Public Announcements as Willful Lunacy

Most people, when they accomplish something privately, will share it in a matter-of-fact way. They might be excited about it (“I caught three fish”), but they’ll describe the event accurately. If they don’t, someone will remind them that their story’s an exaggeration (“You didn’t really catch three killer whales bare-handed near the Arctic Circle while paddling an inner-tube with swim fins”).
For that reason, accounts of private accomplishments sort themsleves out fairly well.

Public accomplishments should be the same: a simple description of something done well, with thanks to those who made it possible.

When a government announecment goes wrong, however, it goes wildly wrong, in a nutty way. Consider an announcement from North Korea, quite likely the most oppressive nation on Earth:

As requested by our scientists and technicians, [we] successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25, Juche 98 (2009), as part of the measures to strengthen the Republic’s self-defense nuclear deterrent in every way
“This nuclear test was safely conducted on a new, higher level in terms of the explosive power and controlling technology and, as a result, scientific and technological problems were resolved that can further increase the power of nuclear weapons and constantly develop nuclear technology.

“The success of this nuclear test greatly fires the flames of a new revolutionary surge to open up the door of strong and prosperous country, and highly encourages our military and people who participated in the 150 Day Battle, like one person.

“The nuclear test will contribute to protecting the sovereignty of the country and the nation and socialism, and ensuring peace and security on the Korean peninsula and neighboring region, with the power of Songun.”

These are the words of oppression from a regime so severe and insular it doesn’t see or care if those words translate poorly and embarrssingly.

It’s all so grand and universal and ultimate, from a place that every thinking person abroad knows is small and narrow and desperate.

The bomb-making regime couldn’t squeeze a bit more from her starving people for the sake of a good press agent’s salary; it’s that oppression this extreme means the regime neither wants nor needs to make that change.

They’ve a distorted perspective beyond correction.

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