Or Complaints, Complainers, and Complaints about Complainers
(the word complain looks really weird when you’ve written it several times)
This post has recently been passed around the expat community in Korea. This post was made in response, by another blog. It’s also a topic I’ve written about. I’m a complaining expat blogger, and I’m very aware about all the complaining that I’ve done.
Therefore, as a complainer, a blogger and an expat in Korea, I also have some ideas on the topic of complaints and complainers. I suppose this is meta-blogging – blogging about blogging.
The first blog, complaining about people complaining, offers a very solid suggestion – Korea is not as bad as you think. Stop complaining. I don’t debate the validity of the point that is made – Korea is, in fact, not as bad as many complainers seem to think. The problems that are pointed out are not problems that are unique to Korea, but that exist everywhere.
The second blog responds to this by pointing out that certain issues are problematic, and deserve discussion. He’s also fair in his criticisms, pointing out that the issues are not as simple as they are portrayed to be, nor is Korea the only place where such issues are issues.
He uses the example of bad driving, and points out that when people say the driving here is terrible, there is proof to support that statement. He also discusses the issue of animal cruelty. Certain things – like dying an animal’s fur – is fairly innocuous, but there are issues concerning animal cruelty, such as the fact that dog meat is technically illegal, and thus unregulated. But he also points out that other countries treat animals poorly as well – it’s not an issue that is unique to Korea.
TL; DR: What it really comes down to is this comment made on the post:
The emphasis here is mine. Note the highlighted portion:
… this discussion so often devolves into a simple binary choice: complain or don’t complain. It’s not. There is a third way: complain intelligently, fairly, and with solid grounding in fact.
As far as that goes, let me say that I hope that my blog is an example of that kind of writing. I don’t want to complain mindlessly. I want to work out why the things that annoy me are done, and maybe then I can work out how to handle the things that I dislike about Korea.
(And in an odd bit of promotion for another blog – which I’ve never done before – I strongly recommend the blog South Korea Inside Out. The writer combines certain factors that I find to be lacking in expat blogs in general. It tackles serious issues, relates personal experiences in a meaningful way, tries to be fair in commentary, and (most surprisingly) is well written. I have a feeling that this isn’t the last time that I’ll be blogging in response to something he has posted.)