Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Public Punching Bags

A rash of bus driver beatings in the news recently. Found all the videos at Redbug.

Our first feature video is a drunk ajoshi who is upset because the driver doesn't have change for a 10,000 won bill. He smacks him a bit, leaves the bus, then comes back on again, drags the driver out by his neck and beats him some more.

A bit later they show another drunk ajoshi attack a bus driver as soon as he enters the bus. Very uncool. Some guys just know nothing of proper foreplay. You start with some verbal abuse and threats, followed by a bit of pushing and slapping, and only then is your victim ready to be pummeled and throttled. Beat up people right or just don't do it all, I always say.

This video has
some of the most brutal footage but you have to wait until the end of
the broadcast (the main story is about a bus driver who crashed into
several cars at an intersection). I'm sure this bus driver lost a
couple of teeth.

But it's not all drunk ajoshi's looking to get in some warm-up boxing before getting home and beating their wives proper.  This video shows a female university student attacking not one but two different bus drivers with a hammer. The reason? The brakes on the buses were too loud. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to have the strength to really do any serious damage, as both drivers were able to fend her off somewhat by blocking her swings with their hands (if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times; women and hammers just don't mix).

I don't think she was a passenger, just someone who living near a station or a bus stop and was going nuts because of the noise.

I don't know how many passengers were on board during these beatings, but it strikes me that in not one of the clips does any one come up to try to intervene. There just seems to be something in the Korean psyche that holds them back when they see others getting attacked (unless you are an American GI involved in a scuffle, I suppose, then you can expect a mob to form almost instantly).

Don't expect any real punishment for the attackers. They'll show up to court looking properly penitent and give a good sob story about how hard their lives are and how much stress they suffer and the judge will let them go with a small fine and a warning (or a second or third warning, as the case may be). It's a 'han' thing that stupid foreigners just can't understand.

And just why is it that drunk and crazy people beat up on the people that deserve it the least? Why can't we be reading about a rash of personal injury lawyer, Amway member, Korean sports writer, Nork-funded NGO or Korean Teacher's Union member beatings?  Aren't there any drunks and loonies out there playing for our team?

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