Monday, 9 March 2009

Not the taking part that counts

Life for natives in Korea seems to be a never ending popularity contest. The more I see, the less I understand or want to. Style over substance. Appearance over content. Face over heart. A constant stream of award ceremonies to reward those who have achieved nothing of any importance and have almost certainly had plastic surgery to change what they didn't like or what wasn't deemed good enough. People whose talent is not always obvious to the untrained eye or to those who have not been brainwashed.

Korea also seems to have created a culture of Internet users who are so critical of people at times, for no real sane reason that some celebrities have taken their own lives. You must succeed, you must look good, you must be loved and you must not make mistakes. I have never pretended to understand the Korean people or mentality and perhaps I never will.

It's not just exclusively for the more famous people, it is there for the common man too. It seems like the pressure is there to look good, not just appearance-wise, but to have the perfect life/family/marriage/job. To appear successful, powerful and to be accepted by as many people as physically possible. The higher up the ladder you go, the higher the stakes. The idea of this blog is NOT to be as cynical as can be or be bitter about my Korean experiences but occasionally disillusion creeps in.

It takes a very special person to not care what people think about them, but at times here I feel like those people are as rare as unicorns. Stay with the group, don't be an individual. I genuinely wonder sometimes if people here are happy or are content to look in the mirror and see what they want other people to believe, not what is real. I am left wondering is it any different in my own country?

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