November 11, 2013

The Core Problem With The Korean

The Korean has hurt and offended a lot of people through his blog. He does not recognize this because he feels justified in his humiliation and intimidation of others. To him, life is a game where there are winners and losers and it justifiable to do whatever you want even if it means harshly crushing weaker opponents. That's why he felt so justified in attacking Malcolm Gladwell. It is evident from his tone when writing about his problem with Gladwell that he really relished and enjoyed putting a New York Times bestselling author "in his place". But when gently corrected by Chris Kahn about an error in his own writing, The Korean sheepishly bowed out of the conversation, downplaying how wrong he actually was. Because on same level, The Korean knows that the same harsh judgment that he attacks others with can be used on him. Yet, he refuses to learn from that and give others the grace that he cowardly requests of them when he errs. I have read The Korean's blog from the beginning and recognize now that he is just a bully who gets off on one-upping others. He's not really interested in the truth about Korea or anything. He just wants to show off how much he "knows" to feel better about himself. And he will do whatever he can to assert his own superiority because deep down, he is a very insecure person who is not willing to look at his own shadow. That's how he is able to write humiliating posts of people who send him grammatically incorrect emails and even threaten readers when they disagree with him.

He believes that he is so superior because he was able to learn English in two years to fluency. I know of a guy who learned Japanese in one year and got good enough that he was hired by a Japanese company where they only spoke Japanese. As great as that is, he is not arrogant and genuinely wants to help people, giving free advice to others who want to learn as well. Compare that with The Korean who looks down on and feels justified humiliating native English speakers who don't speak as well as him because he thinks that it is due to laziness. I have news for him. Not always. Some public schools in the U.S. are so poorly funded and staffed that they are like third world countries. A lot of students get passed even when they lack basic reading and writing skills. But do you think Mr. Know-it-all recognizes this? No. Because he is so stuck in his ivory tower believing that everyone has the same privileges and opportunities as him. Not all Korean parents are able to whisk their son off to America because he has problems adapting to high school in Korea. The Korean claims to have gotten good grades and I can believe that, but in that case, most Korean parents would not be so indulgent as to whisk their son off to America because he has problems with the Korean school system. He wrote about this and later removed it from his blog, but it sounded more like an attitude problem on his part than anything. He also wrote that he scorned the other Korean students at his American high school for not working hard to learn English as quickly as him, neglecting the fact that it is their right to learn as they please and he was not exactly learning for the good of humanity. He had to learn English for his own SELF-INTEREST so that he could do well in high school and go to a good college. He even bragged about being privileged to attend a predominantly Korean high school where he was able to submit a biology exam in Korean and still get a good grade on it. So he will take full advantage of the opportunities when they suit him, but look down on others who don't. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do well, but that does not give you the right to look down arrogantly on other people and be mean to them as a result of that. You can water down your writing so that it makes you appear more "modest", but ultimately, it is what is in your heart and mind that determines that. If you are truly a modest person, then you wouldn't have to fumble with your tone so much because your writing would naturally appear that way. Saying "I don't mean to be immodest" does not take away from your arrogant tone and people can tell when they read your writing whether you are being sincere or not. It always comes through.

Ultimately, it comes down to an abuse of power and a lack of integrity on The Korean's part. Based on his later re-edits of his blog to present himself more modestly, I really don't believe that he has the intent to look at himself honestly and be a good person. He can't see the truth of who he is because he is someone who is very caught up in his own self-glorification and will abuse his power to get that. As long as OTHERS see him as a good person, he is satisfied that he is. Even with all of his legal education that provided a lot of training in critical thinking, he is unwilling to apply that to his own life and his own self. If you're not willing to be self-critical, how can you take full responsibility for your actions? You can't. You're just going to do whatever you want regardless of the consequences. The Korean has hurt a lot of people through his blog whether it is through the actual posts or comments section. He has verbally abused, intimidated, humiliated, and degraded others through his speech and he is unwilling to take responsibility for that.

He acts like he is so progressive and so open-minded, but the truth is that he is quite bigoted in a number of respects. He has tweeted that he hates people from a certain region of Korea. But more than ethnic, I believe that he is a political bigot at his core. He claims to be for freedom of speech, yet he is disrespectful and intimidating to those who disagree with him respectfully. He's an internet bully who will use his credentials to challenge and threaten others yet cowardly sneak away when his own errors are brought to light. The Korean is one of those selfish people who believe they are good because they are nice to their friends and family and go to church. But how does he treat others that are not of his circle? Not very nicely based on what I have seen. The people around him may be oblivious to his flaws because he is so nice to them, so it is up to others to tell him he is wrong and hold him accountable for that. That's part of the reason I wrote this post because I believe that if no one says anything, then The Korean will continue to be as he is, abusing his authority and hurting other people. I believe that people should be critical about whatever they read on the web, especially when it comes from an anonymous source. But people may write all they want. Ultimately, it is up to The Korean to decide how he will act. As long as he sees something, he can't feign ignorance. He can dismiss all the criticism as nonsense or he can actually be self-critical. Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure it will take a while before he really behaves because old behaviors don't just fall away so quickly. The Korean is too satisfied to live in his own self-glorified cocoon of Korean "authority", but I believe that some day, he will have to face his own darkness with true humility. He has stated before in the comments section of his blog that he believes that he does not have to apologize for things that have long past. That somehow time negates all wounds. This is very ironic coming from a lawyer whose responsibility is to understand the true meaning of justice. Of course, this is not always practiced and from his own behavior, it is evident that he has no qualms about abusing his authority and power. It is so disappointing to see people who have been given the great advantages of a good education squander it away for their own personal gain and ultimately, their own moral decline. I really think people like him should not be rewarded. It would be great if people stopped reading his blog, but I admit that he does write some interesting things even if I don't always agree with him. 


oldgal said...

He's a bit arrogant but anyone who blogs has got to at least think they have something others would like to hear. I got turned off by the post "excreting the dregs". I was one of only two women that bothered to comment on the post and got jumped on with both feet by the men. Later I went back and found a long discussion between another women and some sexist halfwit. I noticed that she threw in the towel too. Funny how some blogger posts a long rant about women and their marriage preferences but the men on the site shout down the only women willing to share their ideas. Oh well.

gordsellar said...

I have to agree with your assessment. I stopped reading the blog a long time ago, when I realized that one thing you put so well: "He is not interested in the truth about Korea." He's so off-base about so many things... and I'm a little surprised anyone out there takes him seriously.

But only a little. (Surprised.)

What amuses me is how the progressive Koreans I know have been pretty unimpressed with whatever of his writings they've read.

King Baeksu said...

Three points to consider:

1. The Korean is a lawyer, and lawyering is, in general, a zero-sum-game in which the truth is often irrelevant to actually winning one's case. One notes this basic habit of mind when reading the comments of other professional lawyers on blogs like The Marmot's Hole. It's a mode of thought and argumentation that is hard to shake, since it constitutes one's core professional identity and livelihood, after all.

2. The Korean is very clearly an ethnonationalist and ethnonationalists are, by definition, invested in the notion that blood and nation are the most important criteria to use in evaluating one's own culture. It follows that those who are "outside" of the national bloodline simply lack the legitimacy to comment on said culture -- at least from the ethnonationalist's perspective.

3. Because The Korean has lived outside of Korea for so long, most of his information about present-day Korea comes from online media sources in Korea. In other words, he produces representations of Korea based largely on representations produced by other individuals (and perhaps intermixed with memories from his now distant teenage years and boyhood in Korea). How can we trust his ability to determine the legitimacy of his sources? Simply put, we can't, because in a very practical sense he lacks the ability to do so himself.

In short, The Korean would do well to replace the definite article in his name with an indefinite one, because what he offers is a very partial and limited view of Korea, and hardly an "authoritative" or "universal" one. The "the" in his name is really a form of grandiose hubris of the most off-putting kind.

Anonymous said...

Did The Korean perform his mandatory Korean military service?