The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'kim jong-il'
Kim Jong Il, the God-Emperor of North Korea, is dead, apparently having suffered a heart attack aboard his private train whilst on the way to offer guidance to workers. All of North Korea has reportedly erupted in mass hysterical wailing as the people are struck by the enormity of their loss and/or the consequences of being insufficiently emphatic in their grief. Meanwhile, the rest of the leadership is off the hook over its pledge to make North Korea prosperous by 2012; if the death of Kim Il Sung is any precedent, there will be a three-year period of national mourning and austerity.
What follows the death of Kim Jong Il is less certain; while there is no official designated successor, his son Kim Jong-un seems to be positioned as the likely candidate, with the state news agency instructing the nation to "faithfully revere" him. Whether the newly ascended God-Emperor will seek a rapprochement with the outside world or to consolidate his stature with belligerent acts, or indeed whether there will be a leadership struggle of any sort within the politburo, remains to be seen.
It is perhaps ironic that, over the past few days, we have witnessed the death of a prominent atheist and critic of despots, then that of a dissident playwright who led the dismantling of a Communist regime and its replacement by a democracy, and finally that of a nominally Communist dictator venerated as a living god. Almost as if there was a god and s/he was hosting a panel show.
Speculation is rising over the health of the autocratic leader of a secretive polity after announcements that he won't be making annual public appearances. This time, it's not North Korean CEO Kim Jong-Il, but Apple God-Emperor Steve Jobs:
Several Apple employees contacted by Wired.com have reported that they haven't seen Jobs since the company announced the CEO would not appear for a Macworld keynote. Jobs generally isn't very visible in public, but the employees said they haven't seen him on campus recently, either.
A Japanese expert on North Korea claims that the secretive cult-state's God-Emperor Kim Jong-Il died of diabetes in 2003, and has since been played by several doubles, who have made public appearances and conducted international negotiations in his guise:
He believes that Kim, fearing assassination, had groomed up to four lookalikes to act as substitutes at public events. One underwent plastic surgery to make his appearance more convincing. Now, the expert claims, the actors are brought on stage whenever required to persuade the masses that Kim is alive.
One of its principal claims is that a voiceprint analysis of Kim’s speech at a 2004 meeting with Junichiro Koizumi, then the Japanese prime minister, did not match an authenticated earlier recording.If this is true, who controls the doubles? Do they rule the country themselves like some kind of freakish quadrumvirate, or are they kept under control by some shadowy true leader?
Also, it should be noted that, if this is true, it's not as great a leap as one might think. North Korea's "Great Leader" remains the late Kim Il-Sung; Kim Jong-Il (whilst officially credited with godlike powers) is merely the "Dear Leader", serving as a sort of viceroy in the absence (and the spectral shadow) of his father. If KJI has now popped his clogs, that merely takes it one step further.
So now North Korea is ruled by two godlike beings not present on this Earth, or rather by their representatives, and is essentially a somewhat novel theocracy. One could probably call it a necrocracy.