With a bit of salt I think. My friends think I am mad to be so unconcerned about the furore manufactured by the media. Let us make no bones about it. This is purely media manufactured. Mr Trump with his eye on the hits his tweets could make and Mr. Kim on the posturing he can achieve in front of his devoted public. We have no indication and we are not allowed to have any indication of the day to day meetings these leaders are having on the serious subject of mutual self destruction. In my day this was called MAD, mutually assured destruction. The media loved that acronym. They ran around baying the acronym in capital letters their tails twitching in ecstasy like cartoon dogs with bubble speak. That acronym kept the print industry going for decades. All just empty talk. I shall explain why I say this.
Have you ever been at a children’s football match where apoplectic dads incite their hapless kids to commit murder on the playing field? Some of you may remember the wrestling matches in the 1980s and 90s where overfed under-voiced men threatened murder on their opponents? I honestly think if the NHS would only dispense free penis extensions it would put a stop to a lot of this nonsense. In today’s world, governing a country is not a job any sane person would undertake. So we see mad men and clowns in charge of almost every country I can think of. But there are king makers behind the throne and they are pretty calculating lot I can assure you. I was alive when Hitler bayed in his bunker and left instructions that Paris should be reduced to rubble. Didn’t happen. I was alive when Krushchev took off his shoe and pounded the UN podium with it saying “we will bury you.” Didn’t happen. I was alive when Kennedy lying comfortably in bed and being serviced by a famous actress talked on the phone to his cronies of the destruction of Cuba. The papers loved this. Kennedy was the famous loverboy, not a mad man. So he must mean business. It served to accentuate Kennedy’s glamour. Historians even today talk seriously about how close the world come to destruction. Having not had the benefit of hindsight then, I was just as petrified as the rest. Kennedy was too cute to go down in history as the fool who destroyed the world. But yet, his minders did not like that boy. So out he went.
The media would have us believe that Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump are mad men with their fingers itching to finger the button. It makes for a very sexy press. Imagine the hours of discussion that will create. Could keep a TV channel going for years. So why would they reveal to us that there are generals waiting by the side of both men with tasers in their hands? Who wants to spoil the sport?
Consider another point. My use of the words “mad men” has been loosely used to fit in with the prevalent language to make it easy for the chattering classes to understand. Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump are born survivors. They walked over dead bodies to get where they are. They are therefore not in the business of suicide. Granted, Mr. Trump may be safe for a few years in a bunker but he loves life too much for that! Mr. Trump especially has business interests in every part of the world. Hell, it would not be too far fetched to imagine he is right at this moment building one of his ubiquitous towers in North Korea. He certainly has very serious business going on in China and Japan and South Korea and Vietnam and any other country you may care to name. He is primarily a businessman. So go figure. Businessmen do not get to be that way by being mad!
While I am on the subject of Korea can I mention one other salient point, one which has a very serious import to any discussion about that country. We must remember that to the Koreans, it is just one country. Remember that other country Vietnam, which was artificially divided and for about thirty years kept as a playground for the great powers to sell arms. There was a lot of spent anger and a lot of spent ink over that one. Ho Chi Minh was a mad man out to destroy the civilized world. But the Vietnamese people decided they wanted to live together in peace. The Vietnamese people got their wishes and the great powers had to go away to squabble over some other country. I envisage a time soon when the North and South of Korea would make their own peace and ignore the provocations of those dads standing in the sidelines inciting murder. Remember it is not always about America although what we call “the world media” would claim otherwise. People other than Americans make decisions too and they make decisions that are pleasing to themselves.
The picture above as the afternoon sun comes in is my serenity. When…
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
as Yeats says when the world roils in a widening gyre I return to some serenity with a picture like this. It is picture of the girl I married a lifetime ago and of the Marquetry done by her father another lifetime before that. Thus the world trundles on, not with a bang but with a whimper.