Kim Jong-il - In memoriam of the Dear LeaderPosted by Alexander Hay
As the heavens themselves weep and swallows commit mass suicide in Haeju, OlderIsWiser takes a moment to reflect on the tragic passing of this all-round people person
Alas and alack, such tragedy... One can almost hear the silent mourning, so palpable as it is. Truly, a great man has died and left behind a grieving nation whose debt to him is almost incalculable... A scholar and a gentleman, he was both a man of letters and a man of principle. Yes, he will be missed.
No, you fools! Not that Vaclav Havel geezer! All he did was resist oppression, lead his country to freedom and not really kill or torture anyone. Oh, and he wrote a few plays. What more would you expect from some capitalist running dog? No, I'm talking about a tragedy of the ages (much like the last one), the death of our Dear Leader (or is it Great Leader? – no, actually that was his Dad), Kim Jong-il.
Many and varied were Sung-il's achievements, quite apart from being fat, pale and healthy-looking, even as the rest of his subjects, err, I mean, 'comrades' would totter around him, sun-worn and emaciated. What else could you expect from a country that combined the best of Stalinism and Confucianism into a glorious new state, the likes of which inspire envy and adulation? Oh, and polyester clothing. Mustn't forget the polyester clothing.
For example, did you know that North Korea's 1994-98 famine killed between 900,000 and 3.5 million people? Keeping up the winning streak, a further 500,000 face another famine this year. When they're not digging up roots and boiling grass, the sturdy, proud North Korean people are well known for letting themselves starve to death so their children can eat. Beat that, bourgeois swine!
Naturally, the Dear Leader must have found such an intense level of achievement to be very trying. As he drunk expensive cognac, attended to by a small army of doctors and masseurs, and indulged in sushi care of the chef they flew in for just such a purpose, his mind must have been full of concern. Living in vast mansions and sending his children off to exclusive Swiss schools, he must surely have understood the hardships his people were facing, but must have taken comfort in their efforts to fight off the sort of greed and tyranny that makes the brainwashed lackeys-of-America down south so benighted.
Still, there were many other achievements the Dear Leader could draw some relief from. Like having over 200,000 people in prison camps designated for political prisoners, perhaps. These are notable for their forced labour, public executions and near-starvation levels of privation. To be that cruel required constant effort. Is it any wonder the Dear Leader's heart finally gave out?
Still, as he lay dying on his presidential train (like many men of worth, he had an obsession with trains), he must have taken comfort from the fact that his heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, will take the reins of power even before his dear old dad is embalmed and put on permanent display next to his grandfather in the not-at-all creepy Kumsusan Memorial Palace, based in the Socialist Workers Paradise and fun capital that is Pyongyang.
After all, like his father, Jong-un has miraculously acquired both girth and a rosy complexion, despite obviously sharing in the deprivations of his people, is equally as racist and vindictive as ol' pater, and has already caused a military incident with those ghastly capitalist swine down in Seoul, whose high living standards and greater life expectancy is obviously just more Yankie propaganda.
Yes, the North Koreans have a great future ahead of them, propped up by charity from China and only too ready to accept copious food aid from the hated Americans. And if it should all end badly, like in a sabre rattling exercise that gets out of control, or a final, crushing economic collapse, at least the many sacrifices made by the North Korean proletariat would have been worth it. And it is hard to see images of mass mourning in North Korea today and not feel a little moved by the grievous loss that has surely brought the nation to tears. After all, what other reasons may they have to weep?
Image c/o John Pavelka @ FLICKR
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