Sunday, November 27, 2011


This weekend I watched one of the few American movies to make the jump over the Pacific Pond to my current home. It’s a Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogan film called 50/50 about a guy who gets cancer in his twenties. I liked it. It made me laugh and cry and think. Anna Kendrick was brilliant as the hilariously awkward romantic interest, and I’ve always enjoyed Gordon-Levitt’s adorkable comedic timing and charm (“Four angels came out of the sky and they picked up Ed Williams!” Anyone?).


Yay more (unrelated) balls jokes.

For the past few months I’ve been doing just as the good old Christian Reformed Church and Calvin College taught me, and engaging culture. Er, gorging myself on Korean culture, might be more accurate. I’ve been obsessively listening to K-Pop and watching Korean dramas as of late, and therefore learning all about Korean ideas about relationships and romance. In the roughly 30 hour-long episodes of three different dramas I’ve watched, not one single character has mentioned or had sex. It’s all about a kiss, holding her hand, letting her borrow his suit-coat when she’s cold.

50/50 was a good movie, but I’m sick of hearing sentences like, “I fucking nailed that cunt!” and “You could have totally fucked the shit out of that girl” and have it be okay.

It’s not okay.

It’s not okay in real life and it’s not okay in movies.

Korean PDA.
I’m uncomfortable, I’m embarrassed, and it’s not because I’m a prude who thinks sex should be hidden away like grandpa’s yellowing underpants.[1] No, I’m comfortable talking about sex. I think sex should be talked about more—more in schools, more in families, more in churches—but it should be talked about with something resembling respect and maybe a little maturity (why not). 
I’m not suggesting the topic shouldn’t be made fun of. I’m not even suggesting we stop using words like “cunt,” “dick,” and “fuck.” English is a potent language; use it to its full potential if you dare and think you’re able. And it’s tough[2] to be clever on such well-traveled ground. Do your best! (As the Korean’s say, “Fighting!” 화이—it’s pronounced with an h instead of an f.)

But until Americans are able to treat the subject with at least a little decorum as well as humor, allow me to finish up fastly (as the students are like to put on their tests on Tuesday) and say this:

For now, I’m switching teams. I like the Korean side of things better.

[1] Or perhaps a more fitting simile would be “like your porn collection,” but isn’t that the point? In our culture, sex needn’t revolve around the things that are dirty.

[2] Believe it or not, I've stopped using the word "hard," because if someone's going to make a sex joke out of what I'm saying, I'd prefer it if they had to work a little.

1 comment:

  1. Raunchy comedies are seen as acceptable in America. But even in Korean movies I've seen some raunchiness. "S Diary" has a scene where you see a woman on a toilet, and the man sings about women's breasts