Camp 22

It’s easy to Team America mock the Dear Leader. He looked and behaved a fool.

And, it’s a credit to the complexity of the human psyche that, merely as a function of physical and emotional distance, we so easily dismember the comedy of a totalitarian murderer from the tragedy he imposed. Kim Jong Il operated one of the most brutally savage regimes in the history of mankind. Many rulers have butchered their own citizens. I’m not sure any have done so as heinously as Kim Jong Il, in modern times, while simultaneously demanding the kind of obsequious displays of affection he did. Through contrived famine and labor and prison camps he killed millions of people. Mass Games to his glory that he simply chose not to attend. Again, these are the ironic hallmarks of abuse at any level — violence and guilt. He was just really sadistically good at both. And, maybe the most harrowing part is the the tent of isolation under which North Koreans have performed for so many decades.

So, in case you just got around to caring, Kim Jong Il isn’t a fictional marionette imagined by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. He was a real dude. And, don’t be confused by the silence emanating from the peninsula or maybe even your local paper. The screams were all nightmarish if you had been there to hear them.

There is various legend around his birth and childhood. Some aggrandizing, some excusing, some accusing. He was romantically born in a cabin on Mt. Paekdu along the North Korea and China border. Propaganda has it that his mother told him that the mountain was where his father had defeated the Japanese and that someday it should be his home. At three, his younger brother drowned in a pond at their estate in Pyongyang. Some have suggested the drowning occurred at Jong Il’s already pathological hand. There is no good evidence for it. His mother died from pregnancy complications just two years later. It’s always easy to pin adult wickedness on childhood trauma. But, maybe too often it’s something of the exact opposite. Maybe this sort of imperial wickedness flows from too much privilege. Lives with no difficulty leading to power without empathy. Maybe, Jong Il was simply a product of sugar and spice and everything nice. Maybe, that’s what dictators are made of. Oh, and failed communism.

My bad, yesterday. This song is not catchy or for kids. 2 obituary songs in a week’s time right before the holidays. Nice.

Performed by ipoet. Produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s song blog here:

Sugar and Spice