China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Dear Business Men Who Drink too Much Soju and Pass Out on the Street

Dear Business Men Who Drink to Much Soju and Pass Out on the Street,

Where to begin? Coming across your limp, sleeping bodies on the streets of Seoul, so many questions came immediately to mind – so many whys and whats and hows (along with a bit of concern and a great deal of disbelief) – but of course our questions were in vain, for with you passed out like a bunch of no-good sots, there was no one to ask.

Here, we will do our best not to be judgmental. After so many similar encounters, we now realize that your behavior is by no means a social anomaly; if anything, it seems it is accepted and expected.

Let’s look at things from your perspective – the sober version, that is. You live in a demanding society – every day you wake to toil away in the never-ending scramble of capitalism, buying and selling, giving presentations, checking charts, making calls, or whatever role you’ve found yourself in. And at the end of it, your eyes are bloodshot and your tie is crinkled and your soles are numb, and there is nothing quite so appealing as trading in your Blackberry for a bottle of cheap clear liquor and knocking yourself into a coma.

We are with you up until there – the destructive cycle of work and play is universal. But most people eventually wind up in a bed.

Every culture has its gutter-dwellers, of course – the winos, rummies, lushes, and borrachos – thirsty, depraved drifters with little interest in their reputations or livelihoods or hygiene, but most of them belong to a different social class than the white-collared businessmen of your ranks. That is precisely what is so amazing – that these lifeless, recumbent shapes we see at night, men who have forgone the comforts of their own bed for sidewalks and benches, will at some hour rise and participate in the respectable workforce of a modern, developed city.

In a way, we have to admire you. Passing out in public is, after all, less destructive than the alternatives of fist-fighting, drunk-driving, or gambling. Perhaps you just have a different sense of respect and duty – you do not return home to avoid disturbing your wife and children. How honorable of you.

Still, we have so many more questions, some specific to individuals and some more broad: Does that bag contain a laptop computer? Is there money in your wallet? Does anyone worry about you? How did your shoe end up on the ground? Did you climb up on that table by yourself? Do you realize that your lower half is in a busy road? Is that comfortable?

You may have noticed in our previous photo series that we blacked out your faces; honestly, this editing was more to protect your identity than to draw any comparisons between you slovenly sleepers and the undignified sluts and weirdoes seen in COPS or those late-night ads for wild college girl videos. On the surface your behavior is similar, at least in the absence of self control or respect. But we know that you are different than those others; you are just the victims of low tolerances and high demands. And given the circumstances, you are not entirely without grace – at least your pants are not urine-stained.

Sleep well, Korean business men, and may your morning be painless and clear.

With wonder,

This Ridiculous World

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