Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A stagnant society

The tourist will be shown all the achievements; the state likes you to see not realizing that all the repetitions only show stagnation. The revolutionary opera isn’t playing any more, because everybody has seen the plays of Kim Il Song ad nauseam. Lots of free seats at the Arirang performance, maybe even more performers than spectators; seats filled with military personel. You see the buildings in movie town and imagine how movie after movie of the same topic is produced. You see the war museum (Victorious War Museum!) and while being dragged along every rifle and tank you wonder why people still live mentally in post-war Korea, especially if they think of themselves as the victorious side. Work on the fields is manual work.

Where could be a motivation to change, when developments out of the strict line of the party are ostracized?

You can’t just pay a visit to the next city. You need a special permit. And don’t forget there is hardly any public transport. You don’t see relatives. You don’t meet secretely with people, who’d want to overturn this state like yourself.

And then you see some fragile plants growing: people use cell phones, small endeavours like selling cigarettes. The cell phone net is only for priveledged people, but even they like to have South Korean or Chinese SIM cards to be able to communicate with the outside world. But I think the small vendours are the indicator for changes that are about to come to a stagnant society. It takes only a snow ball to start an avalanche.

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