Another outbreak of the Madonna Syndrome, this time …

at the Wall Street Journal. Despite all the references to “risk,” “tension,” and “testing the … limits,” the slide show shows us the same stations in the same old state-sanctioned tour that hundreds of people have been hyping for a decade and a half. It is all so very dull now.

You could find more arresting images of almost any other city on Earth without attracting the interest of a single newspaper, yet no image of Pyongyang is too trite to be at least a small media spectacle. Watching the foreigners circle around and around this Potemkin slot-car loop, I realize that it is becoming a parade of the talentless — the anti-New York, New York (you can make it there, even if you could never make it anywhere else).

How many camera crews would have followed Dennis Rodman to Minsk? Q.E.D.