By Anil Bhoyrul
Ex-basketball superstar's courting of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is staggeringly stupid, says Anil Bhoyrul
Every once in a while, a spectacular fool reveals himself. A true bozo. A man of astonishing stupidity. A legend in his own lunchtime.
Meet Dennis Rodman, the ex-Chicago Bulls basketball star. Right now, Rodman and his pals are heading to North Korea to help celebrate the birthday of dictator Kim Jong-un. Rodman will lead retired NBA All-Stars’ Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker for an exhibition game against North Korea, to be held on Wednesday to mark Kim's birthday.
I’m surprised Kim has the time for Rodman. He’s been busy lately: last month he reportedly fed his uncle Jang Song-Thaek to 120 dogs in an execution watched by 300 officials. More than 100,000 political prisoners are in labour camps in the country, which Kim has turned into economic chaos, with widespread famine and, for good measure, war mongering with South Korea at every opportunity. You would do well to find a worse dictator currently alive (or arguably even dead).
But Kim, says Rodman, is his pal. “He is my friend first ... and I love him,” Rodman said on Sunday.
Over the past 20 years in journalism, I have written about and indeed met many celebrities who cannot quite cope with life once they are off the stage. They miss the adrenalin rush, the public adulation and media attention. They often would do anything to be back in the public glare.
But Rodman has taken this to new depths. Hanging out with a brutal dictator will no doubt give him the attention he craves. Just like his last visit to the country, he will be treated as a hero (at least inside North Korea).
Once the birthday bash is over and he steps outside the country, he will be back to his original self: a tragic buffoon.
Funny that you donâ€™t find this a possible peace mediatory that could nudge the stalemate between NK and USA. Do you just want that nobody speak with NK and regardless of their personal stand?
Just do what many of us do when we feel like bashing someone: meet friends at a coffee shop and dis them over a great white chocolate mocha.
Wondering if Rodman thinks you are the bafoon here for writing something over nothing.
yes a true nutter of the highest order.
Rodman and Kim deserve each other.
Let us hope they dont try to outdo each other!
If Kim had waited he could have fed his recalcitrant uncle to Rodman and saved all that bother with the dogs.
I'm on the fence with your sentiment towards Rodman.
The fact that he is the only American who is a friend with the leader of North Korea, you have to give him some credit for pulling that off.
Rodman needs promotion and he does an awkward job by misusing this pathetic dictator.
So Kim is a nasty dictator - join the queue. Many nations with dictators in charge, get regular visits from US Presidents and get given favoured trading status thrown in. Much hypocrisy at work here yet again.
The USA et al, has to have an enemy or two lined up at any one time, tis the season for North Korea and Iran, now they are bored with Iraq and Afghanistan (where the US is in discussions with the Taliban, maybe even playing games of basketball with them, who knows?!)
If Rodman wants to go have tea with Kim, good luck to him. Wouldn't be my choice, but there you go.
Simple communication and developed personal relationships are the only things that mitigate the demon-ization of any culture by another.
Remember the Reagan - Gorbachev relationship that started to thaw the extreme views that each heavily indoctrinated culture held about the other?
Both N. Korea and the USA have much to be be both proud and ashamed of according to each others values. If Kim Jong-Un develops a better understanding through interaction and relationships, and if the media would give Rodman the chance to share a more balanced view of the good and bad he experiences, do you think that to be a step forwards or backwards?
Unfortunately we can expect more predictable, lazy journalism such as Mr Bhoyrul's finely penned example above, telling us vitriolically, how bad these people are (Grrrr!) Well, quite, Mr Bhoyrul. However this isn't a batman comic, perhaps a piece on how the situation might be improved over time may be more thought provoking?
Thought Mr Rodman is no genius by any standards do note that the report of Kim's uncle being fed to the dogs is Chinese disinformation. By purging Uncle Jang Kim has actually eliminated Beijing's ace card and closest ally in Pyongyang.
Beijing is not happy with North Korea's show of independent behavior. Kim is eliminating all pro-Chinese generals and bureaucrats. It is now increasingly believed this is all done to eventually deal with the US directly and normalize relations. This is something China would not want at all as it will stand to lose its bulwark in NE Asia.
What happening here has more than meets the eye and the young Mr Kim is clearly more talented and deadly a player in spycraft and realpolitik that may have originally appeared from the outside.
Pls see this as sourcing for points stated above: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/01/07/commentary/chinas-anti-kim-campaign/#.UswQSVtxWSp
I really think the writer is a bigger BAFOON for wasting time on negative propaganda. Why do you want everyone to have the same world view as yours? Because you are always right?