19 December 2011

Off Topic: Dear Leader's Death

Kim Jong-il passed away.  Like any good dictator, such as the ones I spent part of my childhood under, "Dear Leader" did an excellent job of creating a paternalistic society build around a personality cult - his personality to be specific.

View the video clip below.  From an outsider's point of view, these organized grief-letting meetings may seem ridiculous and, perhaps, even funny.  However, and sadly, most of this grief is likely to be real.  After all, their Dear Leader, their father figure, passed away.  When all hope is invested in one figure, as a child invests so heavily in his mother, the passing of that figure is extremely terrifying and depressing.

Regardless, part of the adult in me says:  "Get a life people.  Make your own future."  But, when years of censorship and brainwashing have made an otherwise capable people into a hapless adolescent bunch, my opinion is about as valuable as the copious teardrops shed for a useless, dangerous, and dead despot.

In case you are doubtful of the cult that existed around this man, here is a sampling of his great feats per Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's official mouthpiece:
  • His 1941 birth in a humble cabin in the slopes of Mount Baekdu was foretold by an unseasonal swallow and heralded by a double rainbow. Simultaneously, a bright star lit up the sky.
  • He learned to walk at 3 weeks old.
  • He learned to talk at 8 weeks old.
  • He penned 1,500 books in his spare time during this 3 years at Kim Il-sung University.
  • He first picked up a golf club in 1994, at North Korea's only golf course, and shot a 38-under par round that included no fewer than 11 holes in one. Satisfied with his performance, he immediately declared his retirement from the sport.

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