North Koreans grieve loss of Dear Leader (Updated!)

You should have seen them when they lost the Stanley Cup [John Biggs]

Joe Sabia made a surreal Palin-interposition in the classic tradition of Sarah Palin Breathing:


    1. I think that I shall never see a boy as brave as Kim jong

      Hunger and thirst and fear and pain.

      He lived because his heart had aim!

      A horse, as black as night to day; a feast of God with whom
      he did stay.

      They slept in the sand and played in the ocean and rode over
      the island in a singular motion.

      And now here he sits, a hero among boys,

      with the love of a horse, much more than mere toys!

  1. I don’t know about you, but at our house we celebrated by eating Korean BBQ!
    So long dear leader, and thanks for all the Hennessy!

  2. There’s just something I find kind of scary about seeing people standing in formation to grieve hysterically.  

  3. I’ve seen 3 year olds fake crying more realistically. 

    What a strange, strange culture where this is seen as acceptible, even appropriate behavior. 

    On the other hand side, they pretty much act out what I feel when I see Egyptian government thugs beat women to pulp and breaking their rib cages by stomping on their chests. 

  4. A sincere outpouring of emotion, as seen in U.S. evangelical churches each and every Sunday. The emotional and mental malleability of human beings is so depressing. Won’t someone, anyone, give them some candy?! Sweet, sweet candy, clearly needed.

    1. It doesn’t actually have to be sincere, in any ‘internal’ sense. It’s simply a piece of performance. Professional mourners abound in many cultures, they’re paid to do it. Some states have simply removed the payment aspect and made it a social event. Other states abandon the practice entirely, at an official level, but will tolerate it as an expected, condoned, display of public hero (or heroine) worship. Yet others will prohibit it completely – but there aren’t too many of those around.

      1. I had read about the same hysterics in regards to the death of Kim’s father, Kim Il Sung. 
        Most NK communities have party officials and officers (who may or may not be known) that report on anyone who might seem to be less than enthusiastic about the ‘Dear Leader’, or thinking about fleeing to China or the south. You really don’t want to be reported since it typically involves persecution, forced camp internment, and a pretty lasting stain on your family’s reputation. So when the leader of your paranoid, tyrannical state dies, then you better not be the one who’s noticeably crying less than everyone else. 

    2. That is a fair observation.  Evangelical sects in South Korea often demonstrate the same sort of hysteria and are too often the corrupt, miniature domains of the preacher-types that rule them (sole-ownership and tax-exempt).  The fact that the current president of South Korea belongs to an evangelical sect speaks to how common this circumstance is there.

      1.  I’m no fan of religion, but it’s not sporting to compare forced worship of dictator with voluntary religious observance. And then further generalize it as a specific Korean ethos.

        1. Who said North Koreans were forced cry!? That is your opinion only and not fact. If you read up on the subject, you will find that many North Koreans are very sincere about their feelings towards their leadership even though quiet dissatisfaction is reportedly present.
          Also come to South Korea talk to some of the various church practitioners and see it for yourself then, sport.  I live in Seoul and have seen plenty crazy evangelicals for myself.

          Here are some links that you might check as common examples of what evangelical Christianity is like here:

  5. This is much more fulfilling than the usual 2 minutes of hate, and we get to go outside, too! And besides, we won’t be sad for too long, I mean, how could we, in this utopia?

  6. The ones bent over facepalming with sadness have the technique down pat. Maximum payout (soup) for minimal effort.

    1. They are crying because they know the sh*t is going to hit the fan now.  You rarely get nice smooth transitions in dictatorships.

    1. He’s saying “father” in Korean.  Basically the same script as a funeral, where public mourning is the norm.

  7. It is kind of hard for me to watch these people crying and find humor in it. From accounts of those who have escaped, they have been conditioned their entire lived to believe he is a god on Earth. Their pain is likely very genuine. 

      1. To what degree might that be due to different social cues in their country? Does a grief-stricken Vietnamese person look like a grief-stricken person in the country you live? (And I’m assuming with a name like Nathan Hornby that you’re not Vietnamese, so forgive me if I’m wrong.)

        1. oh please, that is not genuine emotion on display. as Ipo above stated, “I’ve seen 3 year olds fake crying more realistically.”

    1. I think it’s really more out of fear than genuine pain.  Anyone caught not grieving the dear leader would instantly be put in “prison” along with two generations worth of their families, no joke.  These people aren’t stupid, they’re trapped.

      1. absolutely

        this clip is at first humorous and then very disturbing. it shows that his legacy could be here for a lot longer yet…

  8. I suspect there was someone with a clip board checking off their names as they showed up.  “Hmm, Mr Kim wasn’t here.  Interesting…”

  9. The North Koreans never competed for Lord Stanley’s cup. Perhaps the headline is referencing the mourning of its theft in the 70’s.

  10. Dang, they even weep in choreographed unison. If the country doesn’t manage a peaceful transition of power they’ll be the only place on earth overrun by rioters who never break formation.

  11. Oh how we laugh at the suppressed and corralled.. Those with a gun to their heads are judged here for making laughable TV, while scant comment is passed on how much more real are our TV debates, our press releases, and our faux grief (at the passing of British princesses?)

    This kind of back-slapping, self-congratulatory dick waving is beneath boingboing. Or at least, it should be.

    1. Those with a gun to their heads are judged here for making laughable TV, while scant comment is passed on how much more real are our TV debates…

      I’m not sure where you’re writing from but mocking TV debates is a national pastime in the U.S.. In fact they’re the main reason Saturday Night Live tends to produce a few minutes of funny material every four years or so.

  12. Poor brainwashed citizens of N. Korea. Their undeserved affection is almost akin to Stockholm Syndrome.

  13. More propaganda, as always. Not that it’s all fake, based on what they’re educated to believe. It’s a level of brain-washing we can’t comprehend in our world.

    I suggest reading “The Cleanest Race” by B.R. Myers— he got his PhD in North Korean Studies in Germany (who knew there was a degree program for this), and has been to NK quite a bit.

  14. Remember the  Solzhenitsyn anecdote?Secret police ready to arrest the first person who STOPS crying.

      1. I think I’ll need a lot of booze and opiates but I was thinking of cutting one to something terrible like Creed, Winger, or (shudder) Nickleback. Ok not the last one that’s TOO terrible for me

  15. i do believe there is genuine emotion there.  just not sure what it is.  i also find it interesting that the mourners never touch each other.  no hugs.  no comforting hand on a shoulder.  i was hugging everyone on 9/12/01. cultural, or someone just forgot to put it in the instructions?

    … this “comment” sat on my screen for two days because i didn’t see the the “post” button.  PRK plot?

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