…and, as a result, I’ve shamed all of my ancestors, from Adam on down. You should be able to watch the video here. The segment with my family starts at about 44:00.
For the last two days I was unable to find it, and now that it’s in my possession I’m honestly too disgusted with my appearance to sit through and torture myself for ten minutes by watching it. Both my (beautiful) wife and I were writhing in horror within seconds…this is an existential crisis, this is Camus’ “stranger who at certain seconds comes to meet us in a mirror”, since I think I don’t look or sound like that guy in that video.
So how did this happen?
The KBS crew somehow found pictures of my son on my wife’s blog (which she hasn’t updated in a year), texted her on Sunday, came down on Monday, filmed us in the evening (when I’m in a t-shirt), and then the following afternoon (in the black long-sleeved shirt). They went back to Seoul on Tuesday night, edited the footage on Wednesday, and broadcast it on 7:30AM Thursday morning. The Korean public has a mild interest in shows about “foreigners” who have married into Korean families—though if you speak the language, eat the food, follow the laws, and respect the culture, there is really nothing foreign about you, in my opinion. I am a human being; I consider nothing that is human alien to me.
This crew consisted of two people: the cameraman, who was amazing, in that he shot all three of us for several hours, and was asking us questions about our lives at the same time, without stopping, in a very friendly fashion; and then a woman who played on her phone a lot and periodically gave a new tape to the cameraman. She also distracted my son (who attacks us whenever we stop focusing on him) by letting him watch Pororo on her phone, which has convinced me that his life will be destroyed if we somehow wind up doing this for a living.
During the first day I went completely berserk. I’m not sure why. I challenged Kang Ho-dong, a famous wrestler and talk show host, to a wrestling match; I used some extremely lame Kung Fu moves I learned from a source that is so shameful I dare not mention it here; and then on the next day I sang and played guitar for the first time in my life, which is probably not advisable…I can barely play guitar, and until that morning I hadn’t picked mine up for six months or so. Starting at 5AM I spent three hours practicing to Corey Harris, though I’m not sure it really paid off.
While I haven’t watched the video, I did skim over it, and it looks to me like they cut a lot of my insanity out (even if the segment seems to start with me explaining that Gyeongju’s famous ancient observatory looks like a bakery…). It was impossible, however, for them to cut out the incredible amount of hamminess that I rammed into that camera lens. I did play Go for the first time with my father-in-law, which was really enjoyable for both of us.
Although I am deeply ashamed with what I have done here, I would definitely do it again—if only for the chance of fulfilling my childhood dream of kicking Kang Ho-dong’s ass.