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April 28, 2018

Thread before the Gardening Thread: New Identities [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Last night, in the car, I happened to hear the story of a young journalist who went undercover in North Korea on The Moth. Yes, on NPR. She noted that everyone in the country had to lie, to pretend, constantly in order to survive. She has written a book about her experiences. Kim Jong-il died on the day she was scheduled to leave the country. She did not get to say goodbye to her young male students, but she noted the vacant, frightened look in their eyes. The center of their existence was suddenly gone, and they were herded off to a meeting.

Here's a piece she wrote in November of 2017 to the young men she had taught. She hoped they would forget her in preference to engaging in any risky behavior based on a memory of her. Wonder if the young leader of North Korea will be able to maintain that kind of ignorance for much longer? Things are changing, one way or another.

How might the people of North Korea go about re-ordering their identities, even partially, as the isolation of their kingdom unravels? The regime has directed their actions and goals for so long.


Meanwhile, at UC Berkeley, a man identifying as a squirrel has been elected to the Student Senate. Even at Berkeley, not everyone on the Left appreciates the form of his campaign to "support students with disabilities, an interest stemming from his own battle with bipolar disorder."

Give it time.

It's a shocking display of privilege to vote for a squirrel over candidates who have actual plans to help students who need it," the Daily Californian said. "Instead of electing qualified students who had real, tangible ideas ... many of you (at least 538 strong) thought it might be a funny joke to have a man dressed up in a squirrel costume with no real platforms represent you at the administrative table.

"Display of privilege."? For today, maybe . . . . .

Anything interesting going on for you this weekend?

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:14 AM

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