One killed herself. Another was beaten to death. A third was divorced after her duty as a surrogate mother was fulfilled.
No, these are not stories about ill-fated black women before slavery was prohibited in the United States.
The English-language press in South Korea is garbage, and I've asked myself time and time and timeandtimeandtime again why the papers seem completely uninterested in improving the quality of, if not their pieces and topics, than at least the grammar, punctuation, or syntax. Korea is, after all, obsessed with how its image is projected to the world, and superficially obsessed with its English ability, and I think its online newspapers are the sources of Korean-related information most turned-to and most-frequently used by overseas English-speakers. More relied upon than, say, Korean food, Korean pop culture, or Korean territorial disputes: Korea's self-appointed messengers.
I guess people can be forgiving of Korean websites' mistakes in English, and can applaud the effort rather than critique thte result. At least they're trying, right? Even if the official site of Korea's national brand is rife with errors, we oughtn't be too critical, right? (I'm being facetious, dumbass.) The same courtesy is, apparently, extended the major newspapers. How else can one excuse the ridiculous punctuation and formatting on the Joongang Ilbo site, the grammatical and spelling errors in Korea Times online articles, or the "what the fuck is this shit" content in the Seoul Times. I'm also curious why it takes so much longer for news to hit the English sources, since there are English writers and English correspondents in-country. And it kills me that slightly-older-than-recent articles on the Korea Herald site are available only through a paid subscription. That happens to newspapers all over the place, I know, but since this is a Korea blog I'mma just mention the Herald.
More damaging, in my opinion, to its reputation than poor journalism and worse editing, is the Korea Times comment section. The vile, racist garbage that is spilled out at the bottom of each article is an embarassment to the paper which condones it. I would skip the paper altogether if it weren't one of the few sources of English-language information available here. If you can stomach it, have a look at what follows the "Immigrant Wives" editorial I linked in the beginning:
dbrodie01 (126.96.36.199) 03-16-2008 08:55
Koreans are the master race? Ha Ha Ha. That must be why you invented so much stuff in your 5000 year history and never lost a war. Go eat a banana you little monkey
. . .
koreansarethemasterrace (188.8.131.52) 03-16-2008 06:14
Also, just have a look at any of the posts from my fellow Hangook brothers, like "fcia", "proudkorean", "ultrakorean", and "nycnamja". You can see how intelligent and classy we Koreans are by their posts. They are polite, refine, civil and never use racist terms or abusive language. I mean, their posts consist of only 4 words which are "dirty white boy", "spic", "jap fucker" and alot of talk bout "america is shit". See how classy we Koreans are?
. . .
koreansarethemasterrace (184.108.40.206) 03-16-2008 06:13
Also, I forgot one last thing. INTELLIGENCE: Look at how intelligent the comments of my fellow Korean and Kyopo brothers are here on Youtube. We Koreans never curse or talk bad about other nations. It's obvious that we can take criticism very well without having to stoop down to the level of non-kors. We never engage in racial attacks and laugh about people from other nations dying in war. We never spam posts and post the same thing over by copying and pasting other people's comments.
. . .
ProudKorean (220.127.116.11) 03-16-2008 01:59
pedro-el-wetback-pero barking like a chihuahua, again - WOOF WOOF! WOOF WOOF WOOF!! WOOF WOOF WOOF!!! Keep barking until your white master throws you a bone to chew on, b!tch.
pedro (18.104.22.168) 03-16-2008 01:20
PK those are MANIPULATED stats FOOL why don't your LAZY GOOK ASS do some REAL WORK or is it you are too retarded to BYUNG SHIN GA TEUN NOM SHIP SAE GI! Fuckers like you must get theur AIGALEE DAECUH
pedro (22.214.171.124) 03-16-2008 01:15
FYINFORMATION IRISH COFFE I BELIEVE THE LT GOVERNOR WILL TAKE OVER YOU DUMB ASS IDIOT BITCH MOTHERFUCKER DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU BITCK FUCK YOU IRISH GAY COCKSUCKING FAGGOT FUCK ALL YOU EGOTISTIC GOOKS AND MUST BE EXTERMINATED FUCK ALL YOU GOOKS!
pedro (126.96.36.199) 03-16-2008 01:13
irishcoffee YOU NEED TO IP DAP CHU like NYC NANCY! I am from BELize you BYUN TAE BABO GA TEUN SAE GI ALL GOOK MUST BE EXTERMINATED AND RAPED ALL YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN YOU MUST ALL DIE!
Globetrotter (188.8.131.52) 03-15-2008 21:19
At this point, all I got to say is I understand the South Korean Woman now---in fact more better as this subject matter continues to play out. i can understand why a smart Korean Woman want nothoing to do with a sweaty-stinken Korean Man of the Contry-Bumpkin Style.
nycnamja23 (184.108.40.206) 03-15-2008 05:51
shut the fuck up you dirty mexican and whats with ths sellout korean faggot making korean men look bad? oh like white , black and mexican guys dont do the same shit....gimme a fucking break..
Yeah, that goes on for a while. There has been bickering beneath the articles of that site for as long as I can remember comments being there, but I first really noticed the obscenity shortly after the Namdaemun fire. I called attention to the comments in a Dave's thread last month, and quoted some disgusting comments from articles on topics as diverse as Namdaemun, sports, politics, North Korea, plagiarism, and of course foreign English teachers.
I also included the email address of the webmaster, which I will include again should you want to pass along your complaints:
I sent an email last month saying that comments ought to be blocked from the site. I received no reply, but I did notice that shortly thereafter a number of vulgar comments had been pulled. Pulled from the recent articles, though, and not the older ones, which is why I could easily skim the archives for the examples I quoted on Dave's. You'll see that at the end of each article is a notice from the webmaster saying that obscene comments will not be tolerated, and that repeat offenders will be banned. Some users have disappeared, based on quick glances at some of the articles, but the worst are still around. The comment also includes the line "should problems continue we have no choice but to block all comment postings." The webmaster's comment appeared shortly after the Namdaemun fire---and just before I posted that Dave's thread on February 12---so that filth has been going on for at least a month without any meaningful response.
I'm not a guy who calls for censorship of things I don't like. Hell, I'm not even posting this because my fragile Victorian sensibilities are offended by words like "gook," "jap," "fucker," or "plagiarism." But I think most sensibile people'd agree that the comments beneath each and every Korea Times article have somehow made an unreadable paper much more unreadable. It'd be one thing if this were going on at Occidentalism, a blog that has allowed itself to be destroyed by its users, or any other hole-in-the-wall site. But the KT is one of the major English-language dailies in South Korea, a source many of us both in-country and overseas (grudgingly) rely upon for our Korean news and information. The garbage that goes on beneath the articles trumps the garbage that goes on inside them, and ought to be offensive to its readers and embarassing to its publishers.
And since it's a slow day, and since
From Jeollabuk-do (063 area code), stolen from idontrememberwhere.