I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Monday, June 07, 2010

North Korean hip-hop

I'm a bit of a Pyongyangophile, by which I mean I'm utterly intrigued and fascinated by the way North Korea operates, projects itself, is based around this massive personality cult, etc etc. I've watched a few documentaries about the DPRK (highly recommend the stuff on vbs.tv), read quite a few articles, and can't wait to see them play in the World Cup.

I particularly love the way their official news agency is at once accusatory, adversarial, delusional, and more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. And most of all I like how they're sneaking hip-hop into their news reports. Here's a paragraph from a recent article, commentating on the ongoing spat about who destroyed that South Korean ship earlier this year.
It is traitor Lee Myung Bak and his puppet conservative group that should be responsible for the said case, apologize for it and face a punishment as it is a tragic product of their despicable sycophantic and treacherous moves and reckless actions for escalating confrontation with fellow countrymen.
-- CPRK Declares Resolute Actions against S. Korea, Korean News Service
A fantastic sentence/paragraph. Beautiful. And properly hip-hop. What leapt out at me when I read this was how Despicable Sycophantic and Treacherous Moves are superb names for rappers; they should make a debut album called Reckless Actions, swiftly followed up by Escalating Confrontation. The latter, perhaps, should be a collaboration with the Fellow Countrymen. I reckon I'll use Despicable Sycophantic as my name if I buy Rapstar.

Hopefully soon they'll issue a statement along these lines:
General Secretary Kim Jong Il today issued a statement regarding traitor Lee Myung Bak and his lapdog supporters in Tokyo and the US, insisting that they could come one at a time or come all at once, and while they might pop strong game, they are in fact nothing but punks. Should these treacherous nefarious and insidious fools keep steppin', the DPRK will not shrink from bustin' caps in they ass. Lastly, the Dear Leader informed party officials that he was close to fulfilling President Kim Il Sung's plans for the reunification of Korea, unveiling a new military strategy document entitled "Pop pop pop goes the nine".
In reality I suspect we'll just get more stories about fruit farms.

(with credit, and apologies, to Grandmaster Melle Mel, EPMD, Das EFX, and, well, just basically everyone I guess)

Mouthy and ethical

I was thinking of starting to write stuff here again. Not for the sake of it; I just need to try and get back into one or two mindsets: that someone might give a crap about something I've written, and/or that I actually do just like writing anyway. It feels like in the last few weeks, allied to a spectacularly busy and productive period at work, my mind is spinning faster than it has for a while; I'm getting all mouthy and opinionated and might as well find an outlet greater than 140 characters every so often.

So, on that note, which twat decided the word "ethical" described a particular way of living? It's a load of bollocks, and it winds me up. Now don't get me wrong, http://ethicsdebate.org/ is actually quite funny (and thus props due to my bro' for sending it in my direction), but I have a problem with the wording. "Ethical" means little more than "living according to a code"; which code is up to the individual, either through choice or belief. Hijacking it so it applies to just one is a load of prescriptive bollocks. See the wikipedia page on ethics for examples of many such codes. I'm particularly fond, on occasion, of a bit of Cyrenaic hedonism:
"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Even fleeting desires should be indulged, for fear the opportunity should be forever lost.
I could easily live by a code of ethics that supports a religion, or that says raping the environment is fine, or whatever. My ethics are subjective to me. And the irony (if it is such) of stealing the word "ethical" to give it a particular set of connotations -- complete with "the opposite is irrational/bad/stupid" overtones -- is that it's as much a load of bullshit as any religious text.