Archive for September, 2004

Put Ourselves Into Their Shoes! 0

I had believed that native Africans were the barbarous people, watching “Tarzan” before teen. And “The Gods Must Be Crazy” (also known as “부시맨” in Korea) has reminded me of the most uncivilized, foolish people in the world. In my consciousness, they are in the opposite side of the civilization all the time. This is the extremely disgusting ideology manufactured by the so-called western civilization, the ideology which has affected me in various ways till now. Moreover it also has incurred the absolute fantasy for westernization, which unconsciously leaded to have inferiority complex toward my own civilization.

I was so appalled after I saw the 30-second long television ads of Kyochon Chicken. Obviously the producer tries to tell people that Kyochon is the most delicious chicken maker. However, its racism was so uncomfortable and even horrible. In the ads, the young (Asian enlightenment) magician enlightens Africans, using just chicken and hoax just like old Europeans. Moreover they are depicted as “men-eater” in this ads. A few months ago, all Korean criticized China’s alleged attempts to distort the history of Goguryo. Yesterday, Winfrey is criticized for her announcement of Korean women’s plastic surgery fever. Do we deserve to criticize them, after some people such as Kyochon lead to distort people’s history in Africa, making politically, historically, and anthropologically wrong ads.

Define Culture! part 2 0

Their physiology manufactures culture. They would plant the virus in their products and people, the virus which can make people addictive physically or ideolgically. Ironically, funny, and kindly(?), they also produce the antibiotic, another virus, for people to get out of the addiction. But people usually are addicted to it, too. It circulates on and on, maintaining their status of hierarchial society.

The day after writing of Samsung’s culture, which alleged that they creates the ridiculous culture, I heard of some disgusting stories of Samsung. One says that they have been running of the biggest public bathhouse (Caribbean Bay) in the world, deceiving people into believeing that they are in the greatest swimming pool. The other says that they just purchased a village in 경상북도, paying big money to construct the private arboretum, a village where is immediately deserted. Now I surely understand what culture is produced for whom. They are exploiting people, wielding power, and finally manufacturing unethical business and economic ethics in order only to earn money and keep their hegemony. They do anything for their benefits to the extent that one culture is disappeared in a day. This is the “Crazy, Dangerous Thing called Culture” by the Big Corporation.

According to Chomsky, Jefferson clearly recognzed “the quite obvious contradiction between democracy and capitalism.” Chomsky also mentioned that “[t]his fundamental contradiction was enhanced as new corporation structures were granted increasing powers” in “Chomsky on Miseducation.” Democracy cannot be compatible with Capitalism. Nevertheless, what makes us not disdain and not criticize their culture - ideology, while political tyrants are easily denounced?

I, 누리꾼 0

The National Academy of the Korea Language selects out “누리꾼” as a substitution of “netizen.” How many Korean will use “누리꾼” instead of “netizen”? I just believe that the verbal abuse and misuse of foreign language - especially English - would foment linguistic imperialism. Moreover, as I talked at school yesterday, mistranslation, which depends on mostly Chiness, for example, can sometimes annoy me by requiring it to be re-interpreted into real “우리말 (Korean).” That is why people would say that it’s sometimes easy to read academic texts written in English.

As the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which posits that language determines the way people think, language affects people’s ideology as well as their thought in above case. That is why people always try to find out the exact counterpart of target language in English learning. If not, I (as well as they) easily get nervous and bothered, and then cease to think. Ironically people ask, “What do you say “XXX” in Korean?” even though they know cultures are as different as languages and countries. Therefore I believe that it must be needed to substitute “우리말” for foreign words in order to enhance the way people think, even though all foreign words don’t have to have substitutions of Korean counterparts. It may be helpful to overcome cultural differences - more exactly speaking, differences of thinking.

Finally, in relation to above, I just wonder why there isn’t any Korean substitute for ‘bus’ and ‘taxi’, whereas we have one in case of bicycle, train, subway, or airplane. Nevertheless we, Korean, understand those words without any difficulties. What will happen, if such words as bus and taxi are extended suddenly and tremendously? Actually and unfortunately it happens.

Define Culture! 0

In the recent television ads of Samsung, it says, “기업이 문화를 만듭니다 (The corporation makes [maybe "produces" is more accurate, I think] the culture).” It is politically and humanistically the most dangerous, unpleasant, and disgusting copy I have ever heard. For whom the fuck do they produce the culture? And what culture? NO, THANKS! Please, BRING it BACK YOUR OWN HOME, Samsung!!!

Anyway, I have to define what the culture is. It seems impossible because I now know what it is. I didn’t know that it’s that difficult and ambiguous to define and limit. I even didn’t know that anything in the world can be included in the domain of culture. The more articles, books, and researches I am reading, the more abstruse and the broader its meaning is. … Nevertheless, if I am forced to answer the question, “What is Culture?”, I just believe that John Cage’s 4′33″ tells all about the culture.