Stop worrying about North Korea

Sorry if my soapbox leaves splinters on your floor, but I need to rant.

I can’t believe I have to explain this all again, but here goes : North Korea is not a threat to anyone in the USA or Canada.

Why? Because all it has is a piddling few nuclear devices that use all the uranium and/or plutonium that the South Korean government has been able to purchase and produce over the lifespan of its fifty year nuclear plan.

So say the worst possible scenario occurs and the Un One thinks that maybe that one solider with the natural good looks and charms was looking at him funny, and this time, having the man and all this family tortured to death just isn’t going to cut it. This time… the whole world has to pay.

So he launches all his devices while stroking a non-existant mustache and cackling evilly, or at least, what he thinks is an evil cackle but sounds more like a frog with the hiccups about to barf.

And all those devices are heading for major cities in the USA. Oh no, surely this must mean we are all doomed!


Well guess what? There would be ZERO DOOM, at ;least in the Western Hemisphere. In order to get to us, the devices would have to cross China (who is a nuclear power too, remember?”) and then cross the Pacific Ocean, which is, ya know…


and that would give the world plenty of time to intercept the missiles and cause them to splash harmlessly into the ocean where they can be picked up later.

Meanwhile, the entire world would have invaded North Korea and in record time Un would be Un-employed and his country would be absorbed into South Korea and become New Korea, or looked at another way, Korea Classic.

And why would Un the Great and Mighty bring that on himself?

Remember, it is never only a question of what the enemy can do. It’s always a question of what they would do.

I mean, you could punch your boss in the face tghe next time he talks to you like you’re in fifth grade. You have the capacity. You have the fists and the rage and the opportunity to put both of those things together for a moment of punchtastic glory.

But you wouldn’t. DO I need to explain why?

And for heaven’s sake, people, don’t make fools of yourselves talking like the world ending in a nuclear holocaust is a possibility. It ain’t. Korea isn’t the Soviet Union. A nuclear exchange between it and the rest of the world would not bring an end to all life as we know it.  Un just plain does not have enough nukes for that, and it’s not like we’re going to blow ourselves up just to make up the difference.

Now don’t get me wrong – he could do a lot of damange with the nukes he as, especially to countries way closer to him than us. If he decided to take out Beijing or Tokyo or Ulaanbaatar[1], he might be able to do it. And not only could millions die in the initial striek, the environmental impact would be felt for hundreds of years. In fact, fallout would take even more lives than the initial blast.

But that’s not going to happen, because no matter who he attacked, the world would wipe out his regime before the ground has even stopped glowing and why would Un want to do that?

But people will go right on believing that we are on the brink of total annihilation, and you know why?

Because it’s fun.

It’s fun to imagine that we’re at risk of losing it all. It makes life more exciting and dramatic and the fun kind of scary, the kind you get in a horror movie.

And like in a horror movie, it’s safe to get scared about North Korea’s nuclear proigram because you know, deep down, that it’s all fake, there’s no real danger, and at the end, it will all go away and you will go on with your life.

It’s the attractive bullshit of popular delusions, and I am sick and god damned tired of it. So here I am, being the “no fun” guy who tells people that the Emperor, despite what you read on Twitter, actually IS wearing clothes, and any gimpses of his genitalia you thought you saw were only the products of your fevered imagination.

Nark my words. Were this article to be seen by a large number of people, I guarantee that I would receive dozens of angry letters in which people would be making superficially logical as to why I am wrong wrong WRONG, but the subtext would be clear, and it woudl read “”you’re no fun!”.

How dare I insist upon reality when we’re all having such a fun time being scared?

Because real world things are happening and our priorities are all fucked up because of the media pursuing what they think is the best story, instead of looking for the truth.

And social media only makes things far worse because now it’s not about rating, it’s abnout clicks, and everyone is competing to share the stuff that will get likes and shares and that kind of intellectual populism is going to favour the sensational falsehoods over the unglamorous truth  most of the time.

It’s all reality television now. Everything from the biggest news program all the way down to your auntie’s Facebook feed is just as trite, just as manipulalative, and just as “real” as Toddklers and Tiaras and Survivor : Atlantis.

Clearly, the public mind needs a better immune response to bullshit.

I have no idea what that would look like.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. You mena, those two Klingon chicks from Star Trek? Actually, it’s the capital of Mongolia. Don’t worry about not knowing it. Neither did I till I looked it up just to make myself sound smart!

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