Two Quotes.

These two quotes from the June 10th New York Times beg for juxtaposition:

The first is from the article about the oldest leather shoe ever discovered:

…an Armenian doctoral student, Diana Zardaryan, noticed a small pit of weeds. Reaching down, she touched two sheep horns, then an upside-down broken bowl. Under that was what felt like “an ear of a cow,” she said. “But when I took it out, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s a shoe. To find a shoe has always been my dream.’

The second is from Hidden Misery: A Glimpse Into North Korea, which draws on interviews with North Koreans who have escaped what may be the most isolated, oppressive country on the planet. One of the article’s sources is the wife of an official in the ruling Worker’s Party (for obvious reasons, no other identifying information is given):

Those North Koreans who have never crossed the border have no way to make sense of their tribulations. There is no Internet. Television and radio receivers are soldered to government channels. Even the party offical’s wife lacks a telephone and mourns her lack of contact with the outside world. Her first question to a foreigner was “Am I pretty?”

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