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[Opinion] An Actress and National Assembly

Posted February. 05, 2003 23:05,   


Tourists visiting Washington D.C., the capital state of the U.S., choose to pose on the Capital Hill, where the U.S. Congress is seated. There is no wall or fence that prevents tourists from getting close to the building as if it were symbolizing the open liberal system Americans have. Although security has been beef-upped after the Sept. 11 attacks, tourists are still allowed to walk and look around every corner of the building inside. Throughout the experience, visitors feel the tradition and power of American democracy that has buttressed the country for the last 220 years.

▷In contrast, the National Assembly is enclosed with a high wall in every direction. Visitors often feel intimidated by straight-faced guards standing at the gate. There is not much for tourists to do except looking around facilities like a conference room. The National Assembly is supposed to represent people, but in reality it is filled with high-hand practices. Lawmakers passed through the gate as the guards raise their hands in salute, while run-of-the-mill people are sent to the back door that leads to an interview room. The National Assembly in this country seems to be the only legislative body that treats voters this much poorly.

▷A young actress in mini skirt was caught in a picture as she climbed over the 2m-high wall set for the National Assembly. And the picture, introduced on a newspaper, is drawing all eyes of the people. The incident came as the production team was asking for film shooting for several months only to be rejected. The actress, who plays a prostitute-turned lawmaker in the move, was dragged back outside by the guards without barely putting her feet on the ground inside. The National Assembly might have taken this as a bold challenge to its authority. Reading the story, however, most people must have seen the incident differently.

▷The authority is more than a self-justified claim. The authority comes as others acknowledge and respect it. By forcefully stopping the film shooting, therefore, the National Assembly only ended up impairing its authority. Lawmakers might think that they are so high above that a prostitute dare not become one of their kinds even in a movie. People, however, still remember the days when the law-making branch served as a maid for the administrative counterpart. We cannot describe every detail about the difference between a prostitute and a maid. Yet, it would have been better for the National Assembly to cooperate in film shooting. If it had been generous enough to accept a Korean Chichiolina (Porno star-turned lawmaker in Italy) in a movie, the openness would have worked to boost its authority.

Song Moon-hong, Editorial Writer, songmh@donga.com