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The Ballet of Tyranny

2003-01-29 22:46:44+00 by petronius 2 comments

Is there a specific body language for different political ideologies? As suggested by Slate (Edit: link was http://slate.msn.com/id/2077384/ ),the notorius goosestep is one such. It makes no tactical sense to train soldiers in it, it does not exercise any needed muscle groups, yet it is cultivated to a remarkable degree in various dictatorships, such as North Korea. Of course, there is the theory that most dictators are actually failed artists, like Hitler. I guess I never realized that the art in question was the dance.

[ related topics: Politics Art & Culture ]

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#Comment made: 2003-01-29 23:12:07+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wow. Cool article. I love the George Orwell quote, sort of a vision of what punk could be without anarchy:

Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is "Yes, I am ugly, and you daren't laugh at me."

We also see this similar attention to ridiculous ritual as a method of expressing a level of control over troops in our own culture; that's what the suit and tie are about.

Well worth reading.

#Comment made: 2003-01-30 15:15:22+00 by: petronius

I did see a variation on the goosestep a few months ago, when the incipient war between India and Pakistan was heating up. A news program showed the official frontier crossing between the two countries, where each night the guards ceremoniously close the gates. Two guards, dressed in starched uniforms with creases so sharp you could shave with them marched around, executing a super-goosestep where their toes came up as far as their noses. There were many sharp turns and twirls, every one expressing unutterable contempt for the other side. While there were many ritual salutes, it was obvious that both men would far prefer to be shooting a rifle at the other. The show is so popular that both sides have set up bleachers so visiting patriots can admire it at their ease.

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