So I’m at some internationally themed speed dating/party event, standing around, noshing on the inevitable chicken and beer and scoping out other people’s fashion when…
Random White Guy: Hey!! You’re a foreigner! That’s weird!!
Me: Um…you’re a foreigner too.
RWG: Yeah, but you’re not white!!
RWG: Don’t you just HATE it here?
Me: Uh…no? Why would I…?
RWG: Well, doesn’t the racism REALLY bother you?
Me: Uh…well…I haven’t experienced anything too blatant, I just…
RWG: OH COME ON!!! I have ONE black friend and SHE says that all the Koreans she knows treat her bad because she’s black.
Me: Well, I’ve definitely met some folks who don’t seem to like foreigners but…
RWG: So you mean nobody’s walked up and touched your hair, or told you you’re ugly, or asked you strange questions, or acted like they didn’t wanna be around you, or not wanted to hire you or anything like that?
Me: Yeah…but that all happened with white people in the USA too.
RWG: Well, I’m Canadian.
And THAT, friends, neighbors, and internet stalkers, says more about the state of foreigner race relations in Korea than anything I could make up ever could.
Today’s quote comes from Skunk Anansie’s “Intellectualise My Blackness”. I couldn’t find a video of the band performing it, but I did find this cool video featuring the song and pics of black woman who made their lives doing what it was they wanted to do despite racism.
P.S. I promise this’ll be the last race based post from me for a while, beautiful people. I think…
So for the four months I was in Denver, I rented a room from a 60-ish Vietnam vet who practiced Religious Science and sold organic steak for a living. He was a great person to get to know during my short stay in the US and we had quite a few late night chats in which my new friend dispensed advice without ever really seeming to.
One of the things he said was that a great way to see a new city is to go on dates. When he first moved to Denver as a young man, he invested in a very creative personal ad (this is pre-match.com) and got to know the city by going on a series of low pressure dates with, as he says, “the women of Denver”.
This sounded like a great idea, so shortly after moving to South Korea, I set up a few new online dating profiles on sites that seemed focused on, y’know, actually meeting people to do stuff. I steered clear–I thought–of the hook up sites and the “let’s text and or message each other ad nauseum until we don’t want to meet anyway because you are A BORING PERSON” sites.
I set up the profiles, let them marinate, and came back to check. What interesting, new and/or devastatingly handsome guys awaited me, ready to show me the sights and sounds of Seoul?
Dear GOD. Say it with me, boys and girls…creep city!
Now, ALL online dating has a slight creep factor–how could it not? But honestly…I’ve had an online dating profile in three different countries and nowhere has been as creepy as South Korea.
There are way too many race fetishists and neo-colonial greaseballs floating around this here 인터넷, y’all. Every single profile and ad I’ve seen so far has had an oddly specific racial desire included and a lot of them start with asinine things like “Hi, I’m _____. I can be your white (insert horrible noun here)!” or “If you ever want to try a chubby black girl, I’m here for you.”
Say it with me again, boys and girls…creep city! EEEEEK!
Koreans aren’t exempt from this, by the way. Despite what the apparent legions of Korean culture fans who seem to be constantly asking if it’s possible for Koreans to be attracted to non-Koreans on every single Korean culture website I go to(especially this one) would have you believe—Koreans love them some everybody. Or at least return the fetish favor. (I got a message from a Korean guy asking if I’d ever worn a weave and if not, would I wear one for him. Yeah. It’s like that.)
Jesus be a matchmaker. I can understand having racial preferences(I certainly have a few) as long as you’re not an exclusionary self-hating asshole about it. (As in; “I am a black woman and I prefer black men.” is okay. “I am a black woman, and I only date white/Chinese/Puerto Rican men because black men ain’t about my life!!” is stupid and you just look like a heffa. Cut it out. And really, do you think there are no black Puerto Ricans? Like what you like, but don’t be a douche about it.) I can’t understand creating a dating profile just for the purpose of dating XYZ group of people. I REALLY can’t understand folks who answer that kind of ad. Do you think weave boy got a response from me? NO. That message got deleted, which is the same direction I think that my online dating profiles are going to go.
I haven’t been on any dates here facilitated by the internet yet…but I have been on a few with folks I met in this strange thing called real life. (6 weeks in Korea vs 6 YEARS in England has been extraordinarily good for my mojo. I’m just saying…) They haven’t all been black. And I find that, even though you don’t get the extensive backstory of an online profile, I’m seeing just as much of the city that way as well…without having to side-eye anyone because I’m wondering if they found my profile by checking the “black” box when searching. And it’s nice not to know too much about a date–after all, it gives you something to talk about.
Love to hear your comments on the racial preference thing and online dating sites if you have a moment…please. Remind me that people are still actually reading this blog…pwease…
Today’s title vid is below…and because I know you might be wondering, my racial preference is…
…none of your business unless you are dating me.
Peace, beautiful people!
Yeah, I’m still listening to Korean music. Love this song though…but the dancing in the video?. Um. Well.
Does Sung Hoon have eyes? Or are those glasses covering up bottomless wells of luv? Anybody know?
Okay, so moving on…
So I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about Korean pop music(musique/음악) anymore because last time it brought a bunch of fan-fic creepers out of the woodwork and I’m not eeeeeeven having that on my blog. Yes, I said not eeeeeeeven. Insert the appropriate neck roll and finger wave along with that eeeeeeeven. So this is a warning…I will be mentioning Korean pop music in this blog, but please no fan-fic creeper comments. They’ll be deleted, and if you leave one anyway, I’ll make cripplingly sarcastic comments about you in my real life. Okay?
There’ll be another travel post up later tonight, but meanwhile…
And although this has absolutely nothing to do with today’s content, the title comes from here. What can I say, I was a teenager in the 90’s like a lot of you were…
Yeah, so it’s official. I am a terrible person(personne/사람). A terrible person who is hanging on to my attempts to become trilingual because that may be all that redeems me. Excuse the vocabulary practice, then, please..
So what happened was this. I was speaking to someone on the subject of another person, who happened to be in the first person’s house(maison/집). First Person said, “Oh, Other Person is here…didn’t you two have an um, thing?”
I didn’t even think about my response. It just fell out of my mouth. “Yep, I hate her.”
What? What! WHAT!? “I hate her”? I hate her? WTF! I’m me. I don’t hate anybody, except for maybe The Man, and I don’t really even hate him…I just want him to go down because I stuck it to him.
Needless to say, me saying that I hated anything, let alone another human being, really disturbed me. I don’t do hate. I don’t even do nasty. I am the original annoying lily-throwingpacifist. I have literally let someone hit me with small noxious projectiles rather than fight back because I believe just that much in passive resistance(or at least, I used to). So how is it, that all of a sudden, I just casually hate folks? And mean it, too?
Well, if you ask some folks, it’s Jesus’ fault. And that brings me, however indirectly, to the topic of today’s post.
The story so far, after the jump…
50 posts, wow.
So on June 16, 2007, I started this blog. Totally a vanity project, and still is. Originally, it was a myspace blog, just for random observations and such. Myspace began to get a little juvenile, so I moved over here–coincidentally, just in time for me to make a massive intercontinental move, lose the whole world and gain my soul, and further entertain the handful of folks…mostly from the Denver arts scene and the nappturality.com forums…who were at the time following me around the internet.
Now, I mostly use it as a repository for random thoughts here and there…I literally do nothing to promote or publicize this blog, and never have but hey! we have 10,568 views! Thanks, everybody!
Life has changed a lot for me over the past four years…I’ll probably blog about it at length another time. But, in a nutshell…I’ve opened up a shop here. I’ve started studying here. I make music with Delta Buoy. I don’t do the whole happy Christian dogoodnik act anymore. And I’m just as random as I ever was.
Less meandering after the jump…or more, depending on your point of view…
I don’t actually like it, but this mess is catchy as hell.
Ok. So on my continued quest to learn Korean(Coréenne/한국어) I’ve been exploring new ways to acquire vocabulary and grammar skills naturally in addition to the normal lessons. When learning French fifteen years ago my tactic was to watch lots of Caillou and warp my little teenage heart with Jacques Prévert. Children’s programming works wonders at teaching the basics(colors, shapes, numbers etc.) and poetry gives a framework for how to speak about intangibles. However, for whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of children’s programming or poetry easily accessible in Korean(or if there is, I can’t find it).
What there is, is pop music and soap operas.
More after the jump….
*ahem* so yeah, my blog operates on CP time. And what?
I’ve got a few things to talk about on this Mother’s Day Sunday…
*Why is it so hard for people to mean what they say and say what they mean? Even in the superficial things? This is something I always work on…I don’t like empty words and I try not to use them. I’ll be honest and say, I’m not very good at removing empty words, but it’s something I’m working on.