Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fuck you, Great Comrade Kim Jong Il!


The video above, of weeping crowds of North Koreans mourning the death of The Great Comrade Kim Jong Il, has prompted numerous reactions in the West. While many pundits and bloggers see the video as an over-the-top show of genuflection typical of totalitarian societies, a befuddle NYTimes calls it "a real demonstration."

¿Real 'cause it happens?

We need to find out what's behind the massive sobbing and wailing. This is not a fake demonstration. Certainly, these people feel a sense of loss which points to The Great Comrade Kim Jong Il, which only complicate things. Let's not ignore that this is a public performance with an automatic component. The event follows a social script that gives the people the green light:

Time to weep at the Square!

Precisely! The contagious and clamant sobbing has an inscrutable surplus. On the one hand, who wouldn't cry if one's face appears on Korean National Television? More importantly, for the first time in their lives, the North Korean people have the chance to mourn their fate. Shedding tears is a primordial response to the nightmare they live, which -oddly enough- they have come to love and desire. The reverse side is unlike the public one: How could they not, indeed, weep? If the Great Comrade Kim Jong Il was alive, how would this once-in-a-lifetime public presentation be possible?

In a perverse and unconscious way, the death of the Great Comrade Kim Jong Il has brought forth a long time repressed (and much needed) social catharsis. The North Korean people can express with tears something absolutely unthinkable, unsayable:

Fuck you, Great Comrade Kim Jong Il!


kevinarrow said...

Best display of grief wins a bowl of rice. Second best display of grief wins a free trip to a barren Gulag.

Alfredo Triff said...

Very true.

Anonymous said...

Triff, excellent point. It's difficult to process since their government is so different from ours.

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