Who will avert war: Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump?

Ballistic missiles on parade in Pyongyang Saturday

Two interesting things happened in North Korea this weekend. First, third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un presided over a parade to honor his grandfather Kim Il Sung. There were lots of missiles, including the ostensibly intercontinental Pukguksong pictured above. The next morning, apparently as a show of defiance as American ships approached the Korean Peninsula, the North tested another ballistic missile that failed within seconds of liftoff. Let that be a lesson to you, Kombat! Kids. When you become dictator of a secretive rogue state and want to show off your military might, schedule the parade after the missile test. Otherwise, you risk embarrassing yourself. On a completely unrelated note, here’s US President Donald Trump on his revised opinion of China’s relationship with North Korea, which President Xi Jinping explained to him over the weekend:

After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy. It’s not what you would think.

Ah, yes—our new president, who insisted throughout his 18-month campaign that China had absolute control of North Korea and its belligerent foreign policies, changed his opinion after considering the subject for 10 minutes. This news raises a fun question: Which of these egomaniacal stewards of his family empire will keep us out of war?

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Friday links! Propaganda states edition

A $2.5 million Bugatti with a penis painted on it. Kombat! Kids: Can you find the komposition mistake in this photo?

A $2.5 million Bugatti with a penis painted on it. Can you spot the composition error in this photo?

According to a website called The LAD Bible, someone parked his Bugatti Veyron on the streets of Seattle, where someone else—presumably a rival Veyron owner—spray-painted a penis on the hood. The LAD Bible says that’s bad. Its 200-word article does not say who owns the car, the date this may have happened, whether the police are involved or how LAD Bible came to know about it, but it does describe the act of vandalizing a sports car as “unthinkable.” Today is Friday, and you don’t need a government to run your propaganda state. Won’t you relentlessly enforce the values of the ruling class with me?

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Steve King compares Obama to Kim Jong Un after Redskins lose trademark

"You're telling me there's been a New Mexico in the United States this whole time?"

“You’re telling me there’s been a New Mexico in the United States this whole time?”

Yesterday, the US Patent Office canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name disparages American Indians. Obviously, this is a case of political correctness run amok. The Redskins name celebrates first Americans in much the same way that the n-word only refers to certain African-Americans, which is to say according to white people. Consider the response of noted white person Rep. Steve King (R–IA):

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 9.54.39 AM

Props to Fletch-Dogg for the tip. In related news, the offices of the Department of Hyperbole will be closed this weekend while a tightly coordinated squadron of illegal immigrants invades and sterilizes them.

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Close Readings: North Korea’s declaration of war or something


This is sarcastic clapping. I will turn your production of Our Town into a sea of fire.

This is sarcastic clapping. I will turn your production of Our Town into a sea of fire.

On Friday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ruined imperialist weekends by declaring war on South Korea and the United States, sort of. The official declaration is hard to interpret. On one hand, you’ve got sentences like “It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.” It sounds like they’re standing in steadfast resolve to attack us mercilessly/nuclearly, right there, but then you also get sentences like this: “The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.” So maybe Kim Jong Un is threatening nuclear peace. Also we’re pretty sure he does not have nuclear capabilities, and the whole baffling plate is slathered over in a runny translation that makes this state declaration sound like it was edited down to 500 words from 1000, then stretched out again to 750. In short, it’s a prime candidate for Close Reading.

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With mouse and wife in North Korea

Mickey and Minnie Mouse will perform the sex act as instructed.

North Korea is the funniest country in the world. The New York Times is the funniest newspaper in the world, but only in the way that your grandfather’s jokes are so out-of-character as to be invariably hilarious. Example: North Koreans Learn They Have First Lady. The woman seen with Kim Jong-un at various state functions has been identified on Central TV* as his wife. It explains why she was hanging around talking to generals and stuff. Boyfriends take note: if you have to wait for state-run television to introduce her, and you are not supreme dictator, you are going to hear about it later.

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