Today, Venezuelan government made police brutality legal

They are making legal use of lethal weapons for crowd control. They almost did it last year, but is now guaranteed by law. Last year they used tear gas and pepperball launchers (some of those filled with marbles), now, they can use war equipment at own judgement.

I already felt threatened, now it’s just absurd, i fear for my life. This is a real dictatorship.


The revolution will arrive via thumb drives. 

“… A compact man dressed in only a hoodie and boxer shorts wades out of the waist-high water and onto the riverbank where Jung and his companions stand. Jung arranged the meeting earlier in the day using coded language over walkie-talkies. The men embrace and speak softly for a minute about each other’s health, the price of North Korean mushrooms, and Jung’s mother, whom he’d left behind in the North 10 years ago. Then Jung hands the man a tightly wrapped plastic bag containing a trove of precious black-market data: 200 Sandisk USB drives and 300 micro SD cards, each packed with 16 gigabytes of videos like Lucy, Son of God, 22 Jump Street, and entire seasons of South Korean reality television shows, comedies, and soap operas. To bribe the guards on the North Korean side, Jung has included in the bag an HP laptop computer, cigarettes, liquor, and close to $1,000 in cash.
The man in the hoodie slings the bag of digital contraband over his shoulder. Then he says good-bye and disappears back into the world’s deepest black hole of information.”

MORE: The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of Friends

Look, words are like the air: they belong to everybody. Words are not the problem; it’s the tone, the context, where those words are aimed, and in whose company they are uttered. Of course murderers and victims use the same words, but I never read the words utopia, or beauty, or tenderness in police descriptions. Do you know that the Argentinean dictatorship burnt The Little Prince ? And I think they were right to do so, not because I do not love The Little Prince , but because the book is so full of tenderness that it would harm any dictatorship.

Juan Gelman

quote in Spanish here.

In 1998, Hugo Chavez won the Venezuelan presidential elections, and our interviewee Juan Lopez got to learn what 14 years under a veritable dictatorship does to the gaming scene.

3 Shocking Things You Realize as a Gamer in a Dictatorship

#3. Most Games Are Straight-Up Illegal, So Piracy Is Rampant
In 2009, Wilmer Iglesias, a deputy for the National Assembly, supported a law prohibiting the development, circulation, and sale of toys and video games with violent content. Do you know how many games have some form of the seriously ambiguously worded “violent content”? … Shooters, fighting games, RPGs – all illegal. A retailer faces fines of up to 260,000 bolivares ($20,000 U.S.) and 5 years in prison if the authorities catch them selling banned games.

Read More

North Korea: An ad-free utopia? 

By Lisa Wade, PhD

Skipping through a set of images of North Korea by photographers David Guttenfelder and Vincent Yu, I was reminded that the city is almost entirely devoid of advertising. There is political propaganda everywhere, of course, but there is an overwhelming absence of the marketing for products characteristic of capitalist societies. All of the print and electronic media is under state control, and the state administers and controls the economy as well. Accordingly… there is almost no advertising. The images in the slide show give us a peak into this world without ads.

Here are some images from a 2010 LIFE slide show:


“Ukrán vagyok, Kijev szülötte. Most a Majdanon vagyok, a város főterén. Szeretném, ha tudnátok, hogy miért vannak ezrek az utcákon az országban. Egy oka van: szabadulni akarunk a diktatúrától. Szabadok akarunk lenni a politikusoktól, akik csak magukért dolgoznak.

Akik készek lelőni, megverni, megsebesíteni embereket, hogy mentsék a pénzüket, házukat, hatalmukat. Azt akarom, ezek az emberek itt, akiknek van méltóságuk, akik bátrak, normális életet élhessenek. Mi civilizáltak vagyunk, a kormányunk viszont barbár.

Azt akarjuk, hogy ne legyenek korruptak a bíróságaink. Szabadok akarunk lenni. Holnap talán már nem lesznek telefonjaink, nem lesz internetünk. Egyedül leszünk itt a téren. A rendőrök talán egyenként megölnek majd minket.

Ezért kérlek most titeket, hogy segítsetek. Ezt a szabadságot a szívünkben őrizzük. Ezt a szabadságot az elménkben őrizzük. Most pedig szeretnénk elmondani. Azt szeretnénk, ha elmondanád ezt a történetet a barátaidnak, ha megosztanád ezt a videót. Mutasd meg a családodnak, a barátaidnak, a kormányodnak. Mutasd meg, hogy támogatsz minket.”