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North Koreans Cry On Cue

One thing citizens of the Democratic Republic of Korea learn to do is to follow orders and fake emotions on command.  A lifetime of staged shows, forced confessions, and ritual expressions of patriotism and undying loyalty to the Kim dynasty have prepared them for the required displays when a leader, Great or Dear, passes away.  It is weep or be shot in that happy land, until it is dance or be strangled.

There is no way of knowing what these poor slaves are really thinking but we know that faking emotions on command is a vital survival skill in that terrible land.

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  • Kris

    I am most distressed at your cynicism, especially in these trying circumstances. It should be clear to anyone with a heart that the grief of those poor people is genuine. Can you not try to put yourself in their shoes, having just learned that Dear Leader has died peacefully, cheating you of the opportunity to hang him from a lamppost?

  • Robert

    Many Chinese Cultural Revolution memoirs published in the west note that the widely publicized “sorrow” at Mao’s death (September 1976) was universally faked, and that ordinary people actually felt empty of emotion. This is contrasted sharply with a genuine and widespread feeling of loss on Zhou Enlai’s death in January that same year.

    I’m reminded of the “prolonged stormy applause” that followed any of Stalin’s speeches. And those were occasions in which the first person to stop clapping was noted down for purging — and they usually did disappear.

    Life in a dictatorship requires endless displays of false emotion — is it any wonder that when these houses of cards collapse, the crash comes so suddenly? That’s just how it goes when a preference-cascade starts moving.

  • Jim H

    I found it comical and sad at the same time, when the people fake cried ridiculously out loud over such a despicable human being. It’s gotta [be unpleasant] to be from such a place.

  • Martin Berman-Gorvine

    This is exactly parallel to the displays of hysterical grief in the Soviet Union when the Genius Leader of Mankind Josef Stalin died alone in his bed because his lackeys were too terrified to check on him after he had a stroke. Some of the emotion is genuine but displaced–people whose friends and relatives were starved to death or murdered in concentration camps have no other outlet to express their grief.

  • Steven

    How dare you suggest that the North Korean people were not genuine in their grief! Why, I myself cried for nearly 2 weeks when Jerry Fallwell died…….hehe….

  • Drang

    “Mourn or we;ll kill you!
    “Add enough histrionics, and we’ll double your rice ration to 300 grams!
    “A week!”

    @Kris: Do you know anything about north Korea beyond this story?

  • Jimmy J.

    The NorKos do choreographed military demonstrations, huge adoring crowds for speeches, and desperate mass grief demos quite well. Producing food and electricity -not so much.

    What a miserable shell of a country. But the UN would far rather condemn Israel than the communist thugs in North Korea. Sad!

  • Joey

    @Jimmy J.

    Communist thugs? The bovine manure that you spew is too incredible for words. Please, for the love of God, tell me that you don’t think that if a nation suffers from a communist, evil dictator, all of the innocent, unfortunate citizens are communist! Poor Koreans, the soldiers pointing rifles at them are just out of the camera’s view.

  • Brad

    Notice, however, that their grief is unlike what normal grief looks like. Lose a family member, and you don’t pound the pavement with your family (in unison). When Kennedy was shot, people mourned by comforting each other. When HM the Queen passes (yes yes I know monarch bad whatever), people will grieve quietly–though perhaps publicly–but will do so without theatrics and with their arms around each other.

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