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Footage of synchronized mass mourning for Kim Jong-il is unsettling

While most of the globe seems pretty okay that Kim Jong-il is quite dead, things are considerably more doleful in North Korea. North Korean state news has released footage of the public mourning en masse in Pyongyang today.


It's unclear how much of this is sincere, how much is coerced, and how much is just keeping up with appearances, but it's certain that even newscasters can't get off the hook in the hermit kingdom. After death, will the ironclad grip of the dictator's personality cult grow even stronger, now that it's unfettered from the mortal coil? Hat tip to Morgan.


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Corpore Metal

People were this way for Stalin and Zhou Enlai too. And Pol Pot—at least in the Khmer Rouge compound, the rest of Cambodia was too young to remember him, but they did remember all the land mines. They cried in Hitler's bunker too.

And sure, probably a lot of it is staged or faked out of fear, but the point is people get very weird about dictators. It's kind of like the children of abusive parents. Or it's how torture victims, deprived of everything else, fall into a kind of Stockholm Syndrome with their tormentors.

People are weird.