October 22, 2014
Well, this was a little bit uncomfortable to film. How do we talk about Korean gangs in a playful manner and make jokes without ending up in cement shoes at the bottom of a river? Errrgh. Next time we’ll be more jokey in our TL;DR. Hopefully you still found it informative!
But, back to the topic of Korean gangs: part of the original TL;DR question was if there is a gang problem in schools, and I wanna talk a bit about it here, because I found the answer to be both fascinating and disturbing.
In Korea, 일진 (il-jin) is the term for school gangs. It used to refer just to high school gangs, but now it’s spreading to middle schools and even elementary schools as well. According to the National Police Agency, there are 일진 in 11.2% of Korean Middle/High schools (5339 schools to be exact), and is comprised of 597 groups amassing 6325 members in total. Some members from 일진 get scouted by actual gang groups as well.
Here’s what I found disturbing: supposedly the members of 일진 aren’t the stereotypical thuggish students you’d expect. Turns out that it’s model students, student presidents and all, that seem all nice and polite to their superiors but really run the 일진 behind closed doors. Why this freaks me out is because I totally remember an example of this while I was a teacher. I remember speaking with one of my co-teachers who told me the difficulties she was having with one of her students. Another student in her class confessed that he was being bullied for his money daily by the best student of the class. When the teacher talked to the model student’s parents, they freaked out. That’s impossible! He’s an angel! Look at his grades! And that’s what freaked her out: he wasn’t a bad kid. There are other bad kids in the class. It was the model student, though, that was the boss of all the bad kids. SOOOOO FREAKY.
What’s it like where you’re from? When I was growing up, the kids that turned to crime were clearly shitheads in class. When one of them would get arrested we’d all be like “yeah, that makes sense.” But, now that I think of the way student presidents in Korea can be parts of gangs, it kinda makes sense. They’re not being groomed to be henchmen: they’re growing up to be mob bosses.
Ahhh. And don’t ask us to say anything about what entertainment companies have ties to Korean gangs. Ain’t gonna happen ;D
Otherwise, HOLY SMOKES WE’RE BACK IN KOREA! Look at us making videos in our studio again! Sure, while we were in Europe we still posted two videos a week (which was MUCH better than our European tour the year before, in which we posted nothing for three weeks). Now we’re getting back to our regular schedule. New WANK tomorrow! LiveChat Friday! Wahoo!