Tag Archives: Kim Jong-un

Dennis Rodman, North Korea & A Fun History Test!

Image result for dennis rodman meeting kim jong un

(Left, Kim thinking, 와~ Mr. 데니즈 is so much tall! Right, Rodman thinking, This is badass Roman! A tiger fighting a lion in front of 100,000 spectators!)

Writing for the @Washington Post, Anna Fifield (@annafifield) had an interesting piece on Dennis Rodman’s recent visit to North Korea, that pernicious, electricity-less, “shrimp stuck between the whales” whose leader seems bent on following his father and grandfather’s trip along North Korea’s very own Highway of Tears (see B.C.’s Highway 16), otherwise known as the One-Way Climb up Mount Purgatory, right past floors one through nine: stubbornness, repentance, pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avariciousness, gluttony and lust.

In an article titled “Dennis Rodman just gave Kim Jong Un ‘The Art of the Deal.’ And it may be a genius move.,” Ms. Fifield, the Post’s Tokyo bureau chief, with a focus on Japan and the two Koreas, concludes her piece by writing, “In fact, thinking about this, maybe it was a genius move for Rodman to give Kim a copy of the president’s book. They might just realize they can get along.”

It’s possible Ms. Fifield is right, but let’s call a spade a spade here. Pretty much every person Donald Trump has hired, appointed or tapped for one purpose or another since entering the Oval Office last January, including (but not limited to) Dennis Rodman, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner and Betsy DeVos, is a combined wreck of trains. Or, to quote a colleague from Ms. Fifield’s own newspaper on January 19, 2017: “Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history.”

Yikes! Them there be fightin’ words.

But I’ll let you, the reader, come to your own conclusion with a FUN! history test. Of the following events in world history, rank them in order of brilliance, from 1 to 5, with 5 being “Thomas Edison having a light bulb moment” and 1 being “Ben Franklin flying a kite with one hand during a thunderstorm, his other hand plunged deep into a toaster (that is miraculously plugged in) and his bare feet in a pool of water.”

a) Dennis Rodman conducting any sort of business on behalf of the U.S., official or not.

b) Napoleon invading Russia in winter.

c) Hitler invading Russia in winter.

d) Neville Chamberlain signing the Munich Agreement in 1938.

e) Electing a president who “does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.””

Essentially, I think Ms. Fifield was correct in her estimation that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are cut from the same cloth; neither man, for example, would have ever passed Dante’s first rung up Mt. P.

In the end, all megalomaniac ignoramuses will be dangerous toolboxes when allowed out of their toolsheds unfettered. And that’s the part that scares me most.

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North Korea’s First Novel

Is fiction from North Korea…fictitious? Apparently not. Shhhhhhhh…don’t tell Sir Lord Viceroy Douchebag Kim Jong-un that his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and his glorious revolution may not be portrayed all that, um, you know, gloriously? Viva la revolución! Er…만세!!!

Good on Toronto’s @HouseofAnansi publishing house for securing the Canadian rights to “The first piece of fiction to come out of North Korea.” The book, called The Accusation, was written by a North Korean under the pseudonym Bandi (Korean for “firefly”) and released yesterday, March 4, in Canada. Perhaps the most frightening part of whole story is that Bandi reportedly still lives in North Korea. Gulp.

Per House of Anansi’s website, here’s a summary of Bandi and his/her novel:

In 1989, a North Korean dissident writer, known to us only by the pseudonym Bandi, began to write a series of stories about life under Kim Il-sung’s totalitarian regime. Smuggled out of North Korea and set for publication around the world in 2017, The Accusation provides a unique and shocking window into this most secretive of countries.

Bandi’s profound, deeply moving, vividly characterized stories tell of ordinary men and women facing the terrible absurdity of daily life in North Korea: a factory supervisor caught between loyalty to an old friend and loyalty to the Party; a woman struggling to feed her husband through the great famine; the staunch Party man whose actor son reveals to him the theatre that is their reality; the mother raising her child in a world where the all-pervasive propaganda is the very stuff of childhood nightmare.

The Accusation is a heartbreaking portrayal of the realities of life in North Korea. It is also a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances — and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those who seek to suppress it.

FYI, there is both a print version ($19.95) and a digital version ($16.95) available through House of Anansi’s website. Also FYI, the translator of The Accusation is none other than Deborah Smith, the same British woman who translated Han Kang‘s Man Booker International Prize-winning novel, The Vegetarian.

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