Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Funky Leader
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
As we’ve all heard, the Dear Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, has died at the age of 69. The Dear Leader was the son of Kim Il Sung, who was known as the Great Leader. He led the country for several decades until his death in 1994, at which time he became known as The Eternal President of the Republic. Now his grandson, Kim Jong Un, appears to be taking the reins. The youngest Kim seems to be going by the appellation The Great Successor, and is also known as the Young General. And young he is, at about 28 years old, especially for a general. Not the youngest general in history to be sure. There was Alexander the Great, and even George Armstrong Custer, who reached the rank of Major General in the Union army at about 25. But that was only a temporary, brevet rank. After the Civil War he was returned to his permanent rank of Captain, from which he was able to inch, over the next decade, a couple of notches to Lieutenant Colonel, before dying in the disastrous and ignominious Last Stand in 1876. But I digress.
It has been suggested that there’s something of a power vacuum in North Korea with the passing of the Dear Leader. But it seems to me that what’s been missing in the North Korean equation for a long time is the proper name for the leader, commensurate with his high rank. "Dear Leader" didn't ever quite make it and always seemed, against the accolades heaped on his father, to be damning Kim Jong Il with faint praise. Since it appears that the young Kim Jong Un loves basketball and especially the Chicago Bulls, and would like to play the game, an appropriate name for him might be The Dear Point Guard, or perhaps the Great Bench Warmer.
The sad silliness of the country might be allowed to speak for itself, but it really begs to be addressed. Sure they have nuclear weapons, and therefore in the minds of some they must be taken seriously. But, well, really? Look—the U.S. has nuclear weapons, and we’re running the most ridiculous political campaign in my memory even as I write this, unwittingly making ourselves one of the laughingstocks of the world. India has nuclear weapons, and face it, they’re among the silliest people on the face of the earth, with their crazy modulated singsong voices and the way they nod their heads from side to side like bobble head dolls. And let’s not even get into how ineffably ridiculous the Brits and the French are capable of being. So having nuclear weapons is definitely not a reason to take one country any more seriously than another.
Since things could hardly get any worse for the North Koreans, I am volunteering to go over there and run the place. I would call myself The Funky Leader, and would decree that James Brown music be played over loudspeakers in every city and town, from dawn until dusk. Or maybe from dusk until dawn. I'll have to give that some thought. I would immediately invite Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton over (a woman who to my way of thinking has been looking far too frazzled and serious herself these days) and ask her to provide North Korea with lots of nourishing food, especially things for which the United States is justifiably famous—foods named after great German cities such as Hamburg and Frankfurt, Italian delicacies like pizza, and of course Mexican food. And French fries, to be sure. The North Koreans need more calories, and that’s no joke.
I think I have the chops to be their leader, or at least as good a one as this youngster who seems to be taking the reins now. Like him, I received all my formal education outside North Korea. I read this morning that he is said to have “privately studied computer science,” by which I take it that someone sat him down and explained to him how to operate a computer and play FreeCell and Minesweeper, which is similar to my own training. I like basketball well enough, too, although in the past I’ve usually only gotten excited about the NCAA tournaments in March, being partial to the UConn men’s and women’s teams and sometimes North Carolina. But I have also followed the Pistons, the Celtics, and the Lakers at various points, and this year I enjoyed the Dallas Mavericks in the finals. So I think I’m okay there. And speaking of sports, I would decree that all North Koreans become New York Yankees fans, as well as supporters of the University of Michigan football team. In fact, I would change the North Korean national anthem from whatever silly thing it is now to The Victors.
Also (and I think this would help convince my new countrymen that a safe reliable and peaceful transition of power has taken place), I would change my name to Kim Kardashian.
Last but not least, I would assure the North Korean people that I’m not just the President of the Hair Club for Old-Style Stalinist Dictators, I’m also a member.