Monday, October 16, 2006

Idle threat of the week

As a general rule, we don't like to recognize the ramblings of despotic, madmen types because the idle threat is just part of their shtick. It would be like if the award was called "Quietest Person of the Week" and we gave it to a mime.

Yet, during a week a despotic madman type claimed to have the ultimate weapon of mass destruction -- and then claimed he might use said weapon in response to the sanctions leveled against him for possessing it -- it didn't feel right to reward pop star Madonna for her threat to solve the orphan crisis in Malawi through a bevy of self-promotion, or to tap b-baller turned lone gunman Stephen Jackson for his threat to rid Indianapolis area strip clubs of
"short-armed" handicapped pimp types.

As it stands today, last Monday Kim Jong-il called the world's attention to a "nuclear" test and then created an explosion equivalent to 500 metric tons of TNT. Or about 1/50th the power of India's nuclear test in 1998. Meaning either North Korea had a nuclear device of historically crappy proportions or it had 500 metric tons of TNT.

Even though the panel of judges were able to agree the Dear Leader was fair game this week, things got heated when we tried to gauge the idleness of his threat. And it gets to the definition of the word "idle."

If you define idle as lacking in basis, Kim Jong-il had it in spades once he harmlessly blew up what was probably the only faux-atomic weapon he had. But if you define idle as lacking in purpose it was quite the opposite seeing that his little Kabuki show freaked the world out big time. In the aftermath of the test he even received credit for a completely unrelated
seismic event.

While not as impressive as scoring 114 points in the first half of an intramural basketball game or shooting a 34 for 18 holes, Kim Jong-il can add a very half-heartily awarded Idle Threat of The Week for October 9th to 15th to his otherwise Herculean list of accomplishments.

No comments: