So That’s What That Looks Like



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    It’s wrong of me to be just a little bit disappointed that so few of the people depicted in the photographs are wearing boxy gray jumpsuits like the Kim Jong-Il puppet wore in Team America, isn’t it.Report

  2. Avatar ktward says:

    Wow. Every location looks so, so … clean. I mean, dudes are sitting on the streetwalk ground playing chess. You sure don’t see that kind of thing in Chicago. (!)

    The rack of toy tanks behind the youngsters at school is … curious.Report

    • Avatar Plinko says:

      From what I understand, these pictures are the parts of N. Korea that they keep nice looking and only allow foreign non-allies to visit. There aren’t many actual North Korean citizens allowed into those areas at all.Report

      • Avatar ktward says:

        Yeah, I more or less guessed that. I mean, one would think there’d be a whole lot more folks bustling about (in the bustling hours of broad daylight) than what we see in the pics.

        But I really am very curious about those toy tanks, on several levels.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Truth be told, I didn’t even notice the tanks the first time. And I’m not sure it really bugs me. Kids in the US play with war toys all the time. They generally aren’t available in school but that is largely because an overreaction to the false conflation of toy violence with real violence.

          I think the fact that we suspend kids for pointing their fingers and saying “bang bang” far more curious.

          The interesting thing about these images is that folks over here will likely dismiss them as propaganda put forth to look favorably on the government. The images we more commonly associate with North Korea would likely be dismissed by folks over there as propaganda put forth to look unfavorably upon the government. In a way, both sides are right and both sides are wrong.Report

          • Avatar ktward says:

            [War toys] generally aren’t available in school but that is largely because an overreaction to the false conflation of toy violence with real violence.

            An altogether intriguing comment, Kazzy. Unpacking it is perhaps worth another post altogether.

            Meantime, I’ll just opine that if a school classroom has students young enough to require shelves of toys, those students are too young for toys representative of violence/war. Those same little tykes are also, imo, too young for anatomically correct dolls in school. It’s less about any misguided conflation– I don’t necessarily disagree with you on that point– and more about appropriateness and teacher training and the critical nexis between these two factors.

            I actually hail from a gun family. (Father, step-dad, brother, various cousins, nephews etc … many of these folks served in the military at one point or another.) But I myself have very little appreciation for guns in the home, and so I made it a point to never provide my kids a toy gun that looked like a real gun. No pop guns or the like. Squirt guns we had aplenty, which of course eventually morphed into Super Soakers and those things are some kick-ass fun. But I digress.

            At around the age of 4 or 5, my son decided to build his own guns out of Legos and other stuff. My veiled knee-jerk reaction notwithstanding [WTF?!], I was more or less fine with this because it was a playful exercise and was, really, more about him using his imagination than using firearms. I played along when he “shot” me. I suppose it’s possible that in preschool and K he might have built his own gun, but it never came up in P/T conferences. For sure, if there had been toy guns or tanks or whatever in his pre-K/K classrooms, I’d have had a huge problem with that. Obviously, it eventually became incumbent upon me to have conversations with my kids about guns and wars and violence, but not at such a tender age. I do realize that this particular mileage varies immensely for inner-city parents.

            And while I can’t speak to Lawyers Guns and Money, fwiw my kids were engaged in the UU OWL program from the get-go, so I was ever decidedly less worried about the outside stuff feeding their minds in terms of sexuality than the stuff feeding their minds in terms of war and societal violence. Which is to say that I, personally, would have been okay with anatomically correct dolls in my kids’ youngest school years. But my views are in a very distinct minority, and I’m pretty sure that the parents of the other youngsters would have felt backed into an uncomfortably untenable position. There’s simply no need to put them there. (Ask me about sex-ed in grades 5-12, you’ll get an altogether different kind of response from me.)Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:


              Great stuff here and, as you say, probably deserving of a full post. Would you like to take that on as a guest or would you like me to tackle it? We’d bring different riffs… You as a mom, me as a childless teacher. Maybe a dueling banjos approach?

              In the meantime, check out “We Don’t Play With Guns Here”. A book written about “weapon” play with young children. Based on work done on the UK, but found that such was generally more based in “play” than “weaponry”.

              But let me know about a post. Would love to work something out with you. With your permission, I’ll shoot you an email.Report

  3. Avatar Kim says:

    awww… I thought you meant real postcards. That would be a fitting way to win the Postcard Quest.Report