Sunday, April 01, 2018

Saved in Her Bedroom?

Sewol Report

Sewol. Sunk. Four years ago. Over 300 lives lost through stupidity and ignorance. This preventable sea-faring tragedy in which so many students died always angers me, especially when I think of the utterly and entirely wrong instructions given, namely, the order that told passengers to remain in their cabins, where they drowned.

As for the attempt to hold the then-President Park Geun-hye responsible for the lives lost, I think that this is entirely wrong-headed and largely the reason that Korea has such tragic accidents again and again, for what is assumed is a Korean top-down approach to decision-making, such that potential rescuers wait to be told what to do by higher-ups who don't even know what is happening.

This was again brought to mind in an assumption made by the reporter Ser Moja in the opening line of her report in a recent edition of the Korea Joongang Daily (March 29, 2018). Ser's generally a good reporter, but the implication that Park Geun-hye could have saved any lives is absurd. This report had another failing in this same line, a sentence construction that makes the report sound even more absurd (and that should have been caught by an editor, even if just a copy-editor):
On the day of the sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014, then-President Park Geun-hye spent crucial early hours when people could have been saved in her bedroom.
I'm curious as to how any Sewol victims could have been saved in Park's bedroom. Nevertheless, miracles do happen, and perhaps the headline was right in saying "Seven-hour mystery about Park, Sewol solved," for mysteries do often imply some metaphysique!

But not here, not this time . . .



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