An undignified argumentIt’s easy to be concerned by the way some public officials handle sensitive issues. Their approach is sometimes so unrefined as to be uncouth. Although public office requires a cultivated mind and a degree of reason high enough to guide common minds, recent examples suggest our public officials may be uncultivated and unreasonable.
A current controversy has arisen about some TV commercials conceived by the ministry of health and welfare, designed to encourage moderate drinking. One of these commercials shows drinkers turning into dogs as they get drunk. These are now to be modified as they generated strong objections from offended members of the public. The first series from the campaign had a scene in which a building collapses. The structure looked like the world’s tallest building, which a Korean construction company is building in Dubai. In order to emphasize the socio-economic damage caused by binge drinking, the ministry was prepared to simulate a Korean achievement being destroyed.
There should be a public campaign against immoderate drinking, as it causes great harm to individuals and society. Drinking is an important social issue that deserves to be dealt with through commercials, but there must also be educational or social support for the campaign. Such persuasion must have dignity.
Drinking has many different social and cultural aspects, and issues regarding drinking have to be understood in that context, instead of depicting drinkers as dogs, even though drunks often behave in despicable ways.
The government officials who designed these commercials must go back to the drawing board and find a more effective way to deal with this important issue.
In subway stations there are video commercials from the ministry of gender and family that shine like neon signs and read “Buying commercial sex in foreign countries can also be punished at home.”
It is certainly a problem that some men use prostitutes when they travel overseas. But now all Korean men are now branded as potential sex tourists.
The subway stations are an integral part of the community, used not only by adult males but also by young male and female students, housewives, and grandmothers. Chances are that they might suspect their husbands or fathers could be potential criminals as well.
Government officials should temper their enthusiasm for solving social problems and think more about social dignity.