Commentary

Hope You Have the Time to Read This Before You've Got to Run

 

Here’s something to keep an eye on in the next few days: nuclear annihilation.

Is it just me, but is US media not paying that much attention to the North Korean government-sponsored video in which the White House and Capitol are bombed by their missiles? I tend to believe old George Santayana’s observation that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. I’m hoping my memory lapse will work for me. I remember Nikita Khrushchev’s “We will bury you” warning in 1960 (though he apparently didn’t quite say that) so I know world leaders can try their hand at foreshadowing but this might be the first time in history a bellicose power has produced its own promotional trailer.

 I wonder, does North Korea have cookies? I wonder in part because the BBC wonders: Its reporter seriously asks, who was North Korea intending to see this video of its fictional attack? Folks in North Korea don’t get the Internet, by and large. So it would seem it’s us—the potential victims—who are supposed to be watching, though our engagement can only last as long as North Korea withholds its conversion. One can hope that North Korea is not really that good at working those KPI metrics!

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News of the video was just one little item on a radio newscast I heard, and it just struck me: How truly bizarre.   

Whatever, I do think when it’s all written—and of course, it won’t really be written—”Gangnam Style” will get more hits than the video of North Korean missiles blowing up the Capitol dome. Also news of Ryan Secrest’s divorce will command more attention than another story in the news this morning from Korea: that North Korea has hacked into three South Korean broadcasters’ and three South Korean banks’ computer systems, just a day after  it released that explosive boom-boom video on YouTube.

Our takeaway:  All things Korean are trending.

In the perfectly marketed world, Kim Il Jong-un is even the right demo. He’s 29, with his peak earning years ahead of him. Apparently that’s more than he can say about us, though Dennis Rodman says the dictator just wants to have serious fun, Not blow us up.

I don’t know why I make light of this. The fact is, once you step back from your computer just an inch or two, it is more than just a little alarming to recognize that the US now commits enormous resources to fighting cyber-terrorism, and in every story I ever read about it, admits it’s nowhere near to winning the war.  What’s out there—inside our computer—is more seriously daunting than the tone this blog is treating North Korea’s snuff video. If what (possibly) goes viral these days—North Korean threats to blow up the United States, for example—is any indication of the serious stuff that doesn’t see the light of day, I’d say we’re in pretty deep.   

pj@mediapost.com

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