Birthday Boy Kim Jong-Il Looks at Things: The Ten Best Examples
Happy Birthday greetings are in order for Kim Jong-Il, who is either 69 or 70 years old today, depending on what foreign superpower you choose to believe. Soviet records say that he was born on February 16, 1941, while for some reason the North Koreans have him being birthed a year later, to coincide with a double rainbow and a new star in the sky.
Going by that logic, that means that at the same time that hippie saw that double rainbow (what does it mean) last year, a new savior was being born somewhere. Neat.
Anyhow, he's a bad dude, leading a country into poverty while building a war machine, banking on his cult of personality and helping create myths about himself. According to North Korean lore, he wrote six operas in the span of two years, coached the national World Cup soccer team with his mind and an invisible cellphone, invented the hamburger and once shot 38 under par on a golf course, a feat not even the greatest golfers in the sports pantheon can do.
The man was once injured falling off a horse and decided that everyone on his staff should be as high as he was, ordering them to all be injected with the same amount of painkillers he was prescribed. So he's either the coolest boss in the world or an unbelievable tyrant. The secret prisons, murders, forced abortions, slavery and public executions outweigh the fun.
A few months ago, Kim became a meme, with a Tumblr site started, devoted to pictures of the dictator looking at things in factories and on tours of his country. He looks at once childlike and clueless, gandering at corn, buckets and slabs of meat. Here are the best ones we found.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.