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Sabine is a YouTube user who, during a visit to family living in South Korea in April of this year, was given a DVD by a man and a woman claiming to be North Korean “defectors”, and was asked to translate the film so it could be posted on the internet and reach a wider audience. What the DVD turned out to be was something much more than Sabine, or anyone else, probably would’ve imagined, and something that certainly has found a widespread audience on the internet over the last month or so – it was a film called “PROPAGANDA”, a documentary about capitalism, imperialism, mass manipulation of western culture for the purpose of commodification, and how it permeates every aspect of the lives of blissfully ignorant, borderline zombie masses.
And jesus, is it on the fucking money.
From the video’s description -
“Here is the formal statement I gave to Federal Police on 16 June 2012:
On a trip to visit family in Seoul in April, I was approached by a man and a woman who claimed to be North Korean defectors. They presented me with a DVD that recently came into their possession and asked me to translate it. They also asked me to post the completed film on the Internet so that it could reach a worldwide audience. I believed what I was told and an agreement was made to protect their identities (and mine).
Despite my concerns about what I was viewing when I returned home, I proceeded to translate and post the film on You Tube because of the film’s extraordinary content. I have now made public my belief that this film was never intended for a domestic audience in the DPRK. Instead, I believe that these people, who presented themselves as ‘defectors’ specifically targeted me because of my reputation as a translator and interpreter.
Furthermore, I now believe these people work for the DPRK. The fact that I have continued to translate and post the film in spite of this belief does not make me complicit in their intention to spread their ideology. I chose to keep posting this film because – regardless of who made it – I believe people should see it because of the issues it raises and I stand by my right to post it for people to share and discuss freely with each other.
I have translated this film, laid in the English voice over and subtitles, and on legal advice have blurred the identity of the presenter and/or blacked out certain elements.”
The movie opens:
“This is a film about psychological warfare. A specific type of warfare designed to distract, misinform, and anesthetize the brain. It has many disguises, and is used against every one of them.”
The tactics of fear and religion to manipulate the masses, as well as a complicit, paid-off media used by the the 1% to show you what they want you to see, and teach you what they want you to believe, from a very early age, while giving you colorful distractions to keep you from thinking about the bigger problems, are all touched upon.
One of the best parts of the film is it’s annihilation of celebrity worship culture; talking about Madonna and Brad and Angelina’s “shopping for children in third-world countries”, western obsession with the glamorous lives of celebrities and self-absorption while ignoring the plight of the homeless and the suffering, celebrities being tools of commodification to the point that they often don’t even realize it, often driving them to the point of insanity, is so spot on it’s scary. It’s the world around us.
North Korea gets its Crass on in this in how they tear apart commodity-based western life, and it’s pretty mind-blowing. All of it, particularly the part about Michael Jackson – a look at “what America did to this man” – rings so true it’s kind of hard to swallow. The backhand slap to Great Britain – the one about most American knowing The Rock’s real name but not where to find Britain on a map, despite their best efforts to be our best friends – is similarly brutal, but in the same blunt way that the rest of the documentary is; straight-up, as it is in the real world.
And in the real world, in case you haven’t realized, everything is propaganda. That’s not a bad thing entirely; but objectively, every message you see is meant to serve some larger agenda. So it could be argued that this film itself is propaganda, which it is, as North Korea is no stranger to using propaganda of their own (to suggest otherwise would be laughable – some of the things in the documentary, such as repression of information, media manipulation, and cover-ups, are right up their alley, just serving as different agenda) – but you’d be hard-pressed to disagree with just about any of the ugly truths in it.
And if you do, you might want to take a second look at the world around you, because you might be exactly what this film is talking about. And while we can talk all we want about North Korea being a backwards nation, about what’s wrong with their society (never mind the fact that none of us actually know what the fuck their society is even like, basing our opinion off – you guessed it – what the media’s told us) the fact of the matter remains, this IS our society. Don’t worry about who made it, or where it came from, because this isn’t anything that different from what a lot of far-leftists have said in the past, but this is what our culture looks like to an outsider, to an alien; and trust me, they see right through us. A lot better than a lot of people here do. So if you want to look at western culture through that lens, without being told that we live in the best of all possible worlds, let this one hit you. As for everyone else, sit back and be blown away at just how right North Korea’s got it.