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September 29th, 2016

Max’s View

Big Bang in Pyongyang
***1/2
The North Koreans are our enemies!

And no wonder. Remember all that they have done to us.

First, they arrogantly crossed the Pacific to fight against us in our own Civil War.

Worse than that, they never left! They continue to antagonize the United States by keeping a bunch of permanent military bases just south of our border.

Oh, wait…Actually, that’s what the United States has done to North Korea. No wonder they hate us.

But why on earth do we have a problem with them? During the entire history of the regime, North Korea hasn’t killed a single person outside of the Korean peninsula.

To be clear: I’m not defending North Korea. We are clearly a better country. North Korea is clearly an awful, repressive regime. However, North Korea is clearly not our enemy.

Yeah, they have nukes. But I sincerely doubt that they have the capability of detonating one in the United States. And I’m sure they wouldn’t want to if we did the right thing and pulled all our troops out of South Korea.

We should start treating North Korea like just another friendly, flawed country. Bush and Obama don’t get it. Dennis Rodman does.

Dennis Rodman, as you recall, was an NBA legend. He won five championships with two different teams. Interestingly, Rodman was a hilariously bad shooter. But he was the best rebounder in the league and the nastiest one-on-one defender.

Rodman is best known, however, for his flamboyant public persona.

Dennis Rodman became an international celebrity when he started dyeing his hair bizarre colors, dressing in women’s clothing, and dating Madonna.

You know darn well that you’ve hit the big time when they’ve heard of you in North Korea – the country where internet is illegal. Due to a combination of bravery and ignorance, Dennis Rodman accepted an invitation to participate in a celebrity basketball exhibition in Pyongyang in 2013.

Improbably, Dennis Rodman became friends with Kim Jong Un. He was delighted when Rodman offered to come back in January to celebrate the dictator’s birthday with a competitive game between American and North Korean players.

The upbeat Irish documentary “Big Bang in Pyongyang” follows Dennis Rodman step by step as he puts together the strangest and most controversial basketball scrimmage in history.

When the intrepid band of retired players arrives in Pyongyang in early 2014, they have to face one major obstacle: Totalitarianism? Nope: Dennis Rodman’s drinking.

One their first night, a group North Korean dignitaries invite the Americans to a 5 star dinner. Dennis Rodman, who had been drinking the entire plane ride, grabbed the mic from the Korean MC and began cursing and awkwardly singing portions of American songs. Then he got belligerent and almost started a fist fight. It’s an awesomely awkward scene. The other NBA players are afraid that they are going to be taken out and shot at any moment.

But nobody cared. Despite Rodman’s perpetual sloppy drunkeness, the game went off without a hitch. Rodman was too out of it to play so he watched the game with Kim Jong Un, laughing together like old buddies.

Crazy Dennis Rodman figured out what the CIA and the State Department never could: Kim Jong Un is a fun-loving young man. The only secret to friendly relations between our countries is to pop open a bottle of vodka with him and watch some hoops.

“Big Bang in Pyongyang” exposes how absurd, close-minded, and belligerent our foreign policy is. Washington is hopelessly stuck in the Cold War.

The embarrassing truth is that Dennis Rodman is a more successful, sophisticated diplomat than the President of the United States. (Obama does have a better jump shot, though).

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