October 14, 2009

"The worst building in the history of mankind."

Will it ever be finished?


Anonymous said...

No, it won't be, because there's nobody left in North Korea.

If you look closely at Google Earth satellite imagery from Pyongyang, you will notice something every strange.

There are almost no people. It's quite eerie.

David said...

The media trots out this story about once a year. Beats working on something new.

Look at the photo closely, though. Could it be a spaceship in disguise?

Wince said...

It looks like the agitator from an old top-loading washing machine.

Dustin said...

Unfortunately, the damage from the elements makes it very difficult to salvage this building to its fullest potential. With enough creativity, something could be made if it. The Eiffel Tower, after all, was just a temporary thing. I'm surprised North Korea puts all the effort into fake shows and has never bothered to make something out of this. Even a minimally complete building with a facade would be something.

Of course, the truth is anyone who cares abhors this government that has killed a substantial fraction of their people via starvation. At least there's something dems and reps can agree on. On second thought, it's a shame.

Fred4Pres said...

It looks like it belongs at Epcot, at least from a distance.

I visited the Leningrad in 1991 (when it was still Leningrad) and stayed at some nasty Soviet concrete monstrocity. Just before the coup attempt. It was worse looking from a distance than this NoKo building. It was worse inside by far. The food was horrible, but they did have a decent well stocked bar that was not too overpriced for western prices(especially compared to neighboring Finland). And you could by vodka for abotu a $1 a bottle outside the hotel (not Grey Goose, but drinkable--I did not go blind right away).

The hotel was full of prostitutes. I did meet a nice (non-prostitute) Russian girl on the train ride in from Helsinki (this was during Peristrokia so she was not KGB).

She met me the next day and got me a tour of the storerooms of the Russian Museum. There were amazing things. Wedding dresses completely embroidered with fresh water pearls. Piles of samouri swords from Russian diplomatic missions to Japan. Amazing paintings of cossacks and tartars and turks and wild russians. Old Samovars on shelves everywhere. Lots of icons. Lots of Siberian native bows and spears. Really amazing stuff.

Leningrad was like Paris, but with no businesses on the ground floors and hardly any cars. Not many bikes either (like Ho Chi Mihn in the 90s). The street life was completely dead, although there were night clubs and bars that you could go to.

I think NoKo is definitely worse.

Dustin said...

Yes, it's worse.

The scale of human suffering in North Korea is simply staggering. Russia was not a picnic... they had lots of pain and death too. But I have to agree that the Koreans are in a completely worse place.

It's hard to accept that people with the same core being as all humans would accept such conditions... that they are mostly brainwashed and intervention would fail. I'm not the expert, though.

JohnAnnArbor said...

The building reallyi is a monstrosity. The top is supposed to be seven revolving restaurants, one on top of the next. They take a passing Western fad and overdo it well past parody to...I don't know what. Just creepy.

Would you trust an elevator in that thing?

SteveR said...

Wow and the delay isn't even caused by NEPA.

Revenant said...

If you look closely at Google Earth satellite imagery from Pyongyang, you will notice something every strange. There are almost no people. It's quite eerie.

You're right -- the difference between Pyongyang and Seoul is striking.

Doug Sundseth said...

From the BBC story:

"The authorities want Pyongyang to look like a modern, thrusting capital city...."

"[T]hrusting"? Really?

I think a BBC reporter has been reading too much North Korean propaganda. Or too many Harlequin romances. (There's quite a bit of similarity, really.)

Anonymous said...

Also from the story is the claim that the North Korean economy nosedived.

That right there is some hilarious shit. North Korea has no economy. Economy means people buying and selling things among themselves. This North Koreans cannot do.

Do reporters not know anything about anything?

Dustin said...

Seven, that was very amusing indeed.

These people do seem to have it worse than they used to, but a lot of that perception is because we have more information. The idea that North Korea's commerce ever justifies a Dubai-esque superbuilding is ridiculous on its face.

If you travel north of this hotel, you can see the USS Pueblo, btw. They offer tours.

What's so unfortunate about this situation is that if Kim Jung Il or his late father Il Sung really desired love and fame and approval from the west, it's obvious what they would need to do.

Just write a new constitutional democracy, with a legit bill of basic rights, destroy all the military hardware, and take a few hundred million dollars and live your life as a private citizen. He's have to deal with a ruling elite... but they are extremely weak in comparison to the praise such behavior would bring. Nobels, books, fawning. Actually justified, too.

It wouldn't take long before the people had more food to eat, either. But these people don't have normal human minds, and this doesn't mean much to them.

reader_iam said...

The lines in that photo makes me think of the font used in the Gadzooka Gum piece in the Wacky Package Series, of decades ago.

bagoh20 said...

North Korea, is there any better example of failure.

Slow Joe, I have no doubt your simple solution would save a nation of millions. That's what's truly saddening.

Clyde said...

It'll be completed the day before Ol' Chia-head cuts the ribbon to open the Pyongyang Olympics.

As bleak and Orwellian as the pictures I've seen of North Korea are, I'd have to think that Pyongyang would have been the capital of Eastasia.

MadisonMan said...

Interesting that this is being funded by a cell phone company that wants to make inroads into the Korean market, such as it is.

I would never trust the structural integrity of the thing.

knox said...

Fred4Pres, what a great experience. Facinating.

Last year I saw a show called "Superhomes" about real estate for the rich in Russia. The showed a clip of old mansions from the 1800s that are all over the country, but nestled so far back in the wilderness they are unusable now. Amazing things. Anyway, I'd love to go to Russia one day.

John said...

Fred, I was in St. Petersburg a few months ago and what I saw was quite different. Nevsky Prospekt was lined with bookshops, department stores, bars and restaurants. People were out in the street at all hours of the day and night (actually there isn't much distinction between the two in the summer). And I never saw so many expensive cars in one place before.

I'm sure the transition to capitalism has not benefitted everyone, but I didn't see any more panhandlers than I have in major European cities.

Rialby said...

Wait, I thought the EIB Headquarters was the worst building in the history of mankind?

bearbee said...

Just another problem with totalitarian regimes:
you can't tell them when something is ugly....and live.

TMink said...

I think these buildings are worse.


Far worse in fact.


Unknown said...

Maybe that's where LAUSD got the inspiration for their bureaucratic monstrosity.

LA #9

sonicfrog said...

Heh. Without reading the details of the post, I assumed it was about the new World Trade Center!!! :-)

Leland said...

Without reading the details of the post, I assumed it was about the new World Trade Center!!! :-)

I did too.

Tarzan said...

Sorry, but I think it's cool! Then again, I was a die-hard fan of Thunderbirds and UFO as a kid...

Methadras said...

Hey, I wonder when the jihadi's are going to fly a plane into that thing. If any building ever need to get hit by a plane, it's that one.

Hey, is this where they are going to house the rest of the North Korean left in that staggering shit-hole of death?

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