On April 23, Mars One began accepting applications for the first ever Mars colony, which at this stage is nothing more than a website and the ramblings of a crazy businessman. Seriously, despite having literally almost nothing to differentiate itself from any of the countless other space-related fundraising projects currently out there, Mars One manages to stay in the news. It's like they've taken lessons from North Korea on how to stay relevant in the face of crippling irrelevance.
Think about it ...
#5. They Both Make Propaganda Videos Devoid of Any Real Information
As we pointed out last month, North Korea loves their propaganda videos, all of them champions of unintentional comedy and absent of anything that could be mistaken for facts.
Mars One made a video, too, and despite being a handsome example of semi-professional visual effects, it doesn't convey a single bit of information beyond reminding us that Mars is a thing and space is where astronauts live.
"Only the blandest men will do for our new world."
Nothing about the science, nothing about how they plan to pull it off or what resources they will require. Just a stoic spaceman and a thoughtfully determined pair of eyes.
Stoned, slightly unfocused eyes.
It falls perfectly into the category of "videos made exclusively to remind you that we exist" that North Korea has been perfecting.
#4. They Both Invest Heavily in Fake Pictures
Doctored images are like currency in North Korea, usually touched up to make it look like they have more missiles than they actually do or staged to make it appear that Kim Jong Un is chairing every military strategy discussion.
"Everyone should have guns this big, like in Rambo."
"How many inches can we move each turn?"
Same thing with Mars One. So far all they've put out are animated interpretations of what their proposed colony might look like, in space, 20 years from now.
Granted, we're not expecting them to take actual pictures on Mars, but it would be nice to see photos of some of their facilities, equipment, etc., since they're asking for both money and lives to fling into space. But of course they can't show us those photos, because they don't actually have any of that stuff. All they have is a website. We can't stress that enough.
#3. They Both Know Their Buzzwords
Both North Korea and Mars One know what phrases make good headlines. North Korea has famously threatened to "wipe the U.S. once and for all," not to mention their vow to crush South Korea with "sledge hammer retaliation" for their "puppet authorities" and their anti-North Korean rally, which was dubbed a "monstrous criminal act" by Kim Jong Un and friends.
Ed Jones / AFP / Getty
"Wait, are you clapping for me or them? If me, good. If them, fuck you."
In the Mars One recruitment video, the narrator says phrases like "the heavens are part of man's world" and "the dawn of a new era." And in their press release, Mars One expresses hope that the whole world will unite to search for the "envoys of mankind to Mars."
Clearly an elite group.
They're like two entities that speak exclusively in taglines.