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Nordic Mass Games
February 17, 2012 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Now the North Koreans show the Norwegians how to do it.
posted by marvin (33 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Their first thought was learning to goose-step, but unfortunately the specialists in that arena seem to have made themselves scarce.
posted by koeselitz at 9:17 PM on February 17, 2012


We were nothing until our glorious leader taught us that each and every one of us could be a pixel.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:19 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Take On Me", accordions, and North Koreans - three more disparate concepts that the Internet has taught me go together.
For minimal values of "go together"
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:27 PM on February 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I thought that generally it was a good performance, but the guy six rows up on the right side and two to the left didn't really seem to be putting his whole heart into it, so that kind of ruined it for me.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:44 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


twoleftfeet: “I thought that generally it was a good performance, but the guy six rows up on the right side and two to the left didn't really seem to be putting his whole heart into it, so that kind of ruined it for me.”

Well, the good news is, if they really did it the North Korean way, he probably won't be a problem in future performances.
posted by koeselitz at 9:48 PM on February 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Right after the Norwegians determine the meaning of Stonehenge, this is next on their list.
posted by DonnyMac at 9:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


BTW, is there a name for this kind of thing? Synchronized sign-holding? Group billboarding? Mass messaging? I can't find a term for it anywhere and I'd really like to know.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


if they really did it the North Korean way, he probably won't be a problem in future performances.

Oh shit. Hey, North Korean propaganda-monitoring-people, my comment was something we in The West call a "joke". Please don't hurt that guy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:54 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


twoleftfeet: “BTW, is there a name for this kind of thing? Synchronized sign-holding? Group billboarding? Mass messaging? I can't find a term for it anywhere and I'd really like to know.”

I'm not sure if there's a generic term for this, but the particular North Korean strain that is so distinctive is called mass games. (That Wikipedia article, you will notice, is very, very weird.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:59 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


slavoj zizek hates accordions.
posted by facetious at 10:01 PM on February 17, 2012


BTW, is there a name for this kind of thing?

Based on that article, I'd go with "Subordination Of Thoughts And Actions To The Collective"
posted by rh at 10:04 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Mass Games" is more than collective sign holding. There has to be a name for just the sign holding thing and it's really bugging me that I can't find it.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:12 PM on February 17, 2012


So Take On Me, played on the accordion, is now apparently the Norwegian national anthem.

What cuckoo Scandinavian funny bunnies. Get outta here you crazy kids...
posted by Skygazer at 10:15 PM on February 17, 2012


Turn, penis, turn.
Art?
posted by Mblue at 11:08 PM on February 17, 2012


Less than 30 seconds in and four, maybe five serious acts of treason with the pixel fail. I doubt their committment to Sparkle Motion. This is not NK material.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:11 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just as suspected, they play accordion music in hell.

It seems almost cruel to let North Koreans venture out into the real world and see what they're missing. One shudders to think what ugly combination of brainwashing, ruthless screening processes, and monstrous threats against their family members is necessary to keep them all from defecting.

But hey, snappy toon!
posted by Davenhill at 11:38 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps soon the North Koreans can cover other classic Norwegian bands on the accordion, such as Darkthrone or Borknagar.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:53 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Too bad they didn't Rick Roll em', with flags and accordions.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:25 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So they do allow them to listen to pop music in Korean... if only one track it seems.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:16 AM on February 18, 2012


I know this sounds provincial, but it never occurred to me until just now that there are countries with normalized relations with North Korea. No wonder the US's "stranglehold" on them has gone on ineffectually for so long.
posted by crunchland at 4:21 AM on February 18, 2012


I'm so disappointed this isn't a post on Korean black metal.
posted by pmcp at 4:23 AM on February 18, 2012


I much prefer the original video for this anthem, which shows a proletarian race-car driver trapped in a capitalist world -- here depicted as colorless, crudely drawn and cruel -- chased by two bloodthirsty goons representing the American Imperialist Murderers and their puppets in the Seoul regime. At the end, a noble proletarian waitress, literally reaches out to him and, through Dear Leader's inspired leadership and the power of the Juche idea, is able to free the race-car driver from his false world, leaving the American bastard and his lackey to die in their crumpled regime, relegated to the dustbin of history.

I'm sure there are better analyses of the video than this one, though. My background is primarily in Burmese Flag Twirling.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:26 AM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


The BBC has some background on Morten Traavik and the North Korean A-ha-covering accordionists. I do love the videos of the five accordionists playing Take on Me, both the one in North Korea and the one in Norway. Both look like scenes in a Wes Anderson film.
posted by Kattullus at 6:13 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


twoleftfeet: " if they really did it the North Korean way, he probably won't be a problem in future performances.

Oh shit. Hey, North Korean propaganda-monitoring-people, my comment was something we in The West call a "joke". Please don't hurt that guy."

He was put on the plane and flown back to NK for Enhanced Re-Education long before your comment.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:24 AM on February 18, 2012


Oh, and some glorious pictures of Traavik in North Korea.
posted by Kattullus at 6:39 AM on February 18, 2012


It's called a card stunt.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:04 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kirkenes is way the hell north, around 70N and the greater metro area of Kirkenes contains 7000 residents. Must have been pretty awesome, looks like the whole town turned out. Maybe in true North Korean fashion they were promised an extra half kilo of rice for the month for coming?
posted by Nelson at 8:13 AM on February 18, 2012


We need to get on this now. We can NOT allow America to fall behind in the accordion-based mass games race.
posted by Samizdata at 8:18 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This link (mostly lacking in 80s accordian adaptations, sadly, though there's a snippet at the end) seems to suggest that the display is called Arirang (at least the North Korean variety is) and that the performers are Norwegian border guards. That is to say, no one was re-educated, but some guards did receive personal, one-on-one sign-holding instruction. Also, they're sitting on snow, so their asses must be freezing.
posted by maryr at 9:07 AM on February 18, 2012


Samizdata: "We need to get on this now. We can NOT allow America to fall behind in the accordion-based mass games race."

So typical for a pig-dog American Imperialist to say.

You have no understanding of the glory and importance of submission to the collective will. You will crumple under the Mighty Fist of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as we crush you at accordion-based mass games! We will demonstrate to the world what a paper tiger you are!
posted by double block and bleed at 9:39 AM on February 18, 2012


BTW, is there a name for this kind of thing?

Obedience.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:44 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


double block and bleed: "Samizdata: "We need to get on this now. We can NOT allow America to fall behind in the accordion-based mass games race."

So typical for a pig-dog American Imperialist to say.

You have no understanding of the glory and importance of submission to the collective will. You will crumple under the Mighty Fist of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as we crush you at accordion-based mass games! We will demonstrate to the world what a paper tiger you are!
"

Freedom is not free! It costs dominance in accordion-based mass games!

We are FREE!

FREE TO KICK YOUR FASCIST ASSES WITH OUR MASS GAMES...OF FREEDOM!
posted by Samizdata at 10:40 PM on February 19, 2012


Oh, and yeah, YOUR FUNKY, UNHIP SPEEDSUIT-CLAD GIANT SHADE WEARING DADDY IS DEAD!
posted by Samizdata at 10:51 PM on February 19, 2012


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