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Hairy way to defeat capitalism

Hairy way to defeat capitalism
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Tidbits of information filter through and reach the outside world through South Korea which has an eye and an ear on the secretive state. Its primary...

Tidbits of information filter through and reach the outside world through South Korea which has an eye and an ear on the secretive state. Its primary objective is to collect as much intelligence info as possible and share it with its protector Washington and other alliesA The hermit state North Korea keeps surprising the world from time to time with breaking news such as an underground nuclear test, short and long range missile firings, launching a satellite, threatening its neighbour South Korea and even the US. Nobody takes Pyongyang's threats seriously despite its claims of possessing a massive arsenal of weapons which can turn "enemies and capitalist Satan into balls of fire and into ashes." The world at large and its adversaries in particular are used to the saber-rattling aimed at the domestic audience who are fed with daily doses of propaganda about the Kim dynasty and how it is saving the population from being gobbled up by capitalist demons. In the absence of exposure to the outside world either through TV or newspapers, North Korean news is made to believe, mostly comprising what their 'beloved leader' � doesn't matter which Kim is in power � said and his 'messages and advice' to the people. In a way, that's the advantage of state-controlled media. People will know what the government wants them to know � nothing less, nothing more � and since there won't be any other contradictory opinion, there is no scope for them to question the government. If they do, perchance, their fate will be sealed forever. Dissidence, of course, is rare because the powerful secret service will not allow anybody to raise his/her voice and it will be nipped in the bud before it reaches others. Nevertheless, tidbits of information filter through and reach the outside world through South Korea which has an eye and an ear on the secretive state. Its primary objective is to collect as much intelligence info as possible and share it with its protector Washington and other allies in the region. Besides, Seoul has other interests like influencing like-minded people across the border with its soft propaganda and offer of humanitarian aid to save the "hungry and famished blood-linked people." South Koreans are always eager to help their brethren on the other side but the comrade leaders are suspicious of South's gestures and munificence and snub their counterparts. But the real reason is Pyongyang doesn't want its population to be influenced by Seoul and its Western friends and corrupt North Koreans politically, socially and culturally. These efforts go to ludicrous lengths as recent reports show.
Not satisfied with plugging all the holes through which the 'decadent and bourgeois' thoughts sneak in, Pyongyang has now decided to run a style check, literally, on its population, beginning with tonsorial fashion. What's described as hair-do's and hair don'ts, North Koreans have been told to choose one of the 28 'most comfortable' styles. While women have 18, men have to satisfy with only 10, according to age and marital status. For instance, married women have to keep their tresses short and unmarried ones can let their hair loose, long and curly, presumably allowing them to send a tonsorial message to the opposite sex that they are single. But young men are not that lucky. They should restrict their hair growth to not more than 5cm and cut it once in a fortnight. Reason? Long strands of hair will sap their brains of energy; or, they may act as antennae to transmit their brain waves and intellectual thoughts to the enemies of the state. A 2cm concession has been given to others, presumably because their thinning pates need some cover. Truly, the hairstyles are revolutionary, like the country's young leader Kim Jong-un whose unique hair cut is an object of admiration among millions of North Koreans, and they are intended to ward off the evil effects of capitalism. How, nobody is able to explain so far. Nor is there any mention of other facial hairy embellishments to enhance the male look like moustaches, goatees, sideburns, etc. Since Korean males prefer clean-shaven faces, the Kim regime might have spared the beards, grungy or trimmed, from being mentioned in the hairstyle catalogue. Or, the trimmings might have been considered ineffective to combat capitalist manipulations. But it was not so when the Taliban was ruling Afghanistan in the 1990s. Under its strict interpretation of Islam, men were ordered to grow facial hair and trimming it invited serious trouble. Growing beard was an act of defying the West and reaffirming the Taliban supremacy in the lawless country. The longer the beard the greater the authority seemed to be the norm. But the Taliban had never considered growing long hair as a way of keeping the US at bay. For them, it was more religious in nature than an ideological symbol. In the case of reclusive Kim regime, idiosyncrasies have gone to their heads � or roots of hairs? -- to suggest that North Koreans can fight off capitalism and its effects by changing their hairstyles in the prescribed manner. Is it not a case of chasing ghosts in the dark?
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