political convention

political convention

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Story of the Dear Leader

In 2007 the State of Maine commissioned an artist to paint a mural to hang in the offices of the State Department of Labor. Its purpose was to tell the history of working men and women and their struggles. However, when some people looked closely they began to notice other themes. One dramatic image showed heroic soldiers with flowing red flags marching to face a foreign enemy.  Another showed a man with a particularly commanding presence observing as workers toiled to complete a massive engineering project.  The same gallant leader appeared again encircled by a throng of adoring children.

Soon, complaints about the mural began arriving at the office of Republican Governor Paul R. LePage.  Offended business leaders told the governor the mural made it look like Maine was a hotbed of anti-capitalist sentiment.  A supporter of the Governor thought the mural looked suspiciously like North Korean propaganda.  The impressive  man in the paintings was none other than Kim Il Sung, the father of current North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, known as “Dear Leader.” 

Hearing all this, an outraged Gov. LePage ordered the mural taken down and this past weekend it was  surreptitiously put in storage. 

Union members around the state couldn’t understand.  Clearly, the mural showed only historical pictures of workers and the industries in which they worked.  There were loggers, textile workers, women working at defense plants during World War II, and scenes of laboring people parading to advocate their rights. The mural was done in a style reminiscent of the paintings hung in public buildings across the country as part of WPA projects during the great depression. 

However, Gov. LePage thought the labor people were crazy. They obviously weren’t seeing what he and his friends saw.  If his state was to maintain a good business climate, a public building shouldn't be used for commie  propaganda and certainly not for the benefit of the type of people who found that terrible mural inspiring.

To see the mural go to:
For what the governor and his friends saw, enter "North Korean propaganda art" in Google. 

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