Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday Night Live Korea's Adoption Sketch: No Need for an Apology

Outrage has become the insatiable hunger of our time in the West.  People will step over their own mother to find it and show everyone they know what a morally well-rounded and high-class person they are.  It has also become a way of winning arguments. 'I'm offended!' = discussion over, 'I win', and that is what passes for debating these days.

I have found outrage is especially apparent when anyone criticises any non-Western culture (the weak ones that can't handle what we think), but sometimes criticism of Korean culture (I think many Westerners living in Korea think of Korean culture as inferior to theirs so they think it is wrong to criticise aspects of it) by expats is justified if it looks like Koreans are picking on a vulnerable group or people that are less strong than they are.  Many of these criticisms are completely valid, but some are not.

So, with this in mind, I am going to defend those at Saturday Night Live Korea for their little comedy sketch. (Translation here). Not so much because I think it is really funny or a valid representation of adoptees, but because I am pretty sure I don't know enough and don't care enough to be outraged about it, and I get a little tired of misdirected and phony outrage.  I'm guessing that I might be in the minority with this viewpoint though and what I say here might offend people.

I Don't Know Enough

My wife and I have overcome many cultural differences to be the happily married couple we are today.  We understand a great deal more about each other and our cultures than we used to.  However, one of those things we just have to accept is that she just doesn't get British humour and I don't get Korean humour.  This doesn't mean I can't make her laugh, but it does mean that when I watch Korean comedy - in film or on TV - it is simply not funny to me most of the time, even when I get the jokes, and the same goes, vice-versa, for her with British comedy.

This is because comedy is often (not always of course) very subtle and the elements that come together to produce a sketch, a program, or a movie are derived from a close cultural understanding of language (which even a fairly fluent speaker might not be able to pick up on), the history of the subject being made fun of (either as a country, in society, or even in previous TV programs or in films), and the cultural context.

For instance, I have heard that the skit in question on SNL is actually making fun of a specific TV program that used to run in Korea and Korean dramas where they used the subject of adoption (quite possibly many times) and airport meetings of adoptees and their real parents as a subject for melodramatic shows of emotion (cue the tears and piano music).  Most foreigners living in Korea would not have known this and probably most adoptees - who had not spent much time in Korea - wouldn't have known this either.

I find it ironic that many of the same people I see criticising foreigners who complain about Korean culture for 'Not knowing enough' (on some pretty black and white cultural issues), are slamming SNL in exactly the same way.  They don't get it, they don't know enough.  All they see is an attack on adoptees, but if you watch the video again with the above explanation in mind, it paints an entirely different picture.

I don't blame adoptees for getting upset, but I do believe those that became outraged misunderstood the sketch and overreacted.

In a similar case, but not involving comedy, an England cricketer (Graeme Swann) remarked to his brother on Facebook - a few months ago - that England got 'arse raped' by Australia in their test series after losing the 3rd match.  The PC brigade managed to find this remark and spread it around social media and rape charities in the UK were angered about it and demanded an apology.  It was simply an off the cuff remark of a disappointed man in a message to his brother (in a very common British colloquialism), but he had to apologise nonetheless.  It feels wrong to condemn rape charities for overreacting doesn't it? After all, unless you have been raped how can you really know what they are going through, so surely it was irresponsible of Graeme Swann to say what he did.  Perhaps he shouldn't be quite so profane in his everyday language, but was it deserving of such outrage?

Rape is a disgusting crime and we should have the greatest sympathy for people who have gone through it, but that doesn't mean these people didn't overreact, it was a ridiculous reaction given the circumstances.

Although this is not comedy, I think a similar situation has occurred with the SNL sketch; outrage gets magnified as it's spread around social media and it becomes very difficult to take a step back and see that it isn't really that outrageous.  Much graver misfortunes are made light of in comedy all the time.

Examples of 'Insensitive' Comedy Shows/Movies and Characters

Family Guy - Joe Swanson is wheelchair bound and jokes are regularly made of his situation.  Most of us cannot possibly know what it is like for people who can't use their legs, so it is not a fit subject for comedy.

Only Fools and Horses (UK) - Delboy and Rodney are brothers live together with their Grandad in low-level poverty in central London.  Their mother died when they were young and their father left them.  They live from day to day by making dodgy deals and selling tat at the local market and to their friends.  Many of us cannot possibly know what it is like to lose a mother when young or have their father abandon them or live in such poor circumstances, so it is not a fit subject for humour.  How can we laugh at their troubles?

The Life of Brian - A man called Brian is worshipped like Jesus and is eventually crucified.  Since we all have never been crucified (I hope) how can we find this a fit subject for humour?  And singing a jaunty song while on the cross!!  Disgusting.

Hot Fuzz - a London based cop gets more than he bargained for when he is transferred to a sleepy village when murders, disgusied as accidents, occur on a frequent basis. Since I and none of my family or friends have ever been murdered, this is not a fit subject for humour, I cannot possibly understand what murder victim's families must feel when they watch this film, it trivialises death and murder.  Ban it.

Seasame Street - Oscar the Grouch is clearly homeless and the Cookie Monster is clearly coping with a powerful food addiction.  How on earth we can all make light of such situations is crazy.  And it is a show for children!  Most of us have no idea what it is like to be homeless or have a strong addiction, again, this is not a fit subject for humour!! Pull the show from TV before more young minds get corrupted!

The disabled, parentless families, people in poverty, people being tortured and crucified to death, murder victims and their families, homelessness, and addiction, all being used as subjects for comedy in very very popular TV shows and movies.  Should we all be disgusted with ourselves?  Or would that be an overreaction?

I could have given a number of other examples.  The point is that there are many unfortunate situations we will never truly understand, many that are much worse than the subject of adoption.  Intelligent people can see comedy is comedy and making light of hardships is sometimes a necessary part of life and this in no way detracts from our ability to empathise with real people embroiled in really heart-achingly sad and difficult situations.

Personally, I can see how the SNL Korea sketch could be funny, it made me giggle at some points, but has it changed my perception of adoptees in any negative way whatsoever? Absolutely not. Might it change or accentuate bad vibes in Korean people towards adoptees?  I don't know, but I doubt it.  Now let's say the government made a policy change that stopped the reunification of adoptees and their Korean parents or discriminated against them in some way; then I might be moved to some level of outrage.

Comedy is comedy, and upsetting some people is its business sometimes, it tends to be funnier that way. Sometimes comedians step over the line, but the SNL sketch is nowhere near an example of that.

Understanding Comedy

I remember when some of us Brits got all upset by a Ricky Gervais comedy, 'Life's Too Short', because people weren't sure if Gervais just using Warwick Davis to make fun of dwarves and midgets.  But that's the thing with comedy, it is at its best when it is close to stepping across lines.

The day that comedians have to go the politically correct police (or Joe Blogger) for advice on how best to write a comedy sketch, we really will live in a dull, humourless world.

Making Fun of Language Ability

Another aspect of this sketch that I have found many people didn't like is the part that makes fun of the guy's Korean.  Some of the foreign community are crying, 'Oh my god, they are probably making fun of me when I speak Korean!'

So what if they are?  My students make fun of the way I say Korean words sometimes, I just laugh and jokingly say, 'Shut-up' or 'You wanna punch in the face?', which they find quite funny.  A sure way of getting them to continue making fun of me would be to act all hurt and angry about it.  Making fun of your pronunciation; it's nothing, get over it and it's a guarantee people will continue to do it if they see it bothers you anyway.  If it doesn't bother you, they just look silly when they do it.

I remember a while ago my wife and I were watching a Korean film about a mentally handicapped man with a young daughter who got mistakenly accused of murdering a little girl.  The way he spoke Korean bore a resemblance to the way I speak it and my wife noticed this and said so to her family and they made fun of me for it.  My reaction was not to cry like a little sissy girl (or point out how mental illness is not a fit subject for a joke), I just had to take it on the chin and laugh along with it.  It was quite funny, I did sound remarkably like him.

Making fun of pronunciation or language ability can be annoying sometimes and frustrating if you are trying hard to learn a language, but come on everyone, mummy stopped holding your hand when you step out the house a long time ago, time to grow up, have a thicker skin, and get a sense of humour about yourself.  Obviously no one likes to be heckled on the street about their language ability or generally bullied, but we are talking about a comedy show here.  Are people really that fragile or so easily led?

In summary then, some might say I am getting outraged over people getting outraged, but no, not really.  I am just tired of them making life less fun for us all and sitting on top of their throne of moral superiority and not admitting that a huge reason people get upset about stupid things like this is to help inflate their already sizable egos and make themselves feel important or special.

I am not innocent in this regard either, to write a blog in the style of this one, you have to have a bit of an ego, and I am sure my ego does leak into my blogs from time to time, but at least I don't require a sense of humour transplant.

As for the adoptees themselves who were offended by it, of course they can take offense to it and they can voice their feelings, but I think they need not, and in my opinion I think it is pretty lame.  There are a million hardships we will never fully understand that people suffer from and to erase every one of these situations from comedy is not only impossible, but would make the world a very boring place indeed. Somethings are truly damaging or irresponsible - like using a blackface gag in a Sunday afternoon family comedy show - but do we really think any harm will come, any rights trampled upon, or any prejudices enhanced by SNL Korea's mildly controversial sketch involving the issue of adoption? Surely not.

This has nothing to do with people demanding censorship, by the way, this is simply me reacting to the outrage produced.  People are totally within their rights to voice their outrage, as I am within my rights to say it's stupid.

Anyway, SNL Korea have apologised, so let's hope this makes people happy (I won't hold my breath).

Note:  A commenter very fairly asked where I looked for reaction to the SNL sketch. Roboseyo's blog first got my attention and I followed many of his sources as well as doing my own searches.  I'm afraid some reactions on social media are now lost, but here are some other links that I read from:


  1. I'm surprised that you discussed the 'online outrage' without linking to any of the sources that you are apparently opposed too. Was it just Rob's blog post that you read, or did you read any of the stuff posted by actual adoptees? I'm not criticising you or your arguments in asking this, I'm just curious because you're discussing this as though there was a wave of complaint...when I saw a mere trickle, and that mostly from my friends who are adoptees.

    In fact, until I read Rob's blog, and followed the links therein, I didn't get what the fuss was about.

    Also, what percentage of your readers do you think speak enough Korean to understand the sketch without any sort of translation of the dialogue? Do you think that your readership knowing what is said in the video is important?

    I guess I found your post on this to be lacking a little bit of wider context. You don't really explain what the video is about (you have a link to it, but that link is in Korean...most of the people who read your blog probably don't speak Korean. You also might have addressed specific arguments by specific people to show that you actually understood the issue rather than just pulling arguments out of the air to argue against. For example "Another aspect of this sketch that I have found many people didn't like is the part that makes fun of the guy's Korean." I hadn't heard ANYONE say a link to a blog, or a note that these comments were made on Facebook or somewhere else would be really helpful.

    These aren't criticisms per say, but rather details that would make me feel like you were giving the counter argument to something, rather than just yelling at the wind.

    1. Fair comment about the links, I have now added the ones I used. Sometimes I get too focused on what I want to say and forget to do that, my bad.

      As I said on facebook, I can't address everything in one post. The number one moan people have about my blogs on this site, facebook and others is that they are too long and I know people give up on overly long blog posts. Perhaps we all shouldn't but we do.

      Everything you say here is fair criticism, except I think I am doing more than yelling at the wind. I think there are some things I wrote here that many people are uncomfortable acknowledging and an obsession with offense which should be challenged.

    2. What about your current delight in being outraged by people being outraged? Haven't you noticed it? Outraged that people are outraged about Kim Yuna. Outraged that people are outraged at the suggestion that the Asiana crash in San Francisco was caused by culture. Outrage that adoptees are 'outraged' by this television program.

      You're fake outrage about other people's alleged outrage is the grandest and pettiest hypocracy imaginable. You're peddling cheap click bait. I'm outraged about this fake outrage is just a sad attempt to gain clicks as a sideshow to the original car crash. It's pathetic mate.

      You have this terrible way of disagreeing with people that is totally fucking ridiculous. How about you show us your fucking balls, and take each point that Shannon made and actually respond to each one? Like she did with your post. How about you try a reasonable fucking discussion rather than your typical ignorant fucking tripe "I enjoyed that post. An interesting misinterpretation of what I wrote and what I think.

      It's funny that if you have an opinion that goes against a the grain of modern liberal discourse, you are either shouted down with profanities, accused of being insensitive, called a bigot, or told that you don't believe it really and that you are just looking for attention. Conveniently, the people who do this seem to get away with not dealing with what you actually wrote or said and not arguing the main points like an adult.

      I don't care if people liked this post or not, I care about whether they can give a good argument against it. Haven't seen any yet."

      Really? I happen to think that she totally fucking schooled you on the issue (not difficult) and you ignoring the content of what she wrote and hiding behind what you wrote here is EXACTLY what I am talking about. If you're not willing to directly and relevantly address criticisms of your opinion then your blog will always be a place that attracts temporary "heat" but that heat isn't enough to sustain anything.

      In short. You have alienated a lot of very intelligent and worthwhile people with your inability to reasonably argue against opinions that you disagree with. I have too...but the difference is that I'm a fucking clown. You seem to be a fella who wants to be taken seriously, rather than the punchline for some sort of blog joke.

    3. Yes, because I really have been extremely abusive in writing about all those things haven't I? If disagreeing with a point of view is abuse, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.

      What your poor attempt at argument on here and your blog show is that you are simply part of the crowd that can't abide any viewpoint other than your own. If people have an opposing view they are either bigots, racists, or just doing it for clicks on their blog according to your arrogant worldview. These are my honest views, you don't like them, fair enough, get outraged, get upset, and write what you like, but I have never encouraged anyone to infringe on people's rights or advocated violence on this blog (indeed I most often defend rights on here). I think this absolves me of the accusation of bigotry and the views expressed on this blog are never for simple hits, I believe what I write and I have some supporters of it, believe it or not. Those supporters are worried about voicing their opinions. Your blog is an example of people fearing to express opinions, that's why you get few dissenters. But, it is all a joke right and not serious? Your not really into serious debate? Then you won't mind if I don't take your blogs seriously then?

      On the contrary to what you say, I have addressed every criticism of this and other blogs in detail. What you really mean is that I don't agree with these criticisms. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Giving way to all of them just for the sake of it would be pretty stupid, wouldn't it?

      I tell you what, you tell me what points I didn't address and I'll address them, I thought I did address every one, just not to your liking obviously. Strangely, there are many points in this blog that everyone refuses to address, you see I can play that game too.

    4. O.K.

      I promise you that on Monday i will compile the long list of points that you didn't address. You act like that's not possible...but it is.

      Also, you don't understand my blog...and that's cool. It might be about you, but it's clearly not for you. I don't mind that one jot.

      Like I said, you never actually address anything anyone always just blow your word load and roll around in the muck. I will explain all when I get time to reply properly.

      I don't want you to agree with the criticisms. It's this plastic little fucking concept that you have, where you're the lone wolf who thinks so far outside of some sort of leftist, feminist, adoptee, politically correct box that you're a special snowflake. Really, you're just peddling the same 'outrageous' shit as any dick on Dave's or waygook, the difference is that you do it in blog form. I never want people to agree with shit they don't agree with. i want people to challenge the people who challenge them. i want you to be a fucking lion and stand toe-to-toe with people who call you out, and CHALLENGE their ideas, challenge my fucking ideas! I want to be persuaded for fuck's sake! You put out these half baked ideas and then just stir the about you actually defend the shit you write by taking the time to know what you're talking about and who you're talking to about it? There are plenty of people that I don't agree with or like, yet I still find their take on things to be worthwhile and interesting to me. So don't just do your usual bullshit of imagining what I'm actually saying and ignoring the words that I use. I'm not speaking in riddles or tongues here.

      As for your loyal band of 'supporters' and the fear they have for voicing their opinions...that's sad. I have no supporters...i doubt that anyone aside from you has ever even read my piece of shit blog. Having said that...I have had PLENTY of dissenting voices on my blog over the years. I've had stalkers, trolls, dickheads and the odd death threat. Well...two death threats. My blog is not an example of "people fearing to express opinions". Far from it. My blog is a sermon from a bearded fucking God figure who strikes down any and all who oppose him. i truly do not fear the heat. Why? Because without arguing with numpties, I'd have nothing to blog about over there. I do have more serious blogs where I write more serious things...but for the sake of being an opinionated fuck, I have the Burnblog. it serves its master well.

      Have a lovely weekend sir!

    5. I really don't understand you sometimes. All I do is stand toe to toe and respond to criticism. I respond to each point on my comments section and sometimes it takes me ages. Like I said. your problem is that you don't agree with my responses.

      "So don't just do your usual bullshit of imagining what I'm actually saying and ignoring the words that I use."

      If that isn't an example of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. Remember when I issued that challenge on a previous blog? You could use my actual words, you just used your own.

      I am not engaging you on your blog,you can comment on mine and I will respond here. Like you said, your blog is not a place for sensible debate. It is your little safety blanket. When you disagree with someone you shout profanities, when your wrong you were just having fun and never taking things seriously anyway. You don't want to be persuaded, this is the huge irony with all the criticism you have just given me, you just wanna have fun, which is fine, but like I said on one of our first encounters, you can't blog in the way you do and expect people to take you seriously.

      "you're just peddling the same 'outrageous' shit as any dick on Dave's or waygook"

      This is exactly what I mean. You have got your opinion, which is a fairly commonplace liberal left opinion (not saying that means it's wrong) then you have Dave's ESL on the other end of the spectrum. Any opinion that doesn't agree with yours immediately gets thrown to the Daves ESL end with you. With that Asian couples post you said exactly the same but could never explain to me why I was a racist pig like the Dave's ESL group and you chickened out of the challenge pure and simple.

    6. By the way, if you were referring to Shannon's blog, I have only just read it (at first glance it looks like a reblogging of yours). I will respond to all misunderstandings with another blog.

    7. Just to clear this up, I hadn't read Shannon's blog when I replied below, I thought they simply reblogged your blog, which I had read. My mistake, but it did expose a bit of vitriol in you didn't it?

    8. Vitriol is my bread, and bile my butter according to your bleeding heart. You're a sensitive wee chap sometimes Pissy.

    9. Well, that is where you and I differ. You seem like the sensitive one to me though, because you're the one spouting vitriol.

    10. This burndog guy is just a truly insecure loser with a chip on his shoulder. Ignore rubbish Christopher, don't let yourself touch it. Who knows the reason he is insecure, but there is something about you that he seems jealous of and he is just blowing smoke to show his disdain for his own life situation. Keep up the good work and never top writing. Many of us enjoy your blog and your keen eye!

    11. Cheers.

      Actually, I don't think he is that bad a guy. He takes some understanding, for sure. I think sometimes I forget that I never meet the people I argue with on here (most of the time). I bet if I met him he'd be fine and I have a suspicion he might be a good guy. He does his thing and it is weirdly valuable to have exchanges with him.

      Still working out the world of having exchanges with people I know absolutely nothing about!! Perhaps few people acknowledge what a recent and weird occurrence this actually is.

      Anyway, many thanks for your support :)

    12. Dear Anonymous, I implore you to please consider sucking my hairy balls. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Anonymous hey? That's very bold and brave.

      Thanks for the support Smudger...we may have our differences but at least we are decent enough to not be "anons"!

    13. Thanks for the support Anon. I told you he takes some getting used to! I am learning though not to take this stuff personally, I almost guarantee he is alright really.

  2. ‘I am pretty sure I don't know enough and don't care enough to be outraged about it, and I get a little tired of misdirected and phony outrage. “

    It’s really hard to get past this. I mean, if you start out from a position of ignorance and apathy I have to wonder what your motivation is to talk about this at all – more, I wonder why anyone else would care to read your thoughts on the matter since you have nothing to teach and seem not to care enough to be willing to educate yourself about it.

    Do you really feel that people who are offended are only pretending to be? Where is your evidence, and what would be their motivation?

    1. I care about the culture of outrage we have and the danger it poses to honest dialogue, this makes me thorough in my criticism.

      Yes, I feel that many people don't really care about the situation. I would fall short of saying they are pretending, but I think a lot of the outrage they express is merely an ego thing to show themselves in a good light. I think it is self-deceiving. I think many people get a kick out of feeling morally superior to others.

    2. You said the outrage was phony - that means you believe it is not real. Again, I wonder where your evidence is for this. You use the word 'think' three times just now, and 'feel' once. But that is all. Just something you think and feel ... you really have nothing you can point to, out in the world or in something people have said, that you can say that this is WHY you think and feel those things?

    3. Have answered your question in previous comment and post. The reason why I think those things is from experience of debating with people.

      The hypocrisy is what gets me, i think it's phony outrage (not in the adoptees I might add) because people only get animated about such issues when situations are inflamed over social media. When I said we should eat less meat and care more about animals the other week, nobody really gave a damn, they just wanted a guilt-free steak. That's a real issue of real suffering and injustice, not some insignificant comedy sketch in Korean that most people don't understand.

      Outrage is something that suits people when they don't have to change anything they do apart from type a few words on a computer. Real outrage demands action and I know that many times I feel outrage, I am not really feeling it and I forget about it pretty fast, this is human nature and is the reason I say what I say.

      No action needs to be taken against a comedy show, it was a harmless sketch that most non-adoptees would have brushed past if they had simply seen it on TV with no collective outrage to get them going. All these people have accomplished is get many more people to watch the show's sketch. What did the comedians accomplish on the other hand? Well, they got people talking didn't they and perhaps increased the popularity of their show.

  3. I’m sorry, but I just can’t agree with this.
    For a start the response from the adoptees that we both saw was not hysterical, but by the standards of social media was quite measured. Their offense was understandable and their complaints reasonable, even if you didn’t agree with them.
    It’s not at all like Graeme Swann, who was making an off the cuff, unscripted remark. Swann was accused of making light of rape, but the expression he used has cycled through increasing expressions of violence – “battered,” “killed,” “murdered,” “massacred,” and ultimately “raped.” Since no one would have accused him of insensitivity if he had used “massacred,” Swann can at least claim that the wave of popular feeling on this is inconsistent.
    I don’t think any subject is off-limits to comedy, and I agree that comedy is at its best when it pushes the limits, but there should be a better reason for doing it than simply mocking people who are at a social disadvantage. For example, Jimmy Carr (who many find unacceptable) uses offensive humour to point out the inconsistencies that Graeme Swann experienced.
    When challenged, Carr sticks by his act. SNL could have done that. They could have said that they wrote the sketch for X reasons, or to make Y point, and stood by it. They could have done that and then admitted they got it wrong – as Ricky Gervais eventually did over his disabled jokes (it seems generally accepted that his “mong” jokes were not malicious or even insensitive, but that they were misjudged). SNL didn’t do that, and it’s hard to see what justification they could have made.

    1. I appreciate the tone of your response even though it is in disagreement.

      I used the Graeme Swann case to illustrate how outrage becomes inflamed by social media and how thousands of people often see things that were never meant for them to see. In the SNL Korea case, the skit was for a Korean audience who would have known about previous TV programs involving Korean adoption. The situation became inflamed when people, who were never meant to see it, saw the skit who had no understanding of some of the background of the comedy.

      I see an inconsistency in the way people get outraged and it is this; why is a film like Hot Fuzz, whose whole plot revolves around making light of accidental death and murder not hammered in the same way? Why aren't murder victim's families getting outraged and roundly supported by everyone else?

      It's comedy, as I said most people realise it when it comes to murder (bizarrely), but everyone thinks SNL's skit will have some huge effect of the collective Korean psyche, I just don't buy it. And as I said I don't think they were directly making fun of the adoptee, but of the stereotypical, overly dramatic stuff that used to be produced. They didn't stick by it because the response was so OTT, what could they have said to get the PC crowd to understand? Better to just apologise and get the monkey off their back.


    1. I enjoyed that post. An interesting misinterpretation of what I wrote and what I think.

      It's funny that if you have an opinion that goes against a the grain of modern liberal discourse, you are either shouted down with profanities, accused of being insensitive, called a bigot, or told that you don't believe it really and that you are just looking for attention. Conveniently, the people who do this seem to get away with not dealing with what you actually wrote or said and not arguing the main points like an adult.

      I don't care if people liked this post or not, I care about whether they can give a good argument against it. Haven't seen any yet.

    2. I would like to point out that I thought this was a reblog of Burndog's blog about me that I had read and if you read his blog, this response makes more sense. My mistake. I have now read Shannon's post and am replying to the points made in more blog posts.

  5. why don't you educate yourself on the exporting/selling of korean children. there are over 200K of us. after reading much of your blog, since you aren't fluent in korean and are a white man teaching english in an asian country - you only get to see that part of korea because you are what you are. how about you be korean in korea and not speak korean when everyone expects you too even though you have told them you were adopted as a baby to a foreign land where korean is not spoken! how about you do a birth search and find that your papers have been falsified so the ONLY chance of finding any information about your beginning is going on these reunion TV shows. we don't like doing them for so many reasons but it is all the hope we have left. you have NOOOO right to talk about this, saying we adoptees don't need an apology, when you have nothing at all to do with this. just because you stuck your dick in a korean and married her doesn't mean you know shit about korea or korean people. what next are you going to say?? korean adoptees aren't real koreans??

    1. Mr. Smith will have to resist the temptation to dismiss this as an example of the ‘hysteria’ he referred to in his article, but what is really being said reflects a lot of important life experiences which he had already confessed that he didn't know and didn't care enough about to learn or discover.

      I see the emotion here and I think it is real and not ‘phony.’ There are some points being raised. They deserve some attention.

      1. At certain times in recent history, orphans were Korea’s largest export. Did money change hands and did some make profit? Probably. Make that, almost certainly. And probably those involved in the transaction believe in their hearts that they were making the world better as they cashed their checks at the bank. Yet, the human beings who grew up and came to adulthood inside of that transaction might have feelings about it that are complicated. It’s safe to say that.

      2. Who we are has a large determination on how we interpret what we see – and a lot of the time the conclusions we draw inevitably benefit our own sense of self-worth, though we firmly feel we are drawing a picture of the real world. Do you think that people who feel outrage and offense have no right to the emotion? Well, that describes who you are, not who they are. Again, it is more complicated than you present here.

      3. I've seen a lot of government offices and non-profits here in Seoul that try to help adoptees through the process of finding and connecting with their biological families. There are still barriers that make it difficult, and when it is successful … guess what? Things are complicated. That deserves to be recognized.

      4. The television comedy caused distress among the Koreans who saw it and recognized themselves being ridiculed. That is a true thing. It needs to be admitted here. The impulse behind the comedy stems from the historical factors about Korea's past, and the feelings modern Koreans feel about that time, which are, well ... complicated.

      I disagree with this person who says you have no right to talk about it – but once you open your mouth, you do have a responsibility to listen, and not dismiss what you hear because it doesn't fit with your own experience. This is the problem: we have, each of us, limited experience and so we need to listen to what others tell us of theirs.

    2. Boy have I been proved right with the opening first few lines of this post. It is all about offense and no logic.

      @Anon - I educated myself about Korean adoptees, all you are really saying is that any reaction a Korean adoptee has, to an issue involving them, must be right because it involves them and that any criticism of it is necessarily wrong, I do not share your premise and I think this is faulty logic.

      I am sure there are many hardships you face and I sympathise, it is not like I have no heart, I just think that many people like you overreacted to something that was simply comedy, which I believe most misunderstood. As I said in the post there are plenty of people's situations made light of in comedy that no one bats an eye-lid at that are far graver than the issue of adoption.

      "You have NOOOO right to talk about this"

      I will talk about and write about whatever I like, thank you. Nice to see you aren't overreacting with insults about one guys opinion about a comedy sketch, by the way.

    3. @Robert

      1&2 - Never said people don't have a right to an emotion, I just said that I thought their reaction was over the top and unnecessary. I understand why they might have an emotional response, I just don't agree with it. I understand why some Muslims might have an emotional response to a simple cartoon of Mohammed, they have every right to have the response, but that still doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

      3. My criticism is of the response to a comedy show skit, nothing more. All the stuff about government programs, how difficult it must be for adoptees is irrelevant, I would agree and sympathise with their troubles.

      4. Whether it caused distress to many Koreans also doesn't make a jot of difference to my point. If they really did get as upset as anyone else, I think they overreacted too. What would be interesting to know is if they were upset to begin with or whether many of them just jumped on the band wagon once they saw that others were upset as the outrage multiplied through social media. Either way, however, still an overreaction to a piece of pretty harmless comedy.

    4. he/She meant you have no right saying that SNL korea need not apologize.. when you aren't the one they are offending.

    5. I disagree. I think I do have the right to my own opinion.

      If you follow this logic every time someone is offended by something they are necessarily right to be so all the time. Can you imagine what a ridiculous world we would live in if that was the case?

      People are so easily offended these days.

  6. I would like to point out you are the one on my site using profanities. Pot, kettle, black.

  7. This is a pretty funny comment.

    Read the post again for my main points and my argument against what you say about understanding the point of view of the adoptee. Living in their shoes is not necessary to posit a theory of overreaction.

    For a more extreme and obvious example of this logic, look at the reaction to the Danish cartoons back in 2005 by some Muslims. Were they right to be upset about cartoons of Mohammed? Maybe. Can I possibly understand their point of view as sincere believing Muslims? No not really. Were some Muslims right to burn down Danish embassies and attack random Scandanavians in protest. Absolutely not. My point is that you don't have to live someone's life to see that they have overreacted.

  8. Your examples have no relevancy.. where in any of your examples have the people been stripped of their culture and then made fun of when we try to unite with our families. you don't get it and you never wil because you lack empathy. why can't you empathize with us and feel what we feel.. have you ever lost a person so close to you that you wish you could bring back? how would you feel if they made a funny skit out of that. empathy try it!

  9. By your own argument, how can you possibly understand how Muslims feel about the drawing of their profit? Who are you to say that their situation with a Danish newspaper isn't more upsetting than the issue of adoption? (I think it isn't more upsetting, but it is your logic, not mine).

    I have every sympathy and empathise with the situation of adoptees and their parents, but I think they are overreacting to this comedy sketch, that's all.

    Why is OK to make light of murder in comedy, then? This is far worse but no one complains at all when TV shows and films do this. That's because of course people empathise with murder victiims and their families, it's a no brainer. When it comes to comedy, they know it's just comedy and comedy sometimes needs to be a little edgy and shocking.

  10. no relevancy in what you are talking about muslims and korean adoptees. but you def don't know the difference between sympathy and empathy.

  11. Which adoptees were beheading people or burning down SNL Korea's studios or threatening lives? Maybe I missed that.

    The correct response to offensive speech is more speech. Then a conversation happens. People can learn things from conversations, and improve themselves, if they listen.

    So I guess not you, but other people.

  12. The analogy was to the logic of the argument of saying who are you to judge what is an overreaction when you can't possibly understand the other's point of view. If you can't see that, well, I don't know what to say. Of course the two situations aren't the same. I'm am simply taking a more extreme example (as I already said) to highlight the flaws in such an argument.

  13. We make judgements all the time about whether people are right to be offended or react in certain ways. You don't always need to be part of the particular group that has supposedly been wronged to do this.

  14. Yes, I think THAT would be a much more entertaining skit. Reading Chris' blog here is pretty boring, unimaginative, and not very clever. Perhaps, because I already know his type. He's pretty bored by his own existence, but he's just itching to use his megaphone and have SOMETHING to say. So the only way to make his own life meaningful is to self-righteously judge something he openly admits he has no special insight about. His credentials - he's an overly arrogant Westerner!

    But with his boring life and nothing interesting to talk about, I'm glad someone created an imaginary, much funnier skit, so that Chris' existence could finally be entertaining to me and have some worth.

    And what's this with his Danes and Muslims? Is that another topic he wants to profess about while admitting he really doesn't know anything, except he read about it, just like the rest of us?

    But, yeah, I think it would be hilarious to watch a comedy where he was tormented and his most vulnerable moments of natural anguish were exposed to me so that I could get a great laugh. Then, his life would be of value on this earth. Come on, Chris, whadja think? Oh, wait, we don't need your permission or your opinion. I would be so much more ENTERTAINED if your emotions were raw, real, and you were cornered. That'd be FUNNY! The more true suffering you experience, well, you know, a bundle of laughs for ME!

    I've seen British comedy, and some of it is truly funny. That's not you, Chris.

    But, yeah, you're a dime a dozen. See ya.

  15. Actually I think what I wrote is completely inappropriate, well it certainly is for anyone whose been raped. And I sincerely apologise for offending anyone who has (or has had a loved one raped), because having it made light of is a re-triggering experience.

    But much in the same way, being adopted, and in the way that Korea does intercountry adoption, is a violating experience for both adoptees and frequently their parent(s). Their basic human right to be raised by their parents, to know who they come from, has been violated. Also, frequently they are subject to bigotry and misunderstanding in their new environments. Family search is often misunderstood, and often our rights are re-violated when it comes to access to records. Frequently we find ourselves in humiliating situations, used as media fodder, in order to bypass agencies refusal to turn over our records.

    Adoptees have been violated, making fun of them is re-triggering of those violations and humiliations. It should be unfunny to make humour of their humiliation, just as it is unfunny to tell rape jokes.

    - Lauri Lee

  16. So in response to me simply saying that a group of people overreacted to a comedy show, you hope that I experience true suffering and you would be entertained by it. Nothing OTT about that, eh? Thanks for proving my points for me.

    Boring, unimaginative, and not very clever, yet it motivated to to get very emotional about it and write to me.

    And who ever said I was trying to be funny?

    A comment full of contradictions, misunderstandings, overreactions, and laughable outrage.

  17. Writing at the same time, let me respond again.

    Look as I am repeatedly having to say, if adoptees and parents are having their rights violated then outrage is more than justified, and I am more than willing to voice my support.

    It is of my opinion that the comedy in that sketch did not do this and the reaction to the sketch was blown out of all proportions. That comedy skit will not turn previously unbigoted people into bigots, it is just humour.

    To convince me tell me how the examples of making fun of murder, torture, poverty, homelessness, addiction, parentless families, and the disabled in the programs I've mentioned is any different from SNL's sketch about adoption and how they make the situation worse for people that are victims for all of these.

    For example, why would I care if some stranger jokes about me or my wife (on a previous comment)? How have they trampled on my rights in any way? It just makes them look dumb. If you think SNL's sketch was dumb and insensitive, don't watch it, or at least don't watch the show again or encourage others to watch it. All the overreaction has done is make the show more well-known, possibly attracting more viewers in the future. If a helpful dicussion about adoption rights has come from it, then surely they have done a good thing?

    Comedy is about being edgy and shocking sometimes and needs the freedom to be so.

  18. "To convince me tell me how the examples of making fun of murder, torture, poverty, homelessness, addiction, parentless families, and the disabled in the programs I've mentioned is any different from SNL's sketch about adoption and how they make the situation worse for people that are victims for all of these."

    Family Guy - can't say I've really watched it so can't comment. Except to ask, are the jokes made at the character's expense in cruel way? That might be telling. If they are made at the character's expense in a cruel way that's not defensible, if they are not, then there is your answer.

    Only Fools and Horses - again, something I've not really watched much of, but I believe it plays on two distinct personalities in a situational set up and doesn't set out to degrade the poor, just show case escapades. Please correct me if there are scenes that degrade poor people in vulnerable moments.

    Life of Brian – it’s been a long time. But I recollect the humour is about how Brian got to be mistaken for the messiah. The humour is along the lines of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes fun of martyrdom as willing act, and the people interpret it as such. It’s a fictitious version of historical events. As you point out current crucifixion is uncommon (unlike adoption from Korea) and not something that's going to trigger a lot of people. As far as I’m aware the Romans have stopped this practice.

    Hot Fuzz - again one I missed. Sounds like a parody of the British murder mystery. Is it making fun of people's loss? Does it make fun of the anguish people felt as they were being murdered? I suspect it probably doesn't. I suspect it makes fun of British coppers. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Sesame Street - Oscar isn't homeless, it's a lousy pejorative to call him that when it obviously isn't true [shame on you]. His trashcan is the tardis of trashcans and thusly an extensive abode. People treat him with dignity even if he is often gruff and he is portrayed as being attractive enough to have a complimentary girlfriend, Grundgetta. Even if he was homeless, he is never treated like trash despite his abode. He doesn't appear to be destitute in resources, and as such this is not something that is ever made fun of. As for Cookie monster, does anyone try to belittle his love for cookies? Make fun of his weight?

    It doesn't appear that any of these are about kicking people when they are down.

    As for the SNL skit, it makes fun of two of the things that are lost to adoptees, language and culture. Making fun of language isn't just the same as making fun of the language of someone with an intact cultural history learning a second language as it wasn't something that was your birthright that you lost. It's pretty poor manners to mock anyone whose language skills are poor in a second language, it however is deeply cutting to have it mocked when it is part of your heritage that was taken away from you when you were sold for a profit because your homeland's government didn't have the decency to help support unwed mothers and vulnerable families (or were actually stolen for the purposes of intercountry adoption). The skit mocks genuine and painful losses. It mocks the cultural divide that is forced upon adoptees, and makes light of emotions when they reunite, "Don't laugh" when it should have been "Don't cry". It makes fun of sincere attempts to overcome painful loss, in a position when adoptees are at one of their most emotionally vulnerable moments. It makes fun of the programs that adoptees are forced to humiliate themselves and their emotions by going on because our records for search are not available to us. In other words, it really rubs our faces in loss.

    Do any of your examples make direct fun of painful loss at the expense of a character, do they rub their faces in it? If they do, then that is really questionable if you find it funny or defensible humour.

    continued below...

    Lauri Lee

  19. ...continuation of above.

    "For example, why would I care if some stranger jokes about me or my wife (on a previous comment)?"

    Some people don't like to be made the butt of a humiliating scenario, especially if it involves a loved one. I see you don't care. I obviously pitched wrongly to my audience. If you had been bothered, I’d have pointed out that it was unlike what SNL had done for a number reasons. Like below.

    "How have they trampled on my rights in any way?"

    Your rights haven't been trampled on because it seems that you haven't been ‘arse-raped’. However if you had, you might be upset and offended by having someone mock you in a situation that triggered a memory that was violating and humiliating. It might cause you to feel that people were belittling your pain. I'm not sure why you can't understand that. I suspect the privilege of never experiencing anything truly violating. Which puts you in no position to pass judgment on how something should be received since you seem devoid of empathy for people who are being mocked when they are vulnerable.

    "If a helpful dicussion about adoption rights has come from it, then surely they have done a good thing?"

    Seriously? "If some good has come from it..." is such old hat flawed logic that we could probably justify the holocaust with that kind of lame reasoning. [no, that's not an invitation to look at the bright side of genocide, but a hope you see the patent flaw in the reasoning]

    "Comedy is about being edgy and shocking sometimes and needs the freedom to be so."

    Wow, you heard that somewhere and thought it was worth parroting?

    No comedy is about being funny. If humour is used in an edgy intelligent way to critique something then that’s clever. But most people who believe the bullshit about being edgy are just looking for excuses for pushing the envelope in some purile way. To me, people that engage in that kind of comedy, just look nasty and jaded, like they've run out of anything original and funny in their life so are grasping at straws with a bit of shock value. Pathetic.

    - Lauri Lee

  20. Hello.

    I've read your post and the various responses to it. Just wanted to say that you're totally entitled to your opinion. In terms of the logic of the things you're saying, it's really just all over the place, isn't it? Really too many absurdities to bear mentioning.

    Anyway, do you understand why people are reacting the way they are to your post? You've done a really excellent job of extolling your qualifications for being such a good sport when you're the butt of the joke, your commitment to cultural objectivity, and your knowledge of modern comedy. Then with all your accolades you say people who are offended shouldn't be. That's, like, totally not nice. You have mentioned at length that measuring overreaction is a difficult concept, but it would be plain naive of you to think that people might not get offended when something like this airs and then posts it on social media (it seems you're pining for the days when people really BELIEVED in their outrages and they came on paper and men were men and women were women). If your intention was to be deliberately hurtful then you achieved it, but I fear you think you've uncovered some modern truth. Anyway, intelligent readers here will be taking your opinion with a large grain of salt (you're uninformed and from the country in the world best as self-deprecation) so I wouldn't worry about their ire too much.

    So summarize for me what your opinion on the matter is. It seems to me if you had something valuable to say it wouldn't need all the qualifications to stand on its own. Are you just outrage weary?

    Frankly, I agree with you. People do get offended too easily. It makes me sad when one of my outrage-junkie friends pops up on my newsfeed, both for the friend, and for the things that are going untalked about that are likely worse(?). I rather understand you moreso given the reactions in these comments above. They're uh, not well-measured for the most part. I doubt some of them even understand why they're offended, but that makes their offense no less real.

    1. Eric,
      Do you have ANY experience or insight with being adopted from Korea. If not, then keep your judgements to yourself about whether someone else's offense is valid or not, someone who KNOWS and has lived the experience.

      Chris wrote a lengthy invalidation of people's offense over a topic and experience he admits to knowing very little about, and insults them by saying that he wasn't entertained. You're right, he's not nice and he's self-righteous, judgmental, arrogant, and ignorant. Very typical, like you.

    2. @Eric I knew this post would offend people of course. Although I don't want to offend people, sometimes it inevitably happens when you speak your mind. I am so used to this now, I am desensitised to all the harsh responses, I even find some of them very funny.

      Notice the sensible reaction to what you said. Not at all OTT, proves my point, I thought you were mostly against me and on the other side!

      People can be offended, of course they can, but I think it is perfectly within my rights to give my point of view that they need not have been. Its good to see that they can take criticism so well and with great dignity. Had some great responses so far.

      I will respond to other points later. This is taking up quite a lot of time!! Interesting though, but I am a little busy.

    3. @Christopher so was it your intention to offend or just happenstance? It rather seems the former, given the qualifications you feel you have to include. Of course your opinion is valid, but it's pretty fallacious to dress it up like social science and then tell everyone it's just your opinion and you're entitled to it. Also, I'm not sure if being desensitized and laughing at people's reactions to your posts is the best way to progress as an opinion writer...

      @Anonymous... sigh... actually I am an adoptee. A typical one to be sure. I feel like on the internet it's the penultimate insult to call someone typical. I think, and I'm sure Christopher thinks that you've helped prove his point in your response. Is my opinion valid... now? In any case sorry for deviating. I know you're a shiny starlike beacon of hope and individuality in a sky of dead black bigotry, so I apologize to you and the community for... what? Disagreeing? Did I? Not sure. Anyway, I beg you shine on.

    4. @Eric - I really appreciate the tone of your response, you are an example of how to discuss things properly. You disagree with me, but you do it in the right way and don't throw nonsense accusations around about my motivations or my life, so thank you.

      My intention is to be honest, period. I never try to offend anyone, but I recognise that it will happen. So I am kinda sorry, but not, if you know what I mean. I don't want to upset people, but I feel honesty is more important.
      It had been my opinion for a while that the West in particular is suffering due to political correctness in a variety of issues at the moment and I am a huge believer that no one has the right not to be offended. As much as I sympathise with the difficulties of adoptees, I'm afraid I could not give them a pass for their overreaction to that skit.

      When it comes to being desensitised and laughing, it is not in response to every comment I get, just the ones like that anon that was talking about my wife shoving something up my ass, or whatever it was and other silly name calling and ad hominems. You just have to laugh at that, no other response is appropriate. When I first starting writing blogs and articles on other sites, I would lose sleep over such things, these days that never happens and I think that is a good thing, it is only a blog after all.

  21. Chris,
    I'm Anon who said you were boring, not clever and unimaginative (and did I say bored with your own life?). In response to your 8:14pm comment, you got more of my point.

    It's pretty twisted to want someone to experience true suffering and then entertain people with it, wouldn't you say? That is what's offensive about the intention of SNL's skit - it exploits someone's raw, painful, and private emotions to entertain a slew of others.

    And that's what offensive about your post - that your disappointment with SNL's skit was that it wasn't even entertaining. So, if it had made fun of people's trauma and real suffering AND been funny, then YOU would have been entertained. Then the world would be aligned, because you would have gotten a good laugh.

    Well, to that, I say, I don't see any problem with having some horrible injustice done to you, something you'd have no control over and that upsets and insults you to your core. Then let's make a fun skit about that. Yes, we could all watch it, and if it were creative, we could all get a good laugh. Boy, in this day and age, we need a good laugh. What, you don't think that would be funny? To be the butt of other people's jokes over something horribly done to you? Well, if you don't like it, don't watch it. I need a laugh and I'd love to laugh at you, because I love to be entertained by watching victims suffer. Your feelings over your life shouldn't get in the way of my laughs. What's important to me is that I LOVE to be entertained.

    And no, I don't know much about your life, nor am I interested in who you are, what you do, what you think. I don't need to know what day you were born, your greatest loves, the story of your life, the people who have surrounded you. You don't need to sell yourself to me, to impress me. You can chose to have your privacy or not, to disclose whatever information you want to the public. But many adopted people don't have that luxury to keep their private lives, identities, and personal anecdotes private if they want to restore some pieces of themselves, reclaim some sense of themselves that was taken from them. Agencies who controlled their lives prevent them from accessing basic available information about themselves. To put some of the missing pieces together, adopted people have few options left except to expose themselves naked and raw for public consumption, for your entertainment, to be judged, ridiculed, sympathized with, garner empathy, in the HOPES of being able to reach the next scary stage of healing from this trauma - a stage that might bring closure, resolution, confusion, or even more trauma.

    But, as you said, you want their woes to entertain you, so did SNL Korea. You're upset that SNL didn't entertain you, so you write this all up, about how, in your bored state, you didn't get the laugh you wanted.

  22. Let me try and respond to each point:

    Family Guy: Yes, jokes are made at the characters expense in a cruel way.

    Only Fools and Horses: I would argue (as I did) that the SNL sketch did not set out to degrade adoptees but used your situation in a sketch and was poking fun at old TV shows. OFandH is similar, it makes light of low level poverty and even hints that people in such situations don't behave within the law. Most of Delboy's stuff is stolen or dodgy in some way.

    Life of Brian - it makes fun of torture at the end and the most important event for all Christians with sincere faith.

    Hot Fuzz - I think it does make fun of people's loss, yes, and makes light of these feelings and revenge. Also, just look at it through the eyes of a murder victim's family. Here is a movie that is making fun of people dying, surely that's enough.

    Seasame Street - At this point I'd like to point out that you said he isn't homeless and said 'shame on you' for saying so, and then later conceded that he might be. Hmmm. He lives in a trash can on the street, but ok fair enough, the next time I walk past a guy sleeping in a box on the street I won't consider him homeless. Anyway, they call him Oscar the Grouch, there is a hint to a stereotype about his situation. As for the cookie monster, his addiction is a subject for comedy, full stop. I have also got about a hundred comedy sketches in my head where people make fun of people's eating habits and their weight.

    Look, I agree all of these examples ARE fit subjects for comedy, it would be ridiculous to take them all so seriously, but that is exactly my point. The situation on the SNL sketch was no different. Almost every British comedy out there is about kicking people when they are down also; Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Only Fools and Horses, One Foot in the Grave, etc.

    I find it interesting that you also managed to come up with counter arguments to many of those programs and films without every having watched them!!!

  23. "Comedy is about being edgy and shocking sometimes and needs the freedom to be so." Wow, you heard that somewhere and thought it was worth parroting?"

    Yes, I probably did here this from somewhere (don't know where), and yes great words of wisdom are worth parroting.

    "To me, people that engage in that kind of comedy, just look nasty and jaded, like they've run out of anything original and funny in their life so are grasping at straws with a bit of shock value. Pathetic."

    If you really think this, and surely this fits the mark with some comedy, why get so upset about it? I wasn't upset about the silly stuff said to me about my wife because it was pathetic. I know intelligent people wouldn't find it funny. The people who would find it funny are lost causes anyway. The people who could possibly look at that SNL sketch and be enthused to trample on the rights of adoptees (I so doubt this, but for the sake of argument) are lost causes also. Forget about it.

    Comedy is self-censored. When its funny people watch it, when its not people switch off and shows get cancelled.

    My whole discussion concerns comedy, not bullying or wise-cracking jokes on the street, that is something entirely different by the way.

  24. "But, as you said, you want their woes to entertain you, so did SNL Korea. You're upset that SNL didn't entertain you, so you write this all up, about how, in your bored state, you didn't get the laugh you wanted."

    There is a lot of assumption here about my point of view.

    1. I never said I want their woes to entertain me. I just don't want to see hoardes of people swearing and cursing at a comedy show. Am I really that outraged by it, no, but I disagree that it needed such a reaction. Such reactions only dull the world and comedy into a overly PC, boring version of itself. Like I said comedy needs to remain edgy and free and it self-censors itself when it is not funny. By all means complain and write letters, but the level of outrage was ridiculous.

    2. I'm not upset SNL Korea didn't entertain me, I don't care about the laughs. It was in Korea on a show I never watch, never even knew about before the overreaction to one sketch and I assume this is the same situation for many.

    Look, as I said, I am sure adoptees have it hard. What you are searching for is special privilege not to be offended, which you can't have. No one has the right not to be offended. I don't feel markedly more sorrow, sympathy or empathy for you than I do for anyone, I don't know you. Everyone has specific problems in their lives, some worse than others, and I would empathise and feel for all of them, I have a very capacious heart believe it or not, but I am not going to be upset about a harmless comedy show skit on your behalf and I think adoptees and parents overreacted and claimed special offense when people make fun of a huge range of situations in any number of different people. Freedom to offend is the price of freedom and comedy is a valuable source of free expression that I don't want tarnished.

  25. Im not outraged, but feel sorry for adoptees who would in my opinion be justified to be hurt by the sketch. There is always a fine line but this time it was well crossed.

  26. I think that korean adoptees really will always have some kind of psychological issues. First of all, they have some really deep scars, mix that with the genetic psychological issues from their biological parents...who passed them on, and then you get a MEGA psycho who is really out to fight the world. I feel sorry for them because they seem to be super inferiour because of their culture, their lack of culture, and they were rejected by so many people. What a sad life they had, and they are looking for a fight.....with anyone. That is why there are so many posts with such a primitive shadow of rejection and desperation.

  27. I have never known an adoptee, and like everyone keeps saying I can't possibly understand, but no one has the right not to be offended. Comedy plays such a vital role as a tool for freedom of expression. To me it is vital that comedians are not always looking over their shoulders and are not pressured into trying to please everyone, because they never will be able to achieve it and culture at large would lose something too precious.

    I cannot judge anything other than the reaction to the skit in question. In every other way I cannot comment about their situation other than I am sure it is very hard in many ways like you say.

  28. Yep, well this lucky little misfit has a beautiful wife who he loves to bits, so things turned out pretty darn good :)

  29. As a korean adoptee, I'd like to say I'm totally embarrassed by all people who try to stand up for korean adoptees! I can well take a joke, but cant stand this rubbish everyone is dumping on this blogs author! I try to raise my kids with the value that this world doesn't revolve around them! And being more focused on being of positive influence on others will result in a happier and more full filled life of their own. I'd recomend all of you offended people to try Nd go help someone who's in need, instead of being rude on the Internet!

    (I came across this blog, because I try to learn about my birth country, since after 30 years, I've just met my birth father last februari. I like the insight it gives from Western culture on korean culture and you have a fun style of writing, please keep it up!) - jixja

    1. Many thanks for this, it is much appreciated.

      I am pretty sure I wasn't commenting on the lives of adoptees or belittling their hardships. I was specifically targeting the reaction to the SNL skit, and mainly in those who aren't adoptees themselves. I am glad to see some people can take a step back and see this and ironically not overreact to what I wrote.

      "I'd recomend all of you offended people to try Nd go help someone who's in need, instead of being rude on the Internet!"

      You hit the nail on the head with this comment. This is what I see all the time on the internet; outrage about everything, and often in a very profane manner. The thing is that this is all 99% of people do, voice outrage on social media. If they were truly as outraged as they sound, they'd get their hands dirty and do something about the injustices in the world. This is why I suspect that many people's responses to the SNL sketch were phony or ego based (not the adoptees themselves, I might add).

      I am not saying I am any better, I should be doing more, but at least I don't resort to swearing and intimidation to make myself look good on the internet. Quite the opposite in fact, me giving my honest opinion has opened me up to written abuse on a variety of subjects.

      Many thanks again for commenting, and I'm glad you didn't take offence to what I wrote.

    2. Well thank you too for your blog! It's so much fun to read, since I'm dying to know more about my birthcountry in this "inside"way!

      "but at least I don't resort to swearing and intimidation to make myself look good on the internet"

      Well if intended to look good, they do a poor job, right? ;)

      And I admire the way you keep your cool in the discussion (or should I say being under fire) :)

      I'm a big fan of commenting if you've got something positive to say...