Monday, October 11, 2010

What the ... something of the something?!?!?

It is kind of funny that people are talking about the opening sequence of the latest Simpson's episode and South Korea. I associated it more with China or North Korea than South Korea. It wasn't even the 1st time the show has spoofed labour in South Korea. I forget which episode it was but they showed the Korean animators being forced to work at gun point. There was something that struck me as a perfect comment on Koreans though.

Marge: Sweetie, you can still go to McGill. The Harvard of Canada.

Lisa: Anything that is the something of the something isn't really the anything of anything.

How often have you heard Koreans, whether it is individuals, the government, or the media, say something is the something of Korea? I have heard it way too many times.

I think the most worn out ones I have heard are;

Jeju is the Hawaii of Korea
Pajeon is pizza of Korea

It is hard to remember just how many times I have heard those. Whenever you talk about Jeju that one tends to get throw out.

Brian in Jeollonamdo provided an interesting list. Here are some of the highlights.

Kim Gyeong-ah the Korean Paris Hilton (Why the hell anyone would be proud to claim to have a Paris Hilton is beyond me.)

Cheongnyangni is Korea's Amsterdam

Rain is Korea's Usher

Yeouido is Korea's Manhattan

The Jindo Sea-Parting Festival is Korea's Moses Red Sea Miracle. (Who is the Charelton heston of Korea?)

The Namdaemun arson is Korea's 9/11. (I find that one disgustingly stupid. As if you can compare a drunken asshole burning down Namdaemun with what happened on 9-11.)

The list goes on and on. The next time a Korean tell's me something is the something of Korea I will have to use Lisa's reply. :)


  1. Don't forget the Japanese occupation is the holocaust of Korea.

  2. There is that. Mind you ... I understand why and how they draw the parallel to the holocaust. But to compare Namdaemun to 9-11 is ludicrous. Insulting even.

  3. I thought the same thing when I saw that Simpsons last night. I'll have to check out Yeouido, and see if it is anything like Manhattan. I hope the folks who said that know that Manhattan is actually quite huge.

    Speaking of places in Seoul, the office where they draw the Simpsons is in Gangnam. I don't know where exactly, but I love the self depreciating humor that they have. The opening sequence in the Chinese gulag was pretty funny, it had my wife laughing. I imagine that there must be some place like that in Gangnam with kids studying English or something.

  4. Also saying something is the something of something else is more advertising ploy than truth. Saying that Jeju is the Hawaii of Korea is pretty much for Koreans who have never been to Jeju.

    Americans do that shit all the time too. Around the 1920s, in the Mid-western United States, there were a lot of houses built in the "California Bungalow," style. Just throwing the word, "California," into the title was a way to sell things by associating them with something perceived to be better than what was there. Koreans even do that with other Korean things. Down here in Jinju there are a lot of restaurants that have the name "Seoul something restaurant." Even down in Hadong or Namehae, I have seen "Jinju, restaurants." Here in Jinju, there is a balloon flower root extract company that says they grow their flowers on Mt. Jiri. Even though we are close to Mt. Jiri, they don't actually grow the flowers there, but they just say that for the effect. (Well that and the fact that the people who they are selling the balloon flower extract to are Japanese...who would probably be the only other people who actually care about the quality of their ginseng or balloon flower extract.)

  5. I forget what blog but someone posted about going to where they draw the Simpson's. It would be cool to do that. Hard for me now since I am no longer in Korea but still cool. :)

  6. I had thought about the sayings being used for ads but I never saw it so prevalent as I did in South Korea. Everyone and every things is the something of Korea it seemed. It got old fast.

    Considering the Korean obsession with Seoul it doesn't surprise me that they use it in a similar fashion.

  7. I don't know if it's relevant, but the one I always remember is when the Koreans call some port or airport the "Hub Of Asia." They're always going on and on about how Korea is the "hub" around which Asia revolves.
    I guess they have to compete for those trade dollars, but the never-ending use of the word "hub" used to make me want to scream.

  8. Yeah I remember the hub phase.

  9. I think quite a few other countries used hub too and after being in Korea, it would make me shudder every time I heard it or saw it.

  10. Anonymous

    Even the hub wasn't as bad as ... Korea Sparkling.