North Korea, You So Crazy!

Last weekend I sat on a dystopia panel at CONvergence. Another panelist defined a dystopia, as opposed to your standard apocalypse, or post-apocalypse, as a world in which a controlling force (i.e. a corrupt government, or maybe an alien overlord) exerts its sinister will upon the masses, and that's about as good a definition as I can think of. And, naturally, North Korea came up as a solid, modern day example of a dystopic world.

Did you know...

North Korea has at least 4000 tons of biochemical weapons? The world's 4th largest army, with one million soldiers and up to 4 million reservists? That during a famine within its borders during the 1990's that claimed at least 2 million lives, it was also the world's biggest client for Henessy Cognac? That Pap Kim and Junior form the world's only communist dynasty? That its cities are are totally dark at night, and that locals need to get a visa just to travel from one village to another?

These and other fun facts can be found in Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, a spooky graphic novel by Guy Delisle, a French Canadian cartoonist who traveled to North Korea for work and, although prohibited from photographing anything, has drawn it all down on good old-fashioned paper.

A good read! It reminds you of the inner cadre of the G.W. Bush administration.


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