Society Magazine

The Case of the Biggest Ego

By Berniegourley @berniegourley
Dear Leader, Version 3.0, and Dennis Rodman

Dear Leader, Version 3.0, and Dennis Rodman

I was reading an article in The Economist over the weekend about the sanctions against North Korea, and Kim Jong Un’s “don’t mess with me, I’m CRAZY!” response.

The article featured the photo above. I was immediately struck by the fact that Kim Jong Un’s head is higher, despite the fact that Dennis Rodman is about six-and-a-half foot tall and Kim Jong Un is… well, let’s just say a dwarf.  I don’t know exactly how tall Kim is, and I’m sure nobody truly does. I tried to look up Kim’s height, but the figures ranged from 5’3″ to 5’9″. This isn’t surprising. The Kim family motto is, don’t let blatant facts to the contrary get in the way of a good lie; stick to your guns, execute people as necessary, and show your skeptics the crazy eyes. Kim Jong Il was believed to have worn six-inch lifts and a nine-inch pompadour to impress his underlings with his grand total 5’2″ physique. Of course, each successive generation of the Kim Dynasty has an easier time because the country’s citizenry is shrinking due to undernourishment, a fate that isn’t shared by the Kims. (Sadly, this isn’t a joke. North Korea is one of the few nations whose average height has been in decline over recent decades.)

It’s not really surprising that Kim insists on his head being higher than his guests. (I know what you’re asking. Whose set of phonebooks is he sitting on, because there sure as hell aren’t enough phones in North Korea for him to be sitting on the DPRK listings–which is more of a pamphlet?) Anyway, kings, emperors, and dictators have always required others to scrunch down so that the royal status will remain unquestioned.

However, if there is anyone who can match a dictator’s monumental ego ton for ton, it’s a professional athlete. Consider Lance Armstrong, he sued reporters for telling the truth about him. What kind of rarefied atmosphere does one have to live in to do that?  Then there are the many athlete-rapists whose defense was “Your Honor, I didn’t know I needed permission to have sex with that person. I think my lawyer may have failed to make you aware that I’m this year’s MVP… Even an MVP needs permission? That’s some crazy shit.”

As a society, we nurture the notion that the dictates of polite society don’t apply to those who are skilled at winning games. Coaches have been known to be fired mid-season for losing, but Bobby Knight beat the hell out of kids for decades before he got fired. We deify athletes just like the people of North Korea, who can’t afford leisure activities of any kind, deify their dictator.

So this photo answers for me an intriguing question, who’s more narcissistic: a professional athlete or a professional dictator. Seeing Dennis Rodman peering at the game over the twin humps of his knees answers the question nicely.

To be fair, Rodman did get a subtle dig in with his Team USA cap;  subdued as it may have been, that must have gotten Kim’s goat. Rodman also got in a nice Coca-Cola product placement. Fun fact: I was once told by a Coke employee that there were only two countries in which Coke was not sold. Everybody guessed that North Korea was one of them, but that’s not correct. It was Burma and Cuba (don’t ask me how the latter has been making Cuba Libres all this time.) Given Burma’s reforms, I wouldn’t be surprised if today it was down to one (or none.)  [World dominance... check.]

Tags: humor, coca-cola, funny, Kim Jong Un, Dennis Rodman, Ego, Arrogance, athletes, sports

By in Commentary, Essay, funny, humor, News, Politics on March 11, 2013.

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