Urgh. It's this again... AES and so on and so forth.

Via Brian in Jeollanam-do:

Yie Eun-woong shirts are now on sale. I'm tempted, just because of "the fucking charming obscurity of the situation", as Smalltown might be inclined to quip. For those of you who don't know, Yie Eun-woong is a sad, sad little sexless man who's like a million years old, unmarried and (perhaps unsurprisingly) really, really worried about who everyone else is getting it on with. He runs Anti English Spectrum Cafe, which I've mentioned here enough times already, and spends his free time "protecting Korea's children" by stalking foreigners. All of this was made necessary, as has been hashed out time and again, by the fact that a few years back, some photos were posted on the internet of grown-ass Korean women with free wills and everything all tarted up and dancing with foreign men. As opposed to being paid for sex by Korean men. Or, as opposed to Korean men climbing in through foreign women's windows during the night, tying them down and raping them, presupposing that there would be little to no consequence for such an action.

Where's my fucking hate group? Eh?

The sad thing about this Anti-English Spectrum Cafe thing is that, while a lot of my Korean acquaintances a. don't know anything about and b. are immediately horrified when I show them the website (feigned or not), some of my very young, allegedly very modern acquaintances have glanced at the website and, despite what they hear me saying, reply, "Well it says here they just want to catch bad teachers...." Same people who claim to want to "help" and "understand" foreigners in Korea. To give them a good experience in Korea. Right.

I guess you could say AES provides a pretty fair litmus test for who, amongst your friends and associates, "gets it".

I don't mean to get swept away on this subject again. I'll be the first to say that this kind of thing, both here and in our home countries, is most appropriately dealt with by total disregard. But my blood just starts to boil every time I hear anything about this little man and his creepy little group. Which, by the way, actually isn't that little.

Weirdly enough, the situation has recently received some international attention in the form of an article and interview with Mr. Lonely in the L.A. Times. This is like the umpteenth article to randomly come out in a major international publication within the space of a year's time regarding something a bit off in the ROK's relation to people from the outside world. People might want to start to think about that. With more and more foreign teachers coming to Korea from the Western world, and returning home with loads of word-of-mouth anecdotal information... well. Korea had better be careful or kimchi and MASH will no longer be the only thing the average Westerner can bring to mind when the subject of Korea comes up.

Oh god don't worry. I haven't gone off the bitter foreigner ledge just yet. Most of everything I write about Korea is probably even too generous. And, yes, it's true I'm having some trouble coping with certain aspects, personally, at the moment. But also, fair is just fair. And it's not all soju, kimbap and fucking rainbows out here in the Land of the Morning Calm. Like I've always said, to truly love something, you've got to see it honestly -- the good and the bad. That's fair enough. And honestly, Korea is too good to tolerate scum like Yie Eun-woong out there humiliating them in major American newspapers, right? They need to stamp down on this crap, for the sake of their own honor, even before ours.

Oh, and just a p.s. regarding this:

Yie's efforts have the support of some educators who say many foreign teachers lack the skills to run a classroom.

"This has nothing to do with race. It is all about teaching," said Kim Young-Lan, a sociology professor at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul.

Uh. Then stop hiring crappy teachers. Don't hire them, and then stalk them.

Once again, we have the picture being painted of uncontrollable invading masses of foreigners that must be stopped at any cost. We must follow these vile creatures for days and nights on end, make records of their every move, every association, in order to prove some form of illegal behavior is going on so we can be rid of them once and for all!

Or you could, like, fire them. And then the visa gets canceled, they have to move back in with their parents until the temp agency can get them something at one of the offices downtown...

You know. Like, in the real world.

I sincerely hope that quote was taken way, way out of context. Otherwise, Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul might want to look into their hiring practices, regardless of race, as well.


Brian said...

Good points all around. I ran into a lot of people also saying "well, they only want to stop bad teachers. Don't YOU want to stop bad teachers?" In fact, that seems to be one of the Korea Times' mottos.

I'm no Picasso said...

The Korea Times....

You know, it gets difficult sometimes, being a young female teacher, because people think they can speak "honestly" with me about their opinions of foreign teachers, ie male foreign teachers. In my ajumma class yesterday, they randomly got off on a tangent about how they do drugs.

I'm the first to admit that I don't appreciate the behavior of a lot of the foreigners here, and that there certainly are a lot of weirdos around. But ultimately, no matter what's going down, Korea is responsible for who they invite into the country. Until they realize that and own up to it, we're all going to get crucified for the idiotic behavior of an entitled minority.

kijang said...

I think you've hit on the key - if Korea hires crappy Western teachers, it's because it's not willing to pay for the good ones.

Therefore, if this guy and his friends truly want to improve the "quality" of English teachers, they should stop stalking Westerners and instead lobby the hogwan/education industry to either:

1. hire competent, qualified (non-Western) English teachers from India or SE Asia who may be willing to work for what they're paying the BA-in-anything Meeguk, and get over their white-face fetish,


2. pay the going rate for well trained, experienced Western teachers. And their going rate is not 2.2 million won a month for 30 hours a week.

This won't happen though, because I seriously doubt the AES guys are motivated by improving education - what keeps them up at night is the idea that Western guys are getting some from "their" women (and they aren't). And I doubt they'd be too thrilled at the idea of bringing Indians and Filipinos into their country to teach Korean children.

Nor would they like any redirection of their attentions away from foreigners and onto their fellow Koreans who are actually responsible.

I'm no Picasso said...

Great points Kijang and, not only that, but Korea has to be willing to set aside its aesthetic and racial judgments altogether. Who gets snatched up for Native English speaking teaching jobs in Korea? Young and good looking. You stick with that demographic and you're just going to end up with a hell of a lot of kids fresh out of university who have never had a job in their lives, let alone a teaching job.

With that comes entitlement, whining, and an unwillingness and/or inability to do put in the effort to do the job properly. Along with a whole boatload of midnight runners.

But Korea still neglects F4 holders in favor of blond 22 year olds, and middle aged black qualified teachers for tall, handsome frat boys.

And then they want to complain about behavior and quality.