24 June, 2005

kim jong earworm

For years I’m made it a habit to stop by the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) site. Sometimes I visit because of news events, usually it’s just to get some amusement at how bad North Korean propaganda is. For instance, from yesterday, we have this gem of a report.:

Pyongyang, June 23 (KCNA) — Leading artistes of the State Academic
Moiseyev Dance Company of Russia on a visit to the DPRK were deeply
impressed to tour various revolutionary battle sites and revolutionary
sites in the area of Mt. Paektu, holy place of the revolution. Director
Elena Scherbakova, head of the dance company, said …
Standing on the peak of Mt. Paektu, I was convinced that Kim Jong Il’s
grit and pluck are just the same as the majestic appearance of Mt.
Paektu. The solemn and splendid appearance of Mt. Paektu is reminiscent
of his spirit.

Picture_4_2Now Dean Ismay informs me that Kim Jong Il, upset at his portrayal as a ‘ronery’ maniac in Team America, commissioned a South Korean company to come up with a response. The result is a must-see music video, available from Dean’s World.

Watch the video. It is the absolute funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks - and it’s surprisingly catchy too. If this was DPRK-commissioned, I fear that the North’s propaganda machine has taken an astounding leap forward.

Kim Jong-il has actually given me an earworm. F**kin’ USA!

(UPDATE: 19:46: Bill at INDC Journal notes in Dean’s comment section that the video pre-dates Team America. In that case, I suggest the Dear Leader sue Parker and Stone for appropriating his idea. I still have the earworm though.)

by @ 1:17 pm. Filed under Culture, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, North Korea

for the record

I completely agree with Rebecca McKinnion on everything in her most recent post. Read the whole thing, but here are the bullet points:

1. I am not calling for a boycott of China or of Cisco or any other companies.
2. I am in favor of free trade, I support capitalism, and I think trading with China is a good thing.
3. I don’t think legislation or political lobbying is completely useless.

I developed the ‘censored by Cisco advertisment’ on the left-hand sidebar, more of which are available here (I do encourage copying), because I believe it is the best way to bring attention to the censorship situation in China. The Great Firewall is a creation of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and they are the ones who should be blamed. But every blogger in the world could post a banner condemning censorship in China and the CPC would not give a toss.

Every blogger in the world could have a banner photo of Tank Man and the CPC would not give a toss.


by @ 8:22 am. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

world record watch (vi)

This post is not related to Asia, but it comes via Asia-focused blog the Paper Tiger so I consider it fair game. New York was hit by a flood of sticky Snapple after a public-relations exercise gone wrong.:

An attempt to raise the world’s largest ice pop in a city square ended
with a scene straight out of a disaster film — but much stickier.
25-foot-tall, 17 1/2-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster
than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with
kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for
higher ground.
Firefighters closed off several streets and used
hoses to wash away the sugary goo. Some passers-by slipped in the
puddles, but no serious injuries were reported.

Snapple’s press center remains conspicuously silent about the flooding, which more or less reminds me of how Xinhua usually acts.

by @ 7:43 am. Filed under World record watch

greenspan vs snow

Via the Asia Business Intelligence (ABI) blog, a summary of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s senate testimony on China’s currency.

Greenspan informs U.S. Congress that revaluing the renminbi will not increase manufacturing activity or jobs in the United State.
Listen to the entire testimony to the Senate Panel on U.S.-China Economic Relations. It was a spirited debate, with Greenspan and Snow face to face in the ring. One, and only one, of them at his rhetorical finest.

I agree… and it wasn’t Snow. Video is here:

click to launch (Real Player required)

Greenspan’s testimony starts at around 47 minutes, Snow’s testimony starts from 56 minutes. A copy of Greenspan’s testimony is also available here. Greenspan, sensibly, attacks the tariff that has been proposed in Congress should China not revalue its currency:

The broad tariff on Chinese goods that has recently been proposed, should it be implemented, would significantly lower U.S. imports from China but would comparably raise U.S. imports from other low-cost sources of supply. At only slightly higher prices than prevail at present, U.S. imports of textiles, light manufactures, assembled computers, toys, and similar products would in part shift from China as the final assembler to other emerging-market economies in Asia and, perhaps, in Latin America as well. Few, if any, American jobs would be protected.

Both Greenspan and Snow are worth listening to. The Senators, as ABI notes, have some entertainment value:

Several senators jumped on the pile, as they are wont to do. One performed an execrable impression of Mike Tyson chewing on Holyfield’s ear. (Holyfield won, nonetheless.) Worth your time, if only for entertainment value.

by @ 7:12 am. Filed under China, Money, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

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