Sunday, 13 July 2008

Seoul to Hire US Cow Shrink

Michael Breen’s recent editorial in the Korea time made me laugh. I writing my thought as I was reading the piece titled Seoul to Hire US Cow Shrink:

With opposition to U.S. beef imports waning, analysts fear that the decision announced earlier this week by the new minister for beef and swine to hire Bucky McGee, the famous American cow psychologist, may create a new wave of anti-government protests.

A ministry official, who asked not to be identified, said that, given the psychological problems with Korean herds in the wake of the market opening, there was a clear need for an expert like McGee.

For Cattle or Koreans?

But he admitted that officials were concerned the people might misunderstand the purpose of hiring a foreigner if the Blue House mishandles the public relations.

Great use of the "foreigner not good enough because he is foreign" idea.

“It is important to convey that this decision is made in the national interest,” the official said.

President Lee yesterday welcomed the ministry's choice. During a visit to an elementary school, Lee told assembled students that a famous American doctor who `”knows how to deal with mad cows is on his way to Korea.”

Of course you need to give political speeches of national interest at schools in Korea.

When children started screaming, reporters asked Lee to go out into the playground where they could hear him more clearly.

McGee is known as the “cow whisperer” for his pioneering work with beef cattle. He achieved prominence in the early '90s when he worked in Britain during the outbreak of mad cow disease.

Earlier in his career, he developed a rudimentary language that allowed him to communicate with cows. Known as Mooian, or eummaemal in Korean, the language is extremely difficult to master.

Mooian! Eummaemal! HAHAHAHAHA.

McGee claims that cows are very similar to humans in their emotions, but they differ in that, despite geographic separation, they speak a common language.

North/South Korea?

"Cows are united, he famously said when asked to comment on the candlelit protests in Seoul. "There is no such thing as American beef."

The ministry has asked McGee to head up the ministry's Bovine Life Coach Department. The department is normally run by a director-general, but McGee is reported to have demanded an assistant minister title plus expatriate housing in Seoul's Seongbuk-dong district. If approved, his package would make him the most highly paid official in the Korean government.

A stab at foreigners there? Justified, if it is.

The opposition Democratic Party yesterday criticized the hiring. “McGee is insulting the Korean people,” said Kim Han-woo, the party spokesman. Asked by a Korean reporter why, Kim said that the question was an insult to the Democratic Party and demanded an apology.

Yes, this actually happens. Issues are created based on Korean-ness. You are wrong and insulting because you are not Korean. Facts should not be use to confuse the issue.

One online publication posted a video taken by Korean students at Montana State Cattle College, where McGee teaches Mooian language, and claimed that McGee had self-plagiarized his lectures. “He said the same thing as last year,” said one student who was repeating the second year after failing his oral exam. “How can he be accepted by Koreans?”

Brilliant! Korea is well known for it’s plagiarism. Gypsy Scholar has a running battle with his students ever year on this issue and the Korean students just can’t seem to understand why it is bad to steal other people’s work. The Self Plagiarism is a reference to the recent resignation of the Education Minister for plagiarising himself.

The Hanwoo Association and the Korea Dairy and Beef Farmers Association have yet to comment publicly for fear of upsetting public sentiment.

Because then we will have 3 months of senseless protests.

The two associations are concerned about a recent spate of incidents involving Korean herds which they suspect may be related to fears about the imminent arrival of American beef.

The Cattle or the Koreans?

“They know American beef is already on the shelves and it's creating some discipline problems on the farm,” said Yu Sang-soo, a farmer in South Jeolla Province, who claimed his cows are both attracted to and repelled by their American bovine cousins.

We loooove white people but YOU ARE NOT KOREAN!

"They admire American cattle," he said. "But American cows under 30 months old show no respect for older cows and that is a problem."


Korean herds are notoriously fractious with cows developing loyalties to sub-groups within herds, rather than behaving as a group. Some groups of younger cows are said to have rampaged through fields defecating on fresh grass.

Again, HAHAHAHAHAHA. I was laughing, again, while creating this post.

Surprisingly, the American embassy opposes McGee's visit to Korea. “Cows may speak the same language as he claims,” said U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. “But just because he understands their words, it doesn't mean he will ever get what they want.”

That is very Koreans. "We will speak to you, but we are 'not the same as you' and therefore we will fight you ever step of the way."

The top U.S. official in Seoul said he fears McGee may end up doing more harm than good if he tries to impose American thinking on Korean cows.

“Korean cattle won't be cowed, certainly not by an American,” Vershbow said. “I categorically oppose this decision and if the ministry does not reverse it and apologize, I will have to make a grave decision.”

It is strange how apologies in this country seem to cure everything. I can apologise all day, but it does not mean I give a damn or feel guilty.

Breen has been in Korea for a very long time and I think few Westerners understand Koreans as well as he does. He has a way of pointing out the obvious and making you see it anew.

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