Update: June 11, 2007 @ 5:47pm (yes, I should be studying but I'm taking a break!)
Ruh roh! I knew that some wouldn't get this and would come out swinging.
And so they have. A blogger called Javabeans, who mostly blogs about Kdrama (Korean dramas) has a nice summary and analysis on why this is NOT racism but satire: Korea, Calm Down. Stephen Colbert Doesn’t Hate Rain.
One problem I've found living here is my generation's type of humor, very biting and sarcastic, depends a lot on word play and irony. In a country where the English language is studied but not really understood and study of the culture is pretty much neglected means I don't crack a lot of jokes with Koreans unless they're close to fluent and know a bit about Western culture. My jokes run the risk of being taken literally and that means I could (and have) gotten in trouble.
While I get Korean comedy shows I find that they're very slapstick and physical. Not that it's not funny, it is. However, I don't understand Korean sarcasm and irony yet (these guys are funny but I know I don't get the depth of why it's funny), so I can see why they're taking this literally. Don't y'all, don't. He's spoofing the far right.
For those vexxed by Colbert's Rain segment, click over, read and learn.
This is funny! I found it on the Metropolitician who found it on the Marmot's Hole, and it's blowing up on Korea centric blogs. It's a nexus of Korean culture and American culture, so count me in. Let's get some more folks interested in Korean culture!
Now, for those of you who need a primer, I'm going to explain bibimbap, 비빔밥, and Bi (Rain), 비 (well, actually I'm using Wikipedia, but why write it when someone else already has?) Then go and watch the video.
Bibimbap (from Wikipedia):
Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables, beef, a fried egg, and gochujang (chili pepper paste). The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot.Bi (Rain), 비 (from Wikipedia). Yes, I admit I coo over him with my female students:
Rain (Real name: Jung Ji-Hoon, Hangul(한글): 정지훈, Hanja(한자): 鄭智薰, born on 25 June 1982 in Seoul) is a male Korean R&B and pop singer.Steven Colbert takes Bi on in Korean. It's funny. Enjoy!
He has become well-known throughout East Asia -- including Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand -- as a leading star of the Korean wave, otherwise known as Hallyu.
In April 2006, Time named him as one of the "100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World." In 2007, Rain was voted by Time Magazine's online user poll as the most influential person in 2007, although he was not in the magazine's actual list. He also made it into People's 2007 list of the "Most Beautiful People" in the world.
ColbertNation.com: Episode 257 Recap
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