North Korea Mass Cult Watch: Weeping and Bowing Before the Golden Jackass

Below, North Koreans react to news of Kim Jong-il’s death.

My first thought on seeing this was the Christian notion of Judgment Day (with Jesus, not Kim Jong-il, inhabiting the Big Brother space). Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess . . .

They loved Big Brother.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to North Korea Mass Cult Watch: Weeping and Bowing Before the Golden Jackass

  1. andrewclunn says:

    Or… They knew that if they did not act as if they loved him, then they would be killed.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      There’s a scene like that in AS’s “Gulag Archipelogo”: people stand and applaud Stalin with plain clothes police surveying. The people who stop applauding first lose: they are sent to the gulags. So everybody just keeps applauding. And applauding. And applauding. They’re waiting for some weak and elderly person to collapse in fatigue or for some fool not to perceive the game that is being played.

      I suspect, however, that a good deal of this is sincere; that it’s a mass hysteria effect; that most people really can be drawn into collective father-figure projections. We’re tribal animals trying, with difficulty, to be existentially independent animals. It’s Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. Freedom, for a lot of people, is overrated (as looking at who the Egyptians recently voted into office attests).


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