Kim Jong-un is a sexy, young heir living the American Dream in everyone’s favorite Communist, one-man dictatorship state: North Korea. Until the death of his father, Kim Jong-II, in Dec. 2011, Kim Jong-un was an unemployed 20-something living at home with his parents. Today, he runs a whole country.
Dan Bandow’s article published in the National Interest, asserts that Kim Jung- un is informally known as the “Cute Leader.” Americans admire this kind of unsound hero. Kim Jong-un is portrayed in a true underdog story of a young man following in his praised father’s footsteps, attempting to uphold the family name.
If Kim Jong-un ever left North Korea, he would have a glamorous hit reality show in the U.S. We could call it “Kim Jong-UnCensored,” airing every Sunday evening right after “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E!.
Kim Jong-un could be considered the Paris Hilton of North Korea, but with nuclear weapons. Now THAT’S hot. As if the U.S. was Hilton’s ex-best friend Nicole Ritchie, Kim Jong-un stands with his arms crossed and his nose up while he continues to give the U.S. the silent treatment, allowing rumors to spread through a he-said-she-said fashion between South Korea and the U.S.. This gossip keeps things interesting between nations; however, it seems that some information tends to get lost between North Korea and South Korea, as tin cans and rope often have lousy reception.
It is obvious that Kim Jong- un’s priorities as an heir are exactly where they should be: spending his daddy’s money. Nearly one-third of North Korea’s budget is spent on military. According to CNN World’s Facts on North Korea, military expenditures account for 31.3 percent of GDP expenditures, making North Korea, dollar for dollar, the world’s most militaristic state. North Korea also reportedly has a biological weapons program based at the National Defense Research Institute and Medical Academy, but given how the last rocket went, perhaps Kim Jong-un should just launch a fragrance line.
Kim Jong-un is focused on spending his country’s budget on way cooler things. The country is starving. Even though the country’s pudgy leader clearly keeps himself fed, he makes sure that his country’s citizens do not get too much to eat. Jong-un is doing a great job of making sure his country’s citizens are exactly what we Americans strive to be: skinny and fabulous. After all, who needs food when there is money to be spent on new shoes and missiles?
In their book “North Korea: Through the Looking Glass,” Kong Dan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig describe the country as living a “schizophrenic existence.”
There would be peace between North Korea and the U.S. if the glamorous Kim Jong-un would just embrace that he was born to be a reality television star. He would have such a successful career in reality TV here in the states that a spinoff with the Kardashians would have to be in order. It would be called “Kim & Kim Take Miami,” and there would not be any more wars.
My favorite Thanksgiving memories happen at a place that for centuries has been deemed second best; underrated and unrecognized. A place where all the youngest cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews gather in a distant, far off realm: the kid’s table.
At our house, it’s the after dinner festivities that I look forward to the most. While the men plop down on the couch with full bellies to watch the football game and the women dig through Black Friday deals, we at the respected kid’s table have a bigger mission: an annual home-run derby to decide who has it in them to win over the respect of our elders and gain bragging rights until Christmas.
We set up the bases in the backyard and take the field. The battle commences. Brother against sister, cousin against cousin. One by one we step up to the plate and give our best swing. My oldest cousin usually reins champion, but not the Thanksgiving of 2009. After the two of us compete head to head for a solid hour, I hit one clear over the fence to put me in the lead. My family applauds and I run the bases in victory. The game ends. The prize: the last beloved slice of chocolate cheese cake.
by Traci Hendrix
Holidays, though seemingly overdone, are simply a special time of the year that aim to bring together families and cherish relationships. Whether they are religious or not, holidays are special to every single person. They do not need to be snuffed out by schools, taken out of media or discriminated against by rivaling celebrations. The number of holidays celebrated throughout the world is infinite.
Each holiday serves a specific purpose or (else) it wouldn’t be considered a special occasion, and that aspect is not something to be overlooked. After eating your weight in turkey and pies, surviving the apocalypse, ripping wrappings, spreading cheer and spending time with loved ones, bring in the New Year with a resolution to have an open mind to others’ holidays and accept the fact that none of them are going anywhere any time soon.
CELEBRATE LIFE by Megan Emory
Winding roads, cold wind and the smell of Christmas trees mark the start of the holiday season. We all have family traditions that we know are worthy of telling our kids and grandkids about someday and this is one of mine.
Christmas doesn’t really begin until I am in my grandparent’s living room putting ornaments and lights on the newly chopped tree that my twin sister and I just spent 40 minutes searching for in every worthy tree lot in West Virginia. With Christmas music and the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the background, I always have a moment where I stop and realize this is why I love this holiday. It’s bigger than just a day to get gifts, it’s about spending time with those you love celebrating life.
Though the popular television series “Breaking Bad” has won seven primetime Emmy Awards since it first aired in 2008, it is unlikely that former first lady Nancy Reagan, who initiated the “Just Say No” campaign in the early 80s, is pleased to know that more than 3.5 million American viewers are sitting at home watching a show whose characters spend their day manufacturing the world’s highest quality crystal meth. Nevertheless, recent years has seen a heightened fascination with this type of television. But the question remains: How do television shows with strong drug-related content shape our ideas of drug use in modern America? Is real life reflecting art?
“Breaking Bad” follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who resides in New Mexico. When White is diagnosed with stage III lung cancer and given a prognosis of two years to live, he decides to enter a treacherous world of drugs and crime to provide his family financial security. The series then follows the revolution of his life as a family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
In the case of “Breaking Bad,” it seems its popularity has not changed the negative stigma primarily associated with crystal meth. Though the show does not particularly highlight the use of the drug itself, its plot line is very heavily influenced by the creation and distribution of the drug.
“I see the show really being about the downfall of Walter White,” said junior Christo Stevens. “I rarely even think about the drug aspect or meth addiction. I think the creators of the show have focused on this guy and his journey to becoming evil. Meth is just the backdrop. There were a few scenes in the early seasons of people using the drug, and they were far from glamorous.”
With five seasons under its HAZMAT belt, the overall viewer reaction to the show has been positive, and no news reports of chemistry majors dropping out of college to create meth labs have surfaced just yet.
The Showtime series “Weeds” has a similar plot line but focuses on the “softer” – yet just as controversial – drug, marijuana. The central character is Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies. Over time, she and her family become more entwined in her drug-dealing career, which eventually rises to the highest levels of an international drug- smuggling cartel, all while Botwin attempts to sustain her upper middle-class lifestyle.
Some would argue that “Weeds” and other shows that make light of marijuana use are a huge factor in how people perceive the drug and the debate of its decriminalization. In light of the recent progression toward legalization in Colorado and Washington State, this argument would explain why the Drug Free America Foundation demanded that Showtime pull its hit show from the air. Although DFAF may fear viewers are too naive to not be influenced by television, nothing predominantly negative has come from the show’s eight successful seasons on air.
The series concluded this year with numerous awards to its name and as reruns move to basic cable, pot legalization is slowly making its way from theory to reality. Since “Weeds” began airing, other shows displaying a profound drug influence have turned up on Showtime television.
“It redefined the network and paved the way for a new generation of antiheroes on “Nurse Jackie,”“Dexter,” and “Californication,” said David Nevins, Showtime’s entertainment president.
“Breaking Bad,” “Weeds” and countless other television programs glorify drug and alcohol use and dramatize it likely for the sole purpose of entertainment rather than to change our perception. It’s not the drug use itself that draws us in, but the action and drama that comes with the associated lifestyle; a way of life that most people in middle-class America cannot directly relate to. The intrigue comes from getting a dramatized inside look into a world that we all know exists, but may never personally come in contact with. We are excited to learn the science behind it all: the cartels, the trade,
and the criminality.
“Television is becoming more like movies, many of which contain scenes of drug and alcohol use,” said Dr. James Sargent, associate professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. “TV shows are becoming more edgy, and are increasingly depicting more smoking and drugs.”
It’s the drama of drugs that draws us in, entertains us and allows us to learn. This particular type of television is fascinating because it simply has never been aired so openly before. It is an exciting new taboo that eagerly pushes our boundaries. What also draws us in is that these shows are smart and creative. They keep us coming back for more because we are emotionally invested in their characters. We want to know what will happen to them next, and perhaps we like the idea that we don’t have control over their life choices the way we do our own.
In his book “Mass Communication Theory,” Denis McQuail explains that “people use the media as a diversion; to escape from routine and unpleasant problems.”
Watching these characters deal with their issues, whether it be dramatized scenes of drug use, sex, alcohol or violence, distracts us from our own daily stress and anxiety. Though many can relate to these characters’ middle-class backgrounds, they do not necessarily influence our everyday lives and we certainly don’t feel pressure from them.
Though the media are likely not attempting to influence our personal decisions to use drugs, they are most certainly tempting us to tune in to its TV programs. Luckily, adolescence and adults alike seem to be more addicted to television itself rather than the drug- submerged lifestyle these programs promote.