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17h UTC; SATURDAY, 4 JANUARY 2014: Is it just me, or does it seem that the AmeriKKKan Right Wing has what could best be called a Cult of the Personality structured for purely distractive ends (as in diverting the attention of so-called "REAL AmeriKKKa" from what the right's agenda and articles of faith seek to do to their own lot and character, only to resort to projectionist tactics by blaming themselves and their want of "making good-faith efforts" to get ahead solely on their own resolve and resources)?

Especially when you have in mind subtle prolefeed overtures calling to mind North Korean cinema at its tackiest, especially considering where much of North Korean cinema is screened regularly at factories, collective farms and military posts, with the captive audience expected to catch the political messages interwoven throughout because the political officer in charge is likely to ask questions about its meaning, &c., at the end. Not to mention an insistence on referencing the so-called "Eternal Leader" Kim Il Sung and/or the equally-so-called "Eternal First Secretary" Kim Jong Il somewhere in the story, though not depicting them on camera (BTW, the two films North Koreans call "the Immortal Classics," 1968's Sea of Blood and 1972's Flower Girl, were [officially] based on plays that "Eternal Leader" had supposedly written), as well as "heroic" depictions of "average" men and women tirelessly doing their all for the Glorious Motherland; as a BBC reporter explained it:
While North Korea has always been led by men, its propaganda tends to portray strong female characters. Female athletes, soldiers, spies and even a traffic controller have featured in North Korean film.

The films show "strong, hard working women who sacrifice themselves for their leaders," [film historian Johannes] Schonherr says.

But while male heroes have featured in older films, especially martial arts, "there are a lot of weak men" in more recent films, he adds.

"Normally the women have to teach them how to be a good follower."

Dr [Mark] Morris [of Cambridge University] believes this fits in with Pyongyang's propaganda narrative. "The overarching figures in North Korea are men of the Kim family," he says.

"They don't really want rivals, so you don't have a male hero who exists in his own right as often."

And while the female characters may be strong, they ultimately know their place as well.

"Strong women [in film] generally end up having to get married - their lives are not considered complete before that," Dr Morris says.
(Calling to mind the 2006 North Korean "family drama" The Schoolgirl's Diary, about a teenage schoolgirl upset that her scientist father is too much of a workaholic.)

For our friends who still insist on AmeriKKKa "needing to be more like China" comes what could best be described as a staged propaganda exercise (for want of anything more accurate) to illustrate to Chinese Communist Party cadres as well as the masses the State's need to fight official corruption and ostentation in the name of "maintaining national unity" and "strengthening ties between the Party and the people" by example: As in last weekend's (supposed) appearence of Chinese Premier Xi Jinpeng at a humble steamed-dumpling shop in Beijing to buy (and out of his own pocket, know; the whole, we are told, costing but the equivalent of US$3) a platter of six steamed pork-and-watercress dumplings and a bowl of pork tripe soup.

Which, in any case, drew plenty of criticism on China's "harmonised" Weibo microblogging service, some wondering if the whole was staged for propaganda ends. (Especially so considering where the powers that be in Tiananmen have issued warnings against "ostentation" over the upcoming Lunar New Year's festivities, in particular by renting out private halls and catering obnoxiously lavish feasts inconsistent with Party principles.)

The Inconvenient Truth About Bakken Formation Crude that conservative Zealotry and True Belief doesn't want you to know about in the name of energy self-reliance and obnoxiously cheap gasoline "in the national interest": Federal transportation safety officials have issued an edict calling for more care in the transport of Bakken crude oil by rail to the refinery, absent direct pipeline interconnexions, in the wake of Recent Unfortunate Events involving rail transport thereof in Lac-Megantic, QC (CDN) last June (as killed 47 people and decimated a good part of its downtown area) and on New Year's Eve just outside Casselton, ND (luckily, no injuries, but a good part of the town was evacuated out of fear that the smoke and fumes from the ensuing fire could be too toxic should the winds shift towards Casselton proper).

The reason? Bakken formation crude, because of a higher presence of natural gas as opposed to more conventional specimens of, say, West Texas crude, has a higher level of natural gas, translating into a lower flashpoint (as in that point where the vapours therefrom can trigger an explosion or fire in the presence of sparks or flame), thereby increasing the risk of volatility under the wrong circumstances.

"Another small house is finished in the next block"
(to Engrishfy the closing remarks on every episode of
Vic and Sade through the years)

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