Fans of this blog frequently send me material for my regular “Japan: Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?” posts.
And as you know, I’ve never flinched from posting about Chinese chainsmoking, spitting on the sidewalk and other forms of public expectoration, “colorful” eating habits and those now-infamous “smashed crates of bok choy all over Spandina.”
On a couple of occasions, I’ve been led to ask: why aren’t Koreans notoriously crazy, too? I don’t recall Frozen Chosin vets bringing back tales of prostitutes with particularly novel and (to me) pointless talents, or bizarre unavoidable cuisine, or irritating group characteristics such as habitual lateness.
Inevitably, my inbox duly fills up with a small number of “don’t get me started” type messages, yet I can’t recall their contents, which tells you something in and of itself.
Korea is the Asian country too boring to have its own stereotypes — unless that in itself counts as one. It’s like the Rhode Island of Asia.
Consider the ratio of stories like this one compared to similar ones coming out of Japan and China each day. I really don’t get it.
UPDATE: my readers never let me down. Alas, the Koreans continue to do so…
OK, I’ll leave out their habit of puppy eating (Fettucini El Fido; Borzoi Bok Choy; etc.) and simply point out that Korean companies (led by those boring Koreans) are notoriously and repeatedly guilty of stealing more patents / intellectual property than any other nation, including China.
Korean corporate giants including Samsung, Hynix, Hyundai, LG, etc have been convicted of more ‘patent infringement’ in U.S., Canadian and European courts than any other nation, by far. I know that’s not as colorful as most other crimes, but it’s far more costly to innovators and the nations where those innovators live and pay taxes … no royalty payments from over there = no taxes to collect over here = the potholes never get filled.
Based on our [redacted] years of living/working in Tokyo (and regularly traveling on biz from there to Korea) I’d say Koreans are so boring because they work so long and hard … never seen such LONG hours by so many … they make the Japanese look like welfare panhandlers sleeping on Toronto streets by comparison.
But when Koreans steal and use the patents of others (mostly American) without paying, it’s worth BILLIONS in unpiad royalties with a B … boring, but BIG.
FYI, the memory chips in your computer and mine (as well as in all cell phones and digital cameras) which make this whole internet thingy so fast and fascinating were invented and patented by a U.S. company named Rambus … that IP was stolen and used by Samsung and Hynix years ago (and is still being used – but not paid for – today) and a lawsuit by Rambus to collect on the damages has been slowly dragging through the U.S courts since 2005 with no trial date yet set! The damage amount claimed is $4.2 BILLION … if it’s not settled before trial, California law automatically triples the damages (as a penalty) so that makes the lawsuit worth almost $13 Billion = clearly the BIGGEST heist in history by far, perpetrated by those “boring” Koreans.
Keep on kickin’ lefty ass, Kathy … we love it, and you!
Good point here:
“I think the whole Christianity thing tamps down on the crazy.”
Note–probably not Koreans but not sure: