Friday 22 January 2010

Official: Turning Off Lights Easier Than Social Programs That Actually Support Families

A Ministry of Health official explained the recent decision to turn off the lights in government buildings, sending workers home to make babies and increase Korea's abysmally low birthrate. "We think that turning off the lights will let people know it's time to go home and fuck. In fact, we were originally going to make that the slogan for what we're calling "Lights Off Wednesday" - originally, it was going to be called "Go Home and Fuck Day." We also considered "Paper Bag Wednesday" for all the people who no longer find their spouses sexually attractive.

The point of the day is to turn off lights in the offices, so that nobody can work late, and will go home. We are confident that our employees, Korea's best people, lack the creativity to think of anything else to do, other than go home and fuck."

Coming up with the idea of turning off the lights at 7pm on one Wednesday a month was a long, difficult process. The same ministry of Health official describes the intense brainstorming session that led to this latest brainwave.

"We were spitballing ideas that would make families have more children, and all kinds of stuff came up:

public awareness campaigns removing the stigma against out-of-wedlock births,

government support for single parents,

social programs providing free or drastically reduced daycare for working families,

government assistance to defray the costs of education,

improved education to remove the need to put kids through the prohibitively expensive hogwan system,

legal support for maternity leave, with guaranteed returns to work for mothers,

changes in the business culture so that working parents can leave work on time instead of feeling obligated to stay until the boss leaves, or go to office dinners every night

campaigns aimed at raising the status of labor jobs and skilled trades - so that parents no longer feel that they MUST force all their kids to compete to get into SNU,

offering balanced lifestyle and family budgeting counselling to help would-be parents plan for more than one child

university scholarships or tuition waiver programs for children from large families,

better legal protection for women who are railroaded into quitting their jobs after marrying or having a child,

bringing all the abandoned babies Korean men left behind in the Philippines to Korea

tax breaks or refunds for multi-child families,

introducing more lines of designer clothes for babies (for the Kangnam crowd)

encouraging in-country, and not just overseas adoption,

"but when we looked at the possible costs of all these kinds of programs, we eliminated most of them, just because we're too cheap to ACTUALLY do anything...

"but fortunately for us, Jung Han-su, an entry-level civil servant, who didn't seem to be taking the brainstorming process very seriously, was calling out all kinds of ideas that were... a little unique... and after awhile, we realized that some of them, like government sponsored orgies and adding aphrodesiacs to the water supply, or adding fertility drugs to the recipe for kimchi, or showing more two-year-olds doing sexy dances on TV, so that viewers think it's cute and want to have babies so they can teach them sexy-dances, were obviously in jest, but other of his ideas were actually feasible. Laughing all the while, he offered up a few more suggestions to the room-full of exhausted ministry officials, and we finally boiled everything down to two really feasible, and not too expensive options:

1. turn off lights in office buildings at 7pm
2. manufacture and distribute faulty condoms around Korea

Now, given that foreigners are the only ones dirty and immoral enough to use condoms in Korea (only ones that need them, you know?), and distributing faulty ones would just increase the number of faulty, half-breed babies who have no Jung, we realized that turning off building lights was pure genius: rather than inflicting a heavy burden on taxpayers, the way most of those "social programs" would, "Lights Off Wednesday" the reduced electrical bills would actually SAVE taxpayer dollars! We made Jung Han-su supervisor of the new program: he's going to be throwing the circuit breaker in our ministry building himself every "Lights Out Wednesday" and he's happy about his promotion, though he won't stop smirking."

Government officials are hoping the "Lights Out Wednesdays" will have their intended effect of raising the birthrate: if it does not, the government might have to actually do something.

Meanwhile, three months before the "Lights Out Wednesdays" program was introduced, brothels near Seoul's business areas unveiled a "Purple Light Wednesday" discount, given that Wednesdays are traditionally slow days in Korea's brothels; the "Purple Light Wednesdays" coincidentally fall on the same days as "Lights Out Wednesdays," but government officials swear there is no connection between the two events.


DSW said...

Overall this was a pretty funny post, but you raise some sad points. Korea never fails to disgust me in its treatment of its women. My female kyopo friends always have trouble explaining that they weren't robbed of anything growing up in America. On the contrary, they avoiding this whole fucking mess.

The_Mon said...


์กฐ์•ˆ๋‚˜ said...

best post in a while, my friend. Nice work.

Chris in South Korea said...

Great work - yet again. Keep it up :)

Lee Farrand said...

Spot on the mark

Anonymous said...

Korean Rum Diary:
"My female kyopo friends always have trouble explaining that they weren't robbed of anything growing up in America. On the contrary, they avoiding this whole fucking mess."

I'm genuinely interested in hearing more about this: would you mind sharing some details? The only Korean-American woman I know is pretty happy with her life in Korea, so I wouldn't know...

Gregory Dolezal said...

Sad but true. Any or all of these ideas would be a step in the right direction.