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The World On A String

It sounds strange, but there is a very real possibility that puppets will bring about the apocalypse. A movie by the name of “Team America: World Police” is coming out in October, and it’s a cinematic puppet show about counter-terrorism. From what I understand, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il is being portrayed as the man villain in the film. This can have catastrophic consequences.

The real life Kim Jong-il is not playing with a full deck. Even though more than 2 million North Koreans have starved to death since 1995, one of Kim’s favorite projects is the creation of ostrich farms, in which he sees an up and coming worldwide demand for ostrich steaks, feathers, and leather. As for his hobbies, he likes to play Rocks Paper Scissors with scantily clad women. They don’t have sex, mind you. They just play Rocks Paper Scissors. Hey, whatever turns you on. One other hobby that he enjoys is watching movies. And despite his hatred for the United States, he’s a big fan of “Gone With The Wind,” James Bond and Daffy Duck. He also hates South Korea, but that didn’t stop him from kidnapping his favorite South Korean actress and her director ex-husband. He held them captive for eight years. I wanted to kidnap Steven Spielberg after I saw “Saving Private Ryan,” but kidnapping is usually an activity that is reserved only for dictators, and since I’m not a dictator yet, I thought that I might get into a certain amount of trouble.

Another difference between Kim Jong-il and myself is that he has nuclear weapons. Back in 1994, under a plan known as The Agreed Framework, South Korea, Japan, and the United States gave North Korea fuel oil and two light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for North Korea’s promise to stop developing nuclear weapons and to shut down its gas-graphite nuke plants. Maybe it shouldn’t have been called The Agreed Framework though, because Kim clearly didn’t agree to it, as was shown in October of 2002 when he admitted that he never halted his nuclear weapons program. As a result, this prompted King George to include North Korea in his “Axis Of Evil.” Not surprisingly, Kim wasn’t happy about this, and he’s kicked out weapons inspectors ever since.

Add Kim’s chronic paranoia to the mix, and you have the makings of a very ugly situation. The United States and South Korea annually partake in something known as “Team Spirit” war games. These games consist of 200,000 troops simulating a week-long attack on the north. Even though they’re only simulations, Kim views them as declarations of war. It is in this armchair diplomat’s humble opinion that if these war games were misconstrued as genuine declarations of war after the first year, then common sense would dictate that we would not continue to have them on an annual basis. However, the United States decided back in 1942 that from there on, they were never again going to apply common sense in regards to their foreign policy.

Let’s review. North Korea’s dictator is a complete lunatic. This lunatic has nuclear weapons, and he is living in a constant state of paranoia, fearing that the US is poised to attack. He’s a huge movie buff, and Hollywood has made a movie in which he is portrayed as the villain. To top it all off, he has trouble distinguishing between what’s real and what’s make-believe. I don’t know how “Team America: World Police” ends, but let’s hope that it doesn’t end with the United States waging war with North Korea.

You might think that I’m overreacting, but look at what happened in Rwanda. Back in 1994, radio was a revolutionary new concept in Rwanda. It is no coincidence that a year before radio was introduced there, the Hutus (the majority population) were given government-issued machetes. In between songs on the radio, DJs started making jokes about the Tutsis, who were Rwanda’s minority population. The jokes became more harsh, as the Tutsis were referred to as “cockroaches” and “snakes.” When a plane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi president Cyprien Ntaryamiro–both Hutus–was shot down with a surface to air missile, DJs blamed the Tutsis. In truth, to this day, no one knows who did it, but the DJs began to lie, saying that the Tutsis were planning on killing every last Hutu. They urged the Hutus to pick up their machetes and stop the Tutsi “takeover.” Within 100 days, 800,000 were dead.

There’s an important lesson to be learned from this: never underestimate the power of propaganda. “Team America: Word Police” may appear to be a funny little puppet show, but the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis got it’s origins from a few harmless jokes as well. This time, the consequences can be much more dire. Nobody will be more upset if the world ends than me. Today, I found a great Thai restaurant on East 1st between 1st Ave and Avenue A. They have a delicious lunch special for $4.50, and if nuclear armageddon occurs before I get a chance to go back there, I’m going to be pissed!


cc: Korey Stringer

Jim Henson

Lil’ Kim


August 21, 2004


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