Rodman on Kim Jong-un: “The guy’s awesome”

Alarm bells are ringing all over the world.

In the United States, after narrowly avoiding the apocryphal fiscal cliff, sequestration will bring a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to defense and discretionary domestic spending that will total 1.2 trillion dollars.

In Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI became the first to resign his post in almost 600 years amid scandalous allegations of gay priests, male prostitutes, and blackmail.

In the nebulous world of cyberspace, Anonymous leads virtual attacks on the Pentagon, News Corp., and the Israeli government using exotic titles like “Operation Last Resort.”

And in North Korea… Kim Jong-un spent the day with Dennis Rodman.

“What a great time we’re having,” the North Korean crowd chanted in perfect unison.


Ostensibly, this was Rodman’s attempt at diplomacy as well as an attempt on Kim’s part to tell his side of the story.  Through basketball.  But when you factor in Rodman’s accompaniment of VICE Media staffers, the Harlem Globetrotters, and a team of HBO documentarians, it becomes obvious what this is:  a media grab.  [VICE premieres April 5.  “It’s not TV.  It’s HBO.”]

As we all know (or at least we’re told we do), North Korea has a long and sordid history.  Labeled as an “outpost of tyranny” and part of an “axis of evil” by the second Bush regime, North Korea has become one of the most visible staging grounds for political attack, with headlining news coverage by luminary organizations like the Huffington Post and 30 Rock.

In case you forgot, here’s a great example of George Bush’s diplomacy in action.

What we can say with some degree of certainty is that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recognizes the contributions of its citizens.  Just last year a 14-year-old schoolgirl was posthumously awarded for saving portraits of the country’s late leaders, her arms held high as the flash flood engulfed her, secure in the knowledge that the portraits were safe in her hands, above the water’s surface.  We can see with our own eyes the looks in the North Korean children’s faces as they ponder the glory that is their leader.

We can also say that more than 10,000 prisoners die in North Korean political prison camps every year.  This according to the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity, a group comprised of 40 leading human rights organizations and activists, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights.  We can further add that the American military’s movement of a chemical battalion, Excalibur artillery shells, and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles is nothing more than “part of the Army’s continuing rebalancing efforts in the Pacific region.”  This according to Lt. Col. Michael Sennett.

And yet, with these alarmist alarming facts, with full knowledge of atrocity and totalitarianism, what we all seem to know best, what we all remember most, as the world burns and drowns and starves and loses its jobs, is that Dennis Rodman thinks Kim Jong-un’s an “awesome guy.”

They say that history is written by the victors.  It’s easy to forget that history is also written by the losers.  The only difference is that nobody wants to read what some loser wrote.

Alarm bells are ringing all over the world.

Can you hear them?

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4 Responses to Rodman on Kim Jong-un: “The guy’s awesome”

  1. Kaylee Yawney says:

    When I heard the news story about Rodman’s little visit with Kim Jong-un, I burst out laughing. Did Rodman actually think that his admiration for Jong-un was going to change North America’s viewpoint of North Korea, and who could possibly take anything Dennis Rodman says seriously? I thought this whole media scheme was completely absurd, and only make Rodman look even more ridiculous than he normally does.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Dennis Rodman in North Korea is certainly a story with oddity! Though it’s kind of baffling that oddity frequently seems to trump the other values that make a story newsworthy.

  3. Grace says:

    I really don’t think Dennis Rodman’s opinion matters for much. I don’t even know who he is… does he play sports or something? This pretty much seems equal to Sarah Palin’s mixup about which Korea we actually like, and personally, I’m going to go with the one that blasts pop music at the border to annoy the other.

  4. Ryan Frost says:

    So ridiculous I thought it was an Onion-type satire at first. Good find.

    I was especially entertained by his interview with George Stephanopoulos, during which he demonstrated his mastery of a very specific interview style: answering a wide range of questions with the exact same answer (to his credit, though, he did stick to his key message, whatever it might have been).

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