I don’t know much about Kim Jong-il, except that his lil hair and glasses were hilarious…and that he seemed certifiably off (not quite there; not the sharpest knife in the cutlery set; not the brightest bulb in the box). The commentators called him “eccentric,” while we who have little allegiance to political correctness, called a spade a spade — dude was off.
Monday morning on Morning Joe, someone surmised that, in the international arena, Kim Jong-il had but “one card to play, and he played it exceptionally.” I don’t remember if said someone ever got around to describing which card that was, but I’mma jump on out there and say it was his crazy card.
Lil Kim, as Bill Maher refers to Kim Jong-il, had absolutely no scruples. There was no sanction, no amount of isolation, and no threat scary enough to give Lil Kim pause. He thumbed his nose perniciously and regularly to the international community, on some “fuck your sanction! I got plenty good fur hats; I drink plenty good wines, and I got plenty hos. AND MIND YA BUSINESS BOUT MY PEOPLE – they fine…” type shit.
In the National Geographic documentary, “Inside North Korea,” Lisa Ling poses as a medical coordinator traveling with an Indian doctor to North Korea to treat hundreds of people with Glaucoma. At first sight, you’d think these cats might be eternally grateful to the doctor — the actual guy — who helped them see again. Nah son. Not in North Korea. The folks gave tearful and exuberant praise to their most high, their “Dear Leader” — Kim Jong-il. Neither the doctor nor any of the medical staff involved received even scant amounts of gratitude. To North Koreans, it seemed the hierarchy of appreciation went like this: Lil Kim/God, and then all other poor bastards, and then every other thing.
Later in the movie, Lisa Ling questions a family about how one might render a criticism against their fateful leader. The response is awesome — blank stares, blank faces; no comprende, or the Korean version of that. They don’t have a word for “I disagree.” There is no word, no phrase, no platform in North Korea where one can criticize the government, and remain alive and well to see their dismal future unfold. Indeed, if you’re living in North Korea, either life is all good, or you’re 20,000 leagues under fear, pretending that it is. My money rides with the latter.
Lil Kim’s government was like Reuben had said Terry Benedict was in Ocean’s 11: if you cross ’em, “you better goddamn KNOW… he better not know you’re involved, not know your names or think you’re dead because he’ll kill ya, and then he’ll go to work on ya.” And if you are unavailable, then he’ll take out his aggression on your whole family — relatives twice-removed included, without batting an eyelash! The difference obviously is that Terry Benedict was a smooth-haired, ascot-wearing asshole of a fictional character. Lil Kim, however, was in real life a bouffanted, high-heeled dictator whose exploits screwed up North Korea, and kept the world on edge for 17 years.
So this cat done died, and left his son, Kim Jong-un as the heir apparent. Stay tuned, folks. This should be interesting.
P.S.: If you find yourself with some free time, the tumblr blog: Kim Jong-il Looking At Things is hilarious. Enjoy!