Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Nude Korean balls

The Willy Wonka esque boffins at Lotte have come up with a funny sounding chocolate product. Crunky Nude Ball would have been much funnier with an 'S' on the end of ball but alas they sidestepped it. The aforementioned balls are chocolatey and crunchy and very nice.

Monday, 30 March 2009

In Defence of Del boy

Ignorance is bliss. Isn't it? Well not if you want to be labelled a racist it isn't.

David Jason, iconic TV star of Only Fools and Horses and of course Danger Mouse, made a joke on a radio station and has been vilified around the world. His joke "What do you call a Pakistani cloakroom attendant? Mahatma coat" is a funny one and is not at all racist. He is not making fun of anything about Pakistan or the people that come from Pakistan. The joke would actually be more accurate, but equally less racist, if he had said and Indian cloakroom attendant, as Mahatma is a Sanskrit word meaning 'Great Soul' and was first applied to Indian spiritual and political leader Gandhi.

Mohammed Shafiq, a spokesperson for the Ramadhan Foundation, accused David Jason of being out of touch with reality in portraying Pakistanis as cloakroom attendants which is ridiculous and makes both him and the Muslim community sound so delicate it defies belief. If the joke had been made accurately it would have made all of Mr Shafiq's concerns moot but as it is he is on his soapbox. It seems that Mr Shafiq is trying to make this non-incident about Muslims and how once again they have been marginalised and trodden on but the truth is, it was a joke. He did not mean to portray Pakistanis, or anyone for that matter, as anything and only the most over sensitive of PC souls would think otherwise.

Maybe you could accuse David Jason of being ignorant to the differences between India and Pakistan but that does not make him a racist. Racists are ignorant but that does not make all ignorant people racist. I have met many people who do not know the difference between the UK and England and most British people fail to see the difference between the UK and GB. Wales barely gets a mention in the wider world as it is often encased inside England but to call all these people racist would be absolutely stupid. Are all the people I have spoken to who do not know the difference between Korea, Japan and China racist? Don't be silly. What about the genuinely nice, law abiding, tolerant people who go out and enjoy food from the Indian sub continent. If they say they 'Fancy an Indian' but then go into a Bangladeshi restaurant with out being aware of it, are they racist too?

Britain's first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, who is of Pakistani origin, said he did not see the joke as racist. 'It really is a storm in a tea cup,' he said. 'I'm a big fan of David Jason. 'The only thing is he's let me down because it's not very funny.' Personally I though the joke was funny, if a little inaccurate. Other 'racist' jokes of this nature that will have the over politically correct among us spitting their tea up are:

What do you call a Scottish cloakroom attendant? Angus McCoatup. As 'racist' as the other but unless a certain Mr McCoatup were to complain surely nobody would bat an eyelid.

Why did the Frenchman not have two eggs for breakfast? Because one’s an oeuf.

What’s the difference between Bing Crosby and Walt Disney? Bing sings but Walt Disney. *Joke best said in a Scottish accent*

And what about WC Fields, his film The Bank Dick was written under the pseudonym of Mahatma Kane Jeeves. 

In the over sensitive climate we live in with regard to Muslims, people like Mohammed Shafiq are dangerous and disingenuous They seem to want to elevate the storm in a tea cup into a full scale storm. Oh and David Jason only went on the radio phone in to try and earn £20,000 for charity, from charitable, lovable national treasure to racist in one easy phone call. What a country we live in.

Mr Shafiq has a blog so if you want to debate it with him go and see him http://mshafiq.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

There has never been a better time to visit Britain!

According to the BBC's advert for the British Tourist board there has never been a better time to visit Britain, especially if you want to witness a stabbing. Have a look out for the unfortunate juxtaposition of the advert and story.

Click to make the image bigger.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Fulham 2, Man Yoo 0

Roy of the cottage 
disintegrates arrogance.
Fat lady is seated.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Hero Worship

There are some myths floating around Korea. Some made and perpetuated by Koreans and some of them seem to have been made by foreigners based on something they thought they heard from a Korean. Korea has four distinct seasons and it is the only country in the world to be so lucky. There are no homosexuals in Korea and anything and everything that has ever happened on this peninsula or by a person descended from a Korean is, by definition the greatest thing to have eve happened. Yi Sun Sin is the world’s greatest naval commander, Korean food is the greatest of all world cuisines, kimchi is the single best food ever to have existed and Park Ji-Sung is the greatest footballer ever to don a pair of boots. 

Koreans are incredibly nationalistic and there are reasons for this but other countries have gone through similar histories, been subjugated and controlled and yet they are not nearly as conceited.  My own country has contributed a few things to the world and my countrymen and women are proud of our own little country but conceited and arrogant we are not. Only recently I was told, matter-of-factly that if it weren’t for Korea I wouldn’t have a job and the implication was that I should be grateful to my hosts for saving me from the employment scrap heap. On another more recent occasion I was berated by another teacher for insulting national heroes. She actually approached me gingerly and said that a mother of a student had called and her son was upset that I had said something about something. When pushed she said she didn’t really understand what the mother was complaining about but it was basically about my comments about national treasures Park Ji-Sung and Admiral Yi. I am a Liverpool fan and as such I am not ready to lie about Park being the greatest footballer the world has ever seen and I also use this fact as a topic of debate and to get a bit of banter or fun chat going with various classes. I like to challenge the established order, which in Korea is that he is some kind of demi-god who can do no wrong. Besides in the UK he is revered by Manchester United fans as being a workhorse who never stops running but the team would not and has not fallen apart when he has been absent.  I told the teacher that I would not be changing my ‘style’ of teaching and that as 12 and 13 year old kids they should not be so sensitive. 



Occasionally you will come across a kid, sometimes a very young kid who will admit, usually in a round about way that, shock horror, Korea isn’t the best country in the world (yes, I know there isn’t a single best country). Middle school students often admit that Japan is much cleaner and when I tell them that in the UK we don’t hit or even touch kids in school they say they would like to go there. Genuinely open kids are a treasure and can enlighten a class beyond measure. They cause trouble amongst fellow students and debate ensues, debate which can be the cornerstone of English learning. 

In the UK 12 and 13 year old kids smoke, drink and sometimes even have kids. This is not an endorsement of such behaviour and I do not think that is they way these ‘babies’ should go but maybe there is some middle ground. Korean 12 year olds have been somewhat robbed of a childhood by going to hagwon after hagwon and having academia drummed into them from day 1. They are not like normal 12 year olds, normal in the western world that is but, I am not prepared to pander to whims and mood changes because their parents have failed to act in a manner that constitutes parenting. I treat them as mini adults not 6 year olds and as such I have opinions and I tell them if the subject comes up.

I like Park, he is a good footballer, Admiral Yi was surely a great naval hero but not necessarily the best and while Korea has four seasons it is not the only country to be blessed in such a way!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A lovely label cloud

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