Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Korean tweets

As reported in the Globe and Mail today, Dear Leader Kim Jong-il of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is now tweeting--or, at least, his government is. What purports to be his personal site, in which he describes himself as the "Official Twitter" of the DPRK, is empty. Are we being twitted?

Truth to tell, I didn't find the page all that interesting--same old, same old--but then I happened upon another North Korean Twitter page, belonging to someone calling himself "bannerofjuche."

Quick background note: the "juche idea," originating with the immortal Kim Il-Sung, replaced Marxism-Leninism as the state ideology of North Korea. I've never quite grasped it. A mixture of national self-reliance and idol worship, from the sound of it. The Dear Leader himself is little short of a god. In the DPRK, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Now, no mere North Korean citizen, spending his waking hours out foraging for grass and tree bark to feed his starving family, has the time, the money or, more importantly, the official permission to tweet. So what we have here is a spokesperson for the regime. Indeed, his website appears conclusive in that respect.

"DPRK Patriot," as he calls himself, has an interesting bio:

I like kimchi, Dear Leader, social network, songun politics. I dislike Amerikkka, capitalism, international jew, jazz.

The implied preference here for pickled cabbage over Kim Jong-il does not appear to be a hanging offence. As for the apparent anti-Semitism, no fear. The "international jew" reference no doubt has suffered in translation, because "DPRK Patriot" suggests, if I have the syntax right, that Barack Obama is Jewish. And that's clearly untrue--everybody knows he's a Muslim.

Amerikkka is recently steal Dear Leader prized satellite and put in ocean! Death to Obama the brigandish jew capitalism warmonger dog!

"DPRK Patriot"'s latest tweet describes Pyongyang as a "worker paradise of fruit and piano." We are directed to a video that shows how North Koreans live today. Could I be wrong about that "
grass and tree bark" thing?

All of which makes this video entirely believable. I've asked "DPRK Patriot" if the project is still on schedule. Stay tuned.

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