At Slate, Ken Jennings—who apparently grew up here in Korea—discusses “fan death” and “other momisms from around the world.” (HT to Charles)
It’s even includes a nod to our very own TK, a notorious purveyor of “fan death trutherism”:
The popularity of the Korean fan death meme probably arises from its central irony: that one of the world’s most technologically modern countries has hard-to-explain issues with a simple mechanical device invented in the 1880s. But sometimes the world’s new obsession with fan death veers into crypto-racist sneering at the oddball, backward Asians. One of the first Web pages to publicize Korean fan-xiety was FanDeath.net, on which “Robin S.,” a Canadian who moved to Seoul in 1999 to teach English, marveled at “the lack of critical thinking” displayed by the “loyal natives” he confronted about the issue.
This casual Western contempt has led, charmingly, to the rise of fan death trutherism. “Fan death is real,” announces “T. K. Park,” a Korean-American Washington, D.C.-area blogger, on his popular “Ask a Korean” blog. Park wasn’t a fan-death believer himself, not at first, but—annoyed to see his culture becoming an Internet punchline—he started researching the subject and was surprised to find that U.S. government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control have also recently come out against electric fan use in enclosed rooms. Could Koreans actually have been right all along about fans?
Read the rest on your own.