Hermit Kingdom is coming true, guys.

So. I haven’t updated this blog in a while, because my work on this graphic novel slowed considerably after my class was over.

But then.

Oh, but then. Donald Tr*mpsterfire became the “leader of the free world” (though what a title like that means, or whether the position can hold any sort of real weight again after this is definitely a debate I’m sure we’ll have soon enough.)

And I started realizing… that my dystopian near-future graphic novel drawing parallels between North Korea and the United States was… scarily accurate. Very scarily accurate.

So I guess that makes me the main character, though we are not the same person. And I guess I’m going to have to start work on this in earnest.

As I live in this increasingly terrifying world, I want there to be a record. Even if the record is on the internet, and thus could so easily slip through my fingers with a flick of the government’s wrist.

But let’s hold off on pessimism for the moment so I can say:

This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda. This. Is. Propaganda.

 

The White House Press Secretary telling outright lies to the press? Lies that can be easily proven false in seconds, with pictures? Lies that will nonetheless be on the books as White House Statements.  Lies that can be officially quoted in history classes, in books, and in other country’s war cries as Official Statements from the United States of America.

Doing this so blatantly, then refusing to answer any questions?

This is a North Korean tactic. Well, it’s a fascist tactic used by lots of people in history, but since this blog is about North Korea, and that’s the only fascist government I feel I have done any real, deep research on, that’s where I will focus.

When a politician, especially one with major power such as the Supreme Leader of North Korea or the illustrious “leader of the free world,” lies in this way, they are not saying “what I’m saying is true.” No. What they’re saying is “what I’m saying is what I will say is truth, and because it is so absurd you will accept it in order to protect the idea that you have some control.” When Kim Jong Un tells his people that they are not hungry, that the country is advancing faster than any other country, that the leader is descended from literal gods and is the only true father, he is not saying “you have to believe this because it’s true.” He is saying “you have to believe this because if you didn’t believe this my power would fall apart, and your life will have been based on submitting to a powerless crazy person.” He is saying “you will accept this despite knowing its falsehood because you have no choice.” He is saying “my power gives me the right to define truth.”

Guess what Donald Trump is saying when he tells his press secretary to reprimand journalists, when he outright lies about the crowds of people at his inauguration?

He is saying “look how I can lie to your face and get away with it. Look at the power I hold. Look how far I can push this.” He is saying “my power is greater than your truth.”

The American people are not the Korean people, and Donald Trump is not Kim Jong Un. But fascism, that well-worn narrative, always sounds the same.

 

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Hermit Kingdom by Weatherly Richardson

Hermit Kingdom is a speculative fiction graphic novel in progress by Weatherly Richardson, inspired by a semester of research into life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Proceed to Outline, then follow the menu to the rest of the resources.