Would be nice if a CNMI government agency knew what CNMI stands for

By Mabel Doge Luhan

Our world is always changing, isn’t it? But some things are the same year in and year out, such as the Marianas Variety’s yearly Friends of the Arts press release (this year, in the March 25th Variety) that reliably misspells the names of composers they claim to adore, as well as the name of the world’s most famous music school. Doesn’t anyone at the Variety have spell check? Or doesn’t anyone at FOA read books?

It’s almost as reliable as MVA’s website linking to a nonexistent domain when you try to select Chinese language on https://www.mymarianas.com/ :  It goes to http://www.mymarianas.cn/ which nobody seems to have remembered to register. We sure are enthusiastically getting those Chinese tourists, aren’t we!

But none of that is important when the MVA has seemingly listened to my advice to hire an actual ad agency for its Korea work! The RFP announcement is in the Variety’s March 25 printed edition! Well, they must be running scared of getting a budgetary haircut!

How many years did it take for the MVA to arrive at the conclusion that marketing might require actual professionals, and how much FRESH LOBSTER will the ad agency be required to supply? Of course, MVA’s RFP announcement doesn’t even know what Korea is called (it’s formally Republic of Korea, or informally South Korea, never MVA’s “Republic of South Korea”). Somewhat worryingly, MVA’s RFP announcement doesn’t even seem to know what CNMI stands for (the M is for Mariana, not MVA’s “Marianas”). Even more disturbing was MVA’s March 22nd Saipan Tribune press release about their Australia vacation, where the MVA seems to think that the CNMI is a “US protectorate.” Why not go all-out and just call us the German Protectorate of New Guinea? Even old New York was once New Amsterdam!

MVA’s lack of knowledge about the CNMI and Korea can be excused, of course, considering how little time they spend in the CNMI and Korea. I’m sure they can spell Langkawi, however! And maybe even Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, where it’s now beautiful autumn, and where in the photos Chris and Thomas look as happy as pigs in shit! Shit we paid for, of course.

By the way, do you know that in November, 2023, MVA spent a fabulous week in New Orleans? As always: even if you don’t know, you still paid for it.

Page 7 of the printed edition of the Marianas Variety might not be the best way to announce an opportunity to Korean ad firms, but something tells me that MVA isn’t exactly looking for a wide range of bids, especially not from actually competitive Korean ad companies.

Or has MVA actually reached out to Cheil, Punch Korea, and the other legitimate ad firms that could actually do good work for us? I can hold out hope, but with MVA, it’s a bit like waiting for Godot! (I bet Friends of the Arts would spell it Godo.)

Any bets on whose relatives will get the MVA Korea ad contract, how much they’ll overcharge us, and whether they’ll know what Korea is called, much less be able to find it on a map?


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.

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