RES: a trip to North Korea

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed Apr 26 09:21:13 PDT 2000

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at> 04/24/00 01:10PM >>>
Charles Brown wrote:

>CB: I really would like to know the Spivak/Derrida,/Foucault/ Lacan
>term for this usage of "bizarre". It seems like some kind of
>exoticizing the Other or Orientalism. Why is it that a Korean
>personality cult is bizarre, but a British (royal family) or
>American (Reagan a movie star as president) is not "bizarre" ?

You're supplying that, not me. I think the Diana cult is bizarre. Scientology is bizarre. The Virgin Mary cult is bizarre.

Reagan's a lot more complicated than merely bizarre.


CB: Somehow "complicated" sounds mo better than "bizarre". Is it that the N. Korean cult is simple , but bizarre ?


There are bizarre aspects to Reaganism - e.g. why so many workers voted for him against their own material interests, or the Statue of Liberty celebration with its 400 Elvis impersonators - but on the other hand, there are non-bizarre reasons workers voted for him too (e.g., racism). And U.S. capital's support for him is not in the least bizarre.


CB: There are some practical-critical ( i.e. revolutionary) reasons why the N.Korean workers and peasants unified very strictly behind Kim Il Sung.


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