Thursday, March 03, 2005

Call Me Ishmael...

Mr. Atos

I have been loosely following the buzz surrounding today's L.A. Times piece glorifying North Korea. But, as I finally got a chance to look into the actual article, the first thing that stuck me was it's similarity to Melville's Moby Dick. See if you agree.

"Call me Mr. Anonymous," he said in English.This North Korean, an affable man in his late 50s who spent much of his career as a diplomat in Europe, has been assigned to help his communist country attract foreign investment. With the U.S. and other countries complaining about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its human rights record, it's a difficult task, he admitted.

"There's never been a positive article about North Korea, not one," he said. "We're portrayed as monsters, inhuman, Dracula … with horns on our heads."

So, in an effort to clear up misunderstandings, he expounded on the North Korean view of the world in an informal conversation that began one night this week over beer as North Korean waitresses sang Celine Dion in the karaoke restaurant, and resumed the next day over coffee.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

"Is there any country where there is a 100% guarantee of human rights? Certainly not the United States," the businessman said. "There is a question of what is a political prisoner. Maybe these people are not political prisoners but social agitators."While Westerners tend to stress the rights of the individual, he said, "we have chosen collective human rights as a nation…. We should have food, shelter, security rather than chaos and vandalism. The question of our survival as a nation is dangling."

Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.

Is it just me, or is Barbara Demick indulging a literary foray to establish the suggestion of a White Whale in President Bush's psyche with regard to North Korea and the Axis of Evil?

Hmmm. There's some reading to do later.

Okay, thin? Perhaps so. But, the illustration nevertheless demonstrates my profound belief that this story is fictional indulgence. It is a fabrication by Mrs. Demick, with Mr. Anonymous being every bit as real as Melville's Ishmael. Granted, I have no proof to support this claim. But, I do have the precedent of Jason Blair and Dan Rather to lend a certain degree of credibility to my theory.

Once again we find representatives of the Left manufacturing their own version of reality in defiance of the genuine article. Perhaps Mrs. Demick fancies herself to be Melville as Ishmael in the form of Mr. Anonymous conveying a tale of experience regarding North Korea the way she wants to believe that it is. I submit that she manufactured a story, beginning over a beer in the evening and ending with coffee in the morning, according to her utopian vision with respect to the North Korean condition silhouetted against a psychotic American obsession. President Bush, no doubt, is realized as Ahab chasing ghosts at the expense of his men, their profits and his vessel.

Nevermind the fact that Mrs. Demick's surreal editorial indulgence, purchased for Kim Jong-Il divine forgiveness from the world Left for his crimes against humanity, and likewise justification of more of the same...

...or worse.

But, then again, maybe my theory is not so thin.

Hugh Hewitt has intense and comprehensive coverage of this ongoing issue.

Other contributors to this subject include: Obsidian Wings, Powerline, TheDailyBlogster, Blogotional, M.A.W.B. Squad, Brainster'sBlog, The Scrutinator, Hedgehog, LittleGreenFootballs, CheatSeekingMissiles, Prying 1, TheCrusader, Powerpundit, Americanian, BarbariansatBay, HolyCoast, OkieontheLaminLA, TheCommonRoom, SgtStryker, TheNewFederalistpapers, AlphaPatriot, Patterico, Powerline, Prestopundit, RantingProfs, NoIllusions, Kobayishu, MaruHoyStory, NapaBlogger, Mythusmage, Opines, FightPundit, Wizblog, RogerLSimon, VodkaPundit, AmericanJew, DawnsEarlyLight, StonesCryOut, SpinningClay, Doubletoothpicks, Carol Platt Liebau, TheBantyRooster, WindsofChange, SlingsandArrows, OkieontheLaminLA, TheShadowoftheOlive, TreeExultateJusti, OpaqueLucidity, HobbesOnline, TheDailyBlogster, AmericanDigest (HT. Hugh Hewitt)


Dennis Mosher said...

In the 4th graph, the L.A. Times writer says "his comments offered rare insight into the view from the other side of the geopolitical divide."

What insight? This easily could have been a press release from the North Korean information office. The alleged interviewee (assuming there really was an interview) did nothing more than parrot the standard Pyongyang party line.

Let's see: no news, no human interest, no unusual perspective, nothing we haven't heard before. So naturally, the L.A. Times puts it on the front page.

The L.A. Times can no longer be taken seriously.

-- Dennis Mosher

Jared said...

Mr. Atos,

No offense intended, but my trackback policy is such that I only allow trackbacks that make reference to posts on my blog specifically. I enjoyed your post, but as it makes no reference to my own post to which you've linked it, I'm forced to delete this particular trackback. My apologies.

Mr.Atos said...

Sorry to hear that Jared. I think that the Trackback is an effective tool for cross-referencing rather than simply handshaking. that being said, I typically do try reference all trackbacks int eh content. But, I ran into a snag today, and have yet to include references in the text. I will try to get to it later.