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'Train to Busan' as Critique of Korean Society
I still haven't been able to see Train to Busan for myself, but I found this article on NPR to be really interesting! It doesn't ruin any plot points (other than the fact that there is a zombie apocalypse which I'm pretty sure we could gather from the trailer...) According to the article: Without giving too much of the story away, the film blames corporate callousness for the death toll. The government covers up the truth — or is largely absent. And the crew? Rather than rescue passengers, it follows the wishes of a businessman. Sewol Ferry Reference: These themes are particularly resonant in South Korea, which in 2014 faced national tragedy after 300 people, mostly teenagers, died when a ferry overturned in the sea. Investigators found the ferry's corporate owners overloaded it to save money. And the captain and crew got into lifeboats without rescuing passengers. News media, toeing the government line, originally reported that everyone survived, blamed rescuers for not working hard enough (when in reality the government refused to let them go into the water and rescue the children), etc. The Korean president's whereabouts on that day are still unexplained. Then the MERS Outbreak: Last year, as Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, spread in South Korea, the government wouldn't share key information about where patients were being treated, where it started, and how officials would contain the outbreak. The government refused to communicate with the public, so the Seoul mayor had to go against the president and form his OWN plan to fix the problem. As a result, he's now in the running for next president (since Koreans have lost all respect or trust in the current pres) You can read the full piece by NPR right HERE. Has anyone seen this yet?!
MBC Strike: What This Means for Kpop Fans
MBC is finally going on strike which is completely not normal for Korea. As you probably know, the working culture in Korea is insane, especially in the entertainment industry where everyone involved (not just the actors) often work 20-23 hours a day. There have recently been un uptick in suicides by writers and producers because of the immense stress put on them. MBC is also known here in Korea to be under the control of bigger powers, such as the old president who was impeached. Rather than sharing the real news, the anchors were forced to spin stories to be positive for the president and to support her because the owners of the station were being put under pressure by the corrupt government. Basically MBC is just bad news, and the workers are sick of it. As of this week, the workers have all stopped coming to work meaning unless something was previously recorded, there will be no news, no radio, no dramas, no nothing, until they get what they want (way better working conditions and probably a way better CEO) Because of this, it looks like a music festival has been cancelled as well. BTS V and Twice Dahyun were going to host it and its line up would have included BTS, TWICE, Red Velvet, B1A4, BTOB, Teen Top, B.A.P, MAMAMOO, GFRIEND, BLACKPINK, iKON, EXID, NU’EST W, Lovelyz, ASTRO, and PRISTIN. To be honest, I don't really care that this was cancelled, as I'd much rather have thousands of people's lives improved than watch a few groups perform one or two songs each that we've already heard before. I'm sad if this was anyone's one chance to see these groups live (like if they were vacationing to korea) but in the long run I think it will help a lot more people than it will inconvenience. Here's to hoping the working conditions of people behind the shows we love so much improve greatly <3
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