Saturday, April 3, 2010

Intersting discussion going on...

If you are a regular here, you may also have seen this already:

Well, I was going to put my comment there, too. But then, I decided to wait until I see all kinds of reactions. As of now, I see 55 comments added, which I think, is the largest ever in his blog. Then, I decided to use my own blog to express what I think.

There is no right or wrong as far as how people take whatever presented to them. I can still wish that people did not take it in such way that made them feel upset. But if they are upset, they are upset. So, we cannot really make any argument to the fact that they are upset itself.

Just like someone who left a comment there pointed out, by giving reaction to something, it tells more about the person who made such reaction, rather than helping us to analyze the article itself. So, that's all about the readers, and we are just learning who they are. No criticism involved here from an observer like me.

Then, I also need to make some comment about what Sung said. I *think* (I know I may be wrong but this is what I think) that I know what Sung was thinking when he wrote it. Why? Because I tend to make a very similar statement and I do have experience of being misunderstood just like that. To avoid any type of conflict, it may be wiser to stay away from making race/ethnicity specific remarks. But honestly, I'm glad Sung did this.

OK. Let me clarify myself. I'm not glad because Sung piss off some of his fans, helping my competition (:P), but I found Sung seems to have had a faith in his fans. I feel he thought people would understand his point, which is probably not for everyone, but better chance among his fans. It turned out Sung was not completely right about it, though.

Anyway, luckily, I'm surrounded by a variety of people every day due to the nature of my work and we often pick each others' ethnicity as a joke. Even between my husband and I, who are from two different countries, we say something stereo typical about each other. We can truly enjoy that kind of thing because we have no doubt that we respect each other from bottom of our hearts as individuals. Only after that, it makes it possible to tease each other based on some characteristics (true or not) about each other.

I know ethnic joke is not for everyone. It could easily go wrong. But it's very very funny if you know how to enjoy them.

OK. Let me share one of my recent experience with my mother-in-law. She and I barely communicate with my broken Korean. But we understand each other pretty well. One day, we were shopping at the grocery store near our place, which is the closet one and the one we go all the time. We used to live one of the safest city in US - very low crime rate and fairly wealthy neighborhood (though we were not one of those wealthy groups). Anyway, when we were loading what we bought in my car, my mother-in-law suddenly started acting strange and looking very nervous. I did not understand what happened. Is she having a heart-attach? I worried. But then, she started holding her purse very tight. She ask me to hurry and get in the car right away and lock the door. OK. No problem. But why? Then, she said, "There was a black guy walking toward us." --- My point here is that for someone like my mother-in-law, who has lived in Korea for over 60 years without having any opportunity of dealing with international or multi-cultural thingy, she had no choice but making assumptions based on limited resources which I have no idea what they were. I tried explaining that the person was a store worker taking care of shopping carts that customers left in the parking lot. But that does not work for her. She was simply scared and I cannot force her not to. Yes. I do wish she knows better for her own sake since she decided to move to USA. It'll be very inconvenient if she cannot get rid of this kind of wrong image. But what can we do?

One more story. Things have been dramatically gotten better in past 10 years thanks to many Korean movies/TV dramas being so popular in Japan, but some of you may know the historical tension between Korea and Japan. Very long "love and hate" history. We have many stereo type images to each other. Typical and famous ones are: "Japanese have bad teeth," "Japanese smells like soy source," etc. Well, I do have bad teeth. I probably smell like soy source. But that doesn't bother me. My husband like them. The end of the story. But if the statement come from someone I don't know well or I don't have a good impression because the person gives some negative attitude toward me because I am a Japanese, then, I wouldn't enjoy such stereo type comments coming from the person. I will probably punch him in his face.

I don't really mind if any other Asian friends of mine ask me about what I think about what Japan did before. I am open for that kind of conversation. But if the same question come from someone who is only interested in seeing any Japanese embarrassed by such topic, then, I don't want to share any of my idea with such person.

For me, Sung is like my best friend. (I know it's my one-way love, but anyway!) It's not because of the roles he did in his movies, but including everything I know about him makes me feel this way. So, even if Sung quotes someone who made fun of my group of people or Sung himself said something, I won't be easily offended by that. Everything comes with its own context. For me, the fact it is Sung who is saying is good enough to make me feel comfortable for most of things unless he changes in the future.


Lindey said...

Hi Mari
It seems Sung wants to leave his blog. I think he feels hurt about all the comments. And some of them are nasty and personal. I think he feels alone too.

I think we as his true fans must enriched him to keep on blogging. He shouldn't let aggressive people intimidate him.

I left my comments there too, but it was only to defend Sung and his family. I felt like as for a fan it was the right thing to do.

Lindey said...

BTW if I read those comments, I actually get tears in my eyes!

ak1998 said...

Hey, Lindey

I saw your comment on Sung's blog, and thank you very much for that.

I guess different people have different comprehension level for whatever written or spoken. I still do not want to offend those who misunderstood or mislead because I'd also misunderstand or get wrong impression in some other cases if I am not familiar where they were coming from. I also know we'll just end up with finding ourselves wasting our time convincing people who do not wish to be convinced anyway. So, just let go. I do want to show my support to Sung. But at the same time, I think it is not his first time getting those types of reaction and at some point in the past, he probably decided to take it. Otherwise, he would've not chosen to stay being a public figure, continue speaking up. So, I believe in his strength.

But I really like what you did. You are very kind.

Lindey said...

Hi Mari

Thank you for your comment. I just felt if fans don't stand up for their role models, who will?

And I have no problems of jokes being made. Because you know what? If you make a joke of me being a German, guess what? I'm going to laugh with you. That's something may father learned to me: If you can't take a joke, don't make a joke!

But the comments they made on Sung's blog were awful, really! And dragging his family into it is UNCALLED FOR.

But maybe your right maybe I should let it go, maybe I dont know a lot of these things, but I still say Sung's fans must stand up for him:)

ak1998 said...

Hi, Lindey

I'm with you in every sense. And I really appreciate what you did for Sung. :) So, what I was saying is that people could behave wrong any time but it's hard to refute them especially for those who are not interested in getting corrected by someone else no matter how wrong they are. And my post is based on the same feeling like the one you expressed. I just wanted to show my support to what Sung did. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Sheree (monaymonroe). i came across you blog by happy accident! I left a nice long post on sungs page as I felt a need to speak out. He said what was true for him; as your mom said what was true for her. I wouldn't be upset at your mother if she ran from my brother; he'd more than likely say hello and help her with her groceries. Thank you for sharing your story as well.

padillamorquecho said...

Hi Mari
In this blog sung open up about his dad and crazy stuff like running.I like the crazy stuff i think sung and roger are the funnest. Now i hear that the man that raised him (stepfather) was a black man. I almost fell out of my chair. WHAT COULD BE NEXT?

ak1998 said...

Hi, Sheree!

Thank you for finding my blog and leaving your comment here. :) Well, honestly, I did not read any single posts to Sung's blog. So, I don't recall what exactly you wrote though I can easily check that back later. I'm glad you were not offended by my post. I kind of thought there may be a chance for getting misread. But my intension is not to offend anybody. Also, what Sung wrote is not about what he believes. Honestly, it's true that a lot of Asian old generations are very racists. Even toward the other Asian countries. For example, Japanese vs Korean, Korean vs Chinese, Chinese vs the rest of Asian, so on... Seriously, I've heard a lot even from my own friends and family members. They have never lived outside of Japan and hey are sooooo prejudiced just because they have no idea. People tend to be conservative if they did not get a chance to get to know things beyond their small boundaries. That's just their loss. If they are happy within such boundaries and rather not to know anything besides what they already know, then, what can we do. I chose not to stay within such boundaries, but I guess it's just me.

ak1998 said...

Hi, padillamorquecho!

Yeah. Sung just gave me one more reason for me to stay being his big fan! I like everything about Sung because his background and surrounding are so cool.

To be honest with you, I didn't pay much attention to Roger. I think he is good and I met him in person once -- though I did not talk to him like I did to Sung. Even my husband said Roger is a little bit.. Chinese. Now, I'm opening up me and my husband's prejudice toward Chinese people. :D Well, no. My best friend is from HK and many of my close friends are from China/Taiwan/HK. But I feel Japanese and Koreans share more stuff when it comes to culture/virtue/attitude, etc. -- like we both are kind of afraid of China and Chinese because they are big and there are so many of them.. over a billion! Even though both Sung and Roger are very Americanized, my husband and I - who are first generation in US -- felt Roger is very Chinese and Sung is very Korean. I don't know how to express this well,,, but yeah.. Roger got a very Chinese attitude, which we are a little afraid.