Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What the ... Thought Crime?!?!?

A friend on FaceBook watched the movie 1984 last week and was deeply disturbed by the parallels with South Korea. As he said "Thought Crime exists here!"

He saw a lot of parallels:

"I'm no expert in Korean language or culture but I keep running into Koreas notion of there being only 1 right way (or opinion) and many wrong ways.

For example the word "틀리다" is oftem used to mean wrong and different. That strikes me as double speak and limiting people's thoughts and actions through language.

In 1984 they address each other as brother and sister , here we have "형" "어니" etc.

Everyone has a rank and does what they are told, even if it is wrong. In Korea 2+2 does equal 5 if someone older than you says it does.

Critical thinking seems to be discouraged, especially in education where rote learning is king.

Also, being a public school teacher I hear kids singing the national anthem and taking the pledge of allegiance on what sometimes feels like a weekly basis.

Plus the collective culture, jingoism, uber nationalism "우리나라" our country not yours. Suspicion of '외국인' - literally outsiders.

I read 1984 about a hundred years ago, i'd never seen the movie. The movie made me think about Korea a lot."


There is a lot to the thought crime comment when you consider how the government goes after anyone who speaks out against it. I am not talking wing nuts who make death threats. I am talking about people who simply say they don't like government policies. Two years ago a friends co-worker, a University professor, was called in to the Police Department to discuss his anti-government comments. Some of her students had been called in too.


  1. Your friend is Blian Golden Balls! Lousy Korea is absolutely a lousy dystopian.

  2. I thought it was spot on. The mindset can be maddening. One and a half months and I will be on my way home. :)