The latest installment of my weekly column came out this morning. It has the sub-heading "It’s perplexing that Koreans use language and symbols they don’t really understand," a line taken from the last paragraph, and something I've thought, like, a million times in my four years here. That covers bars named after Rommel, internet cafes named after the space shuttle Challenger, Gibberlish, girls who try to back it up but lack the back for backing, calling children "sexy," celebrating a Christmas divorced from any meaningful context, and a bunch of other examples.
As with my last piece, I'll have to add here that the premise of the column is to give an overview of opinion expressed on my blog . . . but not my own. It's intended to be a survey of foreigner opinion, but as I said last week there's an inherent bias in doing that by looking simply at my blog. While it does have a relatively large readership---suck it Phil Griffith---there's little crossover between commentors here and, say, on Korea Beat, Marmot's Hole, or Roboseyo.
I admit I have no idea who reads the Joongang Ilbo, in paper form I mean. I flip through all the dailies online, but I haven't read an actual English-language newspaper in Korea since 2006. The readership will largely be Korean, then---especially since these papers exist to help Koreans practice their English---and I would prefer the opportunity to express more of my opinion, rather than excerpting commentors who, to be frank, don't spend hours a week preparing their words for public consumption. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for having a civil, thoughtful band of commentors, who certainly put those on other sites to shame, but I think if we're trying to introduce the Korean audience to what happens in the English K-blogosphere, it might be more useful to profile the citizens rather than the tourists.
Well, maybe it will encourage more people to visit the site and do some further reading. My stats didn't increase any last week, but I got a couple of nice emails from people who liked the piece, so there you go.