Some more comments on the lack of advertising in North Korea…
The country has almost no advertising. You can drive for hours without seeing any billboards.
What do you see instead? Green hills, mountains, streams, lakes, people working and walking from place to place. I found the countryside beautiful, if I didn’t pay attention the dilapidated buildings and roads.
The country, of course, has problems, as the sources in my brief bibliography describe. My point is not to compare. Anyone can show how much better their own country is by their standards, but how much has pride led you to improve your life? Humility is harder to come by but improves your life more. That’s been my experience, anyway.
In the U.S. billboards block the views of our farms, wetlands, mountains, and natural beauty. If you think you ignore them or they don’t work on you, you’re wrong. People put them up and keep them up because they do work. They influence you. Our messages may be more commercial than political, but they influence you just as much. Except that we have more of them.
But my main point of this post it that our billboards block our views of nature, one of the most beautiful things we can see. Even if we didn’t mind them all in urban environments like New York City, we put them everywhere.
How did our world come to this point, where we cover views of trees, lakes, hills, swamps, and everything with messages to buy stuff? Where we value commerce — not even commerce, but just marketing — over connection with nature? Where a place like North Korea reminds you how much beauty we’ve covered up?
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