Along the 38th parallel on the Korean Peninsula is a well fortified DMZ, which separates the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with the Republic of South Korean. Since the cease fire in 1954, the two brotherly states have been starring down the barrels of each other’s weapons, watching and waiting for the slightest flinch of aggression from the opposite side.
Meanwhile, 12,000 miles away on the 74 degree line of longitude, two rival states, the Quakers from Pennsylvania, and the Buckeyes of Ohio, square off in a ruthless game of who can up who in trying to lure the residents of the other side into their fold.
These two contentious borders of the world stand as reminders of how ideological differences can divide even a homogeneous people group.
Let’s look a little closer at the two battle zones.
On the northern side of the 38th parallel, North Korea has constructed a propaganda town, with large houses and attractive architecture. These small mansions are meant to show the wealth and prosperity of the North Korean way of governance.
On the South Korean side, they constructed a large flag bowl to proudly display the South Korean and American joint colors.
Not to be outdone, the North Korean side constructed the highest flag pole in the world to say, basically, that we can build anything higher than you.
It seems that North Korea is winning the propaganda war because of their impressive deft displays of construction. But on closer inspection, one will notice that the massive houses and apartment complexes are simply facades. Fake. No one lives there. They are merely propaganda shells of properties merely trying to lure duped South Koreans across the border. As far as I can tell, exactly zero people from South Korea have tried to emigrate northward.
Likewise on the 74 degree line of longitude (that does not have the same ring as 38th parallel, does it?) the sneaky Ohioans have stealthily ripped a page from the North Korean playbook by trying to impress Pennsylvanians through shock and awe driving moments when crossing the border.
The Ohio-PA border class happens along US Route 422 which heads from New Castle, PA towards Youngstown, OH. One can not help but notice the difference when your vehicle crosses the border. The bumpy, bouncy PA side immediately gives way to the most beautiful four lane, newly paved, dark black, yellow-striped asphalt, that makes one feel like they are floating on puffy clouds. Pennsylvanians have been know to want to denounce their state-ship once crossing the border at this particular juncture. Many stop their vehicles within a mile of the border and call home, “Ma, pack up the pick-up. We’re heading to the land of smooth asphalt. Ohio! Don’t worry. We’ll figure out what a buckeye is when we get there.”
It’s easy to be fooled because this is an example of a propaganda border. Because what old Jed-let’s-move-to-Ohio-with-our-guns doesn’t know, that merely one mile further down the road, that Ohio heavenly ride turns into a bucking bronco ride with potholes rivaling the road to hell itself. Hades-holes, I believe they are called. (At least that’s what Pennsylvanians call them.)
It’s a dirty trick that Ohio plays, pulling in the gullible only to laugh as their car bottoms out and disappears into the massive sinkholes.
Ruthless propaganda games are being played around the world. Remember to not let appearances fool you if you intend to emigrate to another state.