Friday, January 10, 2014

"He looks like a monster!”: A thought on Dennis and his "Rod-men" in North Korea

"He looks like a monster!”

--The reaction of one Pyongyang man shouting, when he saw visiting former NBA start Dennis Rodman on the street; image from, with caption: Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang last February; origin of the term "Rod-men" (in the singular) from

Regarding eccentric (or, more than likely, in need of money at any cost) Dennis Rodman's visits to North Korea -- a country I know little about, except indirectly (and minimally) from living in the former Soviet Union during the second half of the past century -- I could not help but wonder if its boyish-looking-dictator was actually using the basketball rebound-record holder as a prop to confirm yet again, following the lines of his state propaganda, that America is a land of crazies and creatures who, because of the color of their skin, are not quite human.

Of course, the state under his (shaky?) control being superior to other nations, Great Leader Kim Jong Un cannot fail but to show hospitality to even the most inferior on earth, even if he -- beneath his smiles -- thinks such species truly belong in a circus (i.e., the USA), but are absolved of their bestiality when they sing a worshipping  "Happy Birthday to You" to honor the Leader's humanity (read: North Korea) -saving birth.

A kind of noblesse oblige, North Korean style, meant to play well with the impoverished population (offered little but national/racial "pride" by its leaders) on a minor piece of real estate located on a small peninsula in eastern Asia, owned by a corrupt and fractious party/military elite?

At the very least, an attempt at home propaganda which has little to do with international affairs.

And Dennis, trying to earn a living in his retirement (aren't all persons in America of a certain age doing so?), is too naively "all-American" to realize that his hosts are laughing at him for the American that he is.

BTW, let's not forget Rodman was a rebounder -- I would argue the least "glamorous" part of NBA basketball, yet perhaps the best example of a true team player -- often passing the ball to another teammate rather than making that spectacular, crowd-pleasing publicity shot.


Dennis Rodman's visit spurs interest in N. Korea tours - Jayne Clark, USA Today

Uncaptioned image from entry

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