Delete and Clone

The funeral for Kim Jong-il was notable for, among other things, its relative restraint. The departed North Korean leader was known for personally overseeing the production of feverishly precise mass spectacles. However, as the New York Times reports, some of Kim Jong-Il’s fanatical attention to detail continues. 

[P]erhaps it was because the scene was so nearly impeccable that someone — an overzealous North Korean photo editor? — appears to have taken issue with an errant group of men, barely noticeable in a sweeping photograph of the procession in central Pyongyang, and removed them.

image from

The change seems harmless enough, just a little tidying up, but it also shows the banality of totalitarianism, which depends, more than anything else, on rigorous deletion.

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