It’s beginning to look a bit like North Korea


Isn’t this the type of billboard you’d expect to see in Pyongyang, glorifying Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il? I never imagined we’d see such a monstrosity in Tampa, Florida. But we have. And it’s sponsored by Clear Channel, a company that has a history of going far out of its way to kiss Our Leader’s ass.

Update: Thanks to a commenter, I see I got the wrong image. Here’s what the billboard really says:


The Discussion: 19 Comments

Translated Into German, It’s Not Funny At All

Good Lord, is this for real? Via Peking Duck .

November 23, 2004 @ 4:47 pm | Comment

freedom of speech is a bitch isn’t it??

November 23, 2004 @ 5:52 pm | Comment

Oh, America is worse than Nor Korea. They’re tearing down the Dear Leader’s pictures there.

November 23, 2004 @ 6:09 pm | Comment

Well DAN RATHER learned the price of blasting Bush is unemployment…

November 23, 2004 @ 6:15 pm | Comment

Hey Ken, I am all for freedom of speech. But if you look at the huge posters of Stalin back in the 40s and Kim up until last week in NK, this is strikingly similar. Even in the verbiage, “Our leader.” And so I exercise, proudly, my freedom of speech to point it out. What next: “One people, one government, one leader”? (“Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer.”)

Sam, you’re right. Let’s hope Bush follows suit and asks them to take such silly billboards down ASAP.

November 23, 2004 @ 6:38 pm | Comment

The irony of going into Iraq, tearing down every statue and billboard of Saddam, and attempting to install a democracy to prevent that from happening again there, to seeing billboards of our elected leader here, is just too much for me. I’m heading to the North Pole to cryogenically freeze myself. I figure by the time global warming thaws me out, we’ll have figured out exactly what to do with this billboard…

November 23, 2004 @ 11:50 pm | Comment

Then again, ahem, we may be making a bit much of a roadside sign.

November 24, 2004 @ 2:44 am | Comment

Hey, that’s where I’m from!

Sometimes it feels good to be in China….

November 24, 2004 @ 4:18 am | Comment

The right-wing รฉlite has been doing some strange things to the language.

First we had “homeland security,” then “freedom fries,” and now this.

To realize how profoundly creepy this really is, all you conservabots have to do is imagine a huge portrait of Clinton (either of them), or Kerry, or Al Sharpton, or [insert name of your least-favorite Democrat here], bearing the same message.

November 24, 2004 @ 4:52 am | Comment

And it’s sponsored by Clear Channel, a company that has a history of going far out of its way to kiss Our Leader’s ass.

Not just a personality cult, but a privately-sponsored one. Brilliant.

My dad tells me that annual reports from banks in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states always contain a full page of sycophantic grovelling towards the king or emir or whoever for his wise and inspired leadership ushering the nation into an age of prosperity, etc, complete with large full-colour photo. I suppose that this is the American version.

November 24, 2004 @ 5:50 am | Comment

Via le Fridge:


November 24, 2004 @ 9:14 am | Comment

Yo! Chill out! It’s just a poster from someone with an opinion. The difference between the U.S. and North Korea is not, as someone jokingly implied, that Kim’s pictures are being taken down. It is that you are allowed to voice your criticism of the poster without people locking you up for 10 years of reeducation. If I complained about every stupid billboard I saw while driving the interstate, I would never stop complaining.

Anyways, the views of a privately funded group should not be taken to express the “direction of the country” whether things are going in that direction or not. Hard statistics would be a better measure. I recall the many billboards in North Central Florida directing motorists to Cafe Risque, a seedy strip joint. Those signs have been up for years. Does the fact that they have not yet been protested against by some ultra-conservative group reflect an ongoing kinky nerve in the population of the area? Maybe, but probably not. It is all in money. Pay the money, and you can have a poster too. I invite any private group to put up a poster denouncing Bush or saying that the aliens are coming tomorrow. Pay me enough, and I will even put it up for you ๐Ÿ˜‰ In conclusion $$$$ = stupid posters (even of Bush).

November 24, 2004 @ 11:36 am | Comment

Thomas, it’s still a very odd thing to see this sort of thing in ASmerica. No one ever said our system is like theirs, did they? It may be “just a private company” speaking its voice, but it’s a great big fat billboard over a major metropolitan city and it’s weird. They certainly have every right to put it there, but it is emblematic of the type of cult leadership we associate with Saddam and Kim and Stalin. I’ve seen lots of dumb billboards. I have never, ever, ever seen a great big billboard with a picture of an American president that crys out, “Our leader.” That’s downright strange.

November 24, 2004 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

All I am saying is: Strange is strange. And it is a little strange. But I have seen far stranger. Some sports fans go wilder over less. The problem is that this election has brought out a bit of bitter and ridiculous in many many people. And now…. someone’s team won and they are basking in the rosy glow of victory. It is never glamorous to gloat, but some people break the bounds of etiquette. In a few months, when when the ridiculous edges of the whole campaign have been dulled for both sides, I bet the Our Leader sign will no longer be there. If it IS still there and has spread throughout the state and country then maybe we can talk about a disturbing trend. For now it is just a local anomoly.


November 24, 2004 @ 2:11 pm | Comment

But thanks to blogs like this, it’s now an international anomaly! Isn’t that cool…? I mean, even Kim Jong Il himself has posted about it on his own blog! How dizzying to know that we have the power to shake the world.

November 24, 2004 @ 2:27 pm | Comment

Dude, It’s Tampa, a city where drooling, lowlife, intolerant psychopaths draw nary a second glance. A sweltering, putrid cesspool where right-wing hatemongers breed like bacteria. A sprawling pseudometropolis so desperately lacking in culture that it makes Gainesville seem fresh and sophisticated. You will see the day when they commission a 50-foot statue of Bush in his flight suit to be raised over Bayshore, staring belligerently out over the bay.

Karl, refugee of CHS & USF.

November 24, 2004 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

Sounds like the right place for a huge Bush billboard.

November 24, 2004 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

Shush, Bush might hear you.

If you start talking about putting “our leader” signs up being like north Korea, Bush migh actually try to put some up in North Korea.

I didn’t want Bush in America or iraq,and I certainly don’t want him in a country that could lot 2000 missiles at its neighbors. Especially as I’m living in one of them.

On the other hand, at least big writting. Most Replublicans will be able to read it.

November 24, 2004 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Asshole? Thats a insult to rectums everywhere

November 26, 2004 @ 9:30 am | Comment

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