Saturday, December 1, 2012

I’m a Fan of Kim Jong Un (UPDATED)

“We need to make the wall higher, Bruce Willis!  People are still trying to escape to North Korea.”  –President Obama to Willis’ Die Hard character

Kim Jong Un with fellow, though much older, KPA generals
Since the title of this rant has guaranteed that a great many conservatives and libertarians alike are extremely upset with me, allow me to clarify a key point.  I’m not actually a fan of the North Korean dictator.  After all, unlike his father and grandfather, he hasn’t done anything to impress me yet, like develop nuclear weapons, cause widespread famines, or invade South Korea.  Rather, I’m a big fan of the web series The Adventures of Kim Jong Un.  The boys and girls of College Humor really outdid themselves with this project!

There are fewer action sequences I’ll ever see that are more epic than the Supreme Leader morphing into a MIG jet, mounting a Pegasus, which itself is already riding a magic carpet with jet propulsion, and going full speed ahead to kick some capitalist ass.  Follow this up with the Marxist-Leninist dictator drawing his lightsaber-tipped broadsword and winning a showdown with his moonwalk skills.  Yes, that happened.  And it was awesome.

This satirical animated micro-series is freaking hilarious if you can understand the references.  Given that I make it a hobby to study Marxism and Marxist-Leninist doctrines, I tend to know a thing or two about North Korea. (Remember, xenophobic neoconservatives, the first rule of battle is to know your enemy.)

By the way, I’d like to give Bradley Martin a shout out for essentially educating me about the DPRK.  His epically long tome Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader contains everything you need to know (and a library of information you neither need to know nor care about) regarding North Korea and the Kim Dynasty.  Nonetheless, the book is superbly written and widely read by military officers and government officials who deal with Korean affairs.  If you’re a smug know-it-all like me and you want to be smarter than your world-savvy friends, check out the book.

The emergence of the Kim Jong Un comedy micro-series is not only joyful for easily entertained geeks like me, but also relevant to the times.  Not only is North Korean propaganda beyond over-the-top, it turns out the Onion article naming Kim Jong Un the Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 was taken seriously by China’s People’s Daily newspaper.

No, that wasn’t a joke.  The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party was thrilled that their dictatorial ally was named Sexiest Man Alive by an American media outlet and they did full coverage of the event.  I kid you not.  Needless to say the article has since disappeared from existence, but it was fun while it lasted.  Golf clap for The Onion.

I highly recommend the micro-series to anyone who knows a thing or two about Asia who’s looking for a good laugh.  However, I must warn my fellow conservatives and libertarians alike: I’m certainly no fan of President Obama, but it will only annoy me if you try to align him with the North Korean dictator.  Seriously, Obama is not a Marxist-Leninist.  Like most liberals, he’s a Keynesian social-democrat with fleeting admiration for some of the lofty-sounding Marxist ideals.  There is a difference.

Frankly—and I hate to admit this—Bill Clinton of all people has a better record of rescuing people from North Korea than even James Bond.  Who knew?

I guess that means the filmmakers of Rand Paul Flix will have to help me top that achievement by establishing free trade and friendly and open relations with North Korea.  They can do it using a medium that Kim Jong Un, like his late father, has a weakness for: movies.  And what’s the one topic Americans and North Koreans agree on?  Fighting the Japanese in World War II.
No doubt the movie will win at film festivals everywhere

Yes, I can see these events coming into play, the North Korean economy greatly improving as the DPRK pulls a China and adopts a market economy, and I get the Nobel Peace Prize for conceptualizing and guiding the process that brought food and infrastructure to the beleaguered North Korean people.  Furthermore, the jointly produced American-North Korean WWII movie will win all the major Academy Awards, especially Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Actor (to Gerard Butler for playing Kim Il Sung the guerrilla).  I will also buy Kim Jong Un his first beer at the La Verne T Phillips.

Despite the many Oscars the peace-bringing movie will win, it couldn’t possibly be either more far-fetched or epic than the South Korean movie where North and South Korea unite and drop an atomic bomb on Japan in retaliation for colonization and World War II.  Talk about a movie that thinks outside the box.

Why do I never come up with the best ideas?

* * * ADDENDUM 4/10/2013 * * *

The entire world is consumed in the fury of news reports and commentary surrounding Kim Jong Un and the escapades of the North Korean government.  Frankly, my favorite part of the media fury has been the slew of hilarious meems on the internet making fun of the Boy General.  My two favorite so far have been the news still with the headline “France surrenders to North Korea”—face it, they had it coming—and the one where the guy from the Snickers commercial hands the cranky warmongering Kim Jong Un a Snickers bar and the sugar rush turns General Kim back into his happy self: PSY the singer of “Gangnam Style.”

Many news heads and other idiots of the televised blathering class have been incredibly worried about North Korea’s saber rattling.  They’ve even gone so far as to speculate on how crazy Kim Jong Un is.  This is where I have to blatantly disagree with them.  Keep in mind this is by no means the first time North Korea has engaged in extensive saber rattling.  In the late 1960s Kim Il Sung took advantage of the burdensome American commitment in Vietnam to try to start a second Korean War, this time by infiltrating South Korea with thousands of Communist guerrillas and sleeper cell agents.  In 1976, KPA soldiers with axes murdered two American officers trimming a tree on the DMZ.  There were numerous skirmishes on the border once Kim Jong Il took power in the mid-90s.  Finally, there has been more violence along the 38th parallel since Kim the Third took office.  Those who read the “news” reports from KCNA

For decades political commentators have discussed how crazy the Kims are.  They are mistaken.  Kim Jong Un is not crazy; he, like his predecessors, knows exactly what North Korea can get away with.  Also like his predecessors, Jong Un is pushing the envelope to see how far he can stretch the limits.  Best of all, the entire world is freaking out and helping him ACCOMPLISH his objective: fear and the natural respect that results from fear of nuclear war.  This isn’t respect that comes with admiration, but rather the respect that comes with the idea that the gunman with the hostage might shoot, choosing instead to negotiate with him.

Since its inception in 1948 the North Korean regime has had three main goals:
1.      Preserve the Kim Dynasty
2.      Preserve the Communist regime of the Korean Workers Party
3.      Extort or force a bargain for aid and other allowances for North Korea
(Number 4 is to reunify the two Koreas under Communism, if they ever get around to it.)

So far Kim Jong Un knows he can get away with sinking a South Korean navy vessel, a few border attacks, and resuming the nuclear program.  Despite his rhetoric to rain down fiery death on Seoul, he will never do so.  He knows fully well that the South has more advanced armaments than he does, and that a single nuclear attack or military assault on the South will bring the superior firepower of the South, the United States, and the western world down on his country.  Pyongyang will be red, not with Communist flags, but with the blood of Communist martyrs who died in vain.

Instead of sanctioning the North Koreans—a course of action which will only starve hundreds of thousands of innocent North Korean civilians just trying to live out their daily lives—the U.S. should take a leadership role in normalizing relations with the DPRK.  Hell, if Dennis Rodman could go to Pyongyang and talk basketball with the Boy General, then why can’t Hollywood directors, numerous sports legends, Boy Scouts, college professors, and civil engineers be allowed to do the same with their North Korean counterparts?

The best way to normalize relations with a thug regime like the North’s would be through trade and displays of friendship.  Consider our relationship today with China.  More American soldiers died by the hands of Chinese People’s Volunteer Army soldiers by a mile than by North Korean troops, yet we have normalized relations with China today.  Despite the periodic shadiness engaged in by the Chinese Communist Party, Americans and Chinese are getting along great as individuals.  For starters, there are hundreds of Chinese exchange students at my college (and the women are beautiful).  If there was one accomplishment for which I could truly credit President Obama in the years to come—and I’m certainly not a fan of his—it’s to do with North Korea in 2013 what Richard Nixon did with China in 1972.

Let’s not give in to Kim Jong Un’s saber rattling and martial talk.  Let’s just approach the North Korean government and say, “Look, enough of this crap.  Your people are starving, your military equipment is fifty years old, and Lord knows how much longer you’ll be able to keep up this charade.  Keep up the personality cult, the Communist rhetoric, and all the other crap; we don’t care.  But let’s cut the martial crap.  Let’s exchange embassies, and let some of our firms do business with you.

“Let some of our people come visit as tourists so they can spend money you badly need.  If you want our college commies to come as exchange students, you can have them; we sure as hell don’t want them.  Hell, I’m sure every conservative and libertarian in America will be more than willing to pledge $20 to the Move UC Berkeley to Pyongyang Fund.  So let’s drop the hostilities and just be friends.  Besides, you guys haven’t lived until you’ve tasted McDonald’s Big Macs and Coca-Cola.  You’ll love them.  Just ask China!”
An American grunt examining the body of an enemy soldier who died while reading an American magazine

I do believe peace is possible.  Frankly, I’d rather establish good relations with North Korea over decades of peace and free trade than to liberate the North through a Second Korean War that will kill another 50,000 GIs and 2.5 million North Koreans—just like the first go-around—and a long rebuilding process our broke-ass country can’t afford.

One final note: there’s now a fourth episode of The Adventures of Kim Jong Un where the Boy General faces off against PSY to reclaim his rightful credit for “Gangnam Style.”  Best. Web series.  Ever.

* * *

Kim Jong Un photo still by KCTV and obtained from the International Political Review.
Film festival leaves graphic by Meme Center and is their property, displayed on this blog according to Fair Use law.

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