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4 March 2005
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KLB - Shame on Shawn

I got several e-mails today criticizing me for my recent posts about piracy (as well as several more wondering what sites/software I'm using) including one from a guy who highly detailed how my downloading The Simpsons hurts the little guys that make the show. The little guys include the company that animates the show here in South Korea, he noted.

I guess he didn't take into account the possibility that, despite being fond of the cartoon, I'd never buy a whole season on DVD. I'm just not that big of a fan. If I was, I really would buy them because I'd want the real thing. For me, especially living in Korea it's nice that I am able to see some episodes for free though - since I don't get them on TV through Skylife. Anyway, I think some people have me confused with the people creating the problem and the pirates that profit from their evil-doing.

Some other people e-mailed me wondering what happened with the coffee-set I got. One Korean guy even strongly urged me against doing it!

I decided not to give the gift set, actually. I realized I would be doing it for the wrong reason. If I really did feel badly and wanted make it up to them, it would be fine. But I'd just be doing it to make them feel guilty and that's no better than the petty way they've treated me/Cathy.

Speaking of Cathy, she had to go to her weekly meeting at the agency again yesterday and was there until 12 a.m. again. Then she had to go to the school today early in the morning for a meeting with the principal. She puts in 40 hours a week for a job that pays her three hours/day. She also has to go in next week for the level-testing and won't be paid, she told me. "I have to work two days for free," she said. I'm not sure whether I pity her because she has to work so hard for nothing, or because she is to weak to protest against it. After all, doesn't her acceptance just perpetuate the problem and make it easier for her to be taken advantage of even more?

I know Julie wouldn't put up with that. She didn't at her last job - when her boss started shady practices, she simply quit. Now she's at a school that is so much better, by the way. This school pays her for extra work and pays her on time. She's really happy now. Had she put up with the way her previous boss was treating her, she'd still be stuck there with the others miserable teachers.

Again, I don't know how to respond to her when she tells me things like this. All I could say was, "You work so hard. I don't know how you do it."

It's really annoying, but not hard to believe. Bonnie, without guilt or shame, exploits Cathy's blind, uncomplaining, Confusianistic devotion to authority, and she does so at every opportunity. It's no wonder many Koreans resent foreigners here. If I were Cathy, I'd probably hate me. We're guests in the country yet are often given better opportunities than they are. Bosses resent us too, because unlike someone like Cathy, we don't put up with being shafted on things like being overworked and underpaid. Julie is a rarity, I guess, because she has had a lot of western influence (too much Oprah!). Too bad every place can't be as fair to both sides as is the case at Julie's school, though. Everyone is treated fairly there, she says. The pay is high and on time, and she always gets paid for extra duties. That makes her happy and she really works hard and enjoys her job now. That's the way it should be.

In other news, I bought a digital camera - nope, not for me, for my sister. Her birthday is next week. As I said, I can't believe how cheap they are getting in America. I got her this model here: Kodak digital Camera as well as a 128 MB storage card, extra batteries and a charger. I wish I could be there to see the look on her face when she checks the mail. I also can't wait to finally see new pictures of my niece and my new nephew! That's a pretty sweet little camera for the money. I wish I could get deals like that here. I guess I could just order something and have it shipped here, but then with shipping and the import tax, what would be the point? I'm still not sure exactrly what I want anyway - no surprise. It took me a year to decide to buy an Xbox. Someone offered to help me get a camera for a good price from one of the army bases. I'll have to follow up with him sometime soon.


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