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This Is What Dictator Kitsch Looks Like

Bill Easterly tips us off to “the most powerful argument against autocracy yet”: video of a ludicrous staged Disney performance for the entertainment of North Korea’s Superme Leader Kim Jong Un and a throng of beaming generals.

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This absurd episode could be a part of a much larger project, as The New York Times reports:

As with many things in the North’s bellicose and reclusive Stalinist government, Mr. Kim’s rationale was a mystery, but there was a hint that the performance might be significant. An article about the performance by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said that Mr. Kim, who took over after the death in December of his father, Kim Jong-il, had a “grandiose plan to bring a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year.”

A taste for the cuddlier side of Western culture seems to run in the family. Kim Jong Un’s late father, and “Eternal General Secretary” of North Korea, Kim Jong Il had a quite the passion for foreign films, particularly those staring Daffy Duck. His son’s bizarre “co-option” of foreign entertainment is still less alarming than Kim Jong Il’s kidnapping of South Korean filmmakers to bring “socialist Godzilla” to the big screen.

Still, Disney is none too pleased with the unauthorized performance of Mickey and Pooh, and the State Department is urging North Korea to respect copyright next time around.

Talk about a rogue state. First, illegal nukes, now a wholesale theft of intellectual property—not to mention terrible showmanship.

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  • Maid Abusing Socialist

    Huh– I’m confused. I could swear Sean Penn and Ariel Dorfman were recently holding forth on how to read Donald Duck– something spooky about capitalist conspiracies cum psychological warfare via Yanqui cartoons.

    The Brilliant Comrade must have been too wasted to take it all in– his communist days are surely numbered…

  • silia
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