If I were king

Tuesday’s LA Times had a funny story from North Korea on how no one there is talking about Kim Jong Il’s health, and also about how venerated Kim and his late father are. Their images are considered sacred and people must hang portraits of the two in their homes: “People who fail to dust them regularly are fined.”

But here’s what grabbed my attention:

“Foreign visitors are advised upon their arrival in Pyongyang not to throw away any North Korean newspapers lest they despoil a photo of the leaders,” the story notes.

” ‘Don’t tear or crumble the newspapers. Don’t throw it in a dustbin. Don’t wrap something with it or use it for some other purpose,’ warned guide Gil Hyun Ah, who said offenders would have to write formal letters of apology before being permitted to leave the country.”

When I rule the Inland Valley — it will be a benevolent tyranny — I expect to apply the same rule upon the populace regarding the Daily Bulletin. Do not tear or crumble it, don’t toss it away and for goodness’ sake don’t wrap any fish or coffee grounds in it. You might despoil my image.

If my image isn’t in that issue, do whatever you like. Let Blackstock or Sholley set up their own regimes, if they’re concerned about their images. See how much freedom I’ll allow you?

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  • http://diversitown.blogspot.com meg

    Have you read Guy Delisle’s graphic novel *Pyongyang*? Highly recommended…

    [I haven't, but I know I need to. -- DA]

  • A S Ashley

    I am already working on a socialist banner of you for the next May Day Parade!

    [We look upon you with favor. -- DA]

  • Ramona

    If we will not be allowed to “fold, staple, or mutilate” or otherwise deface (no pun intended!) these holy newspapers what, exactly, are we to do with them?

    I visualize folks trying to make their way around and through stacks and stacks of newspapers. Firetrap, anyone? I suggest a regularly scheduled ritual burning much like the Boy Scouts have for retired American flags. I’ll bring the hot dogs.

    Failing that, I guess we’ll all have to read the DB online and promise not to delete the cookies on the days that your graven image appears.

    [Fair enough. -- DA]