Sunday, October 15, 2006

North Korea

You know, I have heard the rhetoric about North Korea and its isolation and poverty, but I didn't grasp the extent of its government's people-controlling propaganda efforts- until last night, when I watched the documentary film, "A State of Mind."

The film follows participants’ training leading up to the Mass Games, a huge show that I couldn’t help relating to Nazi Germany’s Nuremburg rallies, in that both were efforts of desperate governments to impress and unify their people.

Anyway, the scene that caused me to nearly fall out of my chair was this: a teacher is quizzing grade school students. The format is that the teacher asks a question, and the class answers in unison.

TEACHER: How many types of greatness does the Great Leader [Kim Jong Il] have?
TEACHER: Firstly?
STUDENTS: Greatness in ideology.
TEACHER: Second?
STUDENTS: Greatness in leadership.
STUDENTS: Greatness in aura.

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