Shirley, You Can't Be Serious

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kimjongillin.gif

This is dangerous, DMZ-style territory I'm treading into. Kim Jong Il is the most inherently humorous dictator since Mobuto; Trey Parker and Matt Stone's mockery of him in Team America was pitch-perfect, until they got to the cockroach stuff. With that said, this "sensational" David Zucker ad linking the Democrats to Kim is so dumb it hurts. It veers from mocking Kim to mocking the very idea of talking to your enemies.

History has taught us that evil needs to be confronted, not appeased. Evil dictators will be evil dictators, no matter what we do. Unlike basketball, the security of the United States is not a game.

You can say "but that was the point of Team America!" Not quite true. The point Parker and Stone made when they parodied Kim was that the United States, for all its recklessness, needed to stomp down evil regimes occasionally, and that people whose first instinct was to blame the U.S. for violence were "pussies." (The whole Puppet Doctrine is up at IMDB.)

The point Zucker and his fair-weather (or, given the news, foul-weather) fans are making is, believe it or not, less sophisticated. It's that any effort to empathize with a threatening enemy or regime, ever, is doomed to failure. That's a more extreme position than even the Bush administration's, which is that threats can be neutralized by a combination of realistic threats and negotiation. (See: Libya.)

Maybe this is taking a 90 second ad too seriously… but this was commissioned by the Republican Party in the hopes of creating a viral video.

Speaking of "North Korea" and "things that are funny," Gene Healy does a nice job puncturing some of the sillier NoKo talk of the week.

NEXT: Alas, it Will Still be 1,468 Years Until Everything You Think, Do, and Say Will Be in the Pill You Took

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  1. You can say “but that was the point of Team America!”

    Except that really was the point of Team America. Funny movie, yes, but Parker and Stone’s views on foreign policy are childishly right-wing in a way that sits nicely with those of The Weekly Standard. It’s telling that they were pretty gung-ho on Iraq from the start, but when that turned into an obvious fiasco they didn’t recant, but instead reiterated the preventive war line with another handy member of the Axis of Evil. Their line about “pussies” would’ve read as a screed against fifth columnists in a slightly more “serious” venue.

  2. Negotiation and diplomacy is very important in basketball, but this ain’t basketball!

  3. Negotiation and diplomacy is very important in basketball, but this ain’t basketball!

    I heard that movie was terrible.

    Seriously, is that the same David Zucker?
    I watched the ad without sound. I am terribly confused. Is that ad for real? This world it makes very little sense right now. Why was Madeline Albright doing all those chores? And why did the free throw at the end scare her so much? Someone please tell me – does the sound clarify things that much? I cannot even imagine what words could go along with those images to make them comprehensible. My head is swimming.

  4. Nah, the sound doesn’t make much of a difference. If it makes them feel any better, this is likely stupid enough to be succesful as a viral video, and they may convince some 11 yr. olds to vote against diplomacy. In fact, I predict that Republicans will sweep mock elections in elementary schools throughout the nation.

  5. Chris S. chirped:

    “If it makes them feel any better, this is likely stupid enough to be succesful as a viral video, and they may convince some 11 yr. olds to vote against diplomacy.”

    But it’s not quite as stupid as advocating diplomacy with enemies who are demonstrably eager to exploit every luscious millisecond of our compliant prostration to diplomacy. We might have well have sent Madeline Albright’s brooch to Kim Jong-Il and left the revolting harpy to sing karaoke in Seoul for all the good her diplomacy did.

  6. But it’s not quite as stupid as advocating diplomacy with enemies who are demonstrably eager to exploit every luscious millisecond of our compliant prostration to diplomacy. We might have well have sent Madeline Albright’s brooch to Kim Jong-Il and left the revolting harpy to sing karaoke in Seoul for all the good her diplomacy did.

    Yikes, we’re compliantly prostrating ourselves to an abstract noun! That IS bad. For those of you who froth at the mouth when you hear the word “diplomacy,” you might find some comfort in the actual definition of the word:

    “The art or practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements. 2. Tact and skill in dealing with people.” (From the American Heritage Dictionary Online)

    It has absolutely nothing to do with appeasement or prostration — no more than negotiating for the price of a car at a car dealership. Indeed, even threats fit well within the realm of diplomacy and negotiation. On the other hand, we could just reduce international relations to random outbursts about harpies and karaoke.

    ————————————————
    In other news, the squirrels are out with a vengeance tonight.

  7. But it’s not quite as stupid as advocating diplomacy with enemies who are demonstrably eager to exploit every luscious millisecond of our compliant prostration to diplomacy.

    Hm, number of nuclear tests that occurred while we were using diplomacy-0
    Number that occurred when we got “tough” and stopped trying to coax Kim into the 21st century-1 so far. Maybe more, especially if the Iranians decide this is a great pretext to go all out on their program.

    Wow, that reality sure is a bitch.

  8. Hm, number of nuclear tests that occurred while we were using diplomacy-0
    Number that occurred when we got “tough” and stopped trying to coax Kim into the 21st century-1 so far

    We weren’t using any diplomacy with India and Pakistan? Fascinating news, that.

  9. I guess I missed the part where we kissed off diplomacy and attacked North Korea. Even the North Korean news has neglected that story… maybe the North Korean news is just a conspiracy by the U.S. Government to get us to think that we aren’t attacking them!

  10. I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

    Somebody had to say it. Man, you guys are slipping.

    mjs

  11. This is an attack ad done right! For real, I am disgusted with negative politics and attack ads, but if they were all as funny as this one, I wouldn’t care.

  12. We weren’t using any diplomacy with India and Pakistan? Fascinating news, that.

    Not with regard to nukes we weren’t. Their tests came completely out of left field. North Korea’s, on the other hand, were predicted by everyone who was paying attention. North Korea is a completely different situation.

    I guess I missed the part where we kissed off diplomacy and attacked North Korea.

    Where did I say we attacked them? I said we blew off diplomacy, which we did when we told them that we wouldn’t deal with them until they had completely disarmed. But, you keep blowing down those strawmen that you set up. I’m sure someone finds it very impressive.

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