UPDATE 07/18/13 13:49 PST: So this might not be as it seems. Two of the men allegedly portrayed in this video have reached out to the Korea Herald with the claim that it is actually edited footage from a series of short Korean films and that the two men (who spoke on a condition of anonymity) are just actors. This makes sense as the actions of the men in the film are fairly “over the top” in their cruelty. The purported director of the film also agreed that it was footage he’d put online several years ago, but that it had been removed and he wasn’t sure how it had found its way back online. So I guess we can pretty much consider this myth: BUSTED. Hmm, I hope I don’t get sued for that …
The new “worst thing on the web” is apparently this Facebook clip of a drunk Korean girl being manhandled by a couple of caucasian men (while another man of indeterminate race films it). The video, which was posted to a Korean social media site — and has since caused an emotional stir over there — is yet another reminder of how far humanity at large is from a sense of equilibrium.
Many comments attached to the video are already slamming America and the folks within for this incident — and though the accents of the men involved make me think “Irish nationals,” it is not an unfair concept that America gets a measure of blame for this — even if it turns out we had nothing to do with it.
The video, looking to have been shot by a smartphone in a nightclub, shows a barely conscious Korean girl being poked and prodded by amorous “Western men” who callously comment on her legs and breasts in lilted English. From there, the video diverges into a sort-of humiliation/abuse game as one of the men picks a “booger” from the girl’s nose and forces that finger into her mouth. Then, noticing the state of her discolored teeth and gums, the jesting becomes disgusted torment, and the men ask her why she doesn’t get plastic surgery “like every other little Korean [girl]?” The young woman pushes at the men, but they hold her there and berate her until she can finally break away and leave. It’s a cruel video and hard to watch. It makes you wonder about the mindset of the guys who thought it would be a.) funny to do, b.) cool to film and c.) intelligent to post. I wish I could offer up that this was an isolated incident, but apparently the stigma of Western men coming in to Korea and being brutish is such that Korean public service announcements have been made to warn women about “the Western mentality.”
The footage is impossible to misdiagnose — there isn’t likely a language gap or bigger context that viewers are missing. These knuckleheads are aggressively taking advantage of an inebriated girl’s vulnerable state and furthering a cultural rift in the process. Would it shock you then to find out that on Korean message boards, a lot of the anger is being directed at the victim? And it’s not just from a Korean cabal of dentists. But then, that is a differing culture looking at the situation from a different mindset. It would be arrogant to presuppose that the “American mentality” of never blaming a victim should transcend all cultural norms. I don’t necessarily like it, but that’s the world we live in and I’m not any more “right” than anyone else when it comes to my opinion. And neither are you. And neither are those Korean commenters. Take what you want from this video and apply it to your own life in a way that makes you a better contributor to the world you can affect — because that’s pretty much all you can do.
In the end, I’m just happy this video ends with this girl “escaping” these creeps. Because an unfortunate amount of the time, these situations don’t end nearly so neatly.
Here are some other “worst videos on the web”: