I mean the United States, not North Korea, of course. The Koreans will get along if not fine, at least no worse than before Kim Jong Il’s recent departure from the scene. No, the United States faces a crisis it is completely unprepared for. We have had entirely too much invested in demonizing Kim and his nation and what with the recent exit of Gadaffi from the scene, and Saddam’s and Osama’s too, all the leading bugbears of the US’ national security (read: permanent war fear and of late permanent war) state are gone, and we must ask ourselves what are we to do now, with them all gone? Who can replace them? How can we replace them in time to keep people from asking embarrassing questions about our gross overexpenditures on our transparently incompetent and incapable military? The entire of the propaganda investment this country has put into these cartoon heavies for decades on end has all now gone up in smoke and it is an impossibility to recoup it. It was obviously an investment portfolio mistake–our official designated enemy portfolio was insufficiently diversified, and was overinvested in too few propaganda investments. Our failure to diversify and spread our propaganda investments more widely leaves us facing bankruptcy in the invented enemy department. What will we do now?
That’s the real story about Kim Jong Il’s recent demise, and you won’t see it written anywhere in this country’s newspapers. Instead you are going to see pundits writing the usual navel-wool-gathering about North Korea and its challenges under its new leadership, and should we nuke it immediately now or not because it is still an untrustworthy enemy of ours you know. That’s the usual story put out at times like this. Hell any of us could write that story blindfolded from all the years of the same hackneyed story points endlessly repeated about North Korea over the past several decades. Hell again if that hasn’t been the usual story anyway for all those same decades, and Kim’s death is just another excuse for newspapers to run it one more damned time again. There certainly is the opportunity now for one of the handful of knowledgeable qualified experts on Korea to write something different, (Bruce Cumings comes to mind) and maybe this new story, with this new thinking might could see the light of day in the US’ newspapers what with the propaganda gears possibly temporarily stuck by events of Kim’s death. I hope so, I’d like to see it. Myself I know that I’m not qualified to write anything really worthwhile about North Korea, and that puts me seven solid sea-leagues ahead of most every working journo who has ever attached their byline to that same stupid hackneyed article on North Korea and its so wacky leaders they’ve inflicted on us for decades now.
But I do know enough to write about what must be the grossest out in the open failure of the western press ever in my lifetime. For better than two decades, journalism throughout the west has reprinted the same story of Kim Jong Il and his taste for blonde prostitutes, and how he imported same from Sweden or Bavaria for lengthy service calls at the Imperial Palace. Near as I can tell, not once in these two decades has any reporter ever gone looking for these women and interviewed them, and thereby get almost the only account available of Kim Jong Il and his life behind the scenes in the Pyongyang Imperial Palace. Or, alternatively, research this story and prove it false, and put it rightfully in its grave, finally.
I’ve been disgusted enough with this stupid sniggering story about wacky Kim and his taste for blondes to actually do something about it. For the past decade plus, I have been writing to every publication that ran an article mentioning this factoid asking them just what was their source for this story, and if they themselves thought this story true, just why in the hell didn’t they send a reporter out to Sweden or Bavaria, and hang out in the bars there enough to find any of these sex workers and go talk to them about what they saw of Kim, and of life in the palace, and North Korea in general. There aren’t but 9 or so million Swedes living there in Sweden, and it just wouldn’t be that hard to work your way through the sex-worker circles and find, or not find, one of these women. I also wrote the editors of the leading Swedish newspapers and news magazines, asking them to check the story out. At a booksigning once I took the opportunity to ask Slavenka Draculic, a woman of undisputed left feminist credentials, personally about it–her husband was at the time editor of Sweden’s version of Time. Her reaction was to look at me like I was a rattlesnake. I never got a response from any of my letters from any of the dozen or several I sent out, not so much as a pro-forma thank you for writing us note.
If these sex workers exist, they would be an invaluable source of firsthand information on Kim, not just because of their unmatched by any other westener’s proximity to Kim and behind the scenes life in the Imperial Palace*, but because sex workers are, have to be, better at observing and reading people and situations than most anyone else. Besides the world’s reporters, every single intelligence service in the world should have gone to great efforts to find and interview them as well, for the same reasons that are even more important for them than for the press. If my uselton Senators (Hutchinson and Cornyn) and fatuous liberalish representative (Doggett) had ever bothered to respond to my letters to them about this, I could probably be telling you if the CIA ever did look into this story. Sorry, they didn’t and so I can’t. I’m suspecting that the CIA was too prissy, too Yale, pale, and afraid of jail to investigate this story and learn something useful. Maybe les francais, in the SDECE, had enough savoir-faire to research this story out. I hope someone did in the intelligence world; if they didn’t, then hellfire, the world’s intelligence services are just as useless and good for nothing bunch as the journos are.
This story could still be written, and it still should be written. not just for historical reasons but because things just likely wouldn’t have changed that much in the Imperial Palace with Kim’s demise. If the story weren’t so damned old, journalists would be well served to discover it false, and usefully burn the official or unofficial sources who fed them a plant. Still this far gone it’d be worth a look, if you have any sense of professionalism and history, for journalists or intelligence types.
Naw, it’ll never get written, not unless Larry Flynt decides to take me up on my offer years ago to fund me on a bar tour of Sweden to research this all out. This is another fable that we’ve been saddled with for the rest of our lives because of some of the most disgraceful laziness, credulousness, unprofessionalism, and lack of simple human curiosity the world of journalism has ever shown. Their brainlessly repeating the blonde story for decades shows them as partners, unwitting or otherwise, to the US war state’s fearmongering and propaganda efforts. The sad crazy hell of it all is that now, even with all our officially designated enemies all gone to the hereafter, the war state will keep on its chosen course, even without any officially designated enemies like we’ve supposedly confronted the past decades. A big part of the why of that is because journalism, worldwide, has been a party to setting the agenda about which questions are legitimate, and which aren’t. Questions about our war state aren’t legitimate; nor are questions about fundamentally silly stories like Kim and the blondes. Journalists–they’ve been trained, and so have we, to a degree of fear and credulousness by decades of their promoting and our digesting relentlessly afactual garbage like the blondes story to where we really don’t need our own fearless leaders creating official designated enemies any more through the vast propaganda investments of years past. No, we are facing a worse sort of bankruptcy than official enemy bankruptcy, and it is our moral bankruptcy that we accept a permanent war fear and a permanent war state the way we have, and do still today, and will continue to for the forseeable future.
*Only exception I know of were Kim’s imported pizza cook, and his sushi chef, who wrote about it in books and magazine articles. Italian cook was Ermanno Furlani, and Kenji Fujimoto (ndp) was the sushi chef.