American Film Week in Pyongyang is upon us once again, and The Pyongyang Chronicles has put the schedule online here. The festivities kicked off last Monday night with two showings of Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. The film portrayal of Garrison Keillor's radio show is described by Kim Jong Il's mouthpiece thusly:
The sad tale of the last broadcoast of a historical radio show that is about to be shut down by capitalists who want to destroy the historical monument it is housed in to build a parking lot. Not only do they end up destroying the studio, they also ruin the enjoyment of millions of listeners of the radio show. This movie proves the lengths capitalists will go towards oppressing others for their own profit. Even though the studio will be destroyed, the evil imperialist man gets what is coming to him in the end, proving the old saying "what goes around comes around".
Friday night's showings were the Mandy Moore / Macaulay Culkin vehicle Saved, which is (accurately) described like this:
A comedy about a pregnant teenage girl who becomes an outcast by the crazy religious fanatics in her town. The town residents believe in some silly "big man in the sky" and try to force their oppressive and very false and outdated religious beliefs upon everybody, including sending pregnant teenagers and homosexuals to concentration camps to "re-educate" them.
Is the Pyongyang Chronicles for real? The site addresses this notion head-on in their even more hilarious section, Ask A Korean, which also features exchanges like this one:
I love the website,very well done.Will you be becoming involved in world motor racing? F1 racing? --Mister Hyman
Dear Mister Hyman
Thanks for your compliment of our website. We are also quite pleased with the website, and we must give great thanks to our webmaster for designing it for us, posting the articles, and for forwarding all of your mails to us so that we can answer. As for world motor racing, I would say it is unlikely that people from our country would compete in such a thing. The American imperialists would send out their own car to run our people off the track and kill them, so I think for now it is best that we do not participate in that. W Within Korea though there is lots of motor racing, there is even a large motor track in Pyongyang. I hope one day the American imperialists will be over thrown so we can compete fairly in world motor racing.
With warmest regards to my dear comrade,
Citizen of Pyongyang
As one reads through the Ask A Korean section, the probability that this is a hoax site increases dramatically, but a search for other clues as to the Pyongyang Chronicle's authenticity is difficult, because the site uses the nefarious expired Soviet domain .su for its hosting. To further the confusion, the Pyongyang Chronicles' explanations as to it's off-shore hosting is consistent with other reports of North Korea's web presence. (The actual official DPRK website is hosted in Germany and can be seen here, via waxy)
But all doubts about the Pyongyang Chronicle's legitimacy are dashed when you see the Korean Music Charts, which place LaToya Jackson at number one, with these other songs rounding out the Top Twenty:
MC Cho's Love The Americans (Hate The Imperialists), The Farming Collective of the Northwest and their hit tune, Juche Farming Method Is The Only Method, Shark Attack From Tumen River and their perennial favorite, Dance! (Give It All For Your Motherland! But the clincher, the song that cements this as a hoax site is The Old Lesbians of Choson and their song, People Hold On, Socialism Will Set You Free.
Sigh, I wish it were true, like any good hoax site.
Someone should update Wikipedia, where The Pyongyang Chronicle is still linked from various pages as a legit site.
At least it's timely. Here is Pyongyang Chronicle's take on next week's mid-term elections:
Many nations, with Korea being the forerunner, have classified America as a fascist state, with only one party holding the monopoly of power.
That party now wants to change its name to something more savoury - from the American Republican Party to the American Democratic Party. The real Democratic Party is banned from participating in the American Congress, like all other opposing parties, but now the imperialists want to claim its name for their own. In next month's election, the Republican (Fascist) Party will attempt to show the world their supposed democracy by losing in the elections to the Democratic Party. In reality, this "Democratic Party" will be made up of members from the Republican Party, hence the Fascists will still rule, only now under a new name. This will also give them a chance to remove brutal dictator George W. Bush from power, given that his appoval ratings are rumoured to be less than 20%. It is very unlikely however that a non-fascist will gain presidential power in the country.
Thanks to Doc Phrankenshop for the images!