BELATED CONGRATULATIONS to North Korea’s new leader, the 20-something Kim Jong Un, whose exact age is being withheld while government officials review celestial events to choose which one specifically heralded his immaculate birth. This precedent was set earlier by Kim’s charismatic father, Kim Jong “Let-A-Smile-Be-Your-Umbrella” Il, who, according to North Korean textbooks, was born during the appearance of a new star. North Korean textbooks also stated that Il was an excellent golfer and that he produced no urine or feces—a helpful combination if you’re playing 18 holes without a cart.
The young Kim’s inauguration was done in typical North Korean modesty, with thousands of identically dressed people filling the square in Pyongyang, moving in perfect synchronization to honor the new leader and, secondarily, to celebrate the fact they’d all eaten beforehand. Regular meals is what they get in Pyongyang, as opposed to citizens in the rest of the country, who eat—as human rights groups have documented—less often.
Kim reportedly had very mixed feelings about the impending death of his father and his quick return from the Swiss boarding school where he had been living. He’ll miss his dad, of course, but he got out of final exams. And as any college student can tell you, it’s better to be in the history books than stuck in a campus Starbucks reading them.
I’m wondering if Kim will continue the powerful reminder of his nation’s nuclear capability by adopting his dad’s mushroom-cloud hairstyle. I notice this kind of thing because I, too, have bad hair. But, sadly, I have no nuclear weapons to casually mention to people making fun of me at a party. “Oh yeah? What’s your address again? Anywhere within a 50-mile radius would be fine.”