What Is Jung And How Can We Kill It?, Part 5

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

It’s been a whirlwind week.  In discussing the Korean concept of jung, we’ve looked at culture from a number of different points of view and touched on cultural transmission, another favorite topic of mine.  Today we’ll bring it all to a close in this, the final entry in the series.

So we already know that jung is the distinctly Korean way to describe a feeling that non-Koreans have like, all the time.  Koreans will claim that the word is untranslatable, but you will never find a single aspect in which the meaning of the word jung diverges from the meaning of the English word ‘warmth’.  Jung, for all intents and purposes, is warmth felt by cold people.

So rather than being a good thing, jung is more like the occasional burst of steam from a pressure cooker that keeps the lid from exploding off.  It’s a little taste of kindness in a miserable, unfeeling world of morbidly mugging mannequins (and one alliterating ass).

Therefore our major concern should be the following.  What would have to happen to Korea to turn jung from an anomaly to the norm?

You may not like the answer.  Just so you know.

The thing that allows Korea to persist as a nation without civility to speak of is the persistence of a mindset based on amoral familism.  The mantra of amoral familism is essentially ‘Do what you think is best for your family.’

You will find, when living in a state of amoral familism, that there is little empathy involved.  People often fail to identify what their in-group members actually want or need.  For example, people will tend to constantly point out family and friends’ weak points under the assumption that they are motivating them to improve or some such nonsense, when in fact all they’re doing is hurting feelings.

It might be nice to give some careful consideration to what would be best for your in-group members.  Unfortunately, amoral familism does not an intuitive feeler make.  I have perhaps discussed this before on the blog, but it never hurts to reiterate the fact that, like jung, another ‘distinctly Korean concept’, nunchi (눈치, also often translated by Koreans as ‘sense’) is harped upon by Koreans because it is the exception rather than the rule.  Koreans frequently discuss the concept of nunchi, saying that Koreans have a special ‘sense’ of determining what someone is really thinking without saying so.  The truth is that the reason the concept is so attractive to people in Korea is because many Koreans are incapable of correctly imagining what anyone else is thinking or feeling, mostly because they don’t have any practice doing so.

So here you have two ‘Korean concepts’, jung and nunchi, which are in fact pretty non-Korean in nature and defined more by the breach than the observance.  What’s worse, you have a mindset that makes people incapable of feeling what those around them feel.  What kind of conceptual mind bomb could ever be dropped on such people to teach them to feel (in the same way that they taught me not to feel)?

On Monday we talked about the out-sourcing of social functions.  Maybe morals are a candidate for out-sourcing and maybe they’re not.  I tend to think that Korea has done its best to put a band-aid on the bullet wound that is Korean-on-Korean inhumanity by installing things like cutmen and rules for riding escalators, and they have really done little to make this a kinder, gentler place.  That said, we’d better find a way to make Korean people actually consider the way others feel.

Let’s see, is there any system set up already that teaches people to think about how other people would like to be treated?

And has organs established to communicate those ideas to people?

Well, I just checked Wikipedia and it turns out that such an organization exists.  It’s called Christianity.

You may find this hard to believe if you’ve ever run into one of those crazy Korean church ladies on the street who try to convert you even though they don’t speak your language, but one of the prime missions of all those churches in Korea is to teach people how to feel empathy for others.  While the message clearly didn’t get across to those obnoxious ladies who stand around subway stations trying to spread the good word in the most self-aggrandizing, ineffective way possible, it will in time permeate Korean society.

Korean churches (I am only talking about the normal ones with which I have experience, Catholic and Presbyterian) are bastions of kindness in a sea of soullessness.  The only major problem is that they run the risk of merely enlarging people’s in-groups but maintaining the whole in-versus-out dichotomy.  When they do their job, they teach people here the joy of not turning off your power to feel.  Korea’s churches have been at the forefront of the drive to establish charities and a viable civil society in Korea since they arrived.

Now maybe you see what I am getting at.  Korean culture has several good and several poisonous aspects.  Most if not all of the worst aspects of Korean culture come from an unwillingness to extend consideration to the feelings of others.  Christianity provides a ready-made, on-the-whole positive counterpoint to the standing order in Korea, and more importantly teaches people empathy.

Now it is likely that, had I never come to Korea, it never would have occurred to me that it is important for people to learn to empathize with others, but it has been repeatedly underscored for me in my time here that the unwillingness (which eventually begets inability) to feel the pain of others is the root of all that we foreigners consider to be Korean evil.

Should all Koreans be Christians?  No, probably not.  Would it be a better place if they were?

You tell me.

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~ by Joshing on July 4, 2008.

17 Responses to “What Is Jung And How Can We Kill It?, Part 5”

  1. wow. I want to read what Gord Sellar says about this one, before I get to my piece.

    in the meantime, hopefully without sounding too much like a link whore, have you perused my essay series from back in march, “Why Modern Religion Deserves Richard Dawkins”? (Click on my gravatar link to get to the opening page if the link below doesn’t work.)

    http://roboseyo.blogspot.com/2008/02/why-modern-religion-deserves-richard_25.html

  2. This is really good stuff. I’ve been in Korea for two years and it’s helping me finally start putting the pieces together.

    I see the ‘family’ being one of several groups depending on the situation. For the ajumma who tries to get on the subway, the family is just her-not everyone else who’s trying to get off. For the guy in the Ssangyong who runs the red light to make some time, the family is the people in the car with him-not the pedestrians who have to jump out of the way. For the engineers that are designing something for me, the family is the chaebol that they work for-not the company that they’re contracted to do a certain task for. For the national soccer team, the family is the entire country-certainly not the country they’re playing.

  3. Yes yes yes yes yes, Steve, that’s exactly it!!! The family/stranger dynamic recapitulates itself in every situation, on every level, and that’s why I don’t think it has a terrible amount to do with where it occurs (on the subway, in the city, etc.)

    Steve, man, you said it better than I.

  4. I imagine Robo expects an aneurysm in my head to pop, yes? Actually, my view on Christianity is a cultural import in Korea is a little complicated than my general view of religion.

    Okay, okay, I’d be happier if it were the pickled crab saving the day, to be honest, but I’ll grapple with this idea. I must admit, I’m gently dubious. Here’s why:

    Koreans seems to take whatever they import and do their own thing with it. Spam, for example, becomes part of budaechigae, and coffee becomes… er, let’s move on.

    Another example, the Catholic Church in Korea is considered The Korean Catholic Church. You’ll find — or at least I have found — many intelligent and serious Catholic laypersons here quite unaware of the many things the Church has done over the centuries to discredit itself. Likewise, you’ll find they’re less concerned with Rome generally than, say, Anglophone Catholics. My Catholic fiancée looked at me in shock when I told her about some parts of Catholic history in Europe — the massacre of the Cathars by the Northern French at the Pope’s behest, the fact there were two popes and Vaticans at one point. Hell, she even considers Ratz to be a latter day Evil Pope… she’s disgusted with his fashion-fetish. For all that, though, she has always said, “But the Korean Catholic Church is different…”

    I’ve seen for myself the softening influence that can come of a religious community. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not Lime’s youthful conversion to Catholicism and not her year abroad that formulated her thinking in ways that make her different from the kind of wholly jung-less people Joe describes.

    At the same time, I have to say that despite my relatively good experiences with Buddhists and Catholics here, my experience of Protestants has been overwhelmingly negative. I can say flat out that the only people who have outright screwed me on a contract and attempted to violate labour law in various ways were very vocal Protestant Christians.

    And perhaps my fiancée is biased too, as a Catholic, but the stories of her own experiences, and those of her friends, is such that I find Protestant Christianity here simply reinvents the broken wheel here in terms of many of the kinds of corruption that plagued the Church from the Middle Ages through the Age of Empires. (Lucrative for-profit churches passed down family lines, facilitation of overt nepotism, and pretty disgusting forms of evangelism.)

    That is to say, I think the fact that familialism and profit motives are still present and easily reconcilable with Protestantism as it’s practiced here mean that it’s susceptible to corruption more easily than Catholicism and Buddhism, where the “familial” element at least is neutralized by the nature of the organization of clergy.

    That is to say, I think amoral familialism is alive and well and an integral part of a certain number of mainstream Protestant Churches. especially the bigger and wealthier ones.

    I also think that the sudden upwelling of criticism against the practices of many Protestant Churches in Korea during the hostage crisis last year (I discussed it here) reveals these are not isolated cases. There was a point where criticism of Protestants had overflowed into almost every social venue online, in the way discussions of the (imagined) dangers of US Beef did a couple of months ago. It was downplayed by the media, but on the ground, it looked like suddenly people had discovered they weren’t the only ones who were sick and tired of profiteering, corrupt, and nepotistic Protestant Christians getting in their face every day.

    I don’t have stats at the moment — I can get some if you want — but I’ve heard several times this year that the Catholic Church is now growing faster and that Protestant groups are slowly shrinking.

    The fairly common tendency — could we call it a “Korean” inclination — to take things way over the top manifests as easily in religion as it does in the zeal for testing or for foreign languages, so that, as the Prime Minister’s website states,

    Korea is probably the only country where one finds churches with daily prayer meetings at 4:00 a.m., a fact which demonstrates the ardent enthusiasm of the Korean Protestant community.

    As well as their lack of concern for neighbours (who have to hear the speaking in tongues through open windows at 4:00am), disregard for their kids’ education (when the hell can anyone study or learn anything if they’re praying all the time?) and the zeal which turns all too many of the young Protestants I’ve taught into absolute party poopers:

    STUDENT: “Why do you wear an earring?”
    ME: “Just because. Why don’t you wear earrings?”
    STUDENT: “Because I’m a Christian.””
    ME: ?
    STUDENT: “I’m not a slave. In the Bible it says that those who wear earrings are slaves. So I don’t wear earrings. Because I’m a Christian.”
    ME: ???!??

    This party pooperishness seems rather innocuous, or even amusing, in this context, but it becomes quite of a piece with the other “ignoring your humanity” stuff criticized throughout this series when you take into account the way lots of Korean Christians seem to translate their faith into action.

    (Like jumping into the street and trying to proselytize as you cycle past; like bottlenecking the street and blasting horrible devotional music; like loudly threatening uninterested strangers with supernatural punishment for their differences in opinion about the nature of reality; like harassing people at their front doors on Saturday mornings — including people pretending they can’t speak a work of Korean, and with whom the evangelists cannot communicate anyway.)

    I realize I’m being hard on Protestantism in Korea. I don’t think Protestantism in Korea is hard enough on itself. The vast numbers of churches in any given neighborhood — they’re probably as numerous as grocery stores, and perhaps as profitable — and the searing animosity I’ve seen time and again offered to members of other denominations, or even members of the same denomination who happen to attend a different community church. Not all Protestants are like that: I’ve met some who never bring it up, who don’t push it, and I’m sure I’ve met more than I think I have, and just remembered the bad ones. But it’s telling that I’ve met many bad ones from Protestant circles, and very few from Buddhist and Catholic circles. In other words, with the exception of one nasty Buddhist monk whom I encountered in E-Mart (a rich, apparently sex-maniacal monk with a fleet of adoring ajummas who fawned over him, some of whom he’d infected with his nasty case of syphilis), every overtly “religious asshole” I’ve met was a Protestant, and in the circles in which I’ve moved and the diversity of places I’ve worked (one each of Buddhist, Protestant, and Catholic universities, as well as a nondenominational public school part time), that’s probably statistically quite unlikely.

    Therefore, I think the problem is that when a religion arrives, it’s liklier to spread more successfully if it can be reconciled with the underlying systems of thought and behaviour present in the society. No wonder Protestantism spread so quickly — it’s the more inherently Koreanizable form of Christianity, more amenable to modification to fit with amoral familialism because more lacking in the organizational safeguards built into Catholicism.

    (Though, oddly, lacking in Western form the kind of uber-hierarchic structure that is present both in Catholicism and in Korean society.)

    Besides which, I think something that’s invisible to us is the way that Christianity was wholly remade by the Enlightenment. For my money, it’s a new Enlightenment Era — with the silliness weeded out, of course — that Korea would benefit more from. Pre-Enlightenment Christianity (which of course has survived into our own age) is the kind of thing that could get used to justify slavery and genocide of people of other religions or colours; post-Enlightenment Christianity is much harder to press into service of these things. (Note: for my money, Catholicism in general became post-Enlightenment sometime in the 20th century.)

    Unfortunately, secular humanism doesn’t really have a good way of self-replicating in an identity-suffusing way, compared to religion. ㅜNo matter how much fiction (or entertainment) we put out that is suffused with these deep ideals of good conduct, altruistic behaviour, social responsibility, and the dignity of every human being, it’ll probably never catch up with the impact religion has on society.

    What we really need is a good gateway drug for secular humanism, I think. I say this in full knowledge that my own ethical precepts were deeply impacted by growing up Catholic, but I have known enough compassionate, civilized, and humane atheists to know it’s not the only way to become a person-with-jung.

    However, I worry about my own 눈치 being out of whack, what with me posting such a long comment.

    So in the end: I think religions can have a softening effect, and I’m certain from my own experiences that Buddhism and various forms of Christianity have done so here; but we can expect societies to naturally subvert those religions to fit extant social dynamics. The predictable pattern — and the one I think I see most clearly in the more successful Protestant Churches, because of their structural susceptibility to the ingrained problems you’ve discussed in this series, Joe, is the creation of an intermediate group (one’s religious community) toward which amoral familialism is replaced with family-based conduct.

    Then again, those intermediate groups can be useful bridges in the achingly slow transitions that cultures undergo.

    Apologies for the length of this comment. If you prefer, Joe, I can post just the gist here and expand it on my own site. But please let me know first — I haven’t backed up the text here and would be loathe to retype it all.

  5. Oh my, I hope my comment just went into moderation because of the links! (No message popped up, just this page with the comment not posted.)

  6. That, my good man, is why I am not only a Catholic, but I actively promote the faith.

    You know that for all their flailing proselytizing, the protestants are outstripped in Korea by the Catholics, who consistently get more converts because they deliver on the good aspects of Christianity without obsessing over the useless flotsam.

    Incidentally, congratulate me, I am going to become my nephew’s godfather tomorrow.

  7. Heh, Godfather:

    Just when I think I’m out, they keep pulling me back in.

    Oh God, that is so totally a Korean blogosphere’s blog tagline.

    Congratulations!

    (PS: From an atheist POV, every religion has useless flotsam, but the Catholics seem to have trimmed it down to the minimum theism + weird doilies on women’s heads, here in Korea… or perhaps, it’s the Koreans who have trimmed away the flotsam, as I imagine there was a fair bit when Catholicism first arrived.

    Which, by the way, reminds me: have you read The Catholic Church in Korea: Its Origins 1566-1784 by Juan Ruiz de Medina S.J., English translation by John Bridges (also S.J., of course)? Its subtitle reveals the contentious bit. I haven’t read it, but found it at work and have it on my shelf, awaiting my attentions. Apparently documentary evidence exists showing a much earlier commencement of Catholicism in Korea, but Korean Catholic authorities reject it; the author suggests in the introduction that it’s for nationalistic reasons, as well as to preserve a mythology of Koreans autonomously seeking Christianity, but notes some families he met who welcomed his research as a vindication of their own family records and claims of Catholicism dating close to a couple of centuries earlier than the generally claimed beginning of the Korean Catholic Church.)

  8. Yes, this is all very true, but if there is one thing that may provide an excuse for the Korean emphasis on 정 is that by western standards, at least from a conceptual and language standpoint, Koreans still by and large define themselves as extensions of friends and family. But it seems to be a tradeoff because in a cold competitive world the stronger that bond, the more dangerous it is for outsiders, hence the amoral familism.

    Incidentally, while you were doing the previous posts, I was thinking to myself, “what the hell would korea look like had it not received Christianity with such fervor”. Which reminds me when an interviewer asked Evelyn Waugh how can you be so nasty and still remain christian, he said something like well just imagine how bad it woulda been were it not for christianity.

  9. A good gateway drug for secular humanism. That is the perfect way to put what I look for in catholicism. In fact that is exactly what I was going for with this post, but you phrased it perfectly. Thanks.

  10. […] make that two less fans. – Everything you ever wanted to know about Korean “jung” and how to kill it. – It looks like tattoos are really gaining in popularity in […]

  11. Very enlightening. Having lived in Korea for almost 11 years, I agree with your idea completely. I’m reminded of something I remember Lao Tzu or Chuang Tzu saying about how it is unnecessary to give something a name unless it is absent.

    Korean churches are indeed “bastions of kindness in a sea of soullessness.” The Catholicization of Korea is the best-case scenario, but barring that, a return to Confuciansim would restore some “humanity” (仁) to the country. I believe this was destroyed in the 20th Century by colonialism, war, and industrialization. People were uprooted from traditional communities and the new norm became what “Expat Jane” has called Peasant Egalitarianism. She likes it; I don’t. It means everyone treats everyone else like crap unless a relationship is established. In the past, a relationship would have been given.

    Gord, the stats you mentioned can be found in this post of mine The Catholicization of Korea. In a nutshell: “the number of Catholics and Buddhists has increased 744.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, for the past 10 years, while the number of Protestant Christians has decreased 1.6 percent.”

    There is some truth to your assertion that the “the Catholic Church in Korea is considered The Korean Catholic Church,” but to much less of an extent than is true for Protestants or even Buddhists. Back when I was a Prot, for my first five years in Korea, I always felt an alien among Presbyterians or Methodists (not so much among Anglicans), and I noticed that the Koreans who treated me as a person first almost always turned out to be Catholics. I don’t have as much experience with Korean Buddhists, but on a few occasions my knowledge of Buddhism as been corrected by someone saying that Korean Buddhism was somehow different.

    Also, the book you mention is a good read, but I think the author overstates his case about that “for nationalistic reasons, as well as to preserve a mythology of Koreans autonomously seeking Christianity,” the early history of the Church is buried. (In fact, the author reminds me a bit of one of the many bitter foreigners who seize one aspect of Korea that needs to “be corrected” and makes that his raison d’être.) At the time of the Hideyoshi invasion of 1592, about 10% of Japan was Catholic, including many Samurais, one of whom baptized some 200 Korean children who had been abandoned by the parents. These were the first Korean Catholics, and some managed to pass the Faith on for generations much as the Kakure Kirishtan (“hidden Christians”) had done in Japan. But the Catholic Faith presupposes a priesthood and sacraments, so Korean Catholics are right about their “self-evangelization.” (Yesterday, by the way, was the memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon.)

  12. The Taoist quote came to mind; it’s from the eighteenth chapter of the Tao Te Ching:When the great Tao is forgotten,
    goodness and piety appear.
    When the body’s intelligence declines,
    cleverness and knowledge step forth.
    When there is no peace in the family,
    filial piety begins.
    When the country falls into chaos,
    patriotism is born.Lao Tzu might have added, “Where there is no warmth among people, jeong appears.”

  13. A couple of thoughts:
    – I always found it alluring and attractive how the Korean concept of community/family (to my eyes at least) seems to extend to the whole nation/race/ethnic grouping. I think this may be part of the appeal of communism, at least in the North. From all accounts, their Games are amazing – this is but one small evidence of this, of course.
    – I was under the impression that the best translation for nunchi was “psychic intuition” and/or “sixth sense.” I found that the common understanding/feeling of nunchi was remarkably pervasive in Korea.
    – I am not expressing myself extremely well but it seems to me that in this post, Joe, you are emphasizing rather negative undercurrents, or at least being strongly critical of rather interesting and powerful formative features of Korean society. Being in the West right now, it is all but impossible for me to appreciate the virtues both here and there. Criticising Korea (and Koreans) – whether implicitly or explicitly – just seems all too common and popular on Korea-focused blogs.

  14. OK. here we go. . . as I discuss in the articles I linked to up in the first comment, I find Korean protestantism (particularly as it is practiced in the rich megachurches) the most standoffish, clannish, self-righteous way of practicing religion I’ve ever seen. I’m intrigued by your discussion, Gord, of catholicism. Girlfriendoseyo’s catholic, and she has oodles of jung.

    I’ve seen religion go both ways, and I like to hearken back to a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”

    “At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.” I’d take that and apply it to religions. Depending on whether God is a hill on which one stands, or a cave in which one hides, I’ve seen religion vastly improve a person’s jung, and a person’s empathy, and I’ve also seen it take a generally empathetic, open-minded person, and turn them clannish, or at least give an us-and-them-er another “us” to cling to.

    Anyway, I was going to go into a discussion of the different priorities different cultures might have, and how that would affect their ways of carrying out certain actions, but then I saw that Gord mentioned that way back in part two or so.

    Do you think anything else could actually bring about the cultural change you describe and wish for, short of a Catholic revival? Do you think the collapse of North Korea could lead to such a cultural shift, or would South Korea end up casting about looking for someone to carry the brunt of aid when the Norks come beggin?

  15. Now, I’m hardly wordy, and I’m a little rusty in the deep thinking department, but I like to listen to those little college lectures from The Teaching Company and such. I remember one on anthropology, where the professor talked about the stages of societal development, where societies learn to deal with larger and more complex group dynamics. To me, this whole family-first mentality fits a society in the stage of tribalism. I think we even touched on that in Korean history class in college.

    Who knows? My thought had been that Korea was in a tribal stage of development and then was thrown into a larger world community, and it’s quickly adjusting–astonishingly so.

    Empathy? Well, from what I remember of child psychology was that maturation is linked to levels of empathy in children and teenagers. Children, as they mature, become aware of themselves, the world around them, and the feelings of others. When I worked for a Montessori style school, they had us look out for stuff like this in our evaluations of the students. Higher empathy at play showed great leaps in development, along with learning how to deal with conflict.

    Just throwing that out there and seeing if it contributes. If not, feel free to totally ignore me.

    Going back to killing miserable motherfrackers in Team Fortress 2 now.

  16. Sorry if I meandered off your actual topic but I don’t know enough about Korean churches to comment on much about it. Nonetheless, your post got me thinking about some tangential things. If I’ve misinterpreted (or have entirely misread) some things you’ve you said, it was unintended.

    I haven’t been to Korea in many a year so I don’t have a “current” experience with Koreans and their jung but I’m not entirely sure how the existence of jung would equate to a distinctly Korean “lack of warmth and feeling” or “how not to feel.” Perhaps this is because I feel this description gives the connotation that a particular culture somehow suppresses some kind of emotion making them lesser humans (after all it is emotions that make us ‘human’ isn’t it?) – a kettle of fish that I feel has an undertone of racism. But perhaps it is a just description since, of course, the idea of jung as inherently racist.

    I suppose in a sense Koreans can be seen to have less empathy for strangers than let’s say, the average American. But often I think things are observed out of context (which is not to say you are in this case). But often I find people comparing Americans v Koreans in this manner: a suburban, white collar worker letting a lady take the closer parking spot to a the typical Seoul-lite worker shoving his way onto the bus. However, I think if New Yorkers and Seoul-lites were compared, this “lack of warmth and empathy” for strangers reveals itself to be simply the universal traits of city-dwellers, people who are fighting to carve out their own niche, to survive and hopefully thrive leaving little room for daily empathy. I don’t think it’s any coincidence NYorkers are often described as unfriendly in the States. Always in a rush, inconsiderate, crazy drivers left and right, workaholics by day yet finds energy to party into the night, trendy dressers, success-driven, brand-driven…..start to sound familiar? The difference is though, NYC is only a tiny piece of the USA, in Korea, such a city life is the norm for most.

    Side note: Correct me if I’m wrong but I always interpreted ‘nunchi’ as ‘common sense in a social [in this case, Korean] setting.’ In fact, when asked to translate the term ‘nunchi’ that’s how I describe it. A kind of sensitive social sense with a cultural edge. Not anything a foreigner can’t obtain with little patience and observance. And certainly not anything new for any foreigner into a new country; I’m certain everyone from Italians to Russians has a term for somebody with no social grace. Also, I have heard Koreans describe other Koreans (both born and bred in Korea) as people who have no nunchi. I have also heard Koreans refer to other non-Koreans as someone who has “a lot of nunchi.” Obviously, Koreans themselves don’t see nunchi as exclusive to Koreans and Koreans do not use the word as such. Anybody can have or not have nunchi. “Lack” of nunchi may arise from being unaware of certain social manners but it is NOT something I believe, unattainable if you’re not Korean – foreigners just tend to not have it being new to the culture. As for the stereotype that foreigners (as non-Koreans) have no nunchi, I fear this comes from the few foreigners who stubbornly refuse to acquire ANY social manners (not pointing any fingers here ^_^) And if there is any universal trait in the world, it’s the human tendency to remember bad things about other people rather than the good things.

  17. Heh heh, warmth of feeling Koreans may not have much of, but man o man, they can really kick your ass with disparaging humor with the best of them. So much so that reading Naver comments on a daily basis has turned into a favorite if questionable hobby of mine.

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