North Korean War Games

Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Ruler of North Korea, may or may not be simply a figurehead controlled from behind the scenes by his puppet master aunts,  uncles, and the military generals, but he reminds me of one of those frogs that puffs itself up with air to three times its actual size in order to intimidate those whom he sees as threats to his “power.” His Napoleon complex could have dire consequences for the rest of the world, certainly for South Korea. The problem is that he’s flexing his muscles in an irresponsible way.

As someone who is only thirty years old, Kim Jong-un seems to view the world as his personal video game. His apparent bravado comes, I believe, from having been isolated, protected, and seemingly adored in a country where the cult of personality and unmerited hero worship leap practically into the realm of science fiction.  The most intense part of my curiosity wants to know if all those huge, genuflecting crowds of North Korean citizens are as naive as children in their Santa Claus devotion to Kim Jong-un, if they are paid actors playing parts on the world’s biggest stage set, if they have been put under subliminal mass hypnosis, or if they have been threatened with death for not showing in public that sparkling, wide-eyed adoration so evident in media coverage.

The man has never had the experience of having to be diplomatic. Like a spoiled adolescent, he seems used to being deified by all around him, when in fact, however much education he may have received while residing in Switzerland, Kim Jong-un has the social adeptness and mentality of a street gang member shouting threats across a vacant lot at rivals.  The absurdity of his power on the world stage right now is like the United States putting all nuclear weapon decisions in the hands of a seventh grade boy, who received a “D” in his science class.

There are, in fact, people who like Kim Jong-un.  Dennis Rodman said that Kim Jong-un is, “an awesome guy” and that his father and grandfather were, “great leaders.”  I mean, for God’s sake!  What else do you need to know in order to be scared witless?

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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