Korea, Organizational Psych, Mass Games–Ruminations

      I haven’t caught a mouse or seen one for weeks!  Well, tonight I was washing my delicates in the sink, and then I saw one running across the floor, bold as you please!  A gray mouse!  I yelled and grabbed the toilet plunger and chased after him, but he escaped underneath the couch, and even though I moved it out from the wall, I could not discern where he’d gone.  Where’d he go?  Was he teleported?  Beamed up to the Starship Enterprise?  

    I bleach the heck out of the bird trays and place the feeders way above the ground!  I lock up ALL the pet and human food!  Why do these mice come around?  

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      Anyway…I found my favorite scene(s) in one of my favorite movies online.  It’s from a documentary called A State of Mind.  The film is about the Mass Games, an athletic and artistical celebration of culture and political ideology in North Korea.  It is huge choreographed theater with gymnastics, dancing, military parade, and screenplay.  They’re not fooling around.  There is no equivalent ritual in any other country in the world that I am aware of. 

      The film follows a few adolescent  girls who are training to perform in the Games. They are wealthy and privileged by the standards of their society.  They get up before dawn to practice gymnastic routines in their bare feet on concrete, in the outdoors.  They rehearse relentlessly.  Their dedication and professional pride is touching.  

       I’ve watched this film ten times, and I still can’t believe what I’m looking at.  Have you ever seen anything like this?  Ever?  Can you even conceive of it? 


 

   What does this performance provoke in you..?  Revulsion?  Exhilaration?  Does it make you afraid?  Or envious?  Do you admire them?  All of the above?  

     These people are totally in tune with the psychology of their organization.  They are like a hive, a school of fish, a flock of starlings.  They are intimately connected with the genetic determination which makes humans community animals. 

      Look at the tremendous energy and strength they derive from this.  

      My father was stationed in South Korea for years before I was born.  Culturally, he was very western civ and American, but he had total respect for various aspects of Korean ethos. Those cats get shit done.  He’d say that we could end illegal immigration overnight if we hired Koreans to man and patrol the border.  

      North Korea has very few natural resources.  It’s dirt poor and more than half of its economy goes towards its military.  It is the most secretive nation on earth and I have no doubt that the oppression and cruelty practiced by the state are even worse than we know (I usually believe that people get the government that they deserve, but North Korea is a rare exception–those people are literally being held hostage by their government). 

       I wouldn’t mess with them.  Anyone who does should go loaded for bear.  I’d tangle with Pakistan, or even Russia, before I’d confront Korea.  

      One last thing to consider: why is a country like Mexico or Brazil, which is blessed land and natural resources, poor and corrupt and chaotic, while South Korea is doing pretty great…?    


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