23  Dec
Merry Christmas

It will not be a very merry Christmas for me because I was told the day before yesterday that my school will not be renewing my contract. I have been upset and disgusted for the past two days, but I have decided that for Christmas and the day before Christmas, I do not want to think about it and want to try to have good thoughts, instead.

There are many good things in life, and it is silly for me to waste my Christmas thinking about the close-minded people at my school. Therefore, I have been looking on the Internet for things to make me smile and found the following video clip of a girl who appears to be of Filipino ancestry doing impressions of her family. I love this girl. I hope she makes your Christmas happy, too.

Mixed Nuts

Youtube Profile page of Christine, the producer of the “Happy Slip” videos.

If you are still feeling lonely and depressed, watch This Happy Slip Video. It may cheer you up and remind you of the really important things in life.

Posted by Gerry-Bevers, filed under Uncategorized. Date: December 23, 2006, 10:57 pm | 55 Comments »

55 Responses

  1. MarkA Says:

    You just got dooced.

    Hope things turn out for you in the New Year.

  2. ponta Says:

    It is a shame that your school will not be renewing your contract.!!
    I thought it coming for the obvious reason, writing the truth about Dokdo.
    It is a big news, or it should be a big news..
    It is a real crisis of Korean society, I am serious.

    this might help you smile for now.

  3. stumpjumper Says:

    Hi, Gerry

    I have been following your story, and it is awful what just happened.
    I am so sorry. I truly believe that it is a loss for the University and even Korea. I cannot believe a higher educational institute like a University do such a thing to people….So much for freedom of speech.

    Sorry about writing all this when you are trying to forget about it, but I could not help it…..

    Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you!

  4. Matt Says:

    My sympathies, Gerry. It is the universities loss.

  5. tomato Says:

    Treating non-Koreans like you in such a way will not go unnoticed, and soon the whole world will know what a troubled nation the Koreans are. Thier lack of imagination and shortsighted-ness will lead them to their decline…

  6. shadkt Says:

    I’m sorry about what happened, but think in positive light.
    It’s not just the school that’s going crazy.
    The whole country of Korea seems to be going crazy under Nom and the Gang and I think it may perhaps be a good timing for you to leave safely while you can.

  7. HanComplex Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. As others have said, it’s indeed the university’s loss. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s connected to the Dokdo articles you posted here, is it not? If so, that’s really a low blow. But who knows, it might be a blessing in disguise. I’m sure greener pastures lay yonder where you’ll be much happier.

    Anyhow, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  8. Fantasy Says:

    My sincere sympathies, as well, Gerry. I hope and believe that you’ll find something new (and possibly better) soon.

  9. hls Says:

    Cheer up!
    As Shadkt suggested this may a blessing from the God. You are guided safely out of possible grave danger to yourself. I seriously suspect some extreme Korean patriots may physically attack you should you stay on campus. Time to move to Japan?

  10. randomcow Says:

    Does anyone have some contacts in the Western media? I’m sure there would be some news sources interested in hearing Gerry’s great story, and it would be a great way to give the Takeshima/Dokto issue some attention in West.


  11. Two Cents Says:

    I’m really sorry to hear what happened. Before, I had commented that maybe the dean was suggesting you discuss Dokto/Takeshima to a more academic audience who are more tolerant. I guess even scholars were incapable of hearing the other side of the story. I hope you do find a good position soon, though it might be difficult to find one in Korea now that VANK is watching you. So I guess the four dangerous words that can jeopardize your job in Korea is “Usan is not Dokto.”

    Anyhow, Merry Christmas.

  12. pacifist Says:


    I’m sorry to hear the news. As sombody proposed, how about coming to Japan? At least, freedom of speach is warranted in Japan.

  13. myCoree Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that. But, in my opinion, the university authority used one of their own options. It’s very common in modern democratic countries. You will be welcomed in Japan as a Takeshima specialist.
    Merry Christmas….

  14. Fantasy Says:

    Why is it that I get the intense feeling that myCoree’s sympathies are somehow spiteful ? Maybe I’m wrong, after all…

  15. tomato Says:

    Why is it that I get the intense feeling that myCoree’s sympathies are somehow spiteful ? Maybe I’m wrong, after all…

    He just proved himself to be what we have been saying all along. Yeah, democratric alright. Just so great!

  16. ponta Says:

    It’s very common in modern democratic countries.

    It is not very common in modern democratic countries to fire a professor just because he talked about a history of the small rocks on the sea, the topic unrelated to his class outside the university. (The reason is not stated but the connection is clear for what happened just before the announcement.)

    I might be wrong, but “If you don’t believe Dokdo belongs to Korea, get out of Korea, it served you right ,”is the voice I hear from myCoree’s comment. ,

  17. bad_moon_rising Says:

    If Gerry does decide to go to Japan he will be in good company. A lot of workers from Korea are going to Japan right now and they don’t plan to return to Korea anytime soon. See the latest article in The Dong-A Ilbo. China, Japan Inc. Recruiting Koreans http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?bicode=020000&biid=2006122308418

    Korean programmers working in Japan say, “I don’t want to go back home because I feel mistreated there.”

    Korea isn’t exactly rolling out the red carpet for foreign workers.

    Potentially A Hard Blow Against Korea’s Competitiveness

    Compared to the two neighbors, Korea’s record of attracting talented foreign workers is far below expectations.

    I wish Gerry all the best in finding a new job whether in Korea or anywhere else in the world. The university’s loss will be someone else’s gain.

  18. Emmanuel_Chanel Says:

    Hello! I don’t know what I shall say.
    Well, you can get another job. And I still expect you to keep this blog very well.

  19. myCoree Says:


    Your guess is very expected one but not true. I don’t know much about why and Gerry was fired. So, I didn’t have much to say. I just said that the university authority has the right to fire the worker(professor) not best to their ideal.

    I might be wrong, but “If you don’t believe Dokdo belongs to Korea, get out of Korea, it served you right ,”is the voice I hear from myCoree’s comment. ,

    What you guess is ideas of many Koreans. That’s true. But, That idea is not mine. I have my own idea ^_^. I agree neither to Gerry’s claims nor to Korean Government’s. Anyway, I admit that Gerry’s were persuasive enough to give my fixed idea a hard attack. Nowadays I say to my colleagues that there is no old map including the islet.
    (The rest is omitted.) ^_^

  20. Kaneganese Says:

    I sent an e-mail to FCCJ(日本外国特派員協会). I hope Gerry would’t mind it.
    I hope they take decent action on this issue.

  21. usinkorea Says:

    I’m not suprised, but I do take the news badly.

    Sorry Gerry.

    It really is a shame.

    There are not many people outside of Koreans who take Korean history and Korean studies seriously. There are not a whole hell of a lot of Korea specialists in the world. (The number of such specialists who know the language fluently are suprising less than that).

    U. of Washington a couple of years ago were thinking seriously about stopping their KS program altogether.

    One of the two top universities in the UK also came right to the brink of shutting down their program.

    Getting funding to do Korean studies has dropped over the last few years.

    The point: when Korea does things like this to someone who has taken the time and effort and committment to learn about Korea as you have —- it really hurts Korea itself.

    If I remember correctly, Gerry isn’t a “Korea scholar” as in a prof on a Korea-related subject area —- but the field of such scholars is so low to begin with —- doing damage to a Gerry is damaging to the field as a whole.

    I used to tell my Korean adult students in the hakwon that Korea was doing itself a disservice by allowing the hakwon industry to screw over so many college-educated Westerners. That these were people who could make their voice heard via the internet (and elsewhere) and the hakwon industry would boomerang back bad on Korean society as a whole.

    Seeing things like the plagarism scandle with the head of Korea’s top univeristy and thinks like this contract thing with Gerry is noticed by people outside of Korea.

    Rather than feeling good about a group like VANK hunting down sites that damage Korea’s image abroad, Korea needs to start doing something about internal problems.

    Koreans do talk about these kinds of problems with each other.

    Why don’t they do something about it? The changes are coming too slow….

    On demoncratic nations:

    In the US, a prof who has been highly outspoken (and on the talk shows) saying 9/11 was a CIA blackbag job has job security.

    A prof at another college had video of him posted on the net at some rallies shouting “Death to Israel!! Death to Israel!!” and he had job security.

    A darling of humanities departments, Edward Said, had a photo taken of him by the journalists (following him around on his tour of Palestine) as he showed his young boy how to pick up a rock and throw it at a distant Israeli check-point —- roughly around the last time period in which suicide bus bombs were going off —–

    and when a few of his fellow professors at a top level American college wrote a public letter to the dean complaining about how such behavior (like insighting hatred and bloodshed) did not reflect well on the university and its values —-

    a massive email campaign was started and protests were organized on campus —– defending Said’s rights and job security….

    ….the other profs pointed out that they had not so much suggested his parking privledges be revoked…..

    That is what frequently happens in the higher education democracies….

  22. ponta Says:


    What you guess is ideas of many Koreans. That’s true. But, That idea is not mine

    I apologize, I was mistaken about your case. On the other hand, you comfirmed me I was right about the case of most Korean people. Should I say I am glad because I was right on it, or should I say, “oh my!”?

  23. myCoree Says:

    I don’t have much time to express myself and respond to some of your comments. Someday, there will be a chance, I hope.
    Gerry is great but, in fact, I can’t have affection to him because his words are not sweet to me. I don’t know whether he loves or hates Korea. He has very much attention and knowledge about Korea and Korean. There is two sayings that ‘bitters do good to the stomach’ and ‘the opposite word of love is not hate but indifference’. I suppose that he’d better stay here. His physical safety should be guaranteed of course.

  24. Fantasy Says:

    Gerry is great but, in fact, I can’t have affection to him because his words are not sweet to me. I don’t know whether he loves or hates Korea.


    it is somehow typical of Koreans to classify everything and everyone according to the “love-hate dichotomy”, in the belief that “someone is either on our side or on our adversaries’ side”. But life is not that simple, and you never entirely love or hate someone or something, let alone an entire cxountry.

    I do not know Gerry personally, of course. But from his posts here and from what he wrote elsewhere (e.g. on The Marmot’s Hole) I think it is safe to draw the conclusion that he really loves Korea very much, and that it was for this reason that he learnt the Korean language and that he chose to live in the country.

    But then, of course, there are aspects of Korean culture which are next-to-impossible to like, such as the intolerance of Korean society towards those who dissent from the majority opinion. And isn’t Gerry’s dismissal a pungent example of the consequences of this attitude ? So, however much Gerry used to like Korea, what is he supposed to think after this experience ? I would imagine he feels most ambivalent about the country now.

    You see, I myself tried very hard and for a long time to like Korea, and I used to live there for almost 5 years. But my wife (a ROK national) and I decided to get out of the country at the earliest reasonable opportunity, i.e. as soon as she had received her university degree.

    Even outside of Korea, Korean food remains our preferred diet. But when questioned about her emotions regarding her native country my Korean wife tends to say:

    “Yes, Korea is the place where I grew up, but then, while there are certainly many good people around, there are only extremely few who dare to challenge the assholes who pervade Korean society. Which, of course, means that, in the end, it is the assholes who set the tone. I may have my roots and my family in Korea, but it is no longer my country, and I will never ever wish to live there again.”

    Anyway, I am relieved to hear that your sympathies for Gerry are genuine, and that there was no irony in your comment, as it had appeared to me and to some other commenters. Sorry about the misunderstanding. So let us hope that our combined good wishes for Gerry’s future will be of any benefit to him.

    Happy New Year to you and to the others on this blog, especially, of course, to Gerry himself !

  25. tomato Says:

    Why should anyone love Korea? You should expect less when you are giving less. And self-glorification never helps making you look nice.

    As far as a normal person can tell from the Korean media and government talks and encounters with Koreans bragging about how they “educated” barbaric Japan, used to occupy Manchuria and the sorts, S Korea looks very much like a ethno-purist, nationalist and intolerant regime and the people there are obsessed with nationalistic and ethno-purist views, redefining history to make themselves look great, etc. However, distorting history to make oneself look great will not work with other nations that do not share such view (why should they?), which S Koreans can’t seem to understand because of their firm belief in moral, intellectual and cultural superiority over others.

  26. lirelou Says:

    Gerry, Sorry to see that you got the big whamo. I’ve been on the receiving end a few times myself, and know the feelings. In any event, here’s wishing you well as you move on to (hopefully) bigger and better things. Were I younger, I’d try Taiwan myself. Interesting culture, also once colonized by Japan, some affinities with the Korean “economic miracle”, but a totally different attitude towards the Japanese. And like Korea, it moved from authoritarian regimes to a fledgling democracy.(and, finally, Taiwanese Sake isn’t bad.)

  27. lirelou Says:

    And myCoree, keep the comments coming. We don’t always agree with them, or all of them, but your contributions and honesty make them worth reading.

  28. Errol Says:

    I have no advice to give you Gerry. You’ve had plenty of time to think things over and if you need advice have some long-standing, trusted friends to help you.

    OTOH, I’m curious as to know how you were informed.

    Was it face-to-face?

    Was it a form letter with the university president’s signature (but sorry he’s gone on holiday) presented by a junior departmental assistant?

    Read about it on a VANK webpage?

    Text message?

    Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

  29. Hugh Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your dismissal, Gerry. It’s unfair and of course a sad comment on Korean intolerance.

    I’m worried you will take the next part the wrong way, but here goes: Perhaps you should consider taking a blogging hiatus.

    You’re an expat who’s gotten himself involved in a spat between two countries not his own, and lost his job. From the volume of your posting here and comments on other blogs, I would guess that a great deal of your time every day is spent on the Korean xpat blogosphere in one way or another.

    How is this improving your life? 15 years from now, is it likely you will look back at the amount of time spent on giving refutations to Korea’s claim against a rock that Japan also claims, and consider that this was a worthwhile way for an Australian fellow of whatever age you are now (and never will be again) to be spending his time? What are you really getting out of all this, I wonder?

    I generally like your posts and comments here and elsewhere, so that is not an issue. Reading this whole thread with this predictable (to me) ending of getting canned from a job you liked, or at least weren’t ready to leave yet, has made me a little sad and concerned for you.

    Listen. Over the next few weeks, sit down with some of your friends, and after describing the situation ask them “Do you think I’ve gotten a little carried away and over-involved in the blogging thing?” Maybe what they’ll say will surprise you.

    Good luck on your next job.

  30. ponta Says:

    I think Hugh advise is very practical to follow.
    I really think Gerry should choose the way that will benifit him in the long term.

    It is symbolic that as far as I can see, so far no bloggers in Korean blog sphere took up this issue, the refusal by the university to renew Gerry’s contract for what seems to be the obvious reason. It migt be that they are afraid of losing jobs like Gerry, or as many commenters said, it might be this is predictable and so it is not a news at all in Korea. In either case, it is really sad situation.

    Life goes on with or without justice.

    It seems Korea has finally succeeded in silencing its people and expatriates.

  31. tomato Says:

    It’s interesting liberal press like NYT attacks Japan while take sides with S Korea, which anyone credible should be aware of its ultranationalistic stench. I remember one conservative US article arguing to get over with WWII, because Japan is probably US’s only true ally in the world except for Britain (I would also add Australia…). I guess the liberals are more tuned in on internal affairs, and when it comes to foreign affairs, they listen only to those who pose themselves as victims…but they have no idea out of their country who the real “victims” are…it’s sad because I do agree with their internal policy but disagree with their foreign policy. So frauds like Onishi (judging from the level of his reports, I doubt his understanding of the Japanese language) keep on writing the garbage probably aimed at hurting the US-Japanese alliance.

  32. tomato Says:

    Oops! Wrote on the wrong thread…BTW, the article I was talking about was probably posted by Matt here…

  33. usinkorea Says:

    My guess is that Gerry blogs for the same reason that most of the regular (usually daily) K-blogs I read and see commenting frequently do – they find some enjoyment in it.

    Yes. I can believe that some people get into blogging and commenting in a dysfunctional way – allowing it to become a habit making too much useless time —-

    —- but I’ve never gotten the sense from reading Gerry that his work in the K-blogsphere was being detrimental to his mental well-being or self.

    I also get the feeling from having read Gerry’s stuff over time that he will not be leaving Korea any time soon unless it is possibly to go back home for some time. I get the sense that he, like some of the other long(er) timers has not stayed in Korea because he lacks the ability to roll with the Korean punches that come with being an expat working in the education industry or that he could barely tolerate parts of the society that annoy him.

    The blogging on political/nationalistic issues has come to harm his professional life.

    Hopefully, he will be able to find another job in Korea where this will not follow him in the short term – and long term – if he choses to post things that touch too much on South Korean national pride (like Tokdo) under a different name – or two – hopefully, it will not interfere in his professional life in the future.

  34. Errol Says:

    usinkorea Said:

    December 27, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    things that touch too much on South Korean national pride (like Tokdo) under a different name – or two – hopefully, it will not interfere in his professional life in the future.

    With all due respect usinkorea, this is not about nationalistic pride, it’s about professorial pride.

    No-one is more important than a Korean professor. By being more famous than a Korean professor – viz. the Busan Nine – one is heading for a fall.

    교만한 자는 오래가지 못한다.

    It’s the Bantam Cock Theory of Korean male behaviour.

  35. Errol Says:

    The Bantam Cock Theory of Korean Behaviour is often manifested by taking credit for jointly authored research. The more important-famous person getting all the credit on the vain hope that the credited author will reward the ghost author in the future.

    University example of Bantam Cock Behaviour

    of Bantam Cock Behavior.

    Noh Mu-hyeon Shooting the Messenger exampleof Bantam Cock Behaviour.

    North Korean example of Bantam Cock Behaviour.

    In Korean, Bantam Cock Behaviour is also known as chaemyeon. If mommy says you’re a big man you are a big man!


  36. empraptor Says:

    Being fired sucks. Hope you find a better position.

  37. Gerry-Bevers Says:

    Yes, being fired does suck, Emprator, but it is nice to read all of the words of support.

    I would like to write more about my situation for those who are interested, but since things are still pending, I want to hold off saying anything until I have finished the final chapter.

    Thanks again for the words of support.

  38. GarlicBreath Says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I am very sorry about your situation. But it is my hope that this will lead you down the path of publishing your work and spreading some truth about Takeshima.

    I also wanted to show you what some confused -bitter-illogical -hateful Koreans have to say about your situation. This fruitcake is actually saying that your talking about Takeshima is akin to being a holocaust denier.

    To me this is very freighting because of the level of pathetic illogical madness this JK has fallen into.

    Please use this experence to be a catlyist for good and publish your work.

    Hm. Gerry Bevers got fired. He spoke his mind about Dokdo and the Japanese colonization of Korea. Okay, fine. And there are people like the president of Iran who say that the Holocaust that exterminated Jews in WWII didn’t happen (which in my book puts Bevers in the same category of telling historical lies).

    Now I am all for free speech and all….but imagine if this were America and an Iranian (or Korean or Japanese) schoolteacher started posting on and on about how the Holocaust was supposedly “not that bad” for Jews, the way Bevers said the colonization was not that bad for Koreans. On top of that let’s say he questioned the legitimacy of reports by Jewish women served to be sex slaves to German soldiers (the way Gerry Bevers questions the legitimacy of claims by Korean comfort women forced to serve Japanese troops). Or let’s say this Japanese professor in the US says that the Japanese had the right to attack Pearl Harbor because historically, it once belonged to Japan (based on some flimsy old maps of no credibility that the professor looked at from his own narrow viewpoint and based on his own faulty assumptions).

    Then let’s say this Iranian (or Japanese or Korean) professor in the US says the Americans are the most corrupt, racist people who lie and that the state of Delaware really belongs to Canada (or something ridiculous like that). And let’s say the Iranian (or Japanese or Korean) professor continues to post online and in his classrooms that the attack on NY on 9/11/01 was justified.

    Then imagine this professor gets fired because of complaints by American students.

    Are we to feel sorry for this guy???? Not only were his arguments about history wrong….but even if he was right, why would he go out of his way to p*ss off every American in his new home of America (or in Gerry’s case, every Korean in his new home of Korea)??

    Doesn’t make sense to me. What I do know is that I shed not a tear for him. Anyone who goes out of his way to p*ss off the people of his new country will get what he is seeking ultimately. But he also has to pay the cost. And it doesn’t matter WHAT country that this were to take place.

    Posted by: JK | Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 02:49 AM


  39. Errol Says:

    Anyone who goes out of his way to p*ss off the people of his new country will get what he is seeking ultimately. But he also has to pay the cost. And it doesn’t matter WHAT country that this were to take place.

    Posted by: JK | Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 02:49 AM

    The naiveté of JK. Gerry didn’t get the shaft because he had an opposite point of view to the “official” line in Korea. Gerry was shafted because he became famous for his integrity. How embarrassing it must be for a Korean professor to overhear in a student cafeteria a pretty girl say,

    “Professor Gerry is so kind and intelligent.

    Even prettier girl, “Yes. Professor Gerry is such a gentleman.”

    First girl, “What if Professor Gerry is right about the Liancourt Rocks?”

    Even prettier girl replies, “Korean professors don’t know anything …”

    Hwabyeong! Red in face. Gerry!!!!! Professor!!!!! Intelligent!!!!!

    Loss of face. Chaemyeon. People like Gerry cannot be tolerated. Best to shaft him as surreptitiously and as quickly as possible.

    Even if Gerry was Korean the same thing would have happened. In a Korean university only the tenured prof with leverage over the university president is safe. Gerry was undermining the infallibility of the Korean King of the university and being compared favourably to real tenured professors.

    Such changes in the universities will increase the number of unemployed Ph.D. holders who eke out a living by working on an hourly basis, without landing permanent jobs at universities or research agencies. These lecturers now total more than 60,000 throughout the country, about 5,000 more than professors who number about 55,000.

    (Weekly Chosun, January 20, 2000)

    Plus c’est la meme chose, plus ça change.

  40. Errol Says:

    Just to make sure the point gets across to the naive like JK.

    “A major cause for the bloating number of unemployed Ph.D. holders in Korea is that the social status of professors is too high in Korea in comparison with other advanced countries,” analyses Kim Hwa-jin, a section chief at the education ministry. The revenues of Korean professors amount to 3-5 times the national GNP–twofold their American counterparts. In terms of guaranteed retirement age and respect accorded them by the public, Korean professors enjoy a much better treatment than their foreign counterparts, according to Kim. Due to this fact, Ph.D. continue to wait for a vacancy at a university without looking for other jobs despite the hardship they undergo.

    No strict job evaluation is conducted in Korea when assistant professors are promoted to associate professors and when the latter are promoted to full professors. “The inner circle of tenure professors are difficult to break into, but once you are in, your life-long social status and financial comfort is guaranteed,” notes an anonymous professor. hungry for this social recognition …”

    (Weekly Chosun, January 20, 2000)

  41. usinkorea Says:

    JK is also wrong about what would happen in the US.

    There have been well known cases of individual professors in the US saying 9/11 was a CIA job. Professors in the humanities who try to lead their classes to the conclusion the US is “The Problem” in the world are a dime a dozen. Edward Said is required reading in a wide variety of academic disciplines in the US, and none of the courses I’ve had that brought him in (which have been more than a few) were ever critical of what he wrote – even though from a strict academic stand point, he’s got major issues.

    On the holocaust thing —-

    it really is not good that word holocaust has become so commonly used and connected directly back to the real Holocaust…..It does begin to belittle the actual events rather than amplify it.

    This also reminds me of a strange phenomenon I’ve noticed among some well educated and intelligent Koreans I’ve met over the years — primarily grad students ——- Israel and the Jews have some kind of strange meaning to them — they are actually jealous at the amount of attention history around the globe in so many societies has given The Holocaust…………….which I have seen lead some intelligent Koreans to say truly disgusting things like Tokdo is an issue on par with The Holocaust…

  42. ponta Says:

    “Professor Gerry is so kind and intelligent.

    Even prettier girl, “Yes. Professor Gerry is such a gentleman.”

    First girl, “What if Professor Gerry is right about the Liancourt Rocks?”

    Even prettier girl replies, “Korean professors don’t know anything …”

    Hwabyeong! Red in face. Gerry!!!!! Professor!!!!! Intelligent!!!!!

    ….I like it.!!

    Domestically the university might have saved the face, but
    internationally it will lose the face completely, and it will leave its name as
    the most shameful university in the world.

    When the issue is settled in a bad way, tell us the name of the university.

    The dean will know the true meaning of what he has done to Korean society , his university, and to himself.:.International community is against suffocating freedom of speech.

  43. shadkt Says:

    Yeah, if the university really fired Gerry for spite, they are really going down the drains in terms of reputation. Somehow I think they’ll make up cute excuses to cover it up, though.

    When things are finally settled and you’ve decided where to pursue your career next, let us know. At least some here can lend you a hand with the Japanese resume or something ;)

  44. tomato Says:

    The Holocaust…………….which I have seen lead some intelligent Koreans to say truly disgusting things like Tokdo is an issue on par with The Holocaust…

    I notice that too. Their lack of basic historical knowledge is beyond reasonable comprehension. They know nothing about what happened in Europe under the Nazis and the Red Army, and they know nothing about what was going on in their own little country during the Japanese administration. They know nothing of the influence and contribition of Japan to Korea, both pre- and post- war. What they have in their minds are pure fantacy to make them look greater that what they really are…a still developing nation dependent on US and Japan as a market and source of advanced technology and know-how.

    It’s amazing finding Korean infrastructure such as schools and government & corporate offices are so similar to Japanese ones and even “soft” infrastructure such as the legal code is basically a Korean word-for-word translation from the Japanese law. And still they adhere to this ethno-purist theory of develepment, and blame their own shortcomings (i.e., why they are not quite a forerunning country in the world notwithstanding their racial superiority) on Japan and even the US who actually gave them statehood two times…

    Oh, what the heck..

  45. Errol Says:

    First Korean History Test Defeats Half the Candidates

    More than half the candidates who sat the first Korean history proficiency test by the National Institute of Korean History on Nov. 25 failed.

    From the Chosun Ilbo. The paper then provides a list of familiar excuses.

    1/ A NIKH official attributed the poor results to the college entrance-focused education system, saying students … don’t have time to read history books ,,, because they have to prepare for their entrance exam.

    2/ The NIKH said the success rate was so low because applicants took the test without benefit of past papers since it was the first of its kind, and because no reference books and primers were available.

    They neglected to mention the most obvious cause. Korean history education is a cosy club of incompetents just like the rest of the Korean education system. Anyone who tries to introduce any rigour into the Korean education system is applauded by students for their intelligence, the hierarchy is upset, the incompetents lose face and the reformer is summarily sacked. Or as Mark describes Gerry’s fate: dooced.

  46. usinkorea Says:

    If I were Gerry, I wouldn’t tell us where his next job in Korea comes, and I would bet he stays in Korea given how much committment he has shown to it so far over the years.

    When I started my website and started commenting much about things that annoyed me in Korea, I was still on a professional track where I knew angry Korean netizens could cause me problems. That is the only reason why I agreed with my (Korean) wife to keep most of my personal information private. (She hates given out personal information most any time. It is one of our big differences – I’m usually a much open book).

    I would recommend Gerry set up an internet identity where he can ghost write what he wants.

    Don’t tell people where you are working next (if it is in Korea).

    And when you start posting another the assumed name, don’t tell what your profession is or what kind of work you do.

    Some dedicated VANK types will still be able to put together writing style and similarities in the future, but then again, that type of analytical reading isn’t particuarly a strong suit of Korean education…

    As time passes, the chances your later work will be connected back to the “Gerry” stuff will become less and less and it will be less likely a diligent internet bloodhound will track you down to cause problems again.

    And though it might sound like something most of us free speech-loving expats would not natually want to do —

    if I were in Gerry’s shoes —-

    I’d also pull down the Tokdo related material I’d put up over the years if I could delete them from the net.

    And I would simply slowly add them back under the different identity over the next couple of years after about a 6 month period of having them gone…

    The reason I would do these things:

    because if I felt, as Gerry obviously does, that the information I’m posting about the Tokdo issue is fairly important to be put out in the public domain —

    —biting the censorship bullet by having to relocate all my stuff under a different, fake name — would be more than worth it.

    Sticking to the principle of free speech and academic freedom is a no-winner.

    And it isn’t the issue of primary importance….

  47. usinkorea Says:


    the reason I’d take down my old stuff and slowly add it back under my new name is —

    — so it is much less likely someone will put the new identity together with the Gerry one.

    Because, someone who knows internet and computer technology might be able to track down where Gerry is working in the future based on the new postings even under a different name.

    By resubmitting the old stuff —-

    it takes away the chance the dedicated Korean bloodhound would be someone who stubles across the Tokdo stuff in the future —-
    —if the old stuff remains, a google type search would allow even a slightly perceptive person to see the similarities between the old Gerry’s writing and whatever ghost name he assumes in the future…

  48. Errol Says:

    usinkorea Said:

    December 28, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    —if the old stuff remains, a google type search would allow even a slightly perceptive person to see the similarities between the old Gerry’s writing and whatever ghost name he assumes in the future…

    Gerry cannot hide. Anything and everything can be quickly tracked down by the cunning of Korean googlers or more correctly naver.comers.

    Have a squiz at the dates of these two articles.

    Chosun Ilbo versus The Yangpa

    Then try to convince me that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family – laudable though its aims are – didn’t naver.com up its latest bright idea.

  49. tomato Says:


    Candidates were most embarrassed by questions about Japanese colonial rule. Experts say this is because some school history classes sometimes don’t cover the era, which is in the latter part of the standard textbooks, due to time restraints. Many applicants also gave wrong answers to questions about the ancient Koguryo and Barhae kingdoms, which China has been trying to co-opt as part of its history by way of the so-called Northeast Project. This suggests Korea has tackled attempts at historical distortion by Japan and China with more rhetoric than substance.

    So, I guess in the test, you’re supposed to answer that Japan did all this and that terrible things during the colonization and that China is occupying the former Korean territory that is Mancuria. Now this is definitely not a history test, but a test of the nationalistic ideology one is supposed to have under the current Korean education system.

  50. randomcow Says:

    Just to clarify, the decision was to not renew your contract, not to actually fire you, right Gerry? When did they inform you? When is the last day of your contract?


  51. randomcow Says:

    The dean will know the true meaning of what he has done to Korean society , his university, and to himself.:.International community is against suffocating freedom of speech.

    Ok, it’s all good and dandy to make comments like this, but the truth of the matter is that the trouble-makers are the ones having the last laugh. They worked together to get action, while we’re all just here twiddling our thumbs and patting each other on the back about who is “right.”

    The fact remains that these cunts were responsible for a man losing his job. I think it’s time to hit them hard where it hurts the most – in the Dokto.

    Let them continue their small-scale cyber-terrorism. I think there aren’t a lot of English-speaking people who are actually interested in the issue, and most of those who are I’d say would have got a lot of their information from this site. In other words, the Takeshima Movement in the West is going to have its roots on THIS VERY WEBSITE. That means YOU.

    I think it’s time to muster up all the media and political contacts we have and start discussing this issue with them. Blind Freddy can see who the isles belong to, and the Korean illogical and irrational arguments should be used to sell one of the most significant East-Asian stories of the decade.


  52. usinkorea Says:

    I think it’s time to muster up all the media and political contacts we have and start discussing this issue with them.

    You can forget about that.

    And if it does work, I’ll be pissed off.

    See — I remember when Gerry’s Korea Media Watch began back in 2002 and conversations he and I and others had via the net.

    Several pre-blog like sites started up independantly of each other. I started a forum a Yahoo at the same gime KMW was set up and designed to do exactly the same thing —- get the word out to what was going on.

    For months before that, and months after, I know Gerry and I and a few other long term expats were emailing articles from the Korean press and our insights into —— the very huge orgy of hate South Korean society was putting out after the USFk vehicle killed 2 Korean middle school girls (and as part of a presidential election cycle).

    I know I got to the point I was emailing 1 or 2 or 3 articles 3 or 4 times a week to major American media organizations.

    As time passed, my comments starting getting more and more desperate — along the lines of saying, “I can’t believe no US media organizations give a crap about what is going on over here!!!”

    Then, 3 US soldiers were attacked by a mob of anti-US college students and a major anti-US NGO leader who were promoting a huge anti-US festival at a nearby university.

    1 soldier was held captive for several hours and forced to make statements against himself and USFK – both for the brawl where he and 2 other GIs were attacked by a couple dozen college students and 1 middle aged activist – and for the armored car accident.

    Then, with the riot police’s help, the soldier was brought to a hospital and forced to the NGO leader whom the police eventually concluded started the brawl by slapping the very same soldier – (at which point the college students who had been pushing and pulling on the soldier started beating and kicking him as he fought back).

    When these event happened, I thought, “Well, at least the US media CAN’T avoid this story.”

    I was wrong.

    That is when I started my website on anti-US/USFK issues and the Yahoo forum (which is no more) and when Gerry started Korea Media Watch.

    If the international press doesn’t give a crap when a US soldier defending Korea is held captive and forced to make a “confession” by an angry mob that numbered over a thousand participants at a huge anti-US performance concert, they sure aren’t going to care that an ESL instructor did not get a contract because of Tokdo….

    I would like to see them care. But, honestly, if they do, it will only make me more bitter at the press (even if I like seeing them do it).

    (Also, some weeks after the GI was held captive, the commander of USFK MPs gave a lecture for a class at a university in Seoul where his wife was teaching management – and he wore his uniform – and when some students saw him on campus, they threw together a protest that eventually led to dozens of students standing outside the classroom door yelling for the GI to come out. The student in the classroom formed a circle around the wife/prof and GI and escorted them through the mod, who pushed and pulled and spit as the phalanx moved forward – then when the defenders had parted after the 2 got in his car, they beat on the car until the riot police got to the scene and opening up a lane for them to leave ——– no stories about that ran in the Korean or foreign press — except in Stars and Stripes)…

    Nobody cares about stuff like that out of Korea.

    Nobody except Japan and Korea care about Tokdo, and from what little I gather from places like Occidentalism, even the Japanese don’t seem to care about it much as a whole nation…

  53. usinkorea Says:

    and political contacts

    I forgot…

    When the US press wouldn’t cover the events of 2002 (until eventually very late) — I also started faxing articles from the Korean press to Congress members in the foreign relations and defense committees.

    Henry Hyde was one, but he had already shown an interest in anti-US attitudes in Korea. He is also about the only American politician I can rememer who ever took what goes on in Korea seriously or thought it was serious. Hillary Clinton has made a comment or two, but nothing much.

    If it is not about economic trade, nobody outside of Korea really cares…

  54. usinkorea Says:

    good golly!! how many gramatical mistakes could I make in the first comment above????!!!

  55. Some Reviews of Books on Korea: Part 2 « The Grand Narrative Says:

    […] Naturally, with posts of mine like this one entitled Korea’s Convenient Invasion Myths, and knowledge of what happened last year to a blogger who dared question some of Koreans’ sacred cows, then that really struck a chord with me, and I read most of the book on the KTX home the next day, quite a feat with my daughter wanting to “read” it on my lap too. I’ll have to finish it and look at it again to give a proper review of course, but although I think Tom Coyner wouldn’t like the connection made, I’d have to say it strongly reminds me of the book Culture Shock: Korea that I bought before I came to Korea in 2000. […]