KoreanTV: On Privacy

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Dear Korean TV land,

Allow me to introduce a concept you don’t seem to have in your world: privacy. I’m guessing there is no Korean equivalent of this word because:

Though, homes all seem to have digital password keys, there must be only four different passwords anyone is allowed to use. No one’s home is their own. Family, friends, strangers can enter at any time. The only people who don’t know the four codes are the police, in an emergency situation. They’ll be frustrated outside the door while you’re being murdered.

Medical records might as well be in a public database. Apparently, I can walk into a hospital, claim to be someone’s guardian, and get full access to their doctors and medical records and even influence their medical care. It’s a really cool plan when the random rich stalker, I mean admirer, wants to upgrade your room or pay for that expensive treatment you couldn’t afford. Not so grand when your mortal enemy wants to shuffle you off to a hidden psychiatric ward. Lesson learned: beware of hospitals and only go to a rural village acupuncturist if you want control over your health care.

Bedrooms are not sacrosanct. Those friends and strangers who can enter your home, at any time? Don’t expect they’ll be knocking on your bedroom door before barging in. Not that you’d ever actually do anything private in there, anyway, since no one living with you would knock, either and the doors and walls are always paper thin. People on the other side of the house can hear your every conversation. In fact, they can hear you from outside the front door. I don’t know why they bother going in.

CCTV is everywhere. Don’t be thinking you can buy a surprise birthday gift. Your every step is captured on camera and the impatient birthday recipient can just ask the police to check the entire country’s CCTV footage. They are so good at this task, that they can find and track an individual’s movements in a matter of hours. Unless, it’s a nefarious person, because criminals have a secret network of communication about exactly which CCTV cameras are broken. So, CCTV will never help with real crimes, but when you want to track your lover (with whom you clearly have a relationship grounded in trust and respect and mutuality, so the police have every reason to believe they should help you), you’re in luck!

Want privacy in Korea? Forget it. Go to Macao.

Of course, Koreans are so wedded to the practice of longing/following/stalking (interchangeable words in the Korean language, apparently) that you’ll probably have to lock yourself in your hotel room to have privacy there. So, make sure you bring a really fun partner. It may be the only private time you get in your entire life.

Note: it’s not like privacy seems to be needed. I still can’t figure out how people procreate when it takes years for a mild kiss and they all seem so shaken by that contact that they need more years to try it again. I think they must import babies and have frequent spontaneous pregnancies.

That said, my dear Korean TV land, you might want to explore the concept of privacy. It could make for some more varied plot and theme ideas.

Just a suggestion.

Your ardent admirer, Western Girl

#KoreanTV

from FB post 12/5/16

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