News from North Korea-On the Campaign Trail

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Here’s a little news item from the so-called Korean News Agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.

“New Ice Physical Acrobatics Created Pyongyang, August 4 (KCNA) — The Pyongyang Circus has recently created the ice physical acrobatic suite “Young People on the Ice”. The suite consists of more than 10 items, including Plastic Rotation Etude, Plastic Etude with a Ring, Stunt with Pigeons and Handstands, which show the might of the Songun Korea in a wonderful formative artistic way and Stunt with a Whip and Rope-skipping feat based on folk amusements of the nation. Ice acrobatics showing colorful stunts and rhythmic movements to the accompaniment of beautiful music on an icy ground were put on the stage for the first time in the DPRK in July Juche 78 (1989). The then acrobatic pieces applied in a comprehensive way the action, performance, dance and stage arts with stunt as the main. After that ice acrobatics have developed as ice physical acrobatics in which performers’ physical functions are displayed on a high stage. The ice physical acrobatics keep the inherent national features alive and are full of high interest. The ice physical acrobatics which were performed in the form of short pieces in the past have developed into ice physical acrobatic suite which is socialist in content and national in form.”

OK, it’s laughable, and that’s one of the reasons that I posted it. But it’s also disturbing in its all-consuming craziness. An “ice physical acrobatic suite which is socialist in content”? That’s the very essence of totalitarianism-the belief that every aspect of human endeavour is somehow linked to and controlled by an overarching ideology. That’s what the Jihadits in Iraq and Afghanistan believe, and that’s what some of the extreme loonies on left and right in our own country believe.

We ought to be profoundly grateful for our own gently crazy diversity, so nicely exemplified by the roster of candidates for the nation’s highest office. In what other country would we see folks as entertainingly different as Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mitt Romney, Barrack Obama, Fred Thompson, and Hillary Clinton? And that goes double for their spouses, who include among their number a 29 year-old, 6’2″ former model with flaming red hair and a pierced tongue (Kucinich), an alarmingly pretty, and equally tough-minded political consultant (Thompson), a delightfully traditional mother of five (Romney), and a former President with a sometimes roving eye (do I have to tell you?).

And best of all, every one of these candidates, and every one of their spouses, support and celebrate the rich clamor and tumult of this country, and the system that made it possible for them to be, or pretend to be, credible candidates for the presidency.

It’s called capitalism.

Is this a great country, or what??!!