Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.

Colin Marshall sits down in Los Angeles' Koreatown with filmmaker Rob Montz, director of Juche Strong, a short documentary about North Korea and its propaganda. They discuss reaching the same age as Kim Jong-un without a hermit kingdom to rule; the question of why North Koreans continue to believe in their state, despite having good reason not to; his early fascination with North Korea's World Cup showing, and how pursuing that fascination led him from standard opinions on the country to newer, more interesting ones; his realization that North Korean ideology comes built upon the same basic structures of psychological truth that any of us have; his interviewing of experts on North Korea, and their disagreements about the nature of the Juche idea; his trip to Pyongyang, and how it didn't require him to hide underwater from North Korean commandos, breathing through a reed; the state's aspirations to totalitarian watchfulness, and how incompetence shatters that image right at the airport; the boredom a visitor to North Korea endures, and how that boredom differs from the boredom we experience in the developed world, where we've mostly cured it; the nihilism that sets upon a mind deprived of the ability to autonomously create meaning and provide purpose; how life in the constant American stimulation stream may render you more vulnerable to boredom when you momentarily step out of it; how many pleasures a people will willingly forego if they're given a larger sense of purpose and community, and how we know the North Korean government knows this; what North and South Korea still have ideologically in common, though the South chose the means of ideological expression that let its people get fed; Confucian values on both sides of the DMZ, and how they even manifest in the strange filial piety of East Asian friends; his extension of the examination of North Korean-style propaganda to United States politics, and especially the ceaseless repetition of the phrase "God bless America" therein; of Washington, D.C., where homosexual atheist political operatives instruct Republican politicians to insist  upon the divine ordainment of American exceptionalism an inveigh against the "gay menace"; and how you can help fund the completion of Juche Strong on Indie Go Go (not to mention the clam-roasting footage you can get for doing so).

Direct download: NCC_S3E8_Rob_Montz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:58 PM