Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crash of the iconoclast

JK writes this at the Marmot's Hole:
It’s pretty sickening how gbevers is using this as an excuse to espouse his typically poisonous negative generalizing of the Korean people…again. And he wonders why he has problems in Korea…..
Gerry Bevers is quite a fixture in the K-blogs, noted for his willingness to look at all sides of an issue objectively, as long as one of the sides isn't Korea or Japan and the issue is not Tokto/Takeshima.

Poor Gerry. On the one hand he is misunderstood, and on the other he misunderstands. Before I go on, let me say with clarity and sincerity: It is absolutely wrong for Gerry to have lost his job simply for espousing an unpopular belief (if that's what really happened). 

Not only did I warn him about him constantly leaving an electronic trail that leads back to his university (for fear that someone might use that to retaliate against him, something similar having happened to me), but I even called up his school with the intention of protesting his dismissal on such grounds (because that's how Kushibo rolls). 

Still, one has to wonder what goes through his head and, moreover, does some of it spill out his mouth when he teaches or talks with his students. Here are some choice bits over the years.

Stating that Korea would have been better off if Japan had kept it:
That is very interesting, including his belief that Japan should have been allowed to keep Korea. Imagine all the problems that could have been avoided if the US had taken his advice.
Yes, I'm sure continued occupation of Korea by Japan would have been problem-free, because Korea was not a colony forced to be a part of Japan, but a willing ally:
Besides, why is Japan the only country in Asia that is required to admit its wrongs? Others were allied with Japan, including Korea, but have they admitted their wrongs? Has Koreans admitted their wrongs? No, they make excuses.
And of course, in the whole scale of things, the Korean assassin of an Imperial Japanese political figure is basically equivalent to orchestrating the Pacific War and killing millions:
Japan does not take issue with Korea’s honoring Ahn Jung-gun, a convicted terrorist who assasinated one of Japan’s greatest statemen, so why should Koreans complain about a shrine that enshires a few war criminals, who Koreans supported during the war, among millions of Japanese war dead.
Korea and Imperial Japan? Same-same. (I think Gerry Bevers should use a photo of Durham Stevens for his avatar. Given his beliefs and everything he's gone through, he himself might find it apt.)

UPDATE (later that evening):
Whoa! It's like he reads my blog or something. I can't believe he gave me something new on the same day I put up this post. 

Koreans under Japanese rule? Happy and content:
Nice videos. The people in the 1938 video looked pretty content and happy to me. Also, Korean culture seemed to be doing just fine under Japanese rule.
Someone made the comparison to Jews under Nazi rule, but I'll just stick with North Koreans now and over the past few decades. Happy as clams up in the North, they are. I know 'cuz I saw 'em on TV.

UPDATE (next day):
I think I'm going to end up with a daily string of updates. This pretty much sums up Gerry's belief system:
Things were not perfect in colonial Korea, but the Japanese left the country better than they found it.
That may be true, by their very act of leaving. 

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