- Non-Koreans with some connection to the country (typified by the people reading the Marmot's Hole or the Metropolitician's blog) have simply incorporated the book and the reactions to the news into their existing view of Korea. Those who blame nationalism for everything blame nationalism. Those like myself who blame education and intellectual laziness for all bad things Korean blame those two things. In other words, it just became another piece of evidence twistable enough to reinforce any preexisting belief.
- Koreans seem to have two major reactions to the news reports. The commenters on the internet say "Damn Jews" and then go on to call for a new holocaust. This was extremely unexpected, I am quite sure. Someone says it's the classic Korean nationalist response to criticism from outside, and I'm sure there is some of that to it. The other reaction is "Yeah, but it's all true right? What's wrong with the truth? This reaction is typified by the article in Prometheus that I translated. It is based on the limited description of the book's chapter on Jews. If one reads the whole chapter it is clear that he is not describing the true history of Jewish power, whatever that may be.
- People who have no connection to Korea, mostly coming from Little Green Footballs and similar sites is "Wow, Korea is incredibly racist." which is unfortunate. But unfortunately I think most people who know Korea would agree that it takes a major blow to Korea's national image to get anything changed around here. It took a few buildings falling down to get building inspectors here to start do their jobs, for god's sake.
- From the author and publisher the reaction was particularly galling. The author apologized to Korean Americans for causing them trouble and vowed to change the offending passages in the next edition. This is the definition of a hush-up blow-off maneuver (HUBOM, not to e confused with HUBO)
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Thoughts on a news maelstrom
Well, not exactly a maelstrom. But the little translation project that I started two weeks ago has generated lots of press and reactions around the world. Having seen what people wrote on the pages linking to the translation, I would sum up the reactions as follows: