Friday, December 3, 2010

Kim Jong-Il's Veggie Fascination

Okay, I am pausing Klaus Kinski being really abrupt and crazy at the start of My Best Fiend to show you what happens when one of the world's strangest leaders gets close to vegetables: massively spooky staring contest. A quick scan of facebook while loading the DVD brought me to this new and amazing blog: Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things. (Thanks, Mr. Simon, for all that you do.)

This candid shot with the huge radish brought tears to my eyes. Tears of what? Joy? Recognition? Shock? Hilarity? Who knows? Kim Jong-Il always appears so expressionless, and generally looks like a big, schlumpy doll in photos, so it's crazy to see his delicate eyebrows suddenly raised up above his sunglasses frame and his mouth turned down in unmistakable perplexity. "What is this radish I see before me?," his inner voice whispers. "Can its wisdom feed an entire nation?"

Again, a kind of surprise mixed with humor overtakes this normally composed leader as he encounters  this ear of yellow corn. His face registers a response to the uncanny--that which is at once familiar and strange. Do the spaces between its kernels remind him of the spaces between his teeth?  What labyrinth of time does this maize beckon him to enter?

He seems to feel at home in this green field of wheat, however:

He strokes his chin and remembers a spot of time when he was carefree and happy. But the effect seems to fade when this wheat is processed into crackers. The pastoral magic dissipates, and Kim Jong-Il is returned to our industrial present. He becomes agitated.

He seems to remain stern yet somewhat indifferent toward fruit...

... and maintains a sincere curiosity about smorgasbords.


Marc said...

It's also interesting to look at the expressions of the people around the Dear Leader. They are probably scared and nervous, realizing that even a small mix-up -- a misshapen radish, a worm on the ear of corn -- could lead to a demotion or banishment to the countryside (and the possibility of starvation).

kale daikon said...

I agree! Each photo is like an allegorical pageant. Overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

kindred spirits in ye olde englande:

kale daikon said...

I think the knobbly veg campaign should widen its reach to North Korea. Kim Jong-Il would enjoy the increased viewing opportunities.