Friday, August 04, 2006

postal scrotum: Jeambar, world peace, and wacky commenters

Charles of Liminality writes (email has been edited for privacy's sake):


Interesting post on Jeambar's editorial (excellent translation as well). I think you are possibly the only French apologist in the Korean blogosphere. This amuses me.

I don't think the last sentence [of the editorial] is an overstatement. Logically, it makes perfect sense. World peace means that the entire world is at peace, which also means that violent, radical groups like Hezbollah must be disarmed. He happens to be focusing on the Hezbollah-Israel conflict, so I don't think it is odd that he doesn't mention other groups. Even if all other violent groups are disarmed, if Hezbollah remains the world cannot be considered at peace. Therefore I think it is indeed imperative for peace in the world that Hezbollah be disarmed.

I'm also not surprised at the negative comments to his editorial. Have you ever gone in and read some of the comments Korean netizens leave at online news pieces? By and large they are incredibly jingoistic and often borderline xenophobic, not to mention extremely vulgar and irrational. It's like only the lunatic fringe comments on online Korean news stories (although you do occasionally get the commenter who comes in using jondaemal* and trying to reason with these freaks. It's like walking into an insane asylum and trying to hold a reasonable conversation--amusing to no end. I must admit that I did make this mistake once myself, until I figured out the type of people I was dealing with). Whether it really is just the lunatic fringe or not, the fact remains that a certain type of person comments on online news stories, and this person cannot be said to represent the populace as a whole.



I don't visit the Korean-language message boards or the comments sections of Korean-language news articles because I don't think my Korean's nearly good enough to make heads or tails of what's going on in them (especially the swear words; I can't swear for shit in Korean). Lame excuse, I know, and probably a parallel to why so many Koreans don't read English-language material on the Net, instead preferring to paddle around in the relatively small and incestuous cyberpond of coreanophone websites.

Your point about Jeambar's remark is well taken. I don't know whether I'm a full-on French apologist-- I have deep disagreements with French foreign policy and what I often perceive to be the shameless hypocrisy of French critiques of American foreign policy. But it's true that I think there's plenty to love about France. The wackiness that makes the French so hated among politically-minded Americans is the same quality that makes them so lovable when you consider France in terms other than politics.

Speaking of lunatics, wackiness, and insane asylums, the nuttiness continues regarding our favorite cross-dressing blogger. Check out the Party Pooper's hilarious post here.

UPDATE: I guess I have another disagreement with the French: there are better ways for a two-man team to stabilize a sniper rifle (thanks to Sperwer for the unsettling pic).

*Jondaemal is polite, high-register speech, with the proper suffixes and vocabulary to convey an appropriately respectful tone. In Korean, as in Japanese, grammar matters greatly. Fights can break out because a person has addressed another person in the wrong register.


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