You know, every step of the way, I've been giving the warnings.
People scoffed when I said, years ago, that there was a "pattern" in the media's treatment of foreigners. Now, I doubt anyone can imagine it to be otherwise. You know, being a teacher here in Korea - even a foreign one - used to garner respect. And I'd say the quality of foreigners in Korea was much worse back when the numbers of foreigners wanting to live in Korea was low and the professionalization of the industry was in its infancy.
People actually gave me a lot of shit on this very blog when I warned that this pattern was dangerous and would lead to concrete consequences, such as changes in policy and even the laws. No one doubts that link today.
Yet, I'm the alarmist.
Now, a foreigner in need of obvious help commits suicide, and all the Korean media can do is fit it into the "evil foreigner" trope. Calls for screening alcoholism? Characterizing a man who is no different from the many people in this world, Korean or not, who was so hurt and tortured by something inside that he took to drink and then eventually took his own life as some kind of deviant or miscreant or criminal?
Has the discourse really gone this far? Don't you all see this as the last straw? How much has this discourse categorically dehumanized us so far that a newspaper can publish this kind of thing? A man has an alcohol problem and commits suicide, and he's added to the mental ticker in Koreans' heads of "deviant, criminal foreigners?"
Because there aren't any Koreans with alcohol problem, or killing themselves.
I actually teared up when I read this, not so much because of the tragic death, to be honest. I'm another product of urban modernity, and my heart has hardened, unfortunately, to the reality of others' pain laid bare in the news.
But what really gets me -- and adds insult to this man's pain and injury to those who knew him -- was realizing just how MUCH the Korean media hates us, how much people have come to accept their construction of all foreigners as some kind of social monsters.
It doesn't get any more callous, inhuman, and hypocritical than this.
We've become a social monster -- it's out of control.
I don't know what's worse -- the media's irresponsibility or the willingness of the everyday Korean person to believe the worst and most ridiculous things about us.
It really is enough to make me stop caring about trying to fix things and just concentrate on becoming more commercially successful in my photography, stop reading the newspapers, and make that scrilla. Just get paid, get laid, and fuck thinking about social issues and problems.
Maybe that's what happens when one starts bumping up against one's forties, or lived in Korea long enough, or just care too much.Who knows?
I think it's time to think more about making lots of money and buying bright, shiny things that will keep me distracted from the people in the world who obviously want to leave the place a shittier place than when they found it.
Because, as you travel through life, you realize that there's nothing you can do about those people, and they're going to win in the end. Time to go make that money and meet more honeys. In the end, that's the only way to be comfortable, gain real power, not to mention regular health care.
Fuck it. I'm done.
You win, evil people in the world.