From Il to Un

by CHARLES R. LARSON

The glorious event has finally happened: the ascension of still another brilliant constellation into the firmament–Kim Jong Un’s elevation to super-stardom, to savior of his people, blessed redeemer, colossus of the universe, the man of the hour, the man whose name is on everyone’s lips. Though to Western ears, “Un” sounds like the mark of a stutterer, the embarrassing pause when the right word won’t come out for the nervous speaker, never mind. In a country where repression of speech is habitual, “Un” may be a welcome sound, a pause for reflection, a guttural stop or a clearing of the throat.

So little is known of Un (also known as “Dear Follower”) other than his designation of Crown Prince that we asked well-known hacker, Lisbeth Salander, if she could use her considerable skills in helping to flesh out a more rounded portrait of the person who will shortly make diplomats around the world wet their pants. Grudgingly, Lisbeth agreed, tough she said that all she could provide was basic facts, leaving others to connect the dots and analyze Un’s true character and personality.

Birth, early life, education: Kim Jong Un was born in Pyongyang either in 1982 or 1983. Or 1981 or 1984. In an elaborate ceremony three days after his birth, he was given the name “Un,” commonly translated as “Ruler of the Universe.” At the age of six, he was made a four-star general of the Korean People’s Army, though he is currently ranked as a nine-star general. After his early military training, he attended an English-language School in Berne, Switzerland, until 1998, using the pseudonym, Kim Novak, the name he uses to this day for all his activities on the Internet. Un has two children of his own, Kim Jon Eek and Kim Jong Arf, both of whom are girls. Un is passionately interested in skiing and basketball, especially tall American athletes since his own height, like his father’s, is less than five feet.

Purchases on Ebay: Legos, Pokémon figures, Ken dolls, signed basketballs by Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, and shoes with height-builders.

Amazon.com Books orders: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, Sarah Palin’s biography, Going Rogue, Lonely Planet’s Korea, and some years ago: all fifty-eight original Hardy Brothers novels and all titles published by American Girl. Recently, he ordered a Kindle, but Salander could not confirm if the e-book reader has yet to arrive.

Netflicks rentals: The Bridge over the River Kwai, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Pork Chop Hill, Mash, and The Manchurian Candidate. Un has also rented all twenty-two James Bond movies and all thirteen Pokémon films. Several of these films were never returned and have accrued substantial late fees.

Facebook sites: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, Anita Hill, Kim Novak, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Pokémon.

Recurrent Canadian pharmacy orders: Lipitor, Plavix, Nexium, Viagra, Zyprexa, Ritalin, Singular, Prevacid, Herceptin, Avandia, Ambien, Avastin, Seroquel, Diovan, Spiriva, Cialis, Coreg, Evista, Paxil, Botox, Cirpro, Epzicom, Toviaz, and Depends.

Note: This is classified information.

CHARLES R. LARSON is Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
September 4-6, 2015
Louis Proyect
Migrating Through Hell: Quemada-Diez’s “La Jaula de Oro”
Charles R. Larson
Class and Colonialism in British Cairo
September 03, 2015
Sal Rodriguez
How California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Confinement Reforms
Lawrence Ware
Leave Michael Vick Alone: the Racism and Misogyny of Football Fans
Dave Lindorff
Is Obama the Worst President Ever?
Vijay Prashad
The Return of Social Democracy?
Ellen Brown
Quantitative Easing for People: Jeremy Corbyn’s Radical Proposal
Paul Craig Roberts
The Rise of the Inhumanes: Barron, Bybee, Yoo and Bradford
Binoy Kampmark
Inside Emailgate: Hillary’s Latest Problem
Lynn Holland
For the Love of Water: El Salvador’s Mining Ban
Geoff Dutton
Time for Some Anger Management
Jack Rasmus
The New Colonialism: Greece and Ukraine
Norman Pollack
American Jews and the Iran Accord: The Politics of Fear
John Grant
Sorting Through the Bullshit in America
David Macaray
The Unbearable Lightness of Treaties
Chad Nelson
Lessig Uses a Scalpel Where a Machete is Needed
September 02, 2015
Paul Street
Strange Words From St. Bernard and the Sandernistas
Jose Martinez
Houston, We Have a Problem: False Equivalencies on Police Violence
Henry Giroux
Global Capitalism and the Culture of Mad Violence
Ajamu Baraka
Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia
William Edstrom
Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry
David Altheide
The Media Syndrome Between a Glock and a GoPro
Yves Engler
Canada vs. Africa
Ron Jacobs
The League of Empire
Andrew Smolski
Democracy and Privatization in Neoliberal Mexico
Stephen Lendman
Gaza: a Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Norman Pollack
Obama, Flim-Flam Artist: Alaska Offshore Drilling
Binoy Kampmark
Australian Border Force Gore
Ruth Fowler
Ask Not: Lost in the Crowd with Amanda Palmer
Kim Nicolini
Remembering Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People