Skip to Content

Annoying Things About Korea

Lady Gaga Greeted By Korean Hypocrisy and Blasphemy

Can It Really Be This Easy?
For those of you that don’t know, Lady Gaga is coming to Korea, to start her Born This Way worldwide tour. Popular? You could say that. According to Wikipedia, “she has sold an estimated 23 million albums and 64 million singles worldwide,[1] which makes her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. As of 8 April 2012, she has sold 7,246,566 singles in the United Kingdom.[2]” Somehow, the headlines around Lady Gaga’s arrival in Korea is being shared with…protests by Korean Christian groups. The very nature of these protests displays why Korea remains an enigma to many. “Enigma” is a carefully, tactfully chose word; other words that can be used are “incomprehensible” or “pathetic.” In any case, this type of behavior, and the publicity being shown upon it, is definitely an Annoying Thing About Korea.

Hypocrisy First
Told you this was going to be easy. Turn on Korean TV for about a nanosecond. Flip through about 5 channels. There, you will find a line of dancing girls between the ages of 18 and 25, wearing threads disguised as miniskirts. Go to any car/motorcyle/camera exhibit and you get the same thing. Wanna see some examples? Ever hear of YouTube?


Need more? Soju, the national drink of Korea, has this type of advertisement. Everywhere. The photo is from this excellent article in the blog The Grand Narrative.


Annoying Things About Korea #14: No Netflix, US Open, NFL

Licensing Agreements Are a Pain In The Neck


Corporate-Sponsored Censorship: Annoying Things About Korea #12

All That is Wrong With Korea
To those that have high hopes for Korea and its people, this is discouraging. To those that champion individual rights, this is disgusting. To those that believe that Korea can achieve even more, this gives you pause. To those watching Korea from abroad, this makes you wonder if this totalitarian, thought-control action has occurred in North or South Korea. What is “this?” This is Korea’s corporate-sponsored censorship. It can only occur when multiple parties participate. In this case, it is Samsung Electronics, and Naver.com.


Annoying Things About Korea #11: Shame on You, Retailers

Fears of Radiation Are Elevated in Korea
By now, native Koreans are used to living under an umbrella of underlying fear. This is one aspect of the Korean psyche. Fear of being subjugated, fear of being attacked by North Korea, and now, fear of radiation. However, today, the Chosun Ilbo reported that retailers have begun to introduce “radiation protective” products.


Annoying Things About Korea #10: The Obvious KPOP Cover-Up

It’s Obvious to Everyone, and the Law Looks the Other Way
Usually, the Seoul Gyopo Guide believes that Koreans believe too strongly that there is a conspiracy, or hidden story, behind events. That is, admittedly, a foreigner’s point of view. However, there is sometimes a case when a non-native Korean will see a case, and it is obvious that a cover-up has occurred. As a result, it is then somewhat understandable that there are conspiracy theories that run amok. One case: the circumstances surrounding the suicide of actress Jang Ja-Yeon.


Annoying Things About Korea #9: How Can Intelligence and Security Be Issues?

Korea Hit By 2nd Wave of Cyber-Attacks: HUH?


Annoying Things About Korea #7: On Facebook, I Can Be An Instant Celeb

Korea has a fake identity problem, and Facebook is making it worse
There is zero doubt about the genius of Facebook.  You can find lost friends (and Lost Seoul)s on Facebook, you can find join groups with others who have things in common with you, and you now, increasingly, you can play video games.

In Korea on Facebook, You Can Name Yourself Almost Anything
Go ahead and type in the name of a famous Korean person on Facebook.  Try Yuna Kim (or Kim Yuna or 김유나).  You will find an entire list of them.  Do you see what I mean?  Now if you really want to be a Fan, or join a group, which do you join? 


Korea is the Wrong Place for this Problem

Annoying Things About Korea #6: The English Version of Korean Newspapers Are Not Delivering News

The English Versions of Korean Newspapers Deliver News That Isn't (News)

Today, two separate articles appeared in different Korean (English version) newspapers.  They are not newsworthy, for separate reasons.  Perhaps that is the fascinating aspect, which is that there are multiple reasons that separate stories don't deserved to be published.

First, the following editorial appeared in The Chosun Ilbo, which had the groundbreaking (sarcasm) opinion that "2011 Will Be a Decisive Year for the Korean Economy."  None of the facts reported in the article are news.  In fact, most of those factors can be found written here (under the category "Korean economy", which was posted here on the Seoul Gyopo Guide over the past three months. 

Annoying Things About Korea #5: Wi-Fi Hotspots in Korea....Ole, Ole, Ole, ALLEH (updated)

Connecting to Wi-Fi Hotspots is Difficult and It's (Largely) Alleh's Fault

This could also belong on the What Foreigners Need to Understand About Korea (and Koreans) page.  Korea is the well-known to be the most widely internet-connected country in the world.  Tell that to a visitor from another country.  There are plenty of places that Wi-Fi is available, BUT the fact is that many, many, many places are controlled by Korea Telecom's Alleh.  You need to be a member of Alleh in order to connect to Wi-Fi at these hotspots.  The problem with becoming a member?  You need a national identification number that can be validated by software.  And there begins the problem.

Annoying Things About Korea #2: Those Blinking Ads on the Internet

Blinking Lights on Christmas Trees is Fine.  On the Internet?  No.

When you see Seoul at night, you see nothing but lights, lights, and more lights.  Stunning really.



Syndicate content
Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group