April 1, 2014
New YouYou finally comes into her own…

Morning Burnfans!

Well it’s been a while, but I can safely say that New YouYou has finally started to blossom into the full hate machine that I always imagined she could become.  It may be that the fact that we have VERY little to do with each other…we teach ‘together’ three times a week, but I’ve been clear that I don’t want her to ‘teach’ with me in the class, and that I’m happier to teach those lessons alone.  She still comes to the classes in order to loudly contradict me, or occasionally shout some unsolicited nonsense…but she generally just stands at the back of the classroom and looks confused.

Yesterday, I went into her office to ‘plan the lesson’…which is where I ask her “what page are you up to in the book” and she points at the book.  We did this yesterday, and she pointed at page 28.  Nothing too difficult there.

So…I planned my lessons for today, and then the kiddies came in for the first lesson…and they were up to page 30.  
"Page 30?" I asked, "Are you sure?  I thought you were on page 28."  I look at the book in front of me, and sure enough the kid has completed page 28.
"Alright then, let’s do page 30!" I announce.  It’s not like page 28 and page 30 are so fucking different that one can’t just keep motoring on.
"WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!" I hear screamed from the back of the classroom, as New YouYou comes bounding to the front of the room.  

Now…before I get any further into the story…let me be clear that New YouYou is in her late 40’s…but decided to wear cat ears and short shorts today.  CAT EARS.

So…this loopy nutter comes running at me…cat ears bouncing…and decides to grab my text book…fling it open to page 28 and scream, 

"I tole you yerstuhday…we can be on da page 28 or maybe da page 30!  WHY YOU DON"T REMEMBER?  WHY IS IT A PROBLEM???  WHAT IS WRONG WIT YOU?"

Well…colour me moderately perplexed.

"Ummm…how about you don’t yell at me in front of our students, can we please just discuss this after class?"  See.  I have learned my lesson after countless arguments in front of class with real YouYou.  I’m a battle scarred veteran of this sort of fucktardary.

"It doesn’t matter!  It doesn’t matter!!!!" She whined.  Really.  Literally.  Actually whined.  I shit you not.

"It DOES matter, now please let’s continue our lesson…" at which point I directed the students to count how many flowers were in the picture or how many people were standing around…or something like that.

She hasn’t spoken to me…looked at me…or wandered near me since this exchange.  That can’t last.  She’ll come at me sooner or later…but she doesn’t understand that I’m not interested in arguments or difficulties (aside from needing them to get material for this piece of shit blog).  No. 

I have five more weeks left at this school.  Five weeks.

I’m not going to get involved arguments or debates or shit storms.  I did that once before and it got me nowhere.  If she wants to be a dick, that’s cool…but I’m not getting involved.



March 17, 2014
Correcting Smudgem, a Defence, and a Theory Confirmed.

Good Morning Burnchums!

This truly will be my last post on this topic…unless I write seven or eight more posts on the topic.  In this final post, i will not swear or berate (if I can help it) and I shall adopt a sensible debating tone so as to show the world that Burndog is entirely capable of sensible debate.  Take that world!

TLDR - Shannon’s argument has been strengthened rather than undermined by Smudger’s “retort”.

Now, Smudgem has posted about this topic again, and seeing as how nobody else cares about the assorted words of Smudge, it has fallen to me to rally against his nonsense.  Hooray for me!

So, without any further fannying about, here’s my response to Smudgem’s latest piece, which was written almost entirely at my behest, so I’d best respond post haste!

#3  ”Just because other “graver” things are mocked, doesn’t make them all ok.  It makes them all wrong.”

I find this a bit revealing.  So I would venture a guess that almost everyone will have seen at least one of the shows/films I mentioned in my original post and what Shannon is referring to, i.e.:

Family Guy
Only Fools and Horses
Life of Brian
Seasame Street
Hot Fuzz

If you laughed at any or found them funny, you are wrong to have done so, apparently, as they were all an example of the damaging humour you saw with SNL Korea that end up not just offending people, but infringing their rights.  Now you see how I might say that there is a danger in political correctness ruining all our fun.  I will leave my readers to decide, but I for one don’t think I am a bad person or wrong for having a laugh at the jokes in these shows/films or having a little giggle at the SNL skit.

Just for fun, how about this clip from The Simpsons, sorry it is in Spanish and a bit poor quality, I guess they delete the English ones from youtube, but many of you might remember this and if you don’t, you get the idea:

Ummm…Smudgem…in case you’re not aware, your entire comedy theory was destroyed by Roboseyo in this post.  I have nothing more to add to what Rob wrote except to say that (not for the first time on this or other topics) if you read it carefully, you might understand why you’ve lost all credibility on this topic.  Read it closely.  It’s a well researched, well considered, and very accurate post.  The likes of you and I could learn a lot from it.

"#4  "You don’t get to decide what situations are worse than the subject of adoption or birth family search. unless you have actually been adopted or embarked on a birth family search. you acknowledge you can’t understand these situations but somehow you still think you can assign which ones are worse and which are not worth getting outraged about?”

I dealt with some of this in part 1, but I think I can say that having a family member brutally murdered (say your mother or a child) is worse than being adopted or searching for family.  What do you think?  Seems pretty obvious.  I think both situations are horrible for sure, but I do think one is worse than the other, yes.  I base this on the simple logic that having a living parent or child is better than having, not just a dead parent or child, but a murdered one.”

Wait.  Are you serious?  How is having a living parent who you will never meet, who lives in a different country, speaks a language that you were removed from, has cultural ties that you cannot comprehend and is in no way a part of your life any better than having a murdered parent?  It’s just ridiculous.  If my mother or father had been brutally murdered when I was a lad, then I would still be aware of who they were.  i would still be living in the same culture that they lived in.  I would still know exactly who I was.  I would still know my brothers and sisters, my uncles and aunties, my family tree.  Being an overseas adoptee means that you lose all of that.  Having a parent brutally murdered is no picnic, but you need to understand that being an international adoptee isn’t great either.  Everything has pros and cons, and you can’t arbitrarily state that this is worse than that, especially for things that you have no personal experience of.  That’s ridiculous.

"My criticism was specifically about that comedy sketch and nothing about the general discourse.  I would never say that being separated from your family, language, culture, and identity isn’t damaging or traumatic.  I cannot judge anything other than the reaction to the skit in question, in every other way I cannot comment about their situation.”

But you just did comment on their situation….one paragraph ago.  You said that being adopted wasn’t as bad as having a parent murdered.  That’s commenting on their situation.  This is why I call you a hypocrite, because you manage to contradict yourself from paragraph to paragraph.  If you can’t comment on a situation, then don’t comment on it.  Don’t say that you can’t comment on something, one paragraph after you’ve commented on it. 

"This was a comedy sketch though, and not fact in the news or a documentary. Comedy has to be edgy and needs the freedom to be so.  It is the price of freedom that sometimes people get offended, they can always switch off the TV.  No one gets to decide what is funny for you.

You really should read Rob’s blog.  Really.  Comedy definitely does not have to be edgy…comedy has to be funny.  That’s why it’s called comedy and not edgedy.

"I would also like to point out that me being a ‘White guy’ should not be relevant to the argument.  Can you imagine what response I’d get if I used the line, "Who is she, just a random Asian chick" to belittle her opinion and score points in argument?  I can, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

Worst defence ever.  The fact that you are a “white guy” does matter when you decide to say whether or not something about race is offensive or not.  As a fellow white guy, let me tell you that there’s not a lot of shit that offends me.  In fact, I would suggest that only when people claim that something is “worse than the holocaust” or something equally ignorant do I ever get truly offended.  Why is that?  is it because I’m so un-PC that I can’t be offended?  Is it actually because I’m a WHITE GUY?  What the fuck reason would we have to be offended by half of the shit that’s offensive?  Really?  Oh, there’s a singer in black face.  I’m not offended.  Look, there’s a sketch about adoptees.  I’m not offended.  Blonde jokes!  Not offended.  Why?  Because we are never the target of this shit.  We are never the punchline.  That’s why, I generally recommend, that sometimes, it’s better to discuss the part of the issue that we (as white guys) understand.  For example, Rob explained how comedy works…that’s a damn fine thing for a white man to do.  So…if you really think that an asian adoptee is just “random” on this issue, then you need to have a good hard look in the mirror.

Political correctness achieved great things, but it’s time has passed, to a degree. People are aware of important issues now, most are not racists, for example, like in the days of my grandfather and in need of consciousness-raising.  General opinion is for equality and human rights (rightly so) so it is time to be open and honest about controversial issues and to not restrict freedom of expression.  I admit, perhaps the situation is not quite this way in Korea and perhaps there is a greater role for political correctness in the form of raising consciousness, but 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 if this was the case.

I’m sorry but this is the whitest thing I have ever read.  If you really think that there is racial and gender equality in the world to the extent that people shouldn’t care about things that matter to them, then you’re totally misguided.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel that in a lot of ways Australia has gone completely fucking nuts with political correctness and become a nanny state.  I mean…mandatory bike helmets, you can’t buy beer at a bottle shop after 10 pm…the list goes on!  

Comedians are in no danger of losing their freedom to be funny, or edgy or daring or what have you.  The only pressure on comedians is that they understand their craft well enough to be funny and not simply offensive.  Comedians have the freedom to joke as they wish, likewise, people have the right to speak against them if they wish.  I don’t see that as a bad thing.  If someone’s comedy is edgy and worthwhile, it will survive.  If someone’s comedy is just trying too hard to be edgy without any comedic gains, then it will fail.  The market speaks.

No one is saying people are calling for censorship, but prevailing public opinion at the moment in Western discourse encourages a natural censorship of many ideas by instilling fear of freedom of expression and opinions that I believe is very damaging and I will argue against this whenever I see it.

It’s interesting that you mention “Western discourse”.  One of the reasons that I asked you for your references on this subject when you posted your first post is because I assumed something that has proved to be correct…you read a few English language posts and assumed that there was no Korean media about this issue.  You assumed that it was some sort of western outrage.  You assumed wrong.  There were plenty of Korean media articles about the story.  If you did even the slightest research you may have found this link which helpfully compiled 16 of them in one, handy, English language place.  it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to do that…and had you bothered you would realise that your assertion (and you made this assertion more than once) that the reaction was not a Korean reaction, but was actually a non-Korean reaction is false.  Koreans were equally dismissive of the skit and were equally appalled by its portrayal of unwed mothers and adoptees.  This is why you’re unqualified to talk about these issues.  It’s not because you’re white.  it’s because you launch into things without taking the time to do proper research.  It doesn’t take long.  Roboseyo linked to TRAK in his original post…the post that started your outrage train of counter outrage.

Interestingly, you suffer greatly from your selective omission of many of Shannon’s points.  A quick read of what you quoted, vs what she wrote shows that you really did ignore a key point of her argument.  Why?  Because you know that she’s right?  Because you know that you’re wrong?  Because you have no idea?  I asked you to speak to EACH of the points she made, and you couldn’t do it.  Why?  

Here’s the big paragraph that you missed - 

ummmmmm, i can assure that MOST adoptees know about these shows because they are basically one of the FEW ways we even have a CHANCE to find our families and so we all have to swallow our fucking pride and go on them, already hating feeling infantilized by the whole thing.if you think the show successfully mocked the way those shows use adoptees, and wasn’t mocking adoptees - then you do not understand korean well. don’t patronize us and act like we’re offended because we didn’t understand. also, even koreans (who are not the only ones who would’ve picked up on the cultural reference to those shows - again, adoptees know, thank you) were severely offended. but maybe you wouldn’t know that unless you can actually access korean media and SNS.

No comment on that? It’s the cornerstone of your original argument.  Yet, you’ve ignored Shannon’s response too it.  She’s right, your original article did include the patronising line “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.”  This is what I mean when I say that she schooled you on this topic.  Your failure to respond to this argument, as well as her explaining that you are ignorant of the wider Korean response has been proven by your subsequent responses.

Now that I’ve been reasonable and debated on your terms let me address the following paragraph where you get all excited and decide to take a swing at Pappa Burndog -

"This same person got all upset and supported a guy in his outrage when I said he was "Fooling himself" and "Misrepresenting me" the other week for (specifically) a comment he made.  The outrage of this statement went on for days.  But when he accuses me of blatant dishonesty, that’s fine in his eyes - and he doesn’t see any hypocrisy - because I don’t agree with him and it’s him saying it not me.  Seems this guy’s principles to and fro depending on what is beneficial to his arguments and who he likes and dislikes  He even had the cheek to call me a hypocrite! 

In the second part of the comment, he is referring to a comment I made by mistake because I followed the link given and thought it was just a reblog of his blog (if you go to both links [here andhere] you might understand why I made this error), which I had already read, so I didn’t read the link posted in my comments section.  I have read the piece now and I am responding to it in this post and more specifically in the next. Nice to see he didn’t overreact or anything though, eh? The misunderstanding exposed what kind of guy he is, I think (see his post on his blog too! and his full comments in my comments section).”

Right.  So…I apparently ”got all upset” and “supported a guy”.  Here’s exactly what I wrote - 

Indeed, I found you saying that you were being mis-represented, and that Robert was ‘fooling himself’ to be a fair indication of exactly how far you appeared to be from understanding his criticisms of your blog post.

I think it’s a shame that you can’t take criticism or debate well. I personally don’t comment on your blog posts these days simply because it seems a futile exercise.”

That’s me “getting all upset”?  Or maybe it was the second reply after he screamed like a stuck pig after my first one -

Sorry to have the conversation here rather then there. 

I was just talking in general. I think that you discourage debate with your attitude and if you want the sort of blog where people feel that they can have a good natured chat about the things that you discuss, then you need to consider being less aggressive in your defense of your ideas. 

I mention this here rather than on the blog itself, simply because it’s a comment about blogging and methodology rather than about what you wrote in the post itself. 

It seems a paradox to me that, I think, you would like people to engage with you on the topics that you discuss, yet when they do you often seem to put up walls and take things personally.”

Or this?

"Show me where I took things personally?" This is the sort of line that I think annoys people.

I personally have never had any issues with any name calling or your tone or any of that guff…but I’m not necessarily the kind of intelligent and decent soul that you’d be looking for a debate with. I’m an oath, AND an Australian! Two things that have no place in the world of online discourse!

I kid!

I think that I’ve definitely had more luck in changing your mind on a few things (very few!) than the gentler souls who have tried to beg you into their point of view. 

I am just offering an opinion of how it appears to come across from a neutral standpoint. It’s actually similar to advice that you gave me in one of our first discussions, where you thought that the Burndog character was looking for measured and interesting debate. You warned me that my way of dealing with people was off-putting, and I worry that you may be staring into the same dark pit. 

There’s every chance that I have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about too…so feel free to ignore me.

I would consider that to be an extremely reasonable discussion on my part.  I think that the way that you’ve handled yourself in this debate does little to change my point of view that you’re not built for the controversies that you seem desperate to create.  There’s no point writing a blog like yours and then being a stubborn cunt and refusing to give a fuck about the opinions of others.  You’re a sensitive fella…maybe a little too sensitive for the rough and tumble of ‘public life’?

Anyway, I doubt any punter would have bothered to read this far, and to the intrepid one or two who have…I salute you.

March 16, 2014
You’re a Fucking Idiot, an Attack and a Theory Confirmed, Part 20

Here’s an open letter to Pissy Clissy No-Co about his latest piece of shit blog wank about the SNL issue.  I’m not linking to his blog again, as it’s obvious that he is getting a lot of traffic from my blog, and that’s the whole reason he’s doing this. So…no more free links Pissy.  Sorry chum. 

Dear Pissy Clissy No-Co,

When I quote you, I quote all of what you say to allow for the full context to be provided. Thanks for not doing that, I really appreciate it. Also…you didn’t actually address ANYTHING that anybody actually said. Which again…is typical of you and what makes you a hypocrite is that you always demand that people show you where you were wrong using your own words, but you never manage to do the same in reply to people.  Having said that, maybe part 2 is where you will be addressing the issue.  The issue.  Do you remember there is an actual issue?  It’s not about you, although you do manage to use the words “I ” and “my” 13 times in your first paragraph alone.  So that kind of makes me think that you think that the issue is “Pissy Clissy No-Co” rather than whatever it is that we’re really supposed to be word jousting about.

You’ve got to be kidding doing this as some sort of ‘two part super special’. I know that you don’t understand sarcasm, but you’ve got to see the irony that is the person who is screaming that the whole thing is a beat up, and yelling “why do non-adoptees have to get involved??”, then writing more on the topic than ANYONE else. That’s fucked up.  Seriously.  Everyone else has moved on, and now your standing in your pants screaming at everyone to please stop being so outraged!  They’ve stopped already.

I’ve decided to listen to the advice of others on this issue and not give you any more oxygen. I will write a reply after you post your second wank. Give you a chance to wow us all with your ability to not understand anything, refusal to discuss the ACTUAL ISSUES and general inability to construct any sort of coherent argument.

It’s obvious that you’re just writing about it because it’s getting you hits. I don’t understand that mentality, but I’ve never blogged to get hits. i just write about shit that I’m interested in.

For me, the SNL sketch and adoption issue was interesting because of the response of my friends who ARE adoptees. I still don’t know what you think happened…but there was a small amount of legitimate complaints from people (including MANY from Koreans) and organisations who thought that the program was in poor taste. SNL responded to that complaint. I have no idea why you’re so outraged by that..even after everything you’ve written so far. You’re an advocate for free speech, yet you want to deny people the freedom to speak when they feel wronged? Brilliant. You’re a wizard.

March 14, 2014
Pissy Clissy no-clue: No Need For A Lobotomy.

Heya Burnchums.

See what I did there?  I took Pissy Clissy No-Clue’s “headline” (Saturday Night Live Korea’s Adoption Sketch: No Need for an Apology) and made my own version.  Yep…I’m witty as fuck.  Anyways, I’m back to write about Pissy Clissy’s treatment of the SNL Adoption sketch again.  This time, I’ll leave the actual criticism of what he wrote about the sketch itself and the need for an apology, to Shannon Heit, who re-blogged my last blog here.  I can’t critique what he wrote any more accurately or succinctly than that.  

So…there’s that.

I have class in two minutes…so let me (for now) just add the following comment that I left over at Pissy’s blog - 

Clissy - “

  • "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."

  • 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.” 

    Like I said…Burndog’s gotta pay the bills…but this should do for now.  I might be back on this over the weekend…but I might not.

    Otherwise there’s every chance that I’ll want to get into this shit on Monday…but even more chance that now that Pissy has been completely outclassed, I won’t even bother.

    It’s a shame actually…if he took the time to respond reasonably to people, and tried to counter their arguments with facts…then it would at least be a decent read.

    Oh well…fuck that guy!

    Have a weekend you fucking champs!

March 13, 2014
"Saturday Night Live Korea’s Adoption Sketch: No Need for an Apology"

Yeah.  You read that right.  ”Saturday Night Live Korea’s Adoption Sketch: No Need for an Apology" is the title of the latest post from our old chum Pissy Clissy No Co.

Now…I don’t have time for a response today…but I think that it’s worth sharing what he wrote before I get around to responding to it tomorrow or on Monday.  

I will share what I wrote to him about it now as a primer - 

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 that…so 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.

I’m curious to know what he thinks.  I find the entire blog post to be a puddle of the usual ‘click bait’ wank that Pissy Clissy posts.  Sorry PC, I know that you read this blog, but it’s true.  Your whole blog is based on the idea that if you write in a manner intended to be ‘edgy’ and ‘controversial’ than other bloggers will write about you and link to your blog and you’ll get lots of hits and then come all over your keyboard with joy.  You’re not the first person to give this a go.  The trouble is, that for it to work, you need to be willing and able to duke it out every now and again, and you need to understand what you’re arguing against so thoroughly that you don’t just come across as yet another ignorant middle-aged white man who is so privileged and up his own arsehole that he thinks that he has the divine right to tell people what is and isn’t offensive and when they can and can’t be offended.  Sorry mate, but that’s not how shit works.

Adoptees are offended by this, and it’s entirely their right.  The fact that some fucking blow hard from England has deemed that they shouldn’t be matters not one bit.  You have no fucking clue, and the way that you talk about adoptees in your blog post shows that.  I’m willing to bet that you don’t know a lot of adoptees, and if you do, you haven’t bothered to discuss this issue with them.  There are some issues where it’s better if some people just shut the fuck up, step away from the keyboard, and read.  I know that it’s difficult not being the centre of the universe…but that’s just the way shit is.

Now…here are two links to posts that Roboseyo wrote on the topic.  If you read these, you will note a lot of great links that you can follow to find various people who know what the fuck they’re talking about on this issue (and many others). 

Firstly, Roseyo wrote two a great post on the topic here, and a follow up after the apology here.

I have a lot of respect for the work that Shannon Heit does for various groups, and find her blog a wonderful resource regarding issues relating to the Korean Unwed Mothers Family Association (KUMFA), adoptees, and the “comfort women” and their plight.   

You could visit TRACK (Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community in Korea) and actually learn about adoption in Korea, and a lot of the reasons why many adoptees have a lot more than just this sketch to be angry about.

I guess you could just try any number of things that involve a little more reading and a lot less writing.  That would be great.

March 4, 2014
New YouYou is giving it a fair shake…but does she have what it takes?

Good afternoon my lovely Burnchums!

How’s it going?  You alright?  Feeling snug as a bug in a rug full of other bugs that are also somewhat snug?  Of course you bleeding well are!!!  Any old fuckwit could see that!  

So…New YouYou!  We had our first lessons today and they were definitely better than my first lesson with YouYou - 

Dear oh dear.  I just had my first class with the new, non TiCOS co-teacher…it was terrible.  She’s got no idea…honestly.  I tried to plan a lesson with her on Friday but she wouldn’t listen.  So today I got here early and quickly ran through what I expect, and what we should do…but she blasted through the entire ‘book portion’ of the lesson in under four minutes…she literally played all of the videos and the song and then turned to me as if to say, ‘well…I’ve taught the lesson from the book…the next 36 minutes are all yours.’  Luckily I had planted a ppt on her computer this morning to cover the whole lesson without the book (just in case things got funky)…and I used that…and it was fine. Fucking hell…gonna be a long month trying to get the new co into the groove…especially if she just runs out of the classroom as soon as the bell rings like she did just now…she left before the students had time to stand up!!  Now I see what you’ve all been bitching about these past three years while I’ve been running my own floor show!

I find my naive belief that YouYou would turn that shit around within a month to be totally endearing.  I mean…what a fucking chump!  I am happy to report that according to the TiCOS (who I still keep in touch with and had lunch with recently) YouYou STILL teaches…but has never lasted longer than one year at any school.  She sometimes emails or calls the TiCOS to beg for material to use in class/on camps.  The TiCO says no.

YouYou - She’s alright I guess.  I’m trying to be patient and positive.  She keeps telling me ridiculous ‘facts’ that drive me mental.  “Curry and rice cures cancer” “Kimchi is good for men” “Our school is the only school in Korea to use organic food”….and so on and so forth.  In general she treats me like I have no fucking clue about anything and she’s some sort of ultra wizard!  She had never even seen a USB drive until a week ago…some fucking genius!  I don’t know…she just lacks the TiCOS’s enthusiasm and drive…and whereas the TiCOS and see each other as more or less equal…MiMi looks down on MeMe like I’m some sort of dribbling retard who was overlooked by his parent in favour of the family cat.”

This is an interesting description of YouYou made after the first day of classes with her.  It’s interesting because if I changed the name from YouYou to New YouYou, then every part of that description would be roughly accurate.  The ridiculous facts (although this one has more ‘interesting facts’ about teaching rather than health.  Things like, “students don’t like earning da points.  Points are pointless.” (they seem to have been poorly named then don’t they?) “i don’t want to do the fun with them.  Let’s make them writing.” (she was then too lazy to make the worksheet she promised to make…so they didn’t do any writing)), the treating me like I’m a fucking noob idiot who doesn’t know his arsehole from his earhole, the lack of knowledge about computers (she didn’t know what a ppt was, or how to open it/navigate around it) and the refusal to see me as an equal.  

Which is interesting.  Because even though the first lesson was pretty fucking shit from her side of the fence, it was better than YouYou’s first attempt.  Thank baby Jesus for small mercies!  

She still did some of the YouYou English lesson staples…the mocking students for saying the wrong word (“You wanna be a science when you grow up?  HOW CAN YOU BE A SCIENCE?  Hahahaha….he wanna be a science!”), the “throw the ball” game where the student throws the ball at someone and then the teacher (her) asks the students some lame questions before mocking their answers (see above), and the constant reference to herself and her class (“In my class this…in my class that”).  Add in the fact that she complained that she was ‘tired’ because of ‘late night drinking” and you have a pretty decent carbon copy of YouYou.

So…what’s different?

Well…I only teach with her three times a week.  Also, she was hired by the Vice Principal (YouYou was hired by the Principal), so the principal is looking for faults already.  This fact alone puts her in a much weaker position than YouYou’s year long powerplay of “Da Principal hired me!”.  I will be shocked if she lasts pasts June.  Another difference is that she teaches 5th and 6th grade only.  YouYou was partly saved by the fact that although 5th Grade hated her, 3rd Grade thought she was a normal teacher.  There will be no such relief for New YouYou, as both grades will inevitably turn (especially after I leave and she has no co-teacher to smooth things out) and the Principal will be happy to act on their complaints.

So…all that I have to do is keep my head down, see out my contract, and move to greener pastures.

I will give YouYou plus points for at least allowing me to keep my own rules and systems.  This New YouYou has put the following rules into place- Active participation, Concentrate on the class, Enjoy the class.

What the fuck kind of rules are they?  Three rules.  Happiness is mandatory.   She also listed that the kids need to bring an ‘open mind, cool idea and smile' to class.I'm sorry…but you shouldn't get your classroom management ideas from the “casual encounters” ads on craigslist!  

So…21 more lessons with this bonehead.  I can manage that if she can.

March 3, 2014
A Brand New YouYou???

Good Morning my dear Burnchums!

How are you today?  Feeling chipper?  I hope so!

It’s the start of a new school year and all of the magic and mystery that this entails…and without going into the nuts and bolts of the entire fucking bucket of shit that is the new school year (it’s actually my favourite time of year…but let’s not let that ruin a nice cynical blog post), let me just talk about the annual changing of the teachers.  

Well…it’s not always annual…but the fact is…shit changes…and sometimes it changes for the better…and other times…you have my life.  So…a couple of months ago, the English Conversation Teacher (who was a great teacher and a champion lady) and the Gossip Mongering Arsehole Co-Teacher (who was a…well…you guess!) both announced that they were leaving.  So…we had to have a job interview to find a new ECT.  These things, in and of themselves, are always a slap in the face with a wet cock.  i mean, I’m at a school where the budget for my position has been cut, meanwhile, we advertise for a ‘conversation teacher’ and we get two washed up looking jokes who both seem determined to put in the worst possible job interview performance possible.  It’s like a two horse race at a glue factory.

The first candidate plans her lesson, and delivers us a lively and entertaining attempt at the lesson, ‘Where is Namdaemun?’  She is doing a comically bad job at teaching, spelling words in an interesting fashion and generally pronouncing things in such a way that I have no idea what she’s talking about.  Still…I am aware that we will have to choose one of the two candidates even if they’re both horrible, so I pay careful attention.  Looking at her lesson plan, I notice a ‘game’ called “Student Robert” and this sounds creative and unique enough that if she pulls it off, she just may well be in the running (in spite of the fact she has written “Tunn Riht” on the whiteboard at least three times.

Well…it turns out “Student Robert” is actually just a poor attempt at spelling “Student Robot” and the game isn’t anywhere near as fascinating as I’d hoped it would be *sigh*.

So…candidate two.  She’s an older lady…I don’t know…kind of YouYou’s age…and she rocks up with a lesson plan that’s a little bit off the wall.  i mean, we set the topic for the lesson, “Where is Namdaemun?” but her lesson is titled “How to be talk with the foreigner.”  Now…I’m not saying that it’s not a fascinating idea for a lesson, but the thing is…if we set a topic, you really should teach to that topic.  Otherwise, you’re just kind of cheating.  Burndog does not like cheating.  So..she explains at the start of the lesson that she “couldn’t do da lesson about da Namdaemeun”.  Long story short…her pronunciation is better than the first candidates, but the lesson is dire.  Awful.  Just.  Mind numbingly shit.

However…she flirts mercilessly with the VP and mentions four times (once in English, three in Korean) that she is single and looking for love.  Creepy times.So the interview finishes and we must choose between the two.  I choose the second candidate, but then I explain that it’s like choosing between Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-Il…neither one is really my cup of tea.  Having said this, the VP nods in agreement and announces loudly that I am right and right.  We will hire her, but he won’t be happy (it seems that flirting with the man only gets a lady so far).

So…we hired candidate two.

In future updates I will explain how she is the New YouYou…or at the very least she has the potential.

But right now…Burndog’s got shit to do.

Have a day!

*****BREAKING NEWS******

She’s just come into my office ranting about how she’s concerned that the parents will call her if I don’t teach every student.

I explained that the schedule is not mine to make and that she should speak to the Head Teacher.

She’s about to learn a LOT about the politics of school life.  In short…if you don’t like things…sometimes it’s best to just shut the fuck up and go with the flow…things will right themselves with or without you.

I’ve decided to offer her my total support…from a safe distance.  I’ve grown a lot since my YouYou days.

Learn more about You You here.

February 25, 2014

A Korean man yells “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” in various public settings.  

Nobody wants to build a snowman.

February 25, 2014
Australian wartime sex slave Jan Ruff-O'Hearne hits out at 'hideous' Japanese denials

The bravery and integrity of women like Jan Ruff-O’Hearne is a wonderful thing.  She should be named the next Australian Of The Year.

February 25, 2014
Stone Cold Crajy.

Good Morning Burnfans,

As you will no doubt know, yesterday marked the return of the angry Burndog, the vicious Burndog, the Burndog who slays dragons not because they are vicious animals who need to be taken down, but because he has some time between making ppts and teaching small children to sing Let It Go.  The life of the dragon slayer is indeed a varied thing…like a tapestry…or intricate underpants.

If you’re not forgetful you will recall that I railed against the nerf herders and bounty hunters of the Every Expat in Korea and English Teachers In South Korea sectors.  This blog post pleased many of my loyal Burnfans, but not all.  Oh no.  One of my favourite Burnchums took umbrage with what I wrote and climbed atop the virtual mountain and cried - 

Do not look me in the eye and tell me you read the whole thing. The longest post in the history of tumblr completely filled to the brim with depressing assholes. Just remember, Burndog isn’t quoting all the trenchant, thoughtful, insightful, humble people out there, or even those with the good sense to keep their mouths shut.

That’s right.  Loyal Burnfan Teacha Crajy has taken poor old Bunrdog to task for not quoting people who don’t talk.  I’m sorry, but I honestly could not agree less with the idea that people who sit idly by while people spout racist, misogynistic, victim shaming, fat blaming, nonsense are people with ‘good sense’.  Shutting the fuck up while these people dominate the spaces that exist for all people (not just men, not just white men, not just white expat men) in the expat and teaching communities shows a lack of concern for the rights of other people.  It shows a willingness to accept shit that I think is unacceptable.  So, I’m sorry that I didn’t quote any of the hundreds of people who read that shit and then decided to have a cup of tea, but that’s never been my style.  You know that.  

Look, these people are representing themselves as expats and teachers.  People read these Facebook pages and take what they see there as representing expats and teachers.  Then they get on Tumblr and they read your blog and start flaming you with their bullshit.  Why?  Because they can’t separate your brand of witty insight, and the non-ironic, non-insightful, non-caring bullshit that they read on these Facabook groups.  These fucktards are almost entirely to blame for you being attacked by those dickheads last year.  Do you remember that?  You certainly didn’t beg for people with the good sense to shut their mouths back then!

 ”Where the hell is Burndog?" You asked.  Why?  Because you knew that I’d be willing to wade into the fray on your side, and slay the virtual dragon breathing fire and utter bullshit at your door.

I honestly miss the days when imnopicasso would wade into the fray and write a perfectly composed rebuttal to all the bickering on any given topic and that would be that.  She’s so much better at this than I am."  

INP.  Not known for her silence, but definitely known for her thoughtful insight.  DO you know why I didn’t quote anyone like her in my piece?  Because there wasn’t a lot of thoughtful insight going on over at the Facebook group.

I may not have balanced the sour grapes with some sweet ones, but it’s worth me explaining a couple of editorial decisions now.  Firstly, I left out the few rebuttals that occurred within the groups threads.  Why?  Because I was rebutting, so didn’t feel the need for different voices (mine is more than enough in my opinion).  Secondly, I did make a conscious decision to NOT post the worst of what I read over there.  Anything that the moderators deleted I left out.  I also didn’t quote any of the posts from the ‘Caption this photo’ contest, that used the photo of a crying Shin A-Lam during the controversial 2012 Olympic Fencing competition.  I wanted the comments to come from discussion and discourse, rather than to be your ‘racist fish in a barrel’ type thing.  If you go to the Facebook pages for those groups you’ll see what I mean.

As for the post being too long for you to read…I apologise for not following the rules of tumblr and attempting to explain everything with a selfie (or selca if you prefer) and a wry, hipsterish wag of the finger. I find it condescending of you think that my loyal readership wouldn’t have read the whole thing because it was over 200 words.

Burnfans have a lot of time on their hands. Trust me, I read the shit they send to my inbox!

That being said, the stuff that was said in these Facebook groups shits me to tears, and I think that some of the issues in this post are worth discussing, and worth the extra word count. It’s not really that long a post…I’m sure I’ve written longer.

So…thanks to those of you who were able to read the whole thing. I don’t think it’s particularly ground breaking or eye opening to know that the internet is awash with fuckwits…but there you go!

So, next time the angry 14 year old Tumblr mafia come after you with their pitchforks and you cry, “where the hell is Burndog?” you can rest safe in the knowledge that he is waiting in the wings, ready to scream in the face of injustice, tweak the nose of doubt, and fart toward ineptitude.