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(Cracked)   What happens when you send a Cracked comedy writer to Best Korea for a week? You get back a ... surprisingly balanced and thoughtful look at a largely misunderstood country?   ( cracked.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, North Korea, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, people, North Koreans, Western guide, Korean guides, North Korean leadership  
•       •       •

12993 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2017 at 9:25 AM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



189 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-08-19 07:44:34 AM  
Cracked has turned out some fine journalism recently.
 
2017-08-19 08:35:23 AM  
No, a general wasn't executed by mortar fire.

Correct. It was an anti-aircraft gun.

Jeez! Only a *crazy* person would use a mortar! How are we EVER supposed to think of North Korea as sane and reasonable if you keep getting mortars and anti-aircraft guns mixed up?
 
2017-08-19 08:55:58 AM  
Wow. It's like a Trump defender explaining why Nazis are just misunderstood.
 
2017-08-19 09:08:40 AM  
Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.
 
2017-08-19 09:12:14 AM  
I got smarter reading a Cracked article...:o
 
2017-08-19 09:16:16 AM  

Confabulat: Wow. It's like a Trump defender explaining why Nazis are just misunderstood.


img.fark.netView Full Size


Seriously, this link had nothing to do with Trump or nazis.
 
2017-08-19 09:26:36 AM  

FishCake: I got smarter reading a Cracked article...:o


We live in interesting times when Cracked is more even handed than many traditional new sources. Always thought it would have been Mad magazine, though.

/Potrzebie.
 
2017-08-19 09:27:23 AM  
Actually, you get the same goddamn listicle that Cracked aways writes, just more ambitious.
 
2017-08-19 09:29:02 AM  
Worth the watch.  That country is not misunderstood at all.
You won't believe why this woman fled away from North Korea. #SHARE
Youtube EKbnyLKLHbo
 
2017-08-19 09:29:38 AM  

Some Bass Playing Guy: Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.


At least, while you're still in the country. You don't want them to turn on you.
 
2017-08-19 09:33:11 AM  
If you want to see a good look at N Korea watch that Herzog film about volcanos. No one cuts through bullshiat like him.
 
2017-08-19 09:34:17 AM  
Cracked writer probably didn't go out of the places specifically designed for tourists.

/we know because he isn't in prison.
 
2017-08-19 09:38:06 AM  

RJReves: Cracked has turned out some fine journalism recently.


Cracked almost always has at least 1 article worth reading.

80% of it is just listicle clickbait, to be sure, but I'm not sure that's not better than most 'mainstream' news sources anyways.
 
2017-08-19 09:42:47 AM  

LoneWolf343: Cracked writer probably didn't go out of the places specifically designed for tourists.

/we know because he isn't in prison.


Fark poster probably didn't read the article.

/we know because the article addressed this phenomenon.
 
2017-08-19 09:45:27 AM  
What's the Korean translation of "Potemkin village"?
 
2017-08-19 09:48:31 AM  
Well written, humans are just like humans everywhere trying to live their lives and focused mostly on trying to just make it through the day.  We lose sight of this too often.
 
2017-08-19 09:50:18 AM  

Some Bass Playing Guy: Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.


Ditto. I did everything possible to disspell the 'all Americans are rude assholes' when I went to the UK. Luckily I knew quite a bit about where I was going, so I tried to avoid cultural faux paus and the like.
I think I did real well.

Most of them were stunned to find out I was American(they thought I was Canadian), and it blew their minds to discover I was in fact a native Texan.
Now that I think about it, the only major oops I had was in the hotel pub the first night in the Richmond area near London, in a discussion with some folks I accidental referred to the table of gents as "English" when I was already aware there was a Irish guy in the group. As he started to rebuke me, I was already apologizing. I was still jetlagged and not firing on all thrusters.

I bought the next round and all was well.

/earlymorning CSB
 
2017-08-19 09:51:48 AM  

RJReves: Cracked has turned out some fine journalism recently.


Funniest thing I have heard about Cracked in a long time.
 
2017-08-19 09:52:36 AM  

RJReves: Cracked has turned out some fine journalism recently.


We've been through the looking glass for a while now. There has even been actual science in The Express recently that didn't even hint at it 'being aliens'.

With The Anti-Christ in power in Amerikkka, and Nazis parading, too, I'm just waiting for the frog rain....
 
2017-08-19 09:53:22 AM  

Some Bass Playing Guy: Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.


It's disappointing, but a lot of people simply do not share your feelings here. I see incredible rudeness from tourists here and they're not just Yanks. Lots of Canadians, Germans and Brits and a good many of them treat Latin Americans as though they are trained chimps.

:-(
 
2017-08-19 09:57:55 AM  

idrow: Worth the watch.  That country is not misunderstood at all.
[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/EKbnyLKLHbo - 480x270]


You should really go to the Higher Perspectives homepage.  Based of the list of articles there, I'm not going back.
 
2017-08-19 09:58:36 AM  

Man On A Mission: Confabulat: Wow. It's like a Trump defender explaining why Nazis are just misunderstood.

[img.fark.net image 850x551]

Seriously, this link had nothing to do with Trump or nazis.


If your understanding of the world is this poor you shouldn't be allowed to leave your home without supervision.
 
2017-08-19 10:00:39 AM  
"Well, I rode through six stops, and I can't imagine that the government has nothing better to do with its time and resources than to make hundreds of actors pretend to ride it with us for the benefit of a motley collection of visiting writers, teachers, and computer programmers."

Perhaps, but this is exactly what they did when the guy from Vice went there. Locals were bussed in to fill the church for a "service" minutes before he arrived; the hospital staff was showing off dead equipment (and blocking views) for no reason and the locals at the public library were just moving the mouse around on the Google front page and not typing anything.
 
2017-08-19 10:03:00 AM  
Cracked had a very insightful article on ISIS's self-published magazine that they use as a recruitment tool as well: http://www.cracked.com/blog/isis-wants-us-to-invade-7-facts-rev​ealed-b​y-their-magazine/
 
2017-08-19 10:06:39 AM  
Inside North Korea (Part 1/3)
Youtube 24R8JObNNQ4
just watch this instead.
 
2017-08-19 10:09:00 AM  

Shadow Blasko: [iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/24R8JObNNQ4 - 480x360] just watch this instead.


Ooh, always wanted to learn play golf
 
2017-08-19 10:11:06 AM  

LewDux: Shadow Blasko: [iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/24R8JObNNQ4 - 480x360] just watch this instead.

Ooh, always wanted to learn play golf


Huh?
 
2017-08-19 10:11:26 AM  

FishCake: I got smarter reading a Cracked article...:o


No, you didn't.
 
2017-08-19 10:12:16 AM  

FishCake: I got smarter reading a Cracked article...:o


That's funny.
 
2017-08-19 10:12:35 AM  

Abox: LoneWolf343: Cracked writer probably didn't go out of the places specifically designed for tourists.

/we know because he isn't in prison.

Fark poster probably didn't read the article.

/we know because the article addressed this phenomenon.


Jokes on you, I did. I saw nothing to suggest that he saw more than the thumbnail of the country which the regime designed for people like him to see.
 
2017-08-19 10:13:55 AM  

Some Bass Playing Guy: Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.


Yes.  It's just you.  No one else behaves like civilized people.  You are unique.  You are special.
 
2017-08-19 10:13:57 AM  
South Korea was a military dictatorship into the early 90s when they transitioned to democracy and elected Kim Young-Sam. Both Koreas were desperately poor after the devastation of the Korean War, but in the South Park Chung Hee, who ruled the country from 1962 to his assassination in 1979, used his power to create modern Korea's prosperity by channeling foreign and domestic investment  funds to small companies that became Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, LG, and so on. South Korea became an export-based economy, following Japanese methods. In the South, their dictator used his power to make his country prosperous, which led to it becoming democratic.

The North, by comparison was always a client state, dependent on Soviet subsidies to keep their industrial base going. Few Americans know that North Korea was much closer diplomatically and economically to the Soviets than the Chinese. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea's economy also nosedived. The loss of external funds plus massive corruption and inefficiency has made the North the basket case it is today. 

So you have two dictatorships side by side; one chose capitalism, the other chose socialism. The North could choose to follow China's lead and transition to a market economy, but their system is so leveraged on government control of goods and services that any change would probably end in civil unrest and the end of the Kim regime.
 
2017-08-19 10:14:15 AM  
This comes to mind.

The Twilight Zone: "People Are Alike All Over" clip
Youtube nIZ04AGTjHc
 
2017-08-19 10:15:08 AM  

Man On A Mission: Confabulat: Wow. It's like a Trump defender explaining why Nazis are just misunderstood.

[img.fark.net image 850x551]

Seriously, this link had nothing to do with Trump or nazis.


I call that a Trumpwin.  I've got a different word for those who use them (hint: rhymes with "clucking boron").

Anyway . . .

Instead of a western writer's "cracked" take, I recommend Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea

http://nothingtoenvy.com/


/ Spoiler Review: 1984 wasn't meant to be an instruction manual
 
2017-08-19 10:15:25 AM  
The only thing that's insightful is something that only fails to be obvious to people who don't leave their own neighborhood: Anywhere you go, all around the world, people are just out there trying to live their lives, pretty much the same way you are.
 
2017-08-19 10:17:15 AM  

Titanius Anglesmith: Some Bass Playing Guy: Maybe it's just me, but when I've visited other countries, I was always respectful of the people and their culture.

Ditto. I did everything possible to disspell the 'all Americans are rude assholes' when I went to the UK. Luckily I knew quite a bit about where I was going, so I tried to avoid cultural faux paus and the like.
I think I did real well.

Most of them were stunned to find out I was American(they thought I was Canadian), and it blew their minds to discover I was in fact a native Texan.
Now that I think about it, the only major oops I had was in the hotel pub the first night in the Richmond area near London, in a discussion with some folks I accidental referred to the table of gents as "English" when I was already aware there was a Irish guy in the group. As he started to rebuke me, I was already apologizing. I was still jetlagged and not firing on all thrusters.

I bought the next round and all was well.

/earlymorning CSB


OOOOoooo.  Another snowflake.  Blizzard conditions are imminent!  Everyone run to the store for eggs, milk and bread!
 
2017-08-19 10:20:17 AM  
So he didn't execute his brother by having nerve agent wiped on his face? Whew, that's a relief!
 
2017-08-19 10:21:55 AM  
A well-balanced, finely written approach to a subject is kind of edgy these days, don't you think?
 
2017-08-19 10:22:22 AM  

BorgiaGinz: South Korea was a military dictatorship into the early 90s when they transitioned to democracy and elected Kim Young-Sam. Both Koreas were desperately poor after the devastation of the Korean War, but in the South Park Chung Hee, who ruled the country from 1962 to his assassination in 1979, used his power to create modern Korea's prosperity by channeling foreign and domestic investment  funds to small companies that became Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, LG, and so on. South Korea became an export-based economy, following Japanese methods. In the South, their dictator used his power to make his country prosperous, which led to it becoming democratic.

The North, by comparison was always a client state, dependent on Soviet subsidies to keep their industrial base going. Few Americans know that North Korea was much closer diplomatically and economically to the Soviets than the Chinese. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea's economy also nosedived. The loss of external funds plus massive corruption and inefficiency has made the North the basket case it is today. 

So you have two dictatorships side by side; one chose capitalism, the other chose socialism. The North could choose to follow China's lead and transition to a market economy, but their system is so leveraged on government control of goods and services that any change would probably end in civil unrest and the end of the Kim regime.


So, the South Korean dictator funneled state funds into production...and you call that "capitalism?"
 
2017-08-19 10:24:12 AM  
Regarding Point 6 "Some Myths are Broken Almost Immediately": All of the myths are debunked by a single author who is employed by the North Korean government, and which appear in the subscription publication "nknews.org". Does anyone subscribe to this so we can see the "proof" that NK never made these absurd claims?

While I agree with the author that people who wish for the death of the entire North Korean population are depraved --- that's not such a difficult statement to make. It's hardly balanced. The North Korean dictatorship has destroyed the lives of so many of their citizens that I think it's difficult to describe that organization as anything less than "catastrophically evil". The author is a ninny.
 
2017-08-19 10:24:25 AM  

BorgiaGinz: South Korea


Seriously, this link had nothing to do with South Korea.
 
2017-08-19 10:25:09 AM  

LoneWolf343: Cracked writer probably didn't go out of the places specifically designed for tourists.

/we know because he isn't in prison.


Have you been to NK?  If not I trust his word over yours seeing as he has... you know... actually been there.
 
2017-08-19 10:25:29 AM  
He forgot to add...

they have flowery meadows and rainbow skies and rivers made of chocolate where the children dance and play with gumdrop smiles.

I love it when some reporter goes to a despotic regime then comes back and basically says "it's really not that bad there."

Didn't someone get a pulitzer for glossing over the Soviet Unions atrocities in the early 20th century?

Oh yeah, this guy. Walter Duranty.
 
2017-08-19 10:26:15 AM  

BorgiaGinz: So you have two dictatorships side by side; one chose capitalism, the other chose socialism.


They had a lot of help making those choices.
 
2017-08-19 10:26:48 AM  

caution: "Well, I rode through six stops, and I can't imagine that the government has nothing better to do with its time and resources than to make hundreds of actors pretend to ride it with us for the benefit of a motley collection of visiting writers, teachers, and computer programmers."

Perhaps, but this is exactly what they did when the guy from Vice went there. Locals were bussed in to fill the church for a "service" minutes before he arrived; the hospital staff was showing off dead equipment (and blocking views) for no reason and the locals at the public library were just moving the mouse around on the Google front page and not typing anything.


Can't tell if serious
 
2017-08-19 10:27:34 AM  
Have you guys ever thought about how similar Anti-NK propaganda created by US media is to Anti-American propaganda created by NK?

On both sides we are left with a gullible populace that believes the other is an almost supernatural evil.

Propaganda works folks...on stupid people, at least.
 
2017-08-19 10:28:43 AM  

LoneWolf343: Abox: LoneWolf343: Cracked writer probably didn't go out of the places specifically designed for tourists.

/we know because he isn't in prison.

Fark poster probably didn't read the article.

/we know because the article addressed this phenomenon.

Jokes on you, I did. I saw nothing to suggest that he saw more than the thumbnail of the country which the regime designed for people like him to see.


And why do you think that's the way it is?  Purely because that's what the news is telling you?
 
2017-08-19 10:28:52 AM  
He didn't mention the North Korean guy who always accompany Western groups so they won't see what they shouldn't see. The article is trying to somewhat rationalize a brutal murderous dictatorship and he seems to be saying the opposite of what other Western journalists saw regarding the fake displays they put on for Western tourists. I suggest watching the VICE videos instead (part 1, part 2, part 3).
 
2017-08-19 10:31:09 AM  

BorgiaGinz: South Korea was a military dictatorship into the early 90s when they transitioned to democracy and elected Kim Young-Sam. Both Koreas were desperately poor after the devastation of the Korean War, but in the South Park Chung Hee, who ruled the country from 1962 to his assassination in 1979, used his power to create modern Korea's prosperity by channeling foreign and domestic investment  funds to small companies that became Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, LG, and so on. South Korea became an export-based economy, following Japanese methods. In the South, their dictator used his power to make his country prosperous, which led to it becoming democratic.

The North, by comparison was always a client state, dependent on Soviet subsidies to keep their industrial base going. Few Americans know that North Korea was much closer diplomatically and economically to the Soviets than the Chinese. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea's economy also nosedived. The loss of external funds plus massive corruption and inefficiency has made the North the basket case it is today. 

So you have two dictatorships side by side; one chose capitalism, the other chose socialism. The North could choose to follow China's lead and transition to a market economy, but their system is so leveraged on government control of goods and services that any change would probably end in civil unrest and the end of the Kim regime.


No, the South chose a mixed economy that combines Socialist and Capitalist policies, while the North is an Authoritarian Communist state.
 
2017-08-19 10:33:11 AM  
FTA: a guided tour of the United States wouldn't take you to check out Flint's water supply and a CIA black-site before putting you up in a roach-infested roadside motel.

If the guided tour was led by Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, it would.

/and they'd throw in the hidden mass graves at 3 mile island and the dead bodies of greys in Area 51
 
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