Monday, November 21, 2005

Figuring out the "Free Annyong" movement

[Note: This post is a slightly revision of my response to a post at Oranckay.]

Oranckay is not too happy about a website called "
Free Annyong."
This is supposed to be funny? A campaign against international adoption? What to think?
I doubt the “letter” from the “Korean Consultate of Child Services” is going to go over well in Korea when people find out about it. A
WHOIS search says the domain is owned by Twentieth Century Fox. Links from lead to the site for a Fox show titled “Arrested Development,” which is, in turn, a big joke on surburban white Americans.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that I am the one who is responsible for this being brought to your attention, either directly or indirectly, since the timing seems too coincidental for my off-hand reference and your post.

I now regret having posted that on Marmot's. It was a stupid stream of consciousness thing borne from seeing/hearing "Annyong" too many times over a short period (Korean cable shows "Arrested Development" several times a week, from which the "Free Annyong!" link comes). I had no idea this was going to result in an entire post itself on a widely read blog of considerable influence.

The link itself—and this would be my fault—is taken entirely out of context. Normally a person wouldn't navigate to the offending site unless they were already somewhat familiar with the show. And it is the show itself that provides context for the link, mitigating its offensiveness by a considerable degree.

But if you've never seen the Emmy-winning comedy, and if now your first glimpse of the show is this link itself, you may have difficulty believing me.

In context, the show is NOT against international/overseas adoption. It is a mock movement against overseas adoption solely by the fictitious Bluth Family. If you've seen the series, it is clear why.

The character in question, Annyong (whose frequent greeting to family members was mistaken as his name by the clueless Bluth clan, who also in another episode collectively did not realize that "Hermano" means "brother" and was not some guy's name) was adopted by a cold, calculating family matriarch who thought she and her under-investigation husband (the "arrested" one in the title) would look more sympathetic if they were raising a child (all their biological children were already grown).

Annyong in fact is one of the least clueless on the show, though at the end of the most recent season shown here, he seems to be falling for his (adoptive) niece, who is also a high school-age kid herself.

As Oranckay mentions at the end of his post, the show ridicules clueless rich Orange Countyites (not necessarily just White ones, though the Bluths are White). It is a funny show that pokes fun at a lot of sacred cows. Something offensive for everyone.

I have not heard of any significant protests about this aspect of the show, although Brent Bozell's Parents Television Council has called the show one of
the ten most offensive programs on TV. (Here's a note on their selections: Families should not be deceived. The top three worst shows all contain crude and raunchy dialogue with sex-themed jokes and foul language. Even worse is the fact that Hollywood is peddling its filth to families with cartoons like "The Family Guy" and "American Dad.") PTC does like "Bernie Mac," by the way.

I do take adoptees issues
very seriously, but in context this does not come across in the way it might appear on this website if taken by itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.