Friday, November 07, 2008


Kang Ma-aeKang Ma-ae, the maestro in the MBC drama "Beethoven Virus" (베토벤 바이러스), is a phenomenon these days in Korea. He hold no punches when he speaks. He accepts nothing but the best. He stays true to his ideals and does not allow anything to stand in between he and his passion. By being himself, he comes across as somebody who is arrogant, self-centred and downright insensitive. But all these have nothing to do with his popularity. He is a phenomenon simply because his character is inspirational. He brings out the courage in people to pursue their passion. For his portrayal of Kang Ma-ae, actor Kim Myeong-min was bestowed the most prestigious Grand Award at the recent Korea Drama Festival Awards.

Below is one of the most quoted quote of Kang Ma-ae. He was blasting his orchestra members for giving all sort of reasons for not pursuing their interest. Age, no opportunity, sick father were the reasons given but all were shot down as excuses. I have the video clip below but it is in WMV format. So it may not work in some browsers. The below quote comes on screen somewhere in the middle of the video (1min 18sec). I have also done a translation of the quote.

"이기적이 돼야 합니다! 여러분은 너무 착해요! 아니, 착한게 아니라 바보입니다! 부모 때문에, 자식 때문에, 애 때문에 희생했다? 착각입니다! 결국 여러분 꼴이 이게 뭡니까. 하고 싶은 건 못하고, 생활은 어렵고, 주변사람 누구누구 때문에 희생했다, 피해의식만 생겼잖습니까! 이건 착한 것도, 바보인 것도 아니고, 비겁한 겁니다! 마음만 먹으면 얼마든지 만들어낼 수 있는 백 가지도 넘는 핑계를 대고 도망친 겁니다!"

"You have to be selfish! You are all very kind! No, not kind, it’s stupid! You sacrificed because of parents, because of children, because of child? It’s illusion! At the end, what kind of plight did you land yourself in? Thing you want to do, you cannot do, life is difficult, you sacrificed for all the people around you, you feel like you are being victimised, don’t you! This is not kindness, it's not stupidity, it's cowardice! If you want to, no matter how many, you can provide over hundred of excuses which you can think of and take cover under them!"

(Youtube video can be found here)

If you can view the video, I suggest that you view it ten times. It feels like subjecting yourself to ten rounds of scolding before you finally come to your senses. I tried to imagine myself as one of those pathetic folks whom were being blasted. On the first time, I felt defensive. I don't think Kang Mae-ae knows our problem well enough to be in any position to say what he is saying. On the fifth time, I was a bit shaken because I kinda agree that life is difficult and it's true that I feel helpless sometimes. By the tenth time, I felt like shouting out, "I am not a coward! I will do what I want to do." The change in my reaction was simply amazing!

Just when I was so caught up in this whole thing, it suddenly struck me that this is afterall a drama. How can I be a selfish and irresponsible person just because I want to pursue my interest? So I thought, a more sensible approach is for me to chase my dream only when I have the time and money. But when I was about to make up my mind, Kang Mae-ae appeared and blasted, "핑계입니다!" See, I told you he is an inspiration. ^^


  1. Thanks for posting the video! (:

    It made me feel that my decisions in life weren't that bad after all, and it did help to clear some of my own doubts. ^^

    Althought it's 'just' a drama, I still find the lines more inspiring than those we come across in real life. haha

  2. How many times must you be "scolded" before you clear some of your doubts? :)

  3. Oooo 이드라마도 봤어요?
    i like what he said before the concert when there was a rain and some problems with the construction worker also the choir....
    that's my fav part ^ ^
    the way he made other get their own confidence...and also the way he open up the kid's father view...
    i love this part

    never give up n 파이팅 ^ ^

  4. 아참 i forgot...
    thnx for sharing the clip and also the translation ^ ^ it wakes me up ^^

  5. good drama, isn't it? ^^

  6. I watched the video 4 times :D haha

    즐거운 주말 되세요 ^^

  7. It's my favourite drama too.
    안녕 하세요.
    저는 말레이시아에서 온 학생인데 소예연라고 해요.
    지금 경희대학교에서 한국어(초급 2)를 배워요.
    만나서 반갑습니다 :)
    I've just started my studying life here 2 1/2 months ago. Thanks for the inspiring sharings. I shall share this article in my 일기 숙제 :)

  8. 소예연 씨, 반가워요 ^^