Monday, December 19, 2011


"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less. The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility. - Vaclav Havel

"Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not." - Vaclav Havel

"A man who dreads trials and difficulties cannot become a revolutionary. If he is to become a revolutionary with an indomitable fighting spirit, he must be tempered in the arduous struggle from his youth. As the saying goes, early training means more than late earning." - Kim Jung Il

Great ideology creates great times." - Kim Jung I

"The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has a passion for cinema. But he could never find a director to realise his vision. So he kidnapped one from the South, jailed him and fed him grass, then forced him to shoot a socialist Godzilla." -  The Guardian

Showing, once again, that irony is the is the glue that holds the universe together, Kim Jong Il and Vaclev Havel died in juxtaposition.

I've always wondered at the complete absence of humor in the Bible, given the Creator's universally impish qualities in the real world.

Havel was like a dream of a leader. Creative, thoughtful, humane, he presided over one of history's rare bloodless breakups of a country. Kim Jong Il, on the other hand, was a sociopathic lunatic, who almost certainly died of lifestyle diseases, gorging himself on the richest foods, the best liquors, the finest cigars - all while the people, the children, of North Korea starved to the point of eating grass.

I just finished the book "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick, which tells the stories of a handful of North Koreans who managed to get out. Orwell couldn't have imagined a more hellish, perverse, cruel place. I don't exaggerate. North Korea is hell on earth, stage managed by a freakishly mad family of sadists. It is a place where a neighbor overhearing the tiniest complaint about the miserable reality of your life can lead to a death sentence. The "Dear Leader" required that the illusion of complete adoration and joy be maintained - he had the methods to confirm this - even while your children were dying of starvation.

When Bush and Cheney decided to rid the world of despots one wonders why, were their intentions pure, they didn't start with Kim Jong Il. North Korea is the world's biggest lunatic asylum. Good riddance to the alpha lunatic.

I have a series of picture of people who are my heroes on the walls of my library. One of them is Vaclav Havel. Rest in peace.

Read more:      Vaclev Havel Obituary      The Guardian
Read more:      Kim Jung Il Dead       BBC
Read more:      The Film Producer from Hell     The Guardian