Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Cleanest Race

This is a fascinating book, full of insights into North Korean propoganda. The author, B.R. Meyers, impressively lays out information and develops compelling theories, while not claiming to understand everything about this mysterious country.

In the middle of the book are some outlandish propaganda posters, depicting Americans as "Yankee vampires" and baby killers. Koreans are always portrayed as pure and innocent, naive like little children, and helpless victims of hostility from the outside world. That is why many North Koreans believe they need the protection of their "dear leader," Kim Jung Il. He supposedly braves the storm and acts as their selfless, all sacrificing parental figure. Meyers shows the brutal truth and tells how North Korea's flimsy facade, which is the whole foundation of the country, is slowly beginning to crumble.

North Korea is not Never Neverland. Even though all the citizens are encouraged to act like mindless, helpless children, they're going to have to grow up someday. Just like children's movies in which the kids outsmart and overpower the adults who come up against them, there will be a role reversal eventually, when the great leader gets his comeuppance . . . or he'll just get shorter and shorter until he disappears.