Like many of you this weekend, I made a visit to my parents’ place. Since it is a week before finals, I decided to go home for a chance to relax before jumping into a week of coffee, sleepless nights, and nonstop studying. Most of my friends told me that the first question their parents would ask them when they come home is: have you eaten yet? In my case, it’s a little different. My mom still asks if I have eaten yet, but only after “Can I use your laptop?” When she asked this on Friday I thought to myself, “Oh No, I have to sit through another hour with her on my laptop looking for Korean Drama to purchase.”
I know many people who are obsessed with Hello Kitty, Pooh Bear and of course, Nike Sneakers. It’s cool that people love these characters and brand. However, it is not cool when I have a mother who is obsessed with Korean drama. I like to watch them too, but the fact that she buys the DVDs from online stores, watches them once, and puts them in a pile in the corner of her room makes me angry; especially after starting this compact challenge.
It is such a waste of space and money. She used to rent them from Vietnamese American rental stores in Oakland such as Hong Kong rentals. Now that she has the internet, it is cheaper for her to buy the DVDs or stream it online rather than rent them. This in turn causes a big problem because not only are the rental places not making the same revenue, it harms the environment. People who buy DVDs will eventually throw them away, which causes this earth to be filled with more trash verses renting, where people can reuse the same DVDs multiple times. According to Kevin Zhu, “Digital film delivery may displace physical films, videos and DVDs, thus threatening the long-term survival of video rental stores and other middle layers in the value chain.”
As for me, the compact challenge made me cautious of my consumption as well as the people around me. I hope that my mother will one day return to renting DVDs rather than purchasing Korean Drama. This would help with the space in my house, the environment, and my own time.
On the same line, the obsession that my mother has with Korean drama reminds me of something that Kawamura mentioned in her Fashion-ology book. She said, “Without the act of reception and consumption, the cultural product of fashion is not complete” (pg 89). To relate it to my topic, the Korean Wave and Korean pop culture (fans religiously keeping up with the media as well as economically consuming items pertaining to the Korean pop culture) would not be complete without the consumption of so many around the world. My mother is one of many in the US and Asia who have been impacted greatly by the Korean media industry, consuming all Vietnamese over-voice Korean drama that comes out. She is apparently the first in the San Pablo/Richmond area to get the latest Korean drama (dubbed in Vietnamese). Nevertheless, my mom always says you need to study and do well in school, but when I try to study, she wants me to help her find DVDs!
Phung Kim Vo
“Internet-Based Distribution of Digital Videos: The Economic Impacts of Digitization on the Motion Picture Industry”- Kevin Zhu