Thursday, November 16, 2006

a short familiar trip it's been



Not surprisingly, Western views of North Korea tend to remark the sense of constraint, a mannered sense of disproportion in its self-made images and modes:
His [Philippe Chancel] portrait of the capital city Pyongyang offers no evidence of individuality, nor of business or a local social life. Instead, you see a city outfitted in images glorifying the reign of Kim Il Sung -- the "Great Leader" who is designated in the country's constitution as the country's "Eternal President" despite his death in 1994 -- and his son, the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il. The propaganda requires no satire -- the leaders, with their shining white teeth and frozen smiles, look more suited for a toothpaste ad than national leadership. Spiegel Online

Harder to see is that the front page of any USian paper exhibits precisely the same effects of disproportion.



When one has been there iteratedly,











it's less of a trip.

vicus: db bmo

10 Comments:

Anonymous Hervé said...

The viewers in the stadium hold up painted placards to form giant propaganda images.

Solidarity or effective coercion/discipline. Very impressive - all the more because of the retro-mechanical anachronism.

I would like to do a "documentary" about training thousands of randomly selected americans to operate in synchronized mechanical effort like that for no pay only glory.

Adult americans would sign a simple pledge of commitment with no compensation promised or suggested other than the implied satisfaction in co operating toward a job well done.

The flip card instructor mavens and crew would be the acknowledged "best in america" and if arguable or unavailable the maven/crew among the top five chosen by blind draw would take charge.

There would be x amount of time to prepare and no matter the condition of the final performance it would be performed at the nationally televised event on the day initially planned.

Like knocked out ungrown or fallen teeth gaps formed by attrition would stay. What punched out belligerent pug would emerge. Or would it be a lambie?

(seems to me the raw sound of the commands cards and the upclose vocal interplay of the flippers would be exciting.)

(i suppose the obvious choice for images would be those of our fearless leaders cherished monuments and biggest commercial brands.)

(the last one would be martha stewart i think.)

11/18/2006 12:55 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

Seems a worthwhile project, well within reason. CBS would digitally fill in any missing placards. I'm not sure what iconic USian could compete with the gun.

11/18/2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

I would like to do a "documentary" about training thousands of randomly selected americans to operate in synchronized mechanical effort like that for no pay only glory.

Adult americans would sign a simple pledge of commitment with no compensation promised or suggested other than the implied satisfaction in co operating toward a job well done


It already happens every day, no ? You just have to go and set up a videocam in a cubicle space on some corporate campus and let it run all day.

The pay that the workers supposedly get only goes back to the bank(s) anyway as they pay down their credit cards, credit lines, mortgages and leases, the banks having lent or lending in the future the money to the corp. to extend the cubicle farm elsewhere (or pay off the golden handcuffs of the decision-makers if the corp. ceases to be profit-growth-viable).

I've always appreciated Shoshana Zuboff's term managerial capitalism.

11/18/2006 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Hervé said...

I'm not sure what iconic USian could compete with the gun.

Cheney's gotta gun, an american classic.


You just have to go and set up a videocam in a cubicle space on some corporate campus and let it run all day.

Could we get them to flap things in unison to form some recognizable patterns? Other than despair?

Zuboff: There are only discontinuous solutions, which are difficult to think about, but once you do--they change your thinking forever. The book connects many disparate phenomena--things that we all know and experience but whose meaning and interrelationships have been opaque.

And her hair is AWESOME.

11/19/2006 4:49 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

the do from llama herding?

11/19/2006 8:24 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

just for clarity's sake .. what I appreciate about Zuboff's use of the term managerial capitalism is her and Maxim's advocacy against it.

11/19/2006 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Hervé said...

Actually, that was clear to me, Jon -- it was TOM that didn't get it.  ;-)

And that passage I quoted, though I don't know exactly what she's talking about, appeals muchly to my sense of imprecision.

Besides which her hair IS awesome! (Llama-doo or no, can't she pass some of that stuff around? My haid is cold!)

11/20/2006 9:43 AM  
Anonymous trhokmp said...

Jon, get with the program. Sir, get a rug.

11/20/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Thanks for that, trhokmp.

He and they are goofing on us, right ? ;-)

11/20/2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Hervé said...

Outstanding! How great is that! Called on the carpet and a super vid to boot! (Remember, not all exuberance is irrational!)

!

11/20/2006 3:45 PM  

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