Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Korean public figure quotes of the day

YOU COME across quite a few chuckle-worthy quotes in a typical day at The Korea Herald. Here's two from today that deserve a mention:

This -- from an education ministry official responding to moves to outlaw corporal punishment in schools -- is priceless:

"Also, despite the negative effects of corporal punishment, it is irrelevant to put a sudden end to such a custom which has long existed in our educational culture.”

I love this line of thinking. He doesn't justify corporal punishment as being custom but harmless; he happily admits it is terrible but then goes on to justify it anyway because, well, it's custom.

It's a bit like going: "Slavery? Oh, yes, awful. Ban it?! No, no, couldn't do that. It's tradition."

But apparently banning such classroom punishment is "irrelevant" so there you go . . . how's that for a schoolyard retort?

Next up, a special mention to Rep. Kang Yong-seok of the ruling Grand National Party. Here's what he apparently said at a recent dinner with some university students, after judging at a college debating competition:

"When we have a debate competition, judges don’t really pay attention to the debate. They are actually interested in how participants’ faces look,” Kang was quoted by one of the students as saying.

“I’ll tell you how to make a debate team. It should be two ugly faces and one pretty one,” he said.

Fantastic! He has a point (if I can quite understand what he's talking about). Ugly people can't debate. They can't even look in the mirror without crying. Freaks.

He also apparently said this when one female student asked him about how she should follow her dream of becoming a news anchorwoman:

“You will have to give ‘everything.’ Can you still do it?

"Everything", the paper tells those of us who find that too subtle, is a reference to something a bit beyond regularly clocking in from 9 to 5 ("cocking in" from 9 to 5, perhaps?).

This guy sounds like the kind of politician that would make it big back home. He could give us hope in a time of national crisis.

I wonder are FF, FG or Labour recruiting?

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