A Simultaneous Translation (10 April, 2013)

10 Apr

The language of propaganda is interchangeable, regardless of the ideology perpetuating it. In this sequence, written while surrounded by media hagiographies of Mrs Thatcher and her divisive period of rule, and on a day when William Hague felt it justified to recall Parliament so that its members could perform a grotesquely partisan memorial debate with no clear purpose other than to propagandise for his own party’s programme of attacks on the working poor and those pushed into poverty by its own policies (all at a direct cost to the taxpayer of £3,750 in expenses for each MP who attends) made me curious to compare the atmosphere surrounding Mrs Thatcher’s passing with events that had been heavily criticised elsewhere by the very people now perpetuating them here, in only slightly different clothing. What follows, then, is a series of 14 manipulations of texts taken from a single Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) press release documenting a series of “strange natural phenomena” it claimed had occurred and been neutrally witnessed in North Korea around the time of Kim Jong-il’s death on December 17, 2011. That the increasingly belligerent Stalinist regime of North Korea and the Free Market (semi-) elected Coalition running the UK are peddling such closely matched exercises in political distortion comes as no surprise, but that doesn’t mean we should let it pass as normal.

Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia (Propaganda Display)

(x) A Simultaneous Translation (10 April)

(i)

Today we stand in the glow of cleansing propaganda
while peculiar natural wonders are observed
on Mt. Paektu, Jong Il Peak
and Tonghung Hill in Hamhung City,
in the transparent glare of white light shining
from the stones of Parliament Square and Westminster.

(ii)

Today, we hear of a Parliament recalled
at some great and unexplained expense to citizens
so that memory might be trussed for sacrifice
at the feet of Our Leader’s statue
on a day when all the people are mourning
the continuance of Our Leader’s work
in bitterest sorrow.

(iii)

On the morning of April 10
layers of ice were broken on Lake Chon on Mt. Paektu,
on the Serpentine in St James’s Park,
among the roses behind Temple Bar.
The lake, the city, the water,
all shook with big noise.
The cameras did not draw back from the edge
but continued turning.

(iv)

The Group for Comprehensive Exploration
of Lake Chon on Mt. Paektu
and The Group for Comprehensive Maintenance
of St James’s Park,
both announced it was the first time
such a big noise was heard
from the ridge of Janggun Peak and the lake,
from the junction between Whitehall and Trafalgar Square.
All the exposed film in our cameras turned white.

(v)

The temperature on Mt. Paektu
and around the trees of St James’s Park that day
registered 22.4 degrees Centigrade below Zero.
There was strong wind
accompanied by a snowstorm
which travelled through the atmosphere
at a speed of 18 metres per second.
All this was measured by Our Leader’s research staff.

(vi)

The snowstorm stopped blowing
all of a sudden
from the dawn of Tuesday
and heavy clouds
were seen hanging around Hyangdo Peak
and above the River Thames.

(vii)

At 8:05am the sky began turning red
with sunrise on the horizon.
The peaks of the waves on the River Thames
and Hyangdo Mountain
looked like pictures, wide and glowing.

(viii)

Our Leader’s autographic writings
speak of a “Steadfast Doctrine to the West and North”
as the Manchurian crane might fly
in a solitary, undeviating line
above “Mt. Paektu, holy mountain of revolution”
to alight months later
on one span of Westminster Bridge.

(ix)

“When a Great Leader is taken from our midst
we must bow our heads in gratitude
set all remembrance of deeds aside.
We must accept the justice of that Leader’s rule:
only then is proper respect shown
and Our Leader’s Greatness made Our Truth.”

(x)

The stones around us glow brightly.
This phenomenon lasts until 5am.

(xi)

This glow in the stones at 5am was seen atop Jong Il Peak
and lasted for more than half an hour,
on the peaks of The Palace of Westminster from 4:50pm
where it remained for a whole day.
The nation was shocked
by the news of Our Leader’s demise.
This was the first glow witnessed in the dozens of years
since our observations of the area started.

(xii)

A natural wonder was also observed
around the statue of the President
standing on Tonghung Hill
and near the statue of Churchill
in Parliament Square.
At around 9:20pm on Tuesday April 8
a Manchurian crane
was seen flying round the statue three times
before alighting on a tree.

(xiii)

The crane stayed there for quite a long while
in the branches of that bare tree
with its head drooped
and its wings lowered like flags
when the wind slows then falls away.
It flew in the direction of Pyongyang
from Parliament Square
at around 10pm.

(xiv)

Observing this
the director of the Management Office for the Hamhung Revolutionary Site
said in unison
with the temporary leader of the British Conservative Party
“that even the crane
seemed to mourn the demise of Our Leader:
a crane born of Heaven
who flew down here at the dead of cold night,
unable to forget.”

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