North Korea's woman traffic-cops and the robotic mime they do

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111 Responses to “North Korea's woman traffic-cops and the robotic mime they do”

  1. GeekMan says:

    There is something fascinating about this, besides the obvious fact that they’re attractive young women in snappy uniforms.

    I think we forget sometimes that before machines and computers really started rolling, there were a lot of jobs that were done by humans. Morse code / telegraph operators come to mind. One day, a better machine showed up, and they were replaced. Their only skill being the best damn code repeater around.

    In the West, if we have what we perceive as being a “crappy job”, then we simply can’t be bothered to do it well, ever. Even if doing a good job may lead to a better job, and so on. Call the dedication to duty brainwashing if you will, but sooner or later, the rest of the world’s dedication to duty is going to catch up with the laurels North America is currently resting on.

    Lastly, let me say that there are many times when I would appreciate a good old-fashioned traffic cop to cold, mindlessly egalitarian approach of computer-controlled traffic lights.

    • calvert4096 says:

      @Geekman, I guess you have a good point, but that certainly wasn’t my first reaction to this. There are probably countless examples around the world of people taking pride in performing well at a job many Americans would consider beneath them. This being North Korea, my reaction to this was more of sympathetic fear more than admiration. These folks are heavily brainwashed, but I would venture that neither that nor professional pride provide the primary motivation for doing her job well. Being brainwashed doesn’t mean one is stupid or desensitized to fear. What if there’s an accident in that intersection on here watch? What if she makes her supervisor look bad by screwing up? I figure there’s a good chance that a mistake could possibly win her and her family tickets to Happy Gulag-Land *heavy sarcasm*, and she is well aware of that.

      If the price of having a sharp-looking one-lady drill team at every intersection is a system of government reminiscent of a bad Orwellian acid trip, I’ll take the automated traffic lights.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a related video YouTube links to at the end “NK Traffic copy gets mad at mini” (just search for “gets mad at Mini”. Watch it until the end, just after she shoos it away….

  3. pjcamp says:

    North Korea has traffic?

  4. Anonymous says:

    South Korea has similarly redundant traffic-direction, only on a smaller scale.

    Where I live in Mokpo, SK, various department stores have Korean employees who move and gesture robotically… to help guide cars into the parking garage. To a westerner, it’s redundant to the extreme. However, I was told the presence of a moving person prevents Koreans from parking *in front* of the entrance.

  5. Crashproof says:

    She’s always perpendicular to the traffic flow. I think she actually is directing/signaling traffic, not just doing some kind of weird dance. It was hard to tell at first though.

  6. Gag Halfrunt says:

    Meanwhile, Russia Today has the scoop on North Korean Red Star Linux (via North Korean Economy Watch).

  7. Anonymous says:

    Even as a dude, I’m getting quite sick of Boing Boing’s “hot girl doing (something)” posts. NK is cool, but the world is filled with hot girls, get over the fact that they exist and are able to do things.

    First of all, you are marginalizing people’s achievements by feeling the need to preface them with a physical description. Maybe some of your female editors can start posting “Pasty slightly obese guy uses Arduino to (something)” stories to tip the scales?

    More importantly, I just see those types of posts as a reminder at how pathetic the male internet nerd has become. Even just occasionally, drop the rockband guitars, iphones and social networks and actually get outside and talk to some of these “hot chicks”. When doing so, it might be best to not mention how many hours you spend on the internet watching “hot chicks”.

    Mike

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Even as a dude, I’m getting quite sick of Boing Boing’s “hot girl doing (something)” posts

      The word “hot” does not appear in the post. It’s not our fault that some commenters can’t see a woman online without trying to hump the monitor.

      • jtegnell says:

        Anon #53 said:

        “Even as a dude, I’m getting quite sick of Boing Boing’s “hot girl doing (something)” posts”

        Mod Antonius #58 said:

        “The word “hot” does not appear in the post. It’s not our fault that some commenters can’t see a woman online without trying to hump the monitor.”

        I’m going to semi-back up anonymous here with the caveat that this one posting isn’t necessarily a clear example.

        But there certainly ARE plenty of “hot girl doing (something)” posts on BB. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen nice looking girls on YouTube playing mediocre ukulele crap postings.

        Regarding THIS posting — I’d be honestly surprised if being a hot girl didn’t play a major factor in selection for this particular job by the people in NK who make the hiring decision.

        If it didn’t play a factor, and if NK had their traffic directed by the middle aged men that probably make up the bulk of their cop personnel, would BB have a posting about it? Would we even take enough notice in the west to put up the YouTube postings so that BB can link to them? Somehow I doubt it, but that’s just conjecture.

    • Mark Frauenfelder says:

      Cory neither said nor implied that that was a post about a “hot girl doing (something).” The thing you are sick of is the false assumption your suspicious mind churned out.

  8. Anonymous says:

    NK Child: “Mommy, what do you for your job”
    NK Traffic Lady: “Well, I do a repetitive and totally useless job that every other nation that has electricity has replaced with a set of lights and a controlling computer”.
    NK Child: “Mommy, what are other nations?”
    NK Child: “Mommy, what’s electricity?”
    NK Child: “Mommy, what’s a computer?”

  9. Choscura says:

    First impression:

    “Haha, She’s directing nothing!”

    then the truck drove by.

    Second impression:

    “it can’t cost much to make a few light bulbs and automate this. Why are they wasting everybody’s time training people to do this?”

  10. Tylith says:

    In Taiwan they really do just use robots =)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM-OECEdVMg

  11. Blue says:

    DON’T YOU SEE?!

    This bickering and in-fighting is EXACTLY what Kim Jong-il wants us to do! Dividing us against ourselves so he can bring down Western civilization! And all with the help of our very-own corrupt and decadent YouTube!

    DON’T YOU SEE?!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s a superstitious thing, perhaps. Always turning widdershins.

  13. lewis stoole says:

    actually, sievetronix makes a good point, and i would say that you are having a knee jerk reaction to someone else’s comment.

  14. mdh says:

    Have you seen the NK stadium shows? tens of thousands of people (or children) moving in unison. Those moving backgrounds are the people in the seats.

    Give just 25% of them guns and you have quite an army.

  15. hisdevineshadow says:

    Sh’s th sm dmn wy n bd.

    Now I know you’re withholding on us! When I originally saw this it read “She’s the same damn way in bed” which cause Geeklawgirl to “Oh, really? Nice. How about we talk about your tiny member next? Keep your misogynistic comments to yourself.” which lead me to reply “I was going to comment about how pretty NK women in uniform seem (almost part time supermodel pretty) but geeklawgirl put the fear of feminism in me!” which lead Yamara to comment “And why should you fear equality so… Stanley Tweedle? ;)” which I consider an hideous insult.

    So my point is…where is the app that converters unreadable text into readable posts?

  16. zikman says:

    counter-clockwise… to go with the flow of traffic.

  17. anansi133 says:

    This video seems to imply a few things:

    Auto travel in NK is not so widespread as to demand an efficient signal system.

    Given any chance to show off coordinated dancing skills in an oppresive regime, that chance will be taken.

    I’m far more disturbed by the coordinated dance routines that happen in the bleachers of large stadiums. “No spectators, only participants” indeed!

  18. mgfarrelly says:

    There seems to be a rising tide of North Korean interest online of late. Roger Ebert was just tweeting about these traffic cops as well as Gawker going on about them.

    Forgive me for concern trolling, but I can’t help but feel awful for these women. They live in a society that is, in essence, a nation-wide cult. They’ve been cut off from the rest of the world by a regime that’s so cartoonish it wouldn’t even make the cut for a modern James Bond movie.

    Vice magazine did a video tour of NK a while back and in the final part they played some off-brand punk karaoke music for their NK handlers. The Vice guys realize that the music is so alien, so bizarre, because these are people who have been time-locked in the 1950′s. They never had jazz or rock or any music seeping in. It’s a nation lost in time.

    So yea, the acrobatics are weird and goofy. But imagine if that is what you have been trained for your whole life. If you believe that Great Leader (who is dead) and his Son (who is a nutter) want you to be doing just that til the day you die in a nation where millions are starving.

    It’s just not so funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you underestimate the intelligence of the North Koreans if you think they believe in the personal cult. I think a more typical misconception is that “they may be bad, but Abroad is bad too”. A dictator needs only to manipulate the public opinion so that:

      Cost of rebellion > Dictator rule – Alternative

      Where Cost of rebellion is the fear factor, Dictator rule is how bad the dictator is and Alternative is what would happen if he were toppled. So, keep them in fear and make them believe that the outside world hates the nation, and it doesn’t matter much if the personality cult is not believed in private. In public they will go through the motions (and make the dictator feel loved).

  19. ackpht says:

    I wonder who is driving around North Korea in a powder-blue Mercedes. Some animals are more equal than others.

    • Michael Smith says:

      The vehicles on the road there don’t seem much different from South Korea. The exception would be the guy pushing a bike and carrying a load of some kind. They seem to have more mini vans than would be normal in the south and the cars seem well cared for, especially the older ones.

      I wondered about the guy on the opposite corner who hangs around in the field of view, and the school girl with the heavy backpack. Generally people seemed better off than I might have thought.

      • joeposts says:

        only lucky, well-connected NK citizens get to live in Pyongyang. It’s the best place to live – there are almost no pictures from the rest of the country, and the stories from refugees are horrifying. I’ve always been fascinated by their level of information control.

    • joeposts says:

      heh.. from wikipedia: “There are not as many private automobiles as in Western cities, although the state government operates a sizeable fleet of Mercedes-Benz limousines for Party bureaucrats.”

      I read some article about a tour through the subway system – they only let tourists on at a few stops, everything is impeccable, and the writer suspected it was all faked for his benefit.

      • Jonathan Badger says:

        No, the metro system is a very real form of transportation in Pyongyang, given that relatively few people have cars and bicycles are “discouraged” in Pyongyang despite being common elsewhere in NK because the authorities think it makes their capital city look less “modern”.

        I don’t get the whole “metro system is a fake” conspiracy theory even though several tourist memoirs insinuate that this is the case. A better image of what Pyongyang is like (well, late 1980s Pyongyang anyway) can be found in Andrew Holloway’s book “A Year in Pyongyang”. Holloway, a Briton, lived in Pyongyang for about a year as an reviser of English-language publications — and he rode the metro regularly.

        He also mentions the traffic ladies– and how the job was viewed as rather prestigious and that the traffic ladies liked to wear their uniform even off duty for the respect it granted them.

        • joeposts says:

          NK went through a lot of rough times in the 1990s, so it’s possible that book is out of date. The ‘faking’ was more to do with the timing of the traveling workers, not the subway itself. Wish I could find it. Maybe you’re right – their subway can’t be worse than the TTC, anyways, lol.

          Here’s some good pics of the metro (Russian):

          http://www.tema.ru/travel/north-korea-4/

        • DEL says:

          Couple things
          a) the “metro system is fake” Vice implies they are only shown the “pretty stops” the basic functionality stops are hidden. They also think that the metro system is constrained, not a fully useful system in the sense that everyone can use it. As said before: only the lucky are in Pyongyang -and only the luckier live close to the line.

          Can’t you use a little critical thinking and see that visitors have all had the same observations? No doubt there is some propaganda but really…

          • Jonathan Badger says:

            Obviously North Korea is an impoverished, unfair society of a type that has been extinct in the rest of the world for about twenty years, and yes, no doubt the tour guides show a very selective subset of their country to outsiders. And Pyongyang is where the relatively better off North Koreans live, just as Moscow was the desirable place to live in the Soviet Union where things were much better than in the boonies. But just like Soviet Moscow, Pyongyang isn’t a stage set for the benefit of tourists.

            I just don’t like the attitude of some tourists that assume that everything is done for their benefit — the people that assume that workers are commuting on the metro to impress tourists, or that they are smiling on government orders or some such thing are the ones that don’t seem to be using critical thinking. Really, tourists aren’t so important as all that. People live, go to work, fall in love, feel happy everywhere — even in socialist dictatorships.

          • Tom Hale says:

            “People live, go to work, fall in love, feel happy everywhere — even in socialist dictatorships.”

            Yes. But mothers and fathers in socialist dictatorships don’t love their children as we do.

          • joeposts says:

            NK has made great strides in ensuring family togetherness. If daddy or mommy gets in trouble, the little ones go off to the re-education camps with them! And maybe the grandparents too!

  20. Antinous / Moderator says:

    That’s obviously a giant holo-emitter.

  21. Antinous / Moderator says:

    It’s amazing how we manage to be misogynists and feminazis at the same time.

    • mujadaddy says:

      It’s amazing how we manage to be misogynists and feminazis at the same time.

      But you so are! rofl

    • Yamara says:

      It’s amazing how we manage to be misogynists and feminazis at the same time.

      I think I added to the confusion by putting ‘hotties’ in unscare-quotes (i.e. the APOSTROPHES). It may have skewed the dichotomous nature of some people’s thinking about attractiveness.

      However, the YouTube title is insidiously there to be reacted to. Oh the tangled web, Horatio.

  22. blueelm says:

    Great. Now I forsee a slew of cute girls playing dumb songs poorlly on ukes in the future. I usually just skip them, but that’s only because it’s not an instrument I think so highly of that the sheer act of picking one up merits attention. That being said if ever I ended up on boingboing (ah but I play all the wrong instruments), I wouldn’t mind if it was only because some one thought I was hot. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people like to look at posts about attractive people doing things. It’s part of the human condition. Things are, for many of us, more interesting if an attractive person’s involved. There’s nothing sexist about this. And it doesn’t marginalize less-attractive folks unless you let it.

    (BB Editors: Please don’t stop posting videos involving attractive people. I will miss them. On the flip side, please don’t avoid posting something interesting just because it doesn’t have attractive people in it. I don’t suspect any of you would ever do that, but no harm in stating it. )

  24. Pantograph says:

    Can somebody please translate this into Korean for me?


    Dear Leader, I think your traffic system is great, but might I suggest that the metal upright in the island be replaced by a stainless steel pole in the center and that the choreography will be altered to include said pole in the act? This would greatly benefit both my uniform fetish and the glory of your nation.

  25. blueelm says:

    Well the only time sexism comes into is if you are arguing that the gaze is assumed to be hetero male, and that females are inherently objects for sexual contemplation. I’m not really in the spirit to make that argument, but I believe that would be the premise of a call of sexism in this instance.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I dont know about robot-like. Just seems like normal parade ground drill. Perhaps their traffic wardens/officers are based on a military system (looking at the uniform this seems likely).

  27. sic transit gloria C.F.A. says:

    Yes, well, given the kind of government they have there, the poor girl’s mind may be more similar to a robot than a human being.

  28. Tom Hale says:

    I wouldn’t go so far to say the traffic chicks are hot but they are definitely cute -as a button. Now, hem that skirt a few inches above the knee and we’d be in ‘hot’ territory. Oh, and add go go boots – now that would be awesome!

  29. jtegnell says:

    I’d be curious to know how many of these women get smooshed. Seems like an extraordinarily dangerous job — standing in the middle of a busy intersection hour after hour after hour. I’d think statistically it would be just a matter of time.

  30. adamnvillani says:

    “a regime that’s so cartoonish it wouldn’t even make the cut for a modern James Bond movie.”

    Actually, “Die Another Day” opened in North Korea. The real North Korea is probably worse than portrayed in the movie, though.

  31. Anonymous says:

    You know, traffic policemen have actually been pretty common worldwide for a long time, and they actually still are even in many “modern” nations. She’s a bit melodramatic in her movements, but apart from that I don’t really see what’s so funny or “inferior” about her.

    I would suggest a couple of topics to think about:

    * How exactly the Western nations, where you can be arrested for taking a tourist photograph, where you are constantly CCTVed, where the concept of “extraordinary rendition” was born, etc. would be intrinsically more free than NK? To me, it is just more hypocritical.

    * Is the automatic need to diss foreign cultures in general just juvenile, or is it another form of cultural “brainwashing”? You know, as a non-Northamerican, some comments read just sad.

  32. deckard68 says:

    Sh’s th sm dmn wy n bd.

    • geeklawgirl says:

      Oh, really? Nice. How about we talk about your tiny member next? Keep your misogynistic comments to yourself.

      • Talia says:

        Lighten. Up. I didn’t see any mention of any body parts in his comments, therefore your “comeback” is not equivalent (his comment might equally reply to a male traffic “robot” if such existed).

        There are probably bigger things in the world to get outraged about.

      • Anony Mouse says:

        All I know about it is that it rotates anti-clockwise…

  33. Anonymous says:

    The heavy backpack on the schoolchild?

    Ummm…you can see that in any suburb in Australia.

  34. tobergill says:

    Whatever you feel about Korea, if you were to try recording uniformed manoeuvers like this in the UK you’d get arrested as a terrorist….just saying…..

  35. knowles says:

    those crazy koreans and their superhuman APM.

  36. Lupin Yonsei says:

    Juche, man. Juche.

  37. Teapunk says:

    North Korea seems to have a tourism initiative thing going at the moment, there were some articles about traveling in North Korea in several papers lately (the British Guardian and the German magazine Spiegel, probably more around).
    From what I’ve read, North Korea seems to be quite proud of the traffic girls, only the prettiest have a chance to get one of those prestigious jobs.
    I wonder what she’s thinking – all for the greater glory of the beloved leader? What’s for dinner tonight? Will the cute guy in his pretty car smile at me again today?

  38. IamInnocent says:

    Not that I commend whatever is happening in NK, of which I truly know very little and of which I’d be hard pressed to find out what the part of Western propaganda but…

    I am aghast at seeing the regular flow of conditioned reactions that pours from almost every comment with barely a pause for humor and another for outrage. But we are easily excused of course since our automaton technology is so much better than theirs.

    • teapot says:

      Totally hilarious how manny comments here illustrate that the western propaganda machine is as powerful, if not more, than NK’s.

      While we all know that NK tries to paint a rosy picture of their dire circumstances, it’s not like these people are different to you or me. Were there free-thinking minds in the USSR? Did art, literature, philosophy and music continue, albeit through underground channels? Did the western propaganda of the time suggest otherwise? Yes. So why are people so quick to assume their presumptions about North Koreans are correct?

      Anywhoo…. it is odd that NK supposedly has nukes and pretty decent ICBMs but, according to this website, no operational traffic lights in Pyongyang… which would explain the need for these traffic girls. Also on the same page is a pic of a late-model Volvo 4WD and Chrysler people mover, as well as some pics of a NK made car.

      Anyone got any good links to info on NK drug trafficking?

  39. dogugotw says:

    Wow, takes me back. Between ’64 & ’68 we lived on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa while may dad was stationed there. The base hired Okinawans to direct traffic. Man, were they awesome. They didn’t just wave traffic along, they DIRECTED traffic flow. They were uniformed and had whistles and moved like dancers. Clean, crisp arm movements with pointed hands, left face/right face moves to turn 90 degrees, just very cool. I really miss those guys.

  40. misterfricative says:

    North Korea has traffic?

  41. Gag Halfrunt says:

    There’s an entire website dedicated to the Pyongyang traffic policewomen.

  42. mdh says:

    Forgive me for concern trolling

    Forgive me for insulting yer mom.

  43. Anonymous says:

    “hot girl doing (nothing)” would be Seattle. ;) or if you add “…in an urban wasteland.” we could use Detroit.

  44. S2 says:

    I am Bender; please insert girder.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone translate the traffic cops gestures into anything meaningful to the traffic around her? I cannot.

    I figure she is not directing traffic as much as getting people to slow down, and notice it themselves.

  46. GeekMan says:

    Indeed, perhaps earlier today Cory saw this on the internet and had the same mixed bag of emotions. Realizing the glorious firestorm of socio-political commentary that it would ignite, he posted it.

    And the rest is history…

    • blueelm says:

      Hahaha… although his cunning ploy was revealed, no doubt the evil Mr. Doctorow will nonetheless force us to look at some steampunk case mods before he loses our attention!

      • GeekMan says:

        Hahaha… although his cunning ploy was revealed, no doubt the evil Mr. Doctorow will nonetheless force us to look at some steampunk case mods before he loses our attention!

        One would hope! And though I’m pretty sure you’re being facetious for humour’s sake, please allow me to clarify my position so there are no more misunderstandings.

        I like to think that some of the boingboing heads (including Cory) take a sort of post-modernist view to their postings. They see something, it’s fascinating, it provokes thought, so they post it.

        WE, the readers, provide the context and analysis. The posted item is interesting precisely because it provokes thought, provokes reaction. It has no intrinsic symbolic meaning or subtext except for those which we provide. We can choose the meaning to be aesthetically attractive, sexist, political, commentary on work-ethics, or whatever we want, just by discussing it.

        For me, that’s part of what makes boingboing’s directory of wonderful things great: it occasionally comes unencumbered by socio-political baggage. “Here’s North Korea’s traffic ladies: discuss.”

        And we do.

  47. Enoch_Root says:

    Ahh her robotic grace shames the imperialist puffery of the decadent west http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-yBc8txHaA

  48. imajication says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem unlikely that she’s really having any affect on the traffic? Her movements are much to fast to be like a stop light, and she doesn’t seem to be interacting with normal cars.

    Perhaps it makes more sense if you’re actually there.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t think she was having any effect either. And then I wondered if she shoots lasers out of her eyeballs at cars who don’t follow her directions. What else could she do, throw her baton?

  49. ackpht says:

    A satellite view of Pyongyang shows many buildings and streets but very few vehicles. The traffic there is probably pretty light by rest-of-the-world big city standards.

  50. deckard68 says:

    Wow, a fictional comment disemvoweled! Try to understand the concept that if a comment is made from a perspective that is impossible (such as that of the character who claimed she was the same way in other circumstances — a perspective no one could possibly know!), then it cannot possibly be a reflection of reality. Don’t be so literal. There’s a meta level.

  51. Jim O'Connell says:

    Consider for a moment that perhaps this young woman has what is considered a prestigious and honorable job and decides to put her heart into it and do it impeccably and with pride and precision.

    Also consider for a moment that she is not unaware of the foreigner pointing a camera, a camera that she could likely never afford at her while she did said job…

    She’s wise to do it as though she was performing an Olympic floor routine.

    If you stand on the first car of the Tokyo subway and look into the driver’s cab, you will see him (always a him) sitting arrow straight, doing practiced and precise hand signals, pointing at each dial and gauge as he should, reciting “doors, yosh! Speed yosh! Signal yosh!” as though he was taking his first train driver exam, under the nose of a by-the-book examiner, even though nobody but himself will typically hear him.

    Some people do their jobs well and do them with pride at the expense of self-expression and individuality. Sadly, this has become a laughable thing in the West…

    STFU&GBTW

    • peterbruells says:

      @Jim We can’t tell at all if she does her job well.

      We don’t even know whar’s her main objective: To actually direct traffic or to repeat a drilled-in steps.

      Personally, I’d prefer anyone who’s lax on outer appearance, but who actually does his job to someone who’s perfect in following procedure but helpless or disinterested in what his job means.

      • sievetronix says:

        If you watch that video it is pretty obvious she is doing her job… she looks around, checks traffic, and then waves traffic through. North Korea is a shit society to be sure but to reduce everyone and everything in it to some cartoonish stereotype is pretty lame.

        • usonia says:

          Having a reactionary, knee jerk reaction to every comment that could possibly in some way marginalize something is pretty lame. If you watch that video, its pretty obvious that she looks like a robot. At least when you don’t live in a humorless, grey little cloud of political correction.

          • sievetronix says:

            I never mentioned anything about her not looking like a robot…

            no.

            wait let me scroll up…. looking… looking ummm wait… oh nope. nothing about her not looking like a robot.

            I said she wasn’t a robot nothing about her looking like a robot. But thats close enough for you. you win that one. gold star for you.

            My thoughts have nothing to do with political correctness and have everything to do with not just interpreting you see through a narrow lens of good guy/ bad guys, us/them. That is lazy thinking. Lazy thinking is also trotting out the phrase politically correct or humorless whenever someone says something you don’t agree with.

  52. hisdevineshadow says:

    I was going to comment about how pretty NK women in uniform seem (almost part time supermodel pretty) but geeklawgirl put the fear of feminism in me!

  53. Jamie Sue says:

    O gosh! Aren’t they pretty? They look like little ballerinas. I bet they are really good at their jobs, they seem to take it very seriously.

  54. sievetronix says:

    She is a person not a robot not brainwashed (or at least not brainwashed to the extent any society brainwashes its prople)

    I wish we could get past the hey look it them our hated enemy see how different from us they are thing. Remember how Soviet Russians were always portrayed as cold, unemotional and robotic as it turns out they were anything but.

    What I gather from this is that her job, being uniformed in all is probably has the same rigor and intensity as being in the military. And along with the military mentality if she isn’t doing a precise and regimented job she is subject to superiors and officers who give her unending shit if her job isn’t performed correctly. following this line of reasoning if she is like any military person i have ever known the second she is off the job and out of uniform she is running around with her underwear on her head a drink in each hand screaming at the top of her lungs.

  55. blueelm says:

    Damn it. Not in before sexist comments, “Haha only joking retort,” OR “OMG poor me!” feminist bashing. I must make an effort to wake earlier!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Probably not a problem in NK, but when the traffic is very heavy, a person can direct it more efficiently than a stoplight. I recall in DC at the intersection of 1st and constitution NE during the evening rush hour they turned the traffic light off and used a policeman to direct traffic. And yes, he directed traffic with style. I later discovered that he was the person who taught traffic direction at the police academy. Post 9/11 it is a much quieter intersection

  57. Anonymous says:

    A short film on the same topic: Pyongyang Robogirl
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363001/

  58. hisdevineshadow says:

    I have the advantage of being on the east coast and just getting off work!

  59. Anonymous says:

    The squat the guy does at 11 seconds is something many North Koreans (and other Asian people) do to relax.

  60. benher says:

    She’s directing moving traffic. I think as a driver I’d prefer her ‘robotic’ gestures to be on point, wouldn’t you?

    Oh wait, we’re on to discussing ‘heterosexual male urges are teh represshunnz?’ Damn. I just wanted to talk about her gosh-darn big hat.

  61. Yamara says:

    Actually, in looking at the video, it doesn’t come off as nearly so “robotic” as the comments suggest. There’s a military precision, and it’s something better suited to a traffic light than a traffic cop, but it doesn’t look that weird.

    Cory is, as always, entirely entitled to his opinion and choice of headline. Eviscerate away, says I. I’m just not as startled by the vid, I guess. Expecting an NK Ms. Roboto or something.

    It is Kim Jong Il that has let us down.

    I imagine our NYC cops’ body language of “You don’t know what I’m capable of” would look alien and offensive to other cultures. And we have our ‘hotties’, too.

  62. pyota says:

    and now we dance

  63. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I would like to fold the planet so that she is spinning in front of the guys sitting on the bench in Whitney, TX.

  64. nanuq says:

    “I would like to fold the planet so that she is spinning in front of the guys sitting on the bench in Whitney, TX.”

    Isn’t that pretty much what Youtube does?

  65. hombrelobo says:

    I recorded this video in Seoul of a woman bowing to all the cars getting in and out of a parking lot: http://hombrelobo.com/hombrelobotv/la-chica-que-saluda-a-los-coches/

  66. Anonymous says:

    @hombrelobo : she looks even more robotic than the NK women. I gather she is not even controlling the traffic???

    ps: did you notice the peasant with the push trolley in the background of the vedayo? (so sorry, bow, couldn’t help myself)

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