Dokdo is Korean land… in yer language!
Okay so for those of you who don’t know, I am an admin of the facebook group “Dokdo belongs to Korea.” I became an admin by actually arguing for the Japanese side in order to stir up debate, as it appeared that all that was going on there was people coming in and shouting that Dokdo is KOREA’s and not really doing anything to try to prove it. In addition you’d also have the people who feel the need to be racist against the Japanese, or dismissing people who don’t agree with them with the words, “you don’t understand Korean history/culture/thinking because you are not Korean, so I don’t need to prove anything to you.”
Anyway the point of our group is to provide a place for healthy debate on the Dokdo subject. While most of the people who join believe that Dokdo is Korean land (myself included) we feel that rather than just to say it, it is important that the people who believe so understand why. Far too often it appears that people who believe that Dokdo is Korean can’t actually prove it logically beyond the statement, Dokdo is Korea’s because it belongs to Korea.
Now this post isn’t going to be about how to prove it logically or what to say in those situations. To any readers interested in that, join the group or check out some of its more interesting discussions.
What this post is going to be about is direct criticism for people who are on our side.
One member provided links to several videos that appear to have been made on the USC campus. In it a Korean student who presumably goes to USC walks around the campus asking random people what they know about Dokdo, then having “random” encounters with people who start to sing the Dokdo is Our Land song in their own language. Here’s an example:
My analysis after the jump.
As you can see, the first few people might actually be random, but the woman who sings the song in English is obviously part of the project. Her conversation is made to look like it is totally random and spontaneous, but it obviously is not!
Ms. Kim : Hi! Are you busy?
“Foreign” Lady: Oh, I can talk to you, sure!
Sure what? That’s either a terribly scripted line written by someone with bad command of English, or you’re nervous and trying to make your unnatural conversation seem natural, thereby making it more unnatural.
Anyway, the “foreign” lady goes on to sing the Dokdo song in English and the video ends there.
As you can see from these next two videos the format stays basically the same, as Ms. Kim continues to find “random” foreigners who can sing the Dokdo song in “their language”.
I didn’t actually watch all three of the videos, or even one in its entirety because they are baaaaaaad. However they are so bad that they are good, so it might be fun for some people.
I then came across another video in the series that.. wow.. just… WOW
It’s the Jamaican version!
Of course, anyone who knows anything about Jamaica knows that they speak English in Jamaica. So I fully expected this to just be a repeat of the English version, just with the alleged Jamaican lady singing the song instead.
But no, the alleged Jamaican lady who speaks proper English and is obviously from an educated background (she’s a USC student afterall) breaks into what I can only guess is an attempt at Patois… which I admittedly am not a native speaker of, but my bet is that neither is she. She sounds like she is attempting to sound like she comes out of the Cool Runnings movie, but she fails miserably.. and she’s off key to boot. (in her defense, she probably didn’t hear the background music when she was singing, but still..)
So I have to wonder… who are these videos for? Is this going to convince people that Dokdo belongs to Korea? No. They are specifically made for a Korean audience that desperately wants to believe that their efforts to teach uncouth foreigners that Dokdo belongs to Korea are succeeding. The problem is that if anyone watching the video has an upper level command of English, they will know that the videos are obviously scripted, and the people in the videos are either paid, or they care about Dokdo for other reasons.
So basically my verdict is that these videos are really stupid and if people want to get the point across that Dokdo is Korea’s then they need to make videos that prove the point rather than writing out scripted dialogue with random people who are obviously not random.
( Edit: this post was linked from a Japanese Nationalist blog, which appears to be the reason that I’ve been getting a lot of hits from Japan on this. People have been asking me to lay out my case for Korean ownership of Dokdo, which I will do soon when I have time to be as detailed as possible.)