no wonder the Koreans feel as they do.

l said...

Soldiers -- late teens, early twenties macho males whose IQs tend to be sub-average -- tend not to make good cultural ambassadors.

anony-mouse said...

What's going to happen if North Korea collapses? Then South Korea will really be in for a deluge of migrant workers-with no ethnic homogeneity arguments to protect them

SGOTI said...

Soldiers -- late teens, early twenties macho males whose IQs tend to be sub-average -- tend not to make good cultural ambassadors.

Ahh, some good condescension. While I don't disagree that youg folks in general don't always make great ambassadors and many of the GIs over there are macho (many of the toops are combat arms: infantry, armor, cannon cockers, etc.), they're definitely not sub-average IQ.

First, the combat arms (except gun bunnies who serve the guns, not the observers/fire direction guys) tend to get the brighter lot. And GIs are most likely above-average compared to the rest of the populace, as the military is one institution that still tests IQ for admittance.

Put a like number of a similar age cohort of civvies in general- or even just college students- over there with money to burn and high pressure jobs, and you'd probably see a whole lot worse.

jody said...

huh. i heard the exact same things about south korea in 2006 from some guy living there. he said on the television they put up numbers comparing south korea to other nations and then they get upset and throw a fit that south korea is not the best, blaming it on everything and everybody else.

must be where they get their emotional ammunition for all their well organized, frequently staged riots.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you occasionally make these posts as part of your argument that foreigners hate us, and that therefore we should withdraw our defense commitments. This is a bit childish, as though we should expect every other country to react to Americans or to our government with the same bonhomie one might imagine a GI would have received in an English pub in 1945. I don't see anything in the article that confirms any sense that Koreans "hate" Americans, other than an unsupported allegation that Koreans refer to us disparagingly.

1) South Koreans are aligned with us, and if nothing else the success of South Korea is an effective argument for many reasons right-wingers ought to support, as they are religous Christians, prosperous through free enterprise, and have immunity to multiculturalism. Furthermore, they did prosper without the premature introduction of democracy.

2) South Korea is in one of the most strategically important parts of the world -- you might argue about Afghanistan, but maybe you have heard of Taiwan, China, North Korea or Japan? Haven't events in these countries had a major influence in the course of the events of the last century? Don't they maintain the potential to influence the course of the next one?

3) Even if the opinion of rank-and-file Koreans was anti-American, which I don't see any evidence for, it's the opinions of the elites which matter. Does American public opinion have anything to do with our foreign policy?

4) Of course, there will be some resentment against the power and wealth of the United States. Don't confuse envy with opposition.

5) Has the South Korean state taken actions that are inimical to the United States? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"So, if evolution is what drives human differences. Why would some asians(and there are many asian women & men) like to marry some guy from europe. I mean, his genes are not as adapted for the korean climate, as a native born korean, or even maybe someone from the equator."

Well, what Evolution forgot to account for was the invention of modern technology in the form of being able to travel vast distances. Just kidding.

Evolution doesn't "plan things out" ahead of time. Evolution only makes use of that which works. And that which does not, those individuals die off. So if modern travel allows Korean women to meet Euro men and breed, the offspring will be what they are and will live or will die. If they live, they'll likely breed. If they die, they die.
Since Korean women, for most of humanity's existence, had no access to Euro men, whether or not the offspring of such union would more or less fit, more likely to live or die, was never an issue that evolution has operated on.

Joseph Dart said...

I tend to agree with SGOTI. 20-year old soldiers may be bad for America's image, but 20-yo ESL teachers are worse. (20-yo i-banksters would be a total PR disaster, but fortunately most of them are in Hong Kong or Tokyo, not Seoul).

Any kid will do something royally stupid once or twice, especially when he's far from home. But the ESL teachers don't have superior officers to chew them out and make them scrub latrines with a toothbrush.

The famously-polite Japanese are so fed up with stupid American civilians holding Halloween parties on subway trains that they went out and held a protest about it:
http://www.japanprobe.com/2009/11/01/anti-foreign-protests-in-tokyo-on-halloween-night/

nancy pelosi said...

REAL AMERICANS DON'T GIVE A CRAP WHAT THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS OF THEM.

they never have and never will.

bravo i say.

it's only the continent hopping trans-nationalists who are obsessed with (mostly elite) opinion in other countries. ny times readers might give a damn about a s. korean suffix denoting bastard status for certain foreigners.

anyway this ponzi economy is going to crash and OOPSY DAISY those troups on the 38th parallel are going to be returning stateside soon.

by the way steve why don't you revisit that sick WORLD POLICE movie by the south park geniuses from 2002. nice little time capsule there encapsulizing our national insanity.

Anonymous said...

douchbag:
Why would some asians(and there are many asian women & men) like to marry some guy from europe. I mean, his genes are not as adapted for the korean climate, as a native born korean, or even maybe someone from the equator.

I hope you're not confusing Korea (temperate central-europe-type climate) with Vietnam (tropical).

Anonymous said...

France taking a back seat at NATO and asking US forces to leave France has a lot more to do with the fallout from the Suez operation than it does about French disquiet about their debt to the US.

Britain & France decided to slap down an uppity Arab state - Egypt - and the US told them to desist. One of those events where certain parties are allowed to conduct themselves in one way and others are held to a different standard.

Its often forgotten that Israel also took part in the attack on Egypt - the last time the unsinkable aircraft carrier was used in support of a western operation. Something America's greatest ally has never done for the US.

Not surprisingly the French werent happy and the rift that followed has a lot do with that. Otoh the Brits decided to suck it up.

Anonymous said...

Douchbag wrote
"So, if evolution is what drives human differences. Why would some asians(and there are many asian women & men) like to marry some guy from europe. I mean, his genes are not as adapted for the korean climate, as a native born korean, or even maybe someone from the equator."

Obviously you've never been to South Korea. Seoul in winter is on average much colder than London. So by your theory, someone from Europe would be better adapted to Korea than someone from India or Africa.

RKU said...

Generally speaking, rescuing your country from conquest and then garrisoning your troops there for half a century to prevent another war doesn't make you popular.

Well, don't forget those big news stories that came out a year or so ago, revealing that during the first few weeks of the Korean War, American troops and S.K. forces under their overall command had massacred approximately 100,000 Korean civilians, mostly refugees or families "suspected" of having Red sympathies. These harsh secrets had been kept from the public eye for an entire half-century, but were apparently widely known or believed among lots of ordinary Koreans.

I'm no great expert on WWII, but I don't think the Nazis massacred anything like 100,000 total civilians in Western Europe during all their years of military occupation.

Presumably, the Nazis were therefore pretty peeved at all the nasty things the Western Europeans said about them after Liberation...

Professor Mumbo said...

"In 2007, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that South Korea adopt such a law, deploring the widespread use of terms like 'pure blood' and 'mixed blood'."

I remember when the U.N. made that same recommendation to polar bears.

Anonymous said...

The Koreans can think whatever they want about us over there in Korea.

The most important thing is that they remain over there in Korea and do not immigrate over here to North America.

Tanstaafl said...

Yet, when South Koreans refer to Americans in private conversations, they nearly always attach the same suffix as when they talk about the Japanese and Chinese, their historical masters: “nom,” which means “bastards.”

We have a bigger problem closer to home, with "Americans" in positions of power who openly refer to us as "racists", by which they mean "subhuman".

Mr. Anon said...

"RKU said...

I'm no great expert on WWII,...."

Apparently.

".....but I don't think the Nazis massacred anything like 100,000 total civilians in Western Europe during all their years of military occupation."

They easily killed that many. And why are you exluding eastern, central, and southern Europe?

Harry Baldwin said...

“Our ethnic homogeneity is a blessing,” said one of the critics, Lee Sung-bok, a bricklayer who said his job was threatened by migrant workers.

Ah, thankfully we are blessed with the really high-minded Koreans like Harold Koh, whose parents immigrated here to escape the turmoil of their homeland. As a Yale law professor, Harold worked tirelessly to secure refugee status for every last Haitian who wanted to float over here in an inner tube or leaky fishing boat. Harold Koh, now an Obama legal advisor.

Anonymous said...

None of this matters - South Korea is already effectively extinct:

List of countries and territories by fertility rate
en.wikipedia.org

South Korea, UN, 2000-2005: 1.24
South Korea, UN, 2005-2010: 1.21

South Korea, CIA, 2000: 1.72
South Korea, CIA, 2008: 1.20

Mark said...

The most important thing is that they remain over there in Korea and do not immigrate over here to North America.

I can't claim to know tons of Koreans, but ALL of the dozen or so I've known since childhood (i.e., Koreans who've been raised in the US) have married whites - even the Korean guys. There probably isn't a single other non-white ethnic group nearly as likely to assimilate into US culture as the Koreans. And, ahem, they do it better than certain white ethnic groups, too.

As for Koreans in Korea? They're living in one of the world's most densely populated countries. You'd expect them to go a little crazy.

None of this matters - South Korea is already effectively extinct

It also has a population density of 1,260 people per square mile, nearly twice as high as Great Britain. The difference? South Korea's not allowing itself to be overrun by foreigners. SO I don't think the place is going to be running out of Koreans anytime this millenium.

Middletown Girl said...

I suppose South Korea is facing the same issues that Western nations faced decades ago. Difference is Western nations confronted them from a position of strength and guilt. They were the richest/most powerful countries in the world--and confident and conscientious enough to come to terms with their 'historical crimes'. South Korea is now a developed country but has always been a politically weak country--occupied by Japan, and then wedded to great powers like USSR, Red China, or the USA. So, Koreans may still feel that they are a colonized people. (Japanese feel this way too in some way as though Japan had been under Western imperialist pressure since Matthew Perry's ships arrived.) Also, Koreans are less likely to feel guilt as they've never conquered and/or enslaved other peoples, nor had a sizable enough minority in their midst--like blacks in the US or Jews in Poland. Even when they are nasty and vicious, Koreans may see everything through prism of victimhood and powerlessness. In this sense, they share something with blacks and Jews whovealways insistdc on their victimhood and suffering--even when blacks burn down cities or even when Jews raze Palestinian homes. But, the difference between Koreans and Jews/blacks is that Korean problems are limited to Korea whereas black and Jewish politics and agenda have global import and repercussions.

On the other hand, it could well be that Korea might follow in the footsteps of the West. The article suggests a generational conflict between older people who knew and grew up in a homogeneous Korea and a younger generation hooked to globalism via internet and pop music. Of course, there could be conflicts among young people too: the prosperous globe-trotting liberal/intellectual/yuppie types and those who've fallen through the cracks and feel resentful about having to compete with 'dirty' foreigners.

I'll bet Koreans are like Chinese and Indians in sending many of their students to the West. This means that the educated elite in South Korea will come under greater influence of 'multi-culturalism' and 'progressive' ideas. They may be more eager to please and win respect from foreigners than be sensitive to the passions and prejudices of their own people. Since East Asians are followers than innovators, their social policies may well follow the Western model for both good and ill. A more tolerant and open-minded society is certainly better, but when the DIVERSITY CULT takes over, big trouble ahead.

The article suggests that Koreans aren't necessarily against race-mixing but have mixed feelings about it. They feel superior to some races, inferior to others. They feel resentful toward the 'superior', contemptuous toward the 'inferior'.
Or, maybe the main issue isn't racial superiority/inferiority but racial comfort. Perhaps for many insecure or anxious Korean people, their Korean identity is all they have--their country isn't just a nation-state but more like a big family living in one big house in which foreigners can only be bothersome guests if they stick around for too long. Since Korean society/culture is all they know, many Koreans could be annoyed and threatened by having to deal with funny, strange, and/or weird foreigners(who don't know the rules inculcated in all Koreans from childhood). In the non-individualist East, one can(or must) lose oneself in the larger culture/crowd. But, when a unified and common culture--as in Korea or Japan--dissipates, one is surrounded by cultural strangers and forced to assert oneself individually--like people in NY or LA. Problem is East Asians were not raised to think or act that way. Some cultures are more comfortable with individuality; others are not. For a people accustomed to a stricter sense of social place, decorum, and hierarchy, the prospect of a society where people must be individuals judged by his wits and personality may be distressing. Sheep don't want to forced to behave like wolves. In MERRY X-MAS MR LAWRENCE, Tom Conti says Japanese went crazy because they are an 'anxious people'. Maybe, Koreans too.

Anonymous said...

Anon:"None of this matters - South Korea is already effectively extinct"

Yes, that is what happens to every single nation which becomes overurbanized and overpopulated. Almost half of Koreans live in Seoul or its metro area...

Also, it is worth noting that almost half of Koreans profess no religion.

James said...

Mark writes: "You'd expect them [South Koreans] to go a little crazy."

Well, when South Koreans go crazy, they really go crazy. I mean they do not muck around with half measures. This South Korean policeman, in 1982, had an argument with his live-in girlfriend, so, failing to score an outright victory in that conflict, he went out and exterminated 56 people:

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/29/world/around-the-world-south-korean-shootings-lead-minister-to-resign.html

John Seiler said...

GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, while Hyundai thrives, as broke U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab for the defense of rich South Korea from impoverished North Korea. Need another definition of insanity?

Joseph Dart said...

@Mark "South Korea's not allowing itself to be overrun by foreigners."

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/08/06/2009080600243.html

1.1 million (~2.2% of the population) as of August. Maybe not "overrun" yet, but within spitting distance of some of some Western European destinations like Finland. And more importantly, the number of foreigners is growing fast: doubled in three years.

Like James said, when Koreans decide to do something crazy, they don't take half measures. And it looks like the South Koreans (or at least their elites) have gone crazy for multiculturalism.

Anonymous said...

The NYT article is very sensationalized, inaccurate and misleading on many fronts. The piece has been written with a leftist agenda in mind, cherry-picking negative anecdotal incidents to lend credence to its liberal ideology.

- The historical depiction of Korea as a shrimp squeezed between two giants informing its national psychology: fiction. Japan was always considered a 3rd world power prior to its industrialization. What informs its national psychology is its recent industrialization, national division, pawn of power-politics and legacy of colonization.

- Repeated invasions by "bigger neighbors": false, and a gross exaggeration. The only bigger power has always been China. Aside from the occasional menace from northern barbarians and pesky Japanese pirates, the region was characterized by relative peace.

- Korean racism as a function of skin-color: false. Koreans are "classists", not racists in the Western sense.

- Korean hostility towards foreigners: exaggeration.

- Koreans calling everyone "bastards": gross mistranslation. "Nom" means "person" or "boy". The level of hostility expressed through it depends on the speaker's tone. Nom is not considered a curse word.

Middletown Girl said...

"Nom is not considered a curse word."

Can I go to Korea and say "Hey Nom, how are you doing?"

NYT says it means 'bastard', you say it means a 'person'.
Both of you can't be right.

Or, is it a word that can have both positive and negative connotations... like 'dude'?

Notice one can say "hey dude" in both a friendly and hostile manner, as in 'hey dude, get out of my way' or 'hey dude, what's happening?'

hildebrand said...

- Koreans calling everyone "bastards": gross mistranslation. "Nom" means "person" or "boy". The level of hostility expressed through it depends on the speaker's tone. Nom is not considered a curse word.

Yeah, "nom" is very vague and hard to translate. It's not exclusively negative. It can mean something like "guy" and can be used in a positive sense as well. "Person," "boy," "guy," "dude," etc., are all possible translations of the word.

Middletown Girl said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that NYT is just sharpening their ideological knife on S. Korea as a preparation for a bigger assault on China. Many liberal Jews may see China as South Korea on steroids. China is also largely homogeneous, an economic giant growing bigger by the day, nationalistic, 'xenophogic', chauvinistic, male-dominated(despite decades of communist orthodoxy), and a challenge to the liberal Jewish global order. Not only is China much bigger than South Korea, it is politically independent. However South Koreans may feel about Americans, they must know that without US presence in the region as an impartial and generally fair-minded peace-keeper, South Korea will be sandwiched by a non-democratic China with no respect for human rights and a potentially re-militarized Japan which still hasn't face up to its imperialist and war-time deeds. One could argue that the 20th century was an anomaly in Korea's history. Traditionally, for 1000s of yrs, it had been a tributary state of China--albeit more harmonious in this role than Vietnam, which was often at war with China. This changed in the 20th century, with Japan becoming the major foreign power and presence for Koreans in the first half of the century. In the second half of the century, the northern part of Korea became close to USSR while the southern part became close to the US.
One could argue that Koreans--at least those in the South--never achieved so much economically, socially, and politically(even a working democracy)as under the protection and guidance of the USA in this period. If Chinese power grows and grows and if US withdraws from its 'empire', Korea will return to its traditional role as a tributary state of China.

And, if Chinese economy keeps developing, Korean companies--auto, cell phones, electronics, computer parts, etc--won't be able to stay ahead of the game. Korean economy will be subsumed into the Chinese, and Koreans will have to play ball with the Chinese to survive. If Japan will have decisive technological and scientific edge over the Chinese for the forseeable future, it's possible that China will overtake Korean technological edge in 10-20 yrs.

So, critiquing the problems of Korea could really be a roundabout way of bringing attention to the social ills of and ideological problems posed by China. If South Korea, a nation of 45 million is such an unpleasant place despite the wealth it has accumulated, think of the nasty horrors of BIG CHINA whose main ambition is not only to become a giant economic version of Korea, Taiwan, or Singapore but even to become a superpower.

Anonymous said...

"Nom" is an informal word. Used negatively it could something like "jerk" or "bastard." "Bastard" would probably be the most severe use of the word. "Nom" isn't extreme enough to mean, say, "f*cker" or something.

Used neutrally or positively it can mean "guy," "dude," "fellow," "chap," "person," "boy," etc.

The word itself doesn't really have much meaning or content. If one had to narrow it down and be really specific about it, one would just say that it's an informal word meaning "person" that's generally accompanied by an adjective and spoken in a certain tone that conveys that actual meaning.

Anonymous said...

Middletown Girl,

Not only is the "nom" translation incorrect, the allegation that Koreans "nearly always" call foreigners "nom" in private is an unfounded presumption by the author.

I contend that it is categorically false.

Moreover, if you are familiar with Koreans, you would know that they are more likely to call you "bastard" in front of your face than behind your back.

Walter said...

And, if Chinese economy keeps developing, Korean companies--auto, cell phones, electronics, computer parts, etc--won't be able to stay ahead of the game. Korean economy will be subsumed into the Chinese, and Koreans will have to play ball with the Chinese to survive. If Japan will have decisive technological and scientific edge over the Chinese for the forseeable future, it's possible that China will overtake Korean technological edge in 10-20 yrs.

For what it's worth, Goldman Sachs recently put out a report arguing that a United Korea (South Korea and North Korea united) could surpass Germany or Japan economically in the next 30-40 years.

Full PDF of the Goldman Sachs report can be found here.

nousilbruil said...

Yeah, Frenchies are still smarting from the hiding the Wehrmacht gave them in WWII. But then that was payback for WWI which the Germans felt they should have won had the desperate Brits and Frogs not called in the US cavalry.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Anon;

"South Korea is one of the most strategically important countries in the world"...

S.K. is of no strategic importance to America at all.

Black Sea said...

For whatever it's worth, a Korean student once commented in my class that young Koreans are told if they produce offspring with non-Koreans, their children are more likely to be retarded and/or physically deformed.

Truth said...

""Nom" is an informal word. Used negatively it could something like "jerk" or "bastard." "Bastard" would probably be the most severe use of the word. "Nom" isn't extreme enough to mean, say, "f*cker" or something.
Used neutrally or positively it can mean "guy," "dude," "fellow," "chap," "person," "boy," etc...."

It's probably a little like "Sport."

Anonymous said...

In recent years, there seems a trend to report all the negative feelings of Koreans toward Americans. Two things I can attest to in the past 8 years (within this window of negativism):
1-Korean war vets honored by Korean immigrants at a Korean culture celebration.
2-Chants of Korea-USA when the Korean soccer team guaranteed the advance of the US soccer team during the world cup held in Asia 8 years ago.
What is the chance of any other nation on earth chanting the name of another during their advance in a sporting event?

Dutch Boy said...

My brother was an MP in Korea and has a wealth of anecdotes about the place. He told me that the Koreans have a well-earned reputation for "going postal" and that there were numerous instances of Korean soldiers running amuck with their M-16s while he was over there. My favorite story though was the one told to him by an MP captain. Seems this captain was driving thru Seoul with a Korean officer in a brand-new Jeep (this was the 70s)when a motorbike zoomed out of an alley and they struck it full on (Koreans often dashed in front of American military vehicles in hopes of getting an injury settlement). The driver of the bike sailed over the Jeep and ended up unconscious on the street. The Korean officer stopped the Jeep, walked to the front to survey the damage, uttered a Korean obscenity and threw the motorbike up on the sidewalk. He then walked to the rear of the Jeep, kicked the unconscious motorbike driver and then dragged him up on the sidewalk. After they resumed their journey, the American asked him if they ought to call an ambulance. The Korean officer replied: "all taken care of."

Leif the Unlucky said...

SGOTI wrote: Put a like number of a similar age cohort of civvies in general- or even just college students- over there with money to burn and high pressure jobs, and you'd probably see a whole lot worse.

That already exists. The Foreign English Teachers (ESL teachers). Several tens of thousands of Westerners teach English in South Korea. It is mostly white males. The average age is probably about the same as the U.S. soldiers there.

Most Americans are basically unaware of the ESL industry in Korea, and they assume that the only way Koreans have any exposure to Americans is through the U.S. military presence. In fact, the downsized USFK presence is much less significant than the ESL presence these past 15 years. The 25,000 soldiers are on-base most of the time, are highly concentrated in certain areas, and are probably a bit fewer in number than the English Teachers now. The ESLers are ubiquitous, in every city and neighborhood, and have daily interaction with Korean children.

I can tell you from personal experience as a veteran of Korean ESL that there is a sizeable subsection of utter clowns among the white-male ESL teachers. Most who went there to teach were decent people, but enough are such cringeworthy buffoons that it'd make any honest man quite ashamed to be white and in Korea, as we are going to be associated with such people.

The Korean ESL industry is corrupt, incompetent, crooked, and ugly inside and out, and rakes in billions of dollars. A certain number of apathetic, beer-swilling, lazy, inept, predatory skirt-chasing, white losers just thrive in the system, though. A big part of Korean anti-Americanism can be directly attributed to that type of ESL-'teacher', especially considering the latter's ubiquity. USFKers are mostly out of sight, out of mind; ESLers are everywhere.

The Korean press bears this idea out. In online forums for the ESL teachers in Korea, those who know Korean occasionally post translations of the Korean-language press. Let me tell you, reading those translations gives a new double-entendre-ish meaning to the phrase "Yellow Journalism". Every few days, the major dailies in Seoul manage to scoop up more shocking news about what a plague on mankind these English teachers are, printing baseless rumors and accusations, blanket statements, unbelievable-testimonials, and basically group-slander.

If one goes by the Korean press, the average white man is a potential-child-molesting, AIDS-infected, needle-drug-using, potential-rapist, is someone who is in a constant sexual frenzy for Yellow women -- he tricks them into bed, leaving them with multiple STDs then is never seen again, is someone who cannot go 8 hours without getting drunk and is unable to show up to work both sober and non-hungover, who is a petty criminal, who is vulgar and disgusting in his personal habits, who is stupid and lazy, and so on.

Leif the Unlucky said...

None of this matters - South Korea is already effectively extinct:
South Korea, UN, 2005-2010: 1.21


Effectively extinct?? That is asinine. Anyone with any cursory knowledge of the country would know that anything above those kinds of TFRs would be a disaster for quality-of-life in Korea. It is small (S.Korea is the size of Indiana), mostly mountainous as is, and [united Korea's] 75million people are way too many for its small available land area. It would be a much more pleasant place to be with something like 25million people total. A few decades of anemic TFRs, eventually recovering to replacement level, would be a boon for the country.


The most important thing is that they remain over there in Korea and do not immigrate over here to North America.

Too late. One million are already in Southern California and another million are scattered around the rest of the country.

Simon said...

The west Germans seem to me to be the most anti-American of Europeans - because of the US garrisons and Cold War defense against Communism, not because you helped flatten their country in WW2.

I think in S Korea's case, if you had saved them then left they would not be so hostile. It does seem to be the garrisons that inspire hatred.

Leif the Unlucky said...

How to explain Korean anti-Americanism?

I don't think military considerations play too big of a role. But, then, what?

First, let me preface by saying that the Korean mind is incredibly difficult for us to understand, and any Westerner who claims to understand it fully is probably lying. Many of the white-male miscegenationers who have taken Korean wives, one might think they would learn to understand these people. But according to what I've heard repeatedly from them: they, likewise, have no clue as to what Koreans are ever thinking, even years in. This is something I hear again and again.

As someone who has a good deal of non-military experience in the country, I would hazard to guess that Korean anti-Americanism is a number of things: 1) Exaggerated in the foreign press (e.g., NYT), 2) Stemming from anger at sexual-colonialism (white men appear to be "taking" yellow women) [this is a country with a selective-abortion-induced female-shortage as is], 3) Stemming from Korea's bizarre Confucian/feudal culture in which foreigners are basically nonpersons. a series of things inspire bitterness: These Foreigners (whites), who don't even register on the social scale, have vast cultural-power over Koreans today. [English is very very hip; the "double-eyelid", as they call it, is too...and the preponderance of "aesthetic clinics"/plastic-surgeons proves it]. Worse, the bearers of this superior-culture are often seen as low quality people (as in the small number of loser/predatory ESL-teachers), 4) Koreans themselves are -- under the submissive/taciturn/Confucian facade -- fairly unpleasant people and so will complain about anything that is there to complain about. [This is aggravated by the frenetic, workaholic pace of life in that country these days. They are a people mentally and socially mired in the patheticness of feudalist-Confucianism (hence the status-obsession regarding silly international rankings and so on) but amid a hypercapitalist economic background. The truly bizarre and generally negative results of this union magnify any underlying unpleasantness many fold.]

One thing that is DEFINITELY not the case, in my experience, is the idea that some foreign observers might have that panKorean nationalism animates South-Koreans. Before going to live in the country, I too thought that there was a panKorean identity that animated the anti-American politics. It's only rational to think there is one, in the way there was in 1989-Germany ("Wir Sind Ein Volk"). And it's only rational to think that anti-Americanism would stem from panKorean nationalism: "The American imperialists are keeping us split apart". Strangely, this "just ain't so", as Mr.Twain might say.

Many Koreans will tell you they absolutely oppose unification. I had a class of very-advanced 9th grade students, all nearly-fluent in English: I asked them to write an essay based on this prompt: "If you could wave a magic wand and reunify North and South Korea today, would you do it?" To my consternation, 5 of the 6 said "No" and proceeded to attack and mock North Koreans in the way Poles mock Germans and vice-versa, said it would be an economic disaster to assimilate them, and so on. These were kids born in the early to mid 1990s voicing these sentiments.

Anonymous said...

In British (and other) English the term wanker is, as it stands, a term of abuse. In reality it depends who is saying it to whom and in what tone of voice.

So, in a complicated traffic situation during a profound disagreement over the rules of the road I might find myself shouting "Wanker!" at another driver.

Otoh I might ring up a dear friend to whom I have not spoken to for some time and say "Alright wanker, how are you mate?"

Whiskey said...

South Koreans, like much of the West, are in denial.

They live on the border of a dangerous, unstable, nuclear-armed state run by a megalomaniac with poor judgment.

The only thing keeping them from being the slaves, of Kim Jong-Il, is American forces, South Korea being unable and unwilling to defend themselves.

As a practical matter, almost ALL of the flat panel displays, LCD/LED components, and a great deal of other electronic components are manufactured in South Korea. As childishly tempting as it may to simply abandon South Korea to its fate (subjugation by Kim and being essentially starving slaves), the short-term disruption in global supply chains would tip the world into a global recession and likely turn our predicted ten year "jobless recovery" into a twenty year nightmare of 35% unemployment. [Yes I agree that national industrial policy ought to encourage local manufacturing of electronic components and other good things, but it takes years to effect and in the meantime supply shocks like Oil or even LCD/LED components can crash entire industries or economies.]

David said...

> GIs are most likely above-average compared to the rest of the populace, as the military is one institution that still tests IQ for admittance. <

Here. All gun bunnies?

I wonder who periodically rapes all those Japanese girls...

SGOTI said...

> GIs are most likely above-average compared to the rest of the populace, as the military is one institution that still tests IQ for admittance. <

Here. All gun bunnies?

I wonder who periodically rapes all those Japanese girls...
*******************************
You don't reckon that in a population of a million plus (all active futy services) there will be some bad apples?

I'll see your snark and raise you:

"The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can't pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law."

http://www.sphere.com/2009/11/03/70-percent-of-young-americans-are-unfit-for-military-duty/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sphere.com%2F2009%2F11%2F03%2F70-percent-of-young-americans-are-unfit-for-military-duty%2F

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Whiskey,

You once again show your complete ignorance of international issues. South Korea is not doomed at the approach of North Korean forces since the South has:

1) A much larger economy
2) Twice the population
3) An Army of 600,000 soldiers and a larger reserve of civilians with received military training (military service in the ROK is mandatory for obvious reason)

The importance of the American alliance is that the US will provide air support/superiority in any clash between the two sides. There are only 33,000 American ground troops on the Korean Peninsula. The main purpose of these soldiers is to serve as a trip wire guarantee to activate the American alliance.

What ever the populace wants, no government in Seoul wants to get rid of these troops and withdrawing them may end up triggering a war unintentionally because it may signal that the US is less committed to the alliance. This also might be the catalyst for the South Koreans to develop nukes. I personally think putting our troops at risk like this is completely stupid and immoral.

In any future conflict with the Norks, the ROK will prevail, the issue is the cost both economically and in human lives since Seoul is in the range of North Korean artillery (which while obsolete and inaccurate can still inflict tremendous civilian casualties.)

Oh and one last thing. The PRC is a de facto ROK ally. If the KPA does attack the South, look for the PLA to cross the Yalu....and not in the 1951 sense either.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Steve please ignore my last post as I published it in the wrong thread. I meant to publish it in the young people thread.

Middletown Girl said...

Is it true that Koreans believe that electric fans can kill you? How did such idiots create the 13th biggest economy in the world?

The world makes no freaking sense.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Whisky:

Your post was the most idiotic comment I have ever read in this blog.

Middletown Girl said...

If a people can be understood through their movies, Koreans must be among the most unpleasant people on Earth.

I've been a fan of world cinema, and though I've come to love much of Asian cinema, Korean films pretty much sickened my stomach. Japanese make a lot of disgusting crap too, but they tend to be fantastic and unreal. Mainland China had made some impressive and thoughtful movies. Hong Kong makes breezy quality entertainment movies. Taiwan cinema made some respectable art movies. But, Korean cinema? Socially explicit movies that wallow in cruelty, torture, sadism, self-pity, contempt, rape, abuse of women, abuse of social inferiors, bloody vengeance against the rich and powerful, inferiority complex, superiority complex, anxiety-ridden insecurity masquerading as toughness, performances shot through with ham-fisted mannerisms, pomposity, vulgarity, witlessness, etc.

The awful Seoul Olymics was typical. When an American girl beat a Korean girl in Tae Kwon Do, they had to wait and wait for the American anthem to be played since Koreans had only prepared the Korean anthem in expectation that Koreas would--or must--sweep the medals. Think of the fiasco in the boxing ring(attack on the New Zealand referee and the in-the-ring protest by a Korean boxer; Two of the longest in-the-ring protest records are both held by Korean; many boxers have been wronged in the ring but had the manliness to walk away with head held up high; Koreans sit on their ass and expect the world to feel pity for them; a bunch of insipid crybabies.) and referee bribing(especially with Roy Jones fight). Koreans wanted to be considered a world-class nation but acted in the most provincial way possible.

When a Korean skater cheated and lost to Apollo Ohno, the whole country threw a hissy fit. When the dignified Ohno went to compete in South Korea, those dog-eating barbarians(they torture and eat around 3 million a year)jeered and mocked him at every moment. McCarthur once said Japan is like a boy of 13. Korea is like a boy of 8.

Anonymous said...

Another self-parody from you-know-who.

Truth said...

"Your post was the most idiotic comment I have ever read in this blog."

Son, that's saying an awful lot.

Strangely enough though, I do often learn things on this blog; for instance for my full 40+ years of existence, I have always had the sneaking suspicion that something I was being told was not true...Until I read this post:

"but enough are such cringeworthy buffoons that it'd make any honest man quite ashamed to be white and in Korea, as we are going to be associated with such people...of apathetic, beer-swilling, lazy, inept, predatory skirt-chasing, white losers just thrive in the system...Every few days, the major dailies in Seoul manage to scoop up more shocking news about what a plague on mankind these English teachers...the average white man is a potential-child-molesting, AIDS-infected, needle-drug-using, potential-rapist, is someone who is in a constant sexual frenzy for Yellow women -- he tricks them into bed, leaving them with multiple STDs then is never seen again, is someone who cannot go 8 hours without getting drunk and is unable to show up to work both sober and non-hungover, who is a petty criminal, who is vulgar and disgusting in his personal habits, who is stupid and lazy, and so on..."

I have to thank you Leif; for all of these years I thought that I was born and raised in New York, I was actually living in Korea!

(rimshot)

BTW, they're not calling you guys nom, they're calling you NAM!

(rimshot)

You folks from out of town?...you just get in?...you from New York?

I'll be here all week!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, for the past 13,000 years of human history--up until the last couple decades-- Korea had the same GDP as the black african country Ghana. It wasn't until they became a US colony that they started making amazing progress.

South Koreans need to worship their gods that we helped them to become rich enough to profess their "racial purity/superiority" because we see how they are when left to their own devices (North Korea)

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

LOL Truth,

Except for the criminal and disease aspects this sounds a lot like my life during college and law school. Ahhh memories.

Anonymous said...

You really think S. Korea and Japan cannot handle themselves? Let's not be naive, folks, the U.S. government wants American troops stationed in S. Korea and Japan. N.Korea is just a cover to maintain hegemony in the region with an eye on China. Japan and Korea also help pay for the cost of stationed U.S. troops. They're also big clients for the industrial complex. If troops were brought back, where would they go and who will pay?

Anonymous said...

Middletown Girl,

"Is it true that Koreans believe that electric fans can kill you? How did such idiots create the 13th biggest economy in the world? The world makes no freaking sense."

How smart is the avg. American? What silly supersititions do they hold dear to their hearts? It's just one of those urban legends many people supposedly believe. So what?

Anonymous said...

Leif,

- Confucianism is "feudal"? Compared to what? Western Christianity, for instance? Revisit the philosophy of Confucianism and religion of Christianity, then decide which is more "feudal".

- The "double-eyelid" is a common and natural facial feature indigeneous to E. Asia. It is popularly mistaken by Westerners and even Western educated Asians that the practice is motivated by the desire to look more "Caucasian", but this is incorrect. The E. Asian "double eyelid" and Western eyelid are distinctly dissimilar, needless to say.

Middletown Girl said...

"How smart is the avg. American?"

Smart enough to know that electric fans don't kill you.

Black Sea said...

"If troops were brought back, where would they go and who will pay?"

The private sector . . . and the private sector.

Anonymous said...

South Koreans are as "racist" and "imperialistic" as any other group in the world; for instance, the South Korean conglomerate Daewoo recently tried to just BUY much of Madagascar for pennies an acre for agricultural purposes because they of course have a major shortage of arable land in their small overcrowded nation; this led to the overthrow of president Marc Ravalomanana in Madagascar earlier in 2009 and the deal didn't happen...yet.

Anonymous said...

Many Koreans are racist in the classic sense of the term, regardless of classism, and it is cultural and institutional. They directly attach national identity to race, their race is the best at everything, all other races and all other countries are the real reason for all Korean problems. Laughably ridiculous stereotypes of foreigners are common. The media regularly prints anti-foreigner lies, which result in violent protests and, inevitably, random attacks on foreigners.

Do two separate polls, one testing popularity of foreign countries, the other, unpopularity. The USA will win most popular foreign country. The USA will win most unpopular foreign country.

Koreans get hit and killed by cars all the time because they do not look where they are going. http://rokdrop.com/2009/09/18/south-korea-continues-to-lead-oecd-in-pedestrian-deaths/

Read foreign student "in korea" blogs and marvel at how they all tell the same story about Korea. Foreigners who loved Korea and go on later to leave Korea in disgust is shockingly common.

Incidentally, while I feel not burning desire to defend Japan, the protests against the Halloween ride started out by outright racist lowlife internet forum 2channel scum, some of whom were undoubtedly members of the nativist group that participated in the protest this year. The Yamanote Halloween Ride is a disgrace and embarassment for all foreigners though.

David said...

SGOTI

> Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. <

On this we agree. I'm 42, thin, and a teetotaler.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Whisky:

Your post was the most idiotic comment I have ever read in this blog.


Actually, that inane post is par for the course for Whisky (alias EvilNeocon, Testing99).

Anonymous said...

Nosibrul,
the Brits/French would have lost WW1 without American help. The Germans were f**cked after the battle of the Marne. Thew allied blockade was killing them, slowly.

WW2, now that is a different story.

Putnam said...

Oh yeah, for the past 13,000 years of human history--up until the last couple decades-- Korea had the same GDP as the black african country Ghana. It wasn't until they became a US colony that they started making amazing progress.

The Ghana GDP thing was used to describe Korea's GDP immediately following the Korean war. Historically, Korean GDP per capita probably wasn't that much different from an average European country's up until the Industrial Revolution. Until the Industrial Revolution, there weren't that large differences in GDP among the various settled, civilized parts of the world, and China and India made up a large share of world GDP.

No doubt being a de facto colony of the US helped its rapid advancement, though it should be noted that the Korean government defied much of what the USG wanted implemented in Korea in terms of economic and political policies and struck somewhat of an independent path. Many of these policies the USG wanted would have likely been disastrous for Korea.

South Koreans need to worship their gods that we helped them to become rich enough to profess their "racial purity/superiority" because we see how they are when left to their own devices (North Korea)

The South Koreans "profess their 'racial purity/superiority'" much less than the North Koreans. The North Koreans may be economically backward, but at least they have maintained their racial purity. This counts for something and is nothing to be scoffed at. Materialism isn't everything. The US has undermined racial purity in South Korea, directly through American GIs, and indirectly through ideological and cultural means.

Anonymous said...

The North Koreans may be economically backward, but at least they have maintained their racial purity.

Racial purity?!! pfft. I would rather be a rich half-breed in the West, than a starving North Korean who'd jump at the opportunity to get eyelid surgery.

And apparently Koreans don't consider Chinese and Japanese the same race. I seriously doubt anyone can distinguish, by sight, a full Korean from a Korean/Japanese or Korean/Chinese.

Lutz said...

I've been a fan of world cinema, and though I've come to love much of Asian cinema, Korean films pretty much sickened my stomach.

Korean films have been quite excellent for the past 10 to 15 years. I haven't found them to be much sicker than the world/Hollywood norm. And they don't really get as extreme as Japanese films can. As far as Asian cinema goes, Korean films have arguably been the best in the past 10 years or so.

Truth said...

"The South Koreans "profess their 'racial purity/superiority'" much less than the North Koreans."

This of course comes from your firsthand experience with the veritable plethora of North Koreans you've been among.

Putnam said...

This of course comes from your firsthand experience with the veritable plethora of North Koreans you've been among.

I was talking about the North Korean government and what it inculcates among its citizens. Of course I don't have "firsthand experience." Though I do have a relative who spent a year working in North Korea.

Anonymous said...

McCarthur once said Japan is like a boy of 13. Korea is like a boy of 8.

I wonder what MacArthur would say of the US today. Hysterical, domineering career woman in her 40s/50s, maybe?

Putnam said...

And apparently Koreans don't consider Chinese and Japanese the same race. I seriously doubt anyone can distinguish, by sight, a full Korean from a Korean/Japanese or Korean/Chinese.

They don't consider them to be of the Korean race, because, well, they aren't Korean. They are aware that they would be a part of a broader East Asian race, but that's not really their concern.

From my experience with them, I would not be surprised if they were able to distinguish pretty well among them. Certainly better than we could. Koreans and other East Asians have difficulty distinguishing among various white European groups, but that doesn't mean these distinctions don't exist. And physical phenotypes aren't everything anyway.

Koreans should be able to distinguish and separate themselves from other East Asian groups, as they have for centuries, just as, say, Nords should be able to from Meds, Slavs, etc.

Anonymous said...

SO I don't think the place is going to be running out of Koreans anytime this millenium.

You think wrong.

Anonymous said...

Effectively extinct?? That is asinine.

asinine
1: extremely or utterly foolish [an asinine excuse]
2: of, relating to, or resembling an ass

Okay, it might be "asinine", but it's also TRUE.

Sideways said...

BTW, they're not calling you guys nom, they're calling you NAM!

better retire, truth, you'll never get a line as good as that again. Well done

Anonymous said...

"South Koreans need to worship their gods that we helped them to become rich enough to profess their "racial purity/superiority" because we see how they are when left to their own devices (North Korea)"

You are as nutty as an Afrocentric claiming Greek civilization.

By making such outlandish claims, you reveal your white insecurity.