Monday, December 15, 2008

Functional Illiteracy Should be a Crime: Haters on a Rampage

This is funny, infuriating, but also just sad. Be warned. I'm writing when I'm angry.

Now this is pure gossip at this point, but since I'm the person who is the subject of the gossip, it's on.

I heard that some selected people read my recent interview in this month's Groove Korea magazine. What's funny is my scanner has been out of commission for a bit of time now. However, this got me sooooooooooooo pissed that I actually found the software fix to get it running: Standing Out From the Crowd, Groove Korea, December 2008. So thanks, you haters. Also, before commenting, please read it. The people who allegedly read it and who were going off were described to me as black American military wives. Now that really wouldn't matter much but for their race. These would be the people who I would like to think would be happy to see another black American woman who is happy living and working here.

My people, my people - what's with the hate? Particularly when it's clear you can't read. (Yes, I know, if they can't read, they won't understand this rant...but am I really writing it for them? At this point, not really.) I don't know these women and, from what I heard, I don't want to know these women. It was really shocking to hear that they'd taken some pretty negative impressions from what was printed.

So before my rant continues, let me share what I heard. The summary goes as follows. They, or maybe just the loudest and most ignorant of them, said:

  1. If a black person read my interview, they'd think twice about coming to Korea. - Huh?
  2. If I disliked Korea so much, why hadn't I just gone back home? - Huh?
  3. Now that I'd made all this money, I was going bad mouth Korea and take my money and go. - Huh?
Basically, there was a big "wtf!!!???" to all I heard. I think I can now understand what notable people go through when a quote is taken out of context or when there are simply untruths circulating about them. It's simply irritating and, honestly, it's actually hurtful. Where they got those points is simply beyond me. Now I know, I could take the high road and let it pass, but sometimes you also have to speak up.

I won't address the first two points because, really, just read the interview and you can see they're idiots. However, there is one thing I won't let pass. That's the colossal nerve to even talk about money. These morons have no idea how much I make, but let me share this with you. The amount of money I could make back home doing what I was trained to do far exceeds what I make here. The benefit of living here and doing the job I do is the freedom and the free time.

I was also told that these wonderful people were going to email me. I removed my email from the blog months ago because I really feel like if you've got something to say, post it as a comment. I have a thing regarding the Internet. If I can't or won't say it to someone's face, I won't say it online. Ignorant people like this are the exact types I've done this to avoid.

However, let me make this 100% clear, if these haters want to bring it, then bring it for the whole world to see or otherwise, move along.

One question that crossed my mind when I was at the height of my anger was, "Do I really want to bother with this?" Clearly, the answer is yes. I'm essentially calling them out. It's just when I got the report of what had been said I was truly shocked. First, it was laughter but then I just got furious that anyone could seriously get that from what was written.

But that's the thing, if that's what they really thought, I dread having to deal with them because the only way to get that from my interview is if you're 1) functionally illiterate and 2) one of those people who just loves to hate.

Let me use the Wiki explanation of functional illiteracy:

When illiterate, one cannot read or write at all. In contrast, one who is functionally illiterate has a basic grasp of literacy (reading and writing text in his or her native language), but with a variable degree of grammatical correctness and style. In short, when confronted with printed materials, functionally illiterate adults cannot function effectively in modern society and cannot adequately perform fundamental tasks such as filling out an employment application, understanding a legally binding contract, following written instructions, reading a newspaper article, reading traffic signs, consulting a dictionary, or understanding a bus schedule.

Functional illiteracy also severely limits interaction with information and communication technologies (e.g. using a personal computer to work with a word processor, a web browser, a spreadsheet application, or a mobile phone efficiently).

Now they can probably understand a bus schedule, but they, clearly, did not understand a thing written in that interview. Let me just say that READING IS FUNDAMENTAL. Try it.

Anyone who reads and, key concept here, comprehends, that interview can't come away with any of those three impressions.

Let me wrap this up because I do have some well-paid work to get back to ;)

It's funny because it's such a complete 180 from what I actually said and what was written.

It's infuriating for a similar reason. Basically, these are hateful women who lack reasoning skills and chose to get catty about something they, clearly, didn't bother read. What's worse is, if they read it, they lack the skills to comprehend what was written.

It's also sad for that exact reason. Americans have a really bad reputation for being a bit dull and a bit too quick to mouth off (and, yes, that could apply to me in this situation but there is some stuff I'm not saying and won't say except to those close to me). These are the stupid Americans the rest of us are trying to make up for.

Now I know that not everyone is going to agree with or even like me (that's surely the case after reading this). What irks me is just the clear lack of understanding they have. Again, if they read the interview there is NO WAY they can come away with that impression (unless, again, they're functionally illiterate).

They can dislike me, dislike my writing and dislike my blog. They can't, however, get away with saying this and not have me respond. I don't like it when people lie, and when that lie is about me you will hear from me about it.

Next time, be careful who you're talking about, bitches.



And this isn't the first interview I've done here. Back when I was at Ewha, I met a writer from the Korea Times who wrote a few profiles on people here.

I was too embarrassed to post it way back then because I think she actually took ONLY the positive things and didn't write a very balanced piece. But now, it only supports my point, so here it is: [Who's Who in Seoul] ‘Make the Best in Life’

A funny video I got in response to this issue:

Oh yeah, this one is classic:

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  1. Just wanted to say that it was great to meet you on Saturday :)
    Kudos for having the guts to respond to these clueless chicks.

    Keep on doin' what you do and keepin' it real!


  2. Great meeting you too (BTW, we can't connect on FB via ML's profile...he's got it on lockdown.)

    I think it's less about guts than it's about me seeing red. Had I been in the room I would have said the same thing.

    It's just about misinformed and hateful women talking about of their asses. When it's about me, I'm going to fight back.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.