What is it exactly that causes Klowns to scream in each others’ faces in the course of mundane conversation? Two Klowns’ heads can be literally less than a meter apart and they will be shout-talking so loud that normal humans will be able to hear them clearly from two rooms over. Is there some recessive gene that causes hearing loss? Are Klowns exposed to high-decibel construction noise as infants? Is it all about “winning” the Human Centipede Game by screaming louder than your conversational companion? I mean, holy FUCK, I’ve never heard a group of people so fucking loud, so consistently for absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever.
And I’m not even talking about this in terms of public decorum. Let’s face it. Klowns have no sense of public decency. They have no etiquette. They have nothing that would resemble manners of any sort. I would say that the sight of a Klown makes me want to slap a feed-bag on their face and a harness over their head, but even horses have a better, more polite way of handling shared space than Klowns, and they literally shit where they eat. Navigating a subway station in Seoul is like being in Pampelona with the bulls. Lunch in a sKool cafeteria is like watching the slops get thrown to the sows. Watching Klowns drink is like watching the sad final years of a meth-head collecting double welfare checks and slowly losing all muscular control. Only none of the above things I use to compare to Klowns are so fucking loud.
Kids around the world play loudly. They shout, they scamper, they occasionally scream. However, Klown kids are on a mission. The level of noise they need to make is beyond reasonable. Sometimes, when I hear Klown kids play, I wonder seriously if someone is being murdered, perhaps tortured with vivisection or some sort of slow acid bath. Running must be done with a heavy heel first… no… heel only style and only indoors or through crowds. If you catch Klown kids in open spaces, they aren’t running, or screaming… hmmmm
See a Klown alone on the top of a mountain and he or she won’t be shouting. They will undoubtedly be scavenging the hillside for bitter weeds and grasses to use as “food”, moving through the brush like a snout in search of truffles. They may be staring off into nothing with that blank, empty, idiot’s stare that Klowns and imbeciles tend to have. But they won’t be trying to deafen anyone.
However, you get a Klown anywhere near another Klown and something odd happens.
I’ve mentioned the Aspergers-y tendencies of Klowns before, and you think I’m just being an asshole (there’s that too), but think about it: Have you ever seen kids with Autistic-spectrum leanings socialize with other kids? One-on-one they can be a bit annoying, but certainly tolerable. But put those same little kids in with a group and watch what happens – they lose their shit. They become manic whenever energy levels rise. If someone runs, they’ll make a point of running like they’re on fire and coked to the gills. If someone shouts, they’ll scream. If gameplay turns rough, they’ll start randomly pulling hair. They grin like maniacs. They’ve practically got rabid spittle splattering their flailing limbs. This is precisely how Klowns behave. And they love it.
There’s a beach area I sometimes get out to, one which is about 2 hours outside Seoul. I love this beach area (relative to how much I care for the rest of this putrid, feces-strewn cesspool of a country) because there are actually several long stretches of beach with sand soft enough to enjoy walking through barefoot and hardly a Klown to be seen. But this is a “famous-uh” vacation spot… so where are the fucking Klowns? There are about 3 ‘hot spots’ along these vast stretches of beach, and each has a army of Klowns. They are practically crawling all over each other like worms in a bait bucket. They set up umbrellas, they set up tents, they set up food vendors, they set up loud-speakers that blast K-pop so loud you can hear the cones of the woofers tearing and distorting, they are a screaming, shouting, littering, miserable crowd of strangers… and they are in full view of a 5-kilometer-long, uninterrupted, unpopulated stretch of sand. I mean, it’s right fucking there! But no, they chose the hell pit of Klown to the peaceful beach that they just drove hours – in heavy traffic with their kids complaining and wife seething – to enjoy. They might as well have stayed in the subway station.
Like the Han River park? It’s not so bad… as long as you stay away from the Klown hot-spots. There are Klowns klustered together like flies and maggots around a carcass at Banpo Bridge, then another kluster at Yeoido, and another at Sunyudo…. and then relative peace and quiet in between. You’d think they’d want to spread out a bit, but they don’t. They want to have another Autistic episode. They want nothing more than to lose a few brain cells to the shrill shrieks of Klown kids, the shouts of their parents who, rather than getting up and walking to their kids to speak with them, shout over dozens of meters and thousands of other shout-talking Klown fucks to kommunicate and to the ajosshi bike-riders who so kindly strap a tinny radio and speakers to their bikes, apparently unaware of the invention of the earphone.
Been to Busan in the summer? Of course, everyone heads to Haeundae Beach. Some slits in bikinis, some Klown wanna-bes trying to act like Compton gangbangers (while wearing eye liner) and capris pants). It’s madness. It’s fucking scary. You’d think that there was a war going on and the mass evacuation of the entire nation was happening from Haeundae…
…you’d think that this was the sole and only beach in the Busan area and that, by default, all beachgoers head here. Except that there are other equally “nice” beaches just a stone’s throw away. These are relatively empty, and as a bonus you can see the sand because there aren’t thousands of umbrellas rented by those “lucky” enough to pay to use a public beach. That’s not what the target is. Klowns don’t want “peace” or “relaxation” or “personal space”. They want to smell the kimchi-stench of the umbrella next to them, where 14 family members have crowded together, eating cup ramen and throwing the containers everywhere while screaming in each others’ faces in a expression of pure familial joy. They want the unwashed feet of the 20-something guy next to them in their faces while they listen to his girlfriend whine like a spoiled 4 year old. They want to not see the sun or surf, they want to not hear the waves. They want to have driven 10 hours in bumper-to-bumper conditions to get right up next to some other miserable Klown fucks and go deaf together. It goes far beyond lack of logic and common sense.
Even something as simple as grocery shopping must be painful. Head to the fresh food section. While the rest of the world has foolishly been using these “sign” things for the past few millennium, the Klowns hire people to stand and scream at the top of their voices about what food they have for sale. They will scream this over and over and over. They will do this a foot from your ear. I have to wonder if the screaming and shouting and close quarters has gone beyond hearing damage… the vibrations having caused so much trauma to the optical nerves that Klowns can no longer just simply look and see what is for sale… they have to have it screamed at them.
Perhaps it is a hint as to the nature of Klowns themselves. Klowns have a word, “Han”, which roughly translates into “a shared knowledge of suffering which lends itself to mutual empathy”. Klowns, like so many other things, feel that only Koreans could possibly ever understand suffering and mutual empathy. Obviously, according to Klown logiK, no people, anywhere, ever have suffered like Klowns have. But this Han, this need to be a victim, this need to suffer isn’t caused by external forces. It may have originated from without at certain points in Klown history, but when it isn’t coming from without, it is perpetuated and accentuated from within. Han is a huge part of Klown self-identify, so perhaps this is why they treat each other like absolute inhuman shit, and why they torture themselves in close kompany with one another – to ensure they have enough knowledge of suffering.
Klowns could do things like flush public toilets, swallow their saliva, smoke in designated spaces, use indoor voices and spread out… but that would negate the all important suffering. Han must be maintained by treating all shared space like a toilet bowl/spittoon/trash bin/compost pile. It must be maintained by ensuring that any communication between individuals be made so horribly unpleasant, so deafeningly tortuous, that even a dinner date or drinks after work or vacationing on a beach leave a Klown feeling even more stressed and less hopeful than the day before. It’s a win, you see, because he or she now has more Han, which means that person is now a “better Korean” and gets bonus Klown points (collect enough KP and you get a fantabulous, all-expenses-paid trip from the roof of your building to the pavement). It’s a kuntry of masochists, deeply disturbed, developmentally-delayed masochists with Aspergers.
Perhaps Han is keeping the Klowns alive. Kind of like how global dimming is actually keeping global warming from being a more serious problem… the kulture of actively seeking out suffering might be keeping the Klowns from offing themselves in even higher record numbers. Take away the Klown belief that being miserable is somehow a patriotic and traditional virtue and you might have the streets littered a meter high with the bodies of Klown suicide victims – parking garages a mess of duct tape and hoses, stores cleaned out of their stock of charcoal briquettes, pharmacies raided for overdose material, disorganized “line ups” of shoving, pushing, elbowing Klowns waiting to be next to nosedive off the kompany roof. I’m sure Darwin wouldn’t be opposed.