Sunday, April 2, 2006

Kushibo pontificates

I've been quoted in the Joongang Daily, along with The Marmot and Oranckay. About fifteen or twenty minutes of by-phone discussion with Niels Footman, a real good guy by the way, was distilled down to this nine-word quote:
...and that's a limitation of the English-language blogosphere here: It is predominantly the domain of American men. Why? For one thing, there are more Americans here than natives of other English-speaking countries, and men may just more interested in computers and politics than women. "Kushibo," another American blogger, has another explanation: "We're just quicker to express our opinions, I guess."
Well, at least I did say that, and unlike a certain reporter from a certain world-reknowned newspaper, he managed not to quote me out of context. The full quote, though, was less a dig at other Anglophones for being slow and more a dig at some of my fellow American citizens for being a whiny and opinionated lot, especially about things that aren't here the way they think they are or should be back in the States.

Ah, you can see what fun I must be at parties.

To be fair, that's not all I said about why Americans (to include kyopo and non-kyopo Americans in Korea) tend to dominate the blogs. I think Americans as a whole tend to be more established in non-hagwon jobs (which is the case with Oranckay, Space Nakji, The Marmot, Jodi at Asia Pages, The Flying Yangban, Lost Nomad, and me) than other English-speaking nationalities, not just because of the relative population numbers but because of the length (and depth) of the post-war US-ROK relationship. I guess I could include extra-territorial bloggers such as Plunge in that list. The hagwon experience, as I understand it, lends little time and opportunity for blogging on Korea's social and political issues, and also tends to concentrate on-line efforts on places like English Spectrum and Dave's ESL Café. (Of course, there are exceptions).

I think Mr Footman makes a good point about the dearth of women's blogs in the Korea-related blogosphere. There are very few and not many of them tackle the kinds of issues that Marmot's Hole does.


  1. Oh my. Those should be some interesting articles.

    We shall see. I think it depends on which direction he goes in.

    For me, a slight part of my decision to focus on personal topics was because it seemed like there were already so many political blogs out there. I didn't want to cover the same ground.

    Well, I would hope that you would still try your hand at some topics. Well, I guess you do on the ones that are important.

    Also, I, too, do not work at a hagwon and never have.

    I didn't think so, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, I have added you (and Nomad) to the list.

  2. Plunge wrote:
    I once dated the owner of a hagwon in Korea, but that is another story...

    I hope it wasn't some fat guy named Mr. Lee who has thick fingers from too many soju binges. That would be gross.


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