The Korean government censors the entire blogosphere, but the Koreans are still blogging.
"Westsiiiiide. Represent. I taught them that. Byung Min in the house. Yes, I teach my kids gang signs. I never though it would be possible to laugh myself to death until I saw this picture. Don't be sad. That's how I want to go. It really, really is.
" -An American English teacher on leaving his Korean students.
For those of you who haven't visited Korea's blogosphere, treat yourself to their free voices. I can't stand the thought of them being silenced by a government which throws shoes at eachother in parliment. Anyhow, this is how the blogosphere has reacted to the complete censorship. Lets help our blogging friends Korea be heard. Apparently, they can't hear us, they are blogging out of pure virtue.
Korea Life reported the the lowering of an iron curtain over the Korean blogosphere on the 26th:
Though I can log into Blogger and update, Blogspot websites are currently inaccessible in Korea. According to this thread, Korea blogs using Blogger and other services such as Typepad have been blocked. Apparently someone posted on their blog the beheading footage of Kim Sun Il in Iraq. That's a shame and it shows very poor taste on the part of whoever posted the footage, but I don't see why my website has to be blocked too. I guess they can't seperate the blog ISPs, so when they block a site from Blogger, all Blogger blogs are then blocked. (at least that's a great sentence)
Big Hominid reminds Westerners:
Just so you're aware: Korean's aren't of one mind about all this, despite the prevalence of the han-ma-eum (one mind) idea in Korean culture. Remember the same is true of the myth of Muslim brotherhood: Muslims are actually pretty fractious, not nearly as monolithic as they consider themselves (or as we stereotype them).
In another post he takes a not-so-suttle jab at the Korean nationalism fueling the censorship:
In other words: "We like being stupid and we'll do whatever it takes to remain stupid. We are the Korean Borg. Existence is feudal."
DDA's reaction to the censorship was rather witty. However, take note of why DDA claims his country is backwards. I heard the ghost of Voltaire in this post.
...(the censorship) is not surprising at all. After all, this country has still a long road to go until they grow up into a civilised and developped country. Let's not forget that snazzy Samsung mobile phones and broadband Internet notwithstanding, this is still the Third World (and Middle Age) here. A country where parents call their sons "possessions", where they marry the girl/boy they're told to, and where mopeds drive on the pavements (a ethonologist, specialist of Africa, told me during her stay here that a good sign to pick out Third World countries is the number and behavior of mopeds. Whatever!).
JeffinKorea took a much less satiral stance. He sounds American...
The fascist government has justified their campaign of censorship, oppression, and repression by claiming that they must protect the people of South Korea from viewing the corrupting influence of the video of Kim Sun Il's beheading at the hands of Iraqi terrorists. This protection has extended to seeking out and blocking any and all access to blogs, bulliten boards, commercial, and private domains that reference, post, or link to the Kim Sun Il beheading video. Orgrish.com, blogs.com, typepad.com, blogspot.com, blog-city.com, and others have already been blocked. The list continues to grow as informers report sites to the Korean Ministry of Information and Communication.
Incestuous Amplification made a sharp point that we should all take note of:
Is your burial considered dignified if your parents are surrounded by scores of camera crews and reporters asking if George Bush was personally responsible for your death? Just wondering.
Dignity. Interesting word, that. Certain members of the media in certain unnamed countries may want to look it up sometime. Been here 6 years and still yet to find a scant trace of it anywhere.
Seen plenty of uncontrollable outbursts of childlike raw emotion. Seen a hell of a lot of fist-pumping, chest-thumping, riot police-smacking and protester-whacking. Seen a shitload of screaming, yelling, shouting, bawling, roaring, wailing, shrieking, clamoring, snarling and howling. Seen infinte amounts of pain, suffering, agonizing, sadness, hurt, heartache, torment, grief, distress, woe, bitterness, anguish, and exasperation. But dignity? Nada.
Wait, that's not entirely true. I did witness a highly dignified display in the National Assembly earlier this year. That of this nation's esteemed leaders hurling shoes at each other, biting, scratching, slapping and rolling around on the floor crying in front of the cameras.
With that last sentence, I think we've come full circle.
I feel powerless, I'm against the Korean protester's rash response to the tragety, and the totalitarian measures of the Korean government. If there is a beautiful thing about blogs, its that it gives everyone who is caught in the middle of the sensationalist news coverage a voice. Visit a Korean blog, Korean isn't defined by an insane government or insane protesters.