Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Dispatch from Seoul

Seoul: A City of the Wannabe Apes

**The author has been on the road from the obscenely affluent communities to the ghettoized urbanities in Asia (Osaka, Seoul, Hongkong, Macao, and Manila City), tasting amply the brutal aspect of the economic globalization and the environmental degradation that affected millions lives of the Joe Blows in the region, where the ant-like people were happily enslaved by their desire to own a Cadillac.

“Monkey see, Monkey do.”

This was my first thought about the people, mostly young people, in Seoul, South Korea, when I landed at the Inchon airport from Osaka, Japan, and sadly, it never ceased to remind me of them again, aping days and nights, until I left for Manila after a week stay.

I used to think that only a suckling baby grows by seeing and emulating it.

Not anymore!

I found so many wannabe apes in Seoul, in the streets, shops, markets, schools, offices, restaurants, factories, soap operas, music concerts, movie theatres, everywhere, and I saw grandma apes too.

As an adage said that “beauty is in the eye of beholder”, a Caucasian-look-a-like is more eye-popping figure than a Chink-a-like to the Korean point of beauty.

Therefore, all rush to the plastic surgery for aping a white Caucasian. I became dumbfounded when I saw the huge plastic billboard of an advertisement in uptown Seoul by a plastic surgeon who suggests that he could chisel out a portion of excessive cheekbones from the woman’s round and flat face in the face-lift operation as if a sculptor carves off the excessive part of his figurines, and transform her into an instant look-a-like Caucasian woman.

The Korean women appear to be deeply ashamed and dreadful of their physical formation: a pair of slit eyes, a low-bridged nose, small and thin lips, two protruded cheek bones on the flat face, two short and dumpy legs, and they spend millions of dollars for the plastic surgery, cutting, slicing, raising, implanting, or piercing their physical parts and even dying their pubic hairs in golden colors to impress their sexual partners.

Again, I gaped in disbelief on the Korean ambivalence and contradiction: the young Koreans shout all the shibboleths, “Yankee Go Home”, “Abolish the SOA”, “Americans, the Murderers”, at the candle-light demonstration for the two dead schoolgirls, while, furtively, they opt for having their new-born babies delivered in LA Hospital for the US birth certificates.

They applaud loudly at the music concert when the Korean Hiphop singers whose face and body were painted black gyrate on the stage like a pack of monkeys, while they look down on the black GIs and dark-skinned travelers as Niggers.

They love to see the cowboy and Rambo movies subtitled in their mother tongue, oblivious of the scenarios that depict mostly the slit-eyed American-Indians and Chinks the evil character.

They appear to have the split personality that is familiar with the people who have been enslaved by the masters, as in the third world countries, like in the Philippines.
One of puzzling phenomena, unlike the Filipinos, is that the Korean people’s deficiency in English language does never discourage them to emulate and adopt the American culture in physical fashion.

Obviously, they just want to ape becoming ”look-a-like” Caucasians who speak, behave, think, and live a Korean, considering the fact that no foreign culture could be understood or absorbed within the intelligence of people without the proper facility in the language that they are foreign to.

At the huge mall in the downtown book store, few people were seen at the Foreign Language corner where a lot of “how to” books occupy the shelves, that promise the readers as easy and fast learning as if they gobble up greasy hamburgers at McDonald’s.

On the bustling subway train where pushings and shovings are normal and accepted form of courtesy, I’ve never seen any rider, sitting or standing, young or old, reading a book, any book (let alone an English book), but most of them were like zombies in the arms of Mopheus. (Perhaps they were, like Descartes, in Cogito ergo sum, uh?)

Entering the trendy department store at the downtown Seoul, you have become easily confused whether you were in Sachs or Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, New York City because all the mannequins on the display were Caucasians, in figure, complexion, and attires in toto.

Visualize or imagine a bow-legged and dumpy Korean girl fancies about her in those mannequin and dreams about becoming a Caucasian woman!

I have met a gaggle of high school lasses on the train and struck a casual conversation in English.
First, they blushed, mumbled, then babbled, and finally escaped through a mob of passengers, because they were not able to answer my simple query “how do I get to the City Hall?” in English.

Amazingly, they, apparently, were all going ape, at any cost, over becoming the look-a-like Caucasians… one of them wore a trendy sportswear and the high-priced boots, and others painted their flat face with thick make-up fit for the nightclub bargirls.

A majority of them appears to have their pair of eyes surgically aligned to eliminate the Mongolian fold and all of them had their hairs tinted with the hues of rainbow.

I wonder whether the Korean women realize the sad part on the aping by scalpel lasts only one generation…their babies require the doctor’s scalpel for generation repeatedly, because their parents hate to look at the Chink-like babies.

What if the future geneticists were able to manipulate the hereditary blueprint within the Korean chromosomes by zapping all Chink DNA out of the Korean blood and implant them with the Caucasian genome?

Would they mob the doctor’s office for the gene exchange?

I surely bet my ass they would do, as monkey see, monkey do.

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