Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Taking Mad Bullshit to Paris.
As first reported by ROK Drop, The Korea Times tells us that Koreans are protesting the import of American beef to Korea in Paris.
The education magazine 우리교육 has the issue on both its June covers---elementary school and middle school editions---and of course the Korea Teachers' and Educational Workers' Union meanwhile has been keeping up their wall-to-wall coverage of the dangers of Mad Cow Disease. It dominates all the headlines on their newspaper and I get pamphlets about it on my desk every day. Looks like there's a textbook chapter all ready for Mad Cow Disease.
Hey, anything to deflect attention from teacher scandals, incompetence in English education, and low TOEFL scores. Wait . . . teachers protesting a president whose English education policy puts the spotlight on their weaknesses? Couldn't be that the union has other reasons for protesting Lee and are using the old favorite standby of anti-Americanism as a smoke screen, now could it? Must be coincidence.
Anyway, when I get some free time I'm going to put together some links and send them to some papers and media outlets back home. There are plenty of valid reasons for protesting the import of American beef, and plenty of valid reasons for expressing displeasure with Lee Myung-bak. But this is ridiculous, and I really wish the US would flex its muscles and hinder South Korean exports in retaliation and for poisoning the FTA (the T stands for TRADE, dumbasses). And of course pull the plug on the Visa Waiver Program.
* Update: Looks like TIME and CNN are on the case. While there definitely is more to the issue than fear of diseased beef, the dangers were obviously trumped up to the moon, and I'd like to see Western sources give some coverage to the propaganda used to create mass hysteria and to drum up support for political ends.