[Letter to the editor]Let the past remain thereI read a column, “Novel is not anti-Korean, it’s anti-war” written by Lee Hoon-beom on Jan. 24 with interest and agree that the past should remain the past.
The Korean people and its nation have accomplished, on their own, far more in the past 50 years than many other nations who have not suffered the repression of occupation. The sovereignty of South Korea as a nation has been well established. If the United States had held a grudge against the British for invading and burning down the White House in 1815, we would not have the trade and goodwill of the British people we enjoy today.
Only through open trade with other nations can we survive globally. I hope the Korean people (government) can see their way toward balancing traditional Korean culture with a continuing modern, global presence.
By remembering the past we learn to avoid mistakes, but we should not live there, rehashing old grievances, because if we live in the past we cannot live in the here and now.
Kathleen McLaughlin, Seoul
Give the dead, their families respect
In a month after the pop singer Yuni, 26, committed suicide, another young gifted actress, Jeong Da-bin, was found to have ended her life on Feb. 11.
Many reporters take photos at the funerals of dead entertainers and compete with each other to come up with more stories out of the scene. Hundreds of Internet users post their letters of condolence on the entertainers’ Web sites or newspaper articles about the entertainers’ suicides. Some even create video clips to commemorate them.
The problem is the way we deal with their suicides. After the gusts of condolences pass by, it’s as if nothing had happened.
As the actress was very popular, her death attracts many people’s attention. But I think TV broadcasters should take caution in airing recorded scenes of the actress, and Internet users have to restrain themselves from spreading video clips and photos of her. They should be considerate of the sorrow of bereaved family members. Because it was a sudden loss, I think family members will be anguished when they see video clips that show the actress while she was alive.
In addition, the media may inadvertently encourage juveniles to imitate the suicide of their beloved actress if they focus too much on the suicide itself, and not on the nature of her extreme decision.
I pay my homage to the late Jeong Da-bin. I hope we don’t see any more suicides. I hope the media and Internet users take the proper attitudes when they cover suicides.
Lee Hwa-gyeong, a college student in Seoul