Bum firmly socketed into sofa cushion, I was having one of my occasional ‘flip around the multitude of Korean-language TV channels none of which I can understand to any degree’ sessions when I stopped on one of the 3 or 4 Home Shopping Network-type stations.
These, I find, are often good for some shadenfreude-laden amusement. It is one of my guilty pleasures, watching the human mannequins go through the self-conscious motions of simulating a life that is almost unbearably joyful, enhanced as it is almost to the point of bursting by whatever product is currently being hawked. You can almost hear, watching their avidly gleeful faces, the exhortations of the stage manager to look more joyful. Watching for a while allows me to feel superior and self-righteous in my chosen role as a singularly poor consumer.
The food porn, which is so obscenely fixated on wetness and bubbling, on glistening surfaces and suddenly-exposed textures, can be depended upon to make me a little nauseous, and since I can afford to lose a couple of pounds, losing my appetite for a while isn’t such a bad thing. It must be said that these food porn producers have their job down to a fine art. They are incredibly skilled at eroticizing foodstuffs : so much so that I sometimes worry that I’ll wake up mid-sleepwalk one night in flagrante delicto with our store of kimchi.
The models tend to be on the sexy side of the street, too, which is certainly not a bad thing.
As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself : the screen at this particular moment was occupied by a pair of hands, turning and displaying a live crab, which was waving its legs about in dismay. Understandably. You’d be distressed too. With no warning, to the jaunty retro-pop harmonies of the title song from the mostly harmless Tom Hanks vehicle, ‘That Thing You Do’, the hands proceeded to rip open the shell of the soon-to-be-not-so-live crab, as its little legs went into spastic ‘oh-my-god-I’m-being-dismembered‘ gyrations, and expose its glistening, wet guts to the camera, which dutifully zoomed in. It was a weird combination of the usual food-porn with sudden, unexpected violent death, and it left me a little… discombobulated.
It’s been a fair while since I lived in the west (if less than a year since I lived in Oz), and so I might well be wrong, but I’m pretty damn sure this sort of thing would not go over well outside Asia. It was yet another of the hundred daily reminders I get of difference, and I thought I’d share.

Korea-related, Uncrappy

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. That was quite the description, kind of like a snuff film, not that I’ve seen one. You must be going thru culture shock all the time. When are you coming back to Canada?

  2. That was hilarious. I hope I never think to myself, “oh-my-god-I’m-being-dismembered.”
    And yes, if I saw something like that on TV, I’d chuck my Motts Clamato™ at the screen.

  3. When are you coming back to Canada?
    I was planning on a trip this summer, but I may end up doing a graduate degree instead – I’m not sure if I can afford both…:-(

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