Edumakation

South Korea desperately needs child psychologists. Well, hell, they need all kinds of psychologists here, but children’s most of all. In Korea, however, your medical history – including mental health – isn’t exactly private, you know, like the most basic levels of privacy you would expect from a modern country. The stigma attached to any mental health treatment is that one is “crazy”, which translates into “unmarriageable and unemployable”. This flies in the face of centuries of research and modern knowledge (nothing new there), but Klown wants to be super different.   Of course. Unless they need to build something or sell something, in which case they are happy to copy.

I honestly think that child psychology could be a multi-billion dollar business in Korea. Trouble is that you’d need to package it as either some sort of competitive advantage or something that boosts status because simply wanting to promote happiness and well-being sure as fuck isn’t enough. My feeling is that the key to making this badly, badly needed service industry marketable would be to brand it as “educational”. Don’t say you’re looking for autism spectrum disorders. Don’t call the child “developmentally delayed” or “behaviorally challenged”. No, say you are going to develop “Special Education Plans” that will help unlock a Korean child’s potential. Use all the wealth of knowledge and materials – from countries that aren’t socially stuck in the 1700s – that have been developed to help integrate learning disabled, developmentally delayed, behaviorally challenged or mentally deficient kids into mainstream society… just rebrand it as education and competitive edge.   Please.  It’s about the only thing that might save this place.

It’s sad that such a thing should even be necessary, but after 8 years here working with kids and their parents, unsurprising. Klown Kulture is dehumanizing. There is a lot of scream-talking about how valuable children and family are, but in the end it’s all complete bullshit. There is no genuine interest in the happiness or social success of kids. I’ve never heard of an American-born American kid killing him or herself over getting a less than perfect SAT score. I mean, I’m sure it happens, but I can’t recall reading about it or hearing about it. Ever. And I think something like that would make the news. Here it is so commonplace that it isn’t even shocking or news-worthy anymore. Little Su-min jumped off the roof of her filthy, cigarette-butt-and-phlegm-speckled Soviet-style apartment building because she couldn’t meet mommy’s expectation to be in the top 0.01% of students – crocodile tears a la Sewol crew will follow and never will it be thought that such a destruction of psyche takes years upon years to accomplish, that the animal instinct for self-preservation is so difficult to overcome that little Su-min must have been enduring psychological torture for YEARS before finally ending it all on the rancid, unwashed, feces-scented streets of Seoul.

I don’t know why anyone would expect anything else. Children here aren’t children, they are reduced to numbers and dehumanized in a way that goes far, far beyond the global dehumanization and enumeration as part and parcel of the digital age; they are dehumanized in a way that is wholly unnecessary and cruel. Students are regarded as devoid of talent, personality, aspirations or creativity and basically anything that might make them future leaders and architects of the next generation of global economy. They are only test scores and certificates.  Only cursory lip service at the elementary school level is paid to anything else, but once that kid hits 12…

South Korea is one of the leading nations in the world for the PISA score. Klowns like to trumpet this. The problem, of course (for one who thinks with any degree of logic), is twofold – inefficiency and sacrifice (I’ll get to it…).

Take, for example, Finland, which is also a perennial top contender for PISA success. Finnish students don’t start school until Klown age 9 (real, rest of the world age 7), are subjected to zero standardized assessments until at least Klown age 15, take their single standardized test at Klown age 18, cost 30% less to educate than American kids, have the smallest standard deviation rate of educational performance in the world (and have kids of all different ability levels integrated in the same classes), do not get taught to test for PISA or anything else, attend no hagwons, study only 18-19 hours of class time per week and do not burden parents with private education costs. Yet they give Klown a run for the money every year.

Klown students, on the other hand, often start classroom study as soon as they are able to walk and talk (and sometimes earlier than that), are subjected to an insane number of standardized tests (and basically nothing else), are wildly expensive to edumakate, have some substantial rates of standard deviation across different socio-economic groups, are taught to test for PISA preparation, attend hagwons and tutoring that often run 7 days a week, study in classrooms upwards of 12 hours per day and 70+ hours a week (that’s nearly 4 times as much for those keeping score) and then piss everything away with a post-secondary legacy that makes a degree as valuable as a Kleenex.

Klown innovates practically nothing. Again, this should be by no means shocking for several reasons. First, obviously, the entire Klown economy is based on patent infringement, intellectual property theft and payoffs. Second, from the second they hit a classroom, kids are taught one system and one system only: rote memory. Never you fucking mind that this is possibly the least efficient, least intelligent, most marginalizing way to edumakate kids! Respect our “culture”! You know what a fun game is? Trying to find famous, innovative Koreans (either contemporary or historical) who were raised in Klown and who didn’t blatantly rip off from others. Go on. Give it a try. Creative thought processes, right-brain thinking, cross-hemisphere cerebral integration, divergent thinking… these are 100% absent from the Klown edumakation system. In about 10 years, when China gets its shit together enough to take over the manufacturing industry from the Klowns (as they took it over from the Japanese), what the motherfuck is Klown going to do then, hmm?

Klown owes its existence to foreign aid and patent infringement, but yet considers itself a “global leader”. I guess that is in the same vein as a bank robber considering himself a successful entrepreneur. Strange then that the average Klown knows almost nothing about the world outside the tiny, expendable little gallbladder kuntry they live in. Forget things like political ideologies or modern histories, I’m talking not knowing where countries are on a map of the world. The worst thing about this is that Statesman’s Yearbook style information is one of those things that actually can be rote memorized. It is one of those things that can be both memorized and useful. Leave it to the Klowns to implement a 70+ hour a week system of memorization and leave out anything actually useful or relevant. Fucking brilliant.

South Korean kids transition from grueling hours of memory work, pattern practice and worksheet repetition in middle and high school to a joke of a college system. The dream of any Klown kid (well, actually, Klown kids aren’t allowed to have dreams, so the dream of his or her parent) is to attend a SKY university (an acronym made up of the names of the most famous-uh universities in Klown). It doesn’t really matter though. 98%, ninety fucking eight percent, of Koreans graduate from some form of post-secondary institution (though Klowns have the highest failure rate of any nationality of students in ivy league schools at 44%). That means a 98% pass rate. Holy fuck.

What is the value of a good standardized test, you know, the ones the Klowns love so much? That’s right, that not everyone can pass it. The fact that the test is challenging makes it a valuable assessment tool.  The same is true of an educational institution.  The Klowns, in their perpetual lack of self-awareness, abandon the core principle that they use to push kids through the public edumakation system immediately after they finish. Forget what that actually teaches these young high school graduates for a moment – forget the lessons on life and motivation and prospect of failure – it renders everything they sacrificed (told you I’d get to it) useless. What they get is a degree after 16-20 years of schooling (and that’s just for the bachelor’s) that is worthless to the world outside the borders of Klown, and seen as a minimum requirement for work within Klown. Might as well just call it grades 13-16 of high school. Of course no advanced nation takes a Klown degree seriously.  Why would they?  Students graduate with no global knowledge or social skills, and everyone passes.  The Klown degree is a prison, ensuring that the holder of said degree will only ever be able to work in Klown, shitting and swallowing along the Human Centipede chain.

Klowns are socially retarded. If you find that offensive, fuck you. That’s the best descriptive phrase that I’ve heard to describe Klown. This is clearly a result of how Klowns are edumakated, starting from early childhood. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, large amounts of time and energy were dedicated to teaching me things like:

–       polite social behaviors (i.e. don’t negatively impact others with your actions if avoidable)

–       health and exercise

–       not being a sore loser and being gracious in defeat

–       creative development

–       divergent thinking

–       consequences for upsetting others

–       proper public space behavior

–       setting of personal and logical boundaries

–       cooperative learning

–       innovative project completion

–       risk-taking

–       personal hygiene and sanitation

etc et-fucking-cetera… but Klown kids, no no… they sacrifice all those kinds of things.  What you get are kids who grow into adults without even a small semblance of civilized behavior.  And outside of Klown, particularly in the developed world, nobody wants to tolerate the socially inept bullshit behavior of Klowns.

It is to be expected, of course, in a society where there are no social boundaries or expectations beyond “shit on anyone you want so long as his or her date of manufacture is not earlier than your own”. It is to be expected when a generation of socially retarded assholes is in unquestioned, unchallenged, total control of a new generation. Blind leading the blind. What you get are kids who cannot possibly fucking function in public in a global context. Kids who don’t know how to swim despite their country being a virtual island that regularly floods. Kids with the nationalistic, just plain old untrue-taught-as-truth “knowledge” (propaganda) that ensures that they sound like drooling fucking morons once they leave the kuntry.  Kids who hate each waking hour and report the highlight of their week to be a half-hour they were allowed to play in the soot-sprinkled playground in the parking lot of their apartment complex. Kids who far too often end up killing themselves because that part of them that is human and independent and free knows deep down that Klown Kulture is an unnatural abomination of the human spirit and psyche and that they cannot escape from it.

Klown takes children, crushes their spirit, independence, creativity and talents, then gives them a meaningless, ass-wipe degree as a reward for surrendering a meaningful childhood and everything that makes our species special. But hey, at least they get some sweet PISA scores, right?  Klown can trumpet those. It can flash around its designer handbag of prestige then go back to home at the pig sty, deeply indebted and without any realistic Plan B other than to root around it the sty muck and hope to get to the trough ahead of the other porkers.

 

There is so much more to say about Klown edumakation that this might need a part 2… in the meantime, try not to get run over or contract TB reader.

 

Benediktion

Hey, Kheers buddy!

In the 1970s, Korea’s President Park I introduced a new economic policy called saemaul undong. The gist was that the government was going to take all the money being shoveled at them by America and Japan and they were going to modernize the thatched-roof-hut-dwelling, hole-in-ground-shitting, bindle-toting, mud-caked peasant sty that was South Korea at the time. People were told to be self-reliant. People were told that it was their sacred duty to develop the nation (by working for slave wages or for free). So positively Stalinist was the brainwashing drive that the loudspeakers set up around the country (which now blare air raid sirens for drills that everyone ignores) would play a little song in the morning about how everyone should get up, get out and break their backs – for, again, little to no compensation despite the re-purposed slop buckets full of cash being given to start-up chaebols – to modernize the place. The promise of this uri nara was that the nation would be eternally grateful.

Well we know what became of the generation that actually did all that back-breaking (often quite literally) labor in the 70s. A taste of how they were “thanked” can be found here.

Klown is a lie. In some ways, it is even more Orwellian than North Korea. Pigs in suits running the place. Some pigs are more equal than others.

 some pigs are more equal

Klown relies on brainwashing and self-perpetuating propaganda. If Klown were to be honest with itself, the fog of nationalism would lift and people would look round and see what a filthy fucking sado-masochistic society of deep, deep unhappiness they live in and the world’s already-highest suicide rates would climb to unimaginable levels.

But that fog won’t lift since just as the economy is propped up on shaky, unsustainable government (well, American) cash and bank controls, the “kulture” and society itself are propped up on lies and bullshit.

 A Klown promise is meaningless.

A Klown handshake is a throw-away novelty.

An official Klown document, like the ones here and here, or contract is best used as toilet paper.

A Klown ‘thank you’, well…

 Since the Klown sokker skwad cheated their way to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup that had to be co-hosted by Japan since nobody trusts the fucking Klowns to get anything right without have actual free-thinkers to copy off of, every 4 years the Klowns pull out their red shirts and shout all that uri nara bullshit in the mindless, zombie-like way that all Klowns do all things.

So their skwad, of course, was eliminated by teams that didn’t go on all-night soju binges and room salon tours, and returned home – some time after being eliminated I might add – to this. Thank you very fucking much, national team, now we’re going to pelt you with toffees in a bizarre gesture that means “Fuck you, GTFO!”. And these guys are the national fucking heroes for nose-picking, scream-talking kids all over Klown. They didn’t get ass-raped 7-1 like Brazil, but still, thanks, and fuck you.

The other story that caught my eye was this ban on international travel for public servants, which includes teachers. There is a post all to itself about the hypocrisy of waging a “war” with North Korea over its Stalinist tactics while employing all the same maneuvers at home, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Klown, the Konfucian “paradise”, sets teachers on a pedestal in accordance with the hierarchy of relationships dogma. But predictably, that is entirely bullshit. Teachers in Korea are already told through action in no uncertain terms that they are not valued, not respected, allowed no free time and tolerated only so long as they militaristically drill Q&As into kids’ skulls enough to gain prestigee on tests like the PISA (again, another post). Now their basic right (Article 13 to which Klown is a signatory) to Freedom of Movement is being revoked?

Well hey, chalk that up on the long list of Klown phlegm balls having been spat in the face of UN codes and values.   But remember, a Korean’s signature on a document has no meaning, so anything signed at the UN is just playtime for a Klown a’come beggin’ with his hands out and a used-car salesman smile atop his reflectively shiny $10 suit and just beneath his caricaturish comb-over.

In Klown, “thank you” means you should keep one hand on your wallet and circle away.

Like most things in Klown, your naively genuine reaction to a thank you identifies you as a mark, a target to be taken advantage of, whether by your boss, your fans, your family members or the entire nation.

 There is nothing real here. Nothing authentic or heartfelt or without some sneaky-yet-small-time angle to play. Even something as basic as a thank you is a Trojan horse.

A thank you would imply that a Klown gives a fuck about you and your actions. But they don’t. A Klown is a myopic and narcissistic fuck incapable of real thought outside him or herself.

In that spirit, I’d like to say thanks. Thank you Klown, for 8 wonderful years. Thank you for all the joy you have given my senses. Thank you for teaching me about your unique and special and old and globally-famousuh kulture. Thank you for Psy and K-pop and K-dramas and kyopos and the entertaining way you’ve decorated each and every street.

 

Khapel O’ Love

“Gee I really love you
And we’re gonna get married
Goin’ to the chapel of love (yeah-yeah-yeah)”

 

 


Ever been to Vegas?

Fake pyramids, plastic monuments… the whole place itself a monument to vice, depravity and inauthenticity. But Vegas doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Vegas knows what it is – a shallow, soulless place void of ethics, tradition or culture. It is a place where morbidly obese tourists gorge themselves on ten dollar lobster buffets, drink complimentary highballs until they feel ill, and gamble away their children’s college tuition without a thought toward such trivial annoyances as odds, responsibilities or consequences.

It is perhaps the most selfish, most narcissistic, least genuine, most insincere place in America. A place where cards advertising prostitutes are passed out and thrown on the ground where kids walk with their parents, the whole Podunk litter of them dazzled by the flashing lights. A place where these flashing lights and plastic facades are meant to distract you from the gaping pit of human misery underlying them. A place where the only thing you can trust in is that you can’t trust anyone, as they are all out to fuck you over. A place where the men are alcoholic loudmouth scumbags and the women are plastic surgery whores with a sub-par IQ. A place where love and marriage are reduced to a 10 minute McWedding at the local “Chapel O’ Love”.

Korea is pretty much Vegas, only Vegas is cleaner, more fun and easier to stomach.

Oh yeah, and Vegas doesn’t masquerade as anything but Vegas. You don’t see commercials for Vegas as a wholesome family spot or as a place for people to experience true American history or for them to visit the ‘real’ Eiffel Tower. Klown, on the other hand, is a gigantic lie – both from within and to the rest of the world. Everything that Klown tells itself and others that it is, it is actually the exact opposite. From “traditional 5,000 year old cultural paradise” to “feudal serf level peasant social backwater of filth”. From “collectivist Confucian stronghold of purity” to “most selfish and abusive people in the modern world”. From “innovative technological marvel” to “unapologetically stole every single idea from elsewhere and claimed it as our own”.

I knew when I first visited Vegas what I was in for. I never felt deceived in the way I have in Klown, despite how much I believed the games might have been rigged. I never felt – in a city built upon the premise of tricking people out of their money with the promise of the possibility of striking it rich – as tricked and lied to as I did when I exited the Incheon airport and found out all too quickly what Klown was all about.

Klown Kulture is meaningless, empty and plastic, and this is exemplified by their most sacred of ceremonies…

I was talking with a kid in one of my weekend classes the other day. As usual, I warmed up with the innocuous opener of, “How was your week? What was the most interesting thing that happened?”

Jimmy: I went to a wedding with my dad.
Me: Oh yeah? Whose wedding was it?
Jimmy: I don’t know.
Me: You went to a wedding and don’t know who got married?
Jimmy: My dad told me that we should just go in, eat and then leave.
Me: What about the ceremony?
Jimmy: We didn’t see the ceremony.
Me: Did you meet the bride and groom?
Jimmy: No. We ate and then left.

Now I wish I could say this was unusual or exceptional, but I can’t, because that would be a lie.

I’ve been here 8 years, and many people I have met in my time here have gotten married. I’ve been to more than a few Klown weddings, and without exception they have all been exactly the same.

  • Arrive at a building where multiple weddings are being held simultaneously.
  • Follow signs to wedding hall H
  • Shake hands with people you really aren’t sure are relatives. Hope you are at the right wedding as the ones to the left and right are in every way identical.
  • Show up and pay money. Not a meaningful, personal gift (there is no space for those even if you did bring one, and even if there were you would be frowned upon for not giving cash)
  • Jostle for a seat in a hall with plastic everything. Not a single aspect is organic. A convention room at a third-tier, midwest Howard Johnson would be more natural.
  • Clap for the bride and groom who enter at a quick pace under some shitty disco lighting and techno music across an aisle made of underlit white plastic.
  • Stoic-looking, artificially-positioned in-laws are bowed to in the floor-licking subservient way the signifies how progressive and modern Klown culture is.
  • A 5-minute ceremony by a bored, 85-year-old…. preacher? who repeats the exact same shit every 20 minutes. Everyone is bored shitless, even the bride and groom. Any expectation of sincerity or deeper meaning has now been long abandoned
  • Some shitty candle is lit by two barbeque-length extendo-Bic lighters (then is quickly blown out to be reused 20 minutes later)
  • Some friend of the couple comes up to sing some off-key, spleen-shattering “balla-duh” (as apparently every fucking Klown ever born thinks the world wants to hear their talentless fucking renditions of popular songs that weren’t sung with any talent when they were recorded to begin with)
  • We’re 15 minutes in and everyone claps politely. Those near the back have already made their way to the buffet tables.
  • Eat in a room with 100 tables. You don’t know where you are supposed to sit since there are people from half a dozen different weddings scattered about in different stages of their meals. There are bottles of soju and klassy paper cups on every table to reflect just how valuable and special the day is.
  • Watch as the Klowns devour the slops like the pigs they are, splattering food from bow to stern of the place and making noises that a diseased sow would be ashamed of.
  • Get your parking validated and prepare for the inevitable gut-rot splatter-shits that will follow the “wedding feast”
  • Never contact your “friends” again out of resentment for having to have traveled out of your way for, and paid for, the “privilege” of being subjected to that horrid half hour.

Now a wedding in Italy is like a two day affair. It is full of love, drama, music and family. It is authentic. It is heartfelt. It is sometimes too dramatic, but each emotion is genuine. At the end of it, each person feels the release and peace of having laid it all on the line in the name of love and hope.

Then there is Klown. I can’t think of any other place in the world, outside of Las Vegas, where the process of uniting two people in matrimony is treated with such disrespect and what seems like sarcastic parody. For all Klown’s bullshit smack talk about family and the importance of marriage and blah blah fucking blah bullshit bullshit bullshit “values” bullshit “culture”… their weddings have a decidedly inauthentic vibe, to put it mildly.

First off, there isn’t anything traditionally Korean about a tuxedo (ill-fitting as it is used 10 times a day by various grooms), white dress (often restrictively tight and stinking of the sweat of the 3 brides who wore the same thing previously in the day) and Elvis (seriously, fucking Elvis?), okay? But every aspect of a Korean wedding smacks of the Vegas Chapel O’ Love Drive-Thru, where the flowers are imitation silk and the preacher was ordained online in under ten minutes. Shit, even the guests of a Klown wedding don’t give a shit about it. It’s a pre-packaged, processed cheese-slice nightmare ceremony that takes the idea of love and familial commitment and spits a hawrked-back wad of phlegm in its face.  Then ashes out a cigarette in it.

What’s the takeaway one is supposed to get? What are we supposed to learn from a Klown wedding? What social values can we discern?

That one of the most important, most (according to their own advertisement of their own cultural values) sacred events in life is basically worthless. It is paid token respect… if it’s lucky.

But that’s Klown. A place where the kultural buzzword is “respect” but in which the only respect ever paid is token respect. From ferry captains to Pagoda CEOs to professors to Emart workers to school principals – it’s all a load of steaming, almond brown, soft-to-the-touch, corn-peppered horse shit.

Klown kulture and stated values are as sincere as Klown wedding ceremonies.

A land of plastic respect, plastic love and plastic humanity.

If only Klown would just be honest with itself and accept itself. If only Klown were more like Vegas… then the people getting off the planes in Incheon would be like those getting off the planes in McCarran, perhaps self-deluded but not Ponzi-schemed into thinking Klown is going to be anything other than the filthy, amoral, narcissistic, shouting, indebted mess that it is.

Klown: Where Dreams Go to Die
Klown: The Unwashed Taint of the ‘Developed’ World (Now Featuring HPV!)
Klown: The Tragic End of The Fly Waiting to Happen

Klown: A Hunka Hunka Burning Love Feces in a Paper Bag