March 07, 2013

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un

“€¢ Former amateur baseball player, iron-fisted autocrat, and Army-surplus-clothing-store enthusiast Fidel Castro has had his tuchis kissed by the likes of Sean Penn and an obscure post-punk band called Manic Street Preachers, who once gave a special concert where they entertained El Presidente (a man not generally known for having any fondness for decadent Western rock “€™n”€™ roll) with such tuneless didactic-rock crowd-pleasers as “€œBaby Elian”€ (a song about the Elián González affair that rivals “€œEbony and Ivory”€ for sheer unlistenable mawkishness) and the wonderfully titled “€œFreedom of Speech Won”€™t Feed My Children.”€

“€¢ Until his untimely demise early this week, charismatic loudmouth Hugo Chavez oversaw his remarkably corrupt (once ranked 172 out of 182 on the Transparency International Index) and brutally violent (21,692 murders in 2012 alone) basket case of a country while enjoying the fawning admiration of Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell, and the ubiquitous Sean Penn. The brooding Penn was a particularly persistent fanboy of the oleaginous autocrat, once notoriously advocating prison sentences for US journalists who used the indelicate term “€œdictator”€ to describe Chavez.

“€¢ And let’s not forget the granddaddy of know-nothing celebs who eagerly kiss tyrant ass: Paul Robeson. An athlete, lawyer, actor, and singer of jubilant Negro spirituals, Robeson was a man who unflaggingly supported and admired Joseph Stalin, betrayed personal friends who were facing execution under the Soviet regime, and once said when questioned about the extrajudicial executions of Russian “€œcounter-revolutionaries”€ and other dissidents, “€œFrom what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!”€ Sadly, Robeson died in the US rather than in the Stalinist Russia he claimed to admire. (Well, he died in Philadelphia, a place which I”€™m told is only slightly less grim than Russia, so perhaps there’s some justice in the world.)

And Rodman? Apparently the former NBA star so enjoyed his raucous party time with Kim Jong-un that he can”€™t stop singing the strongman’s praises. He was recently seen getting forcibly removed from a New York City bar after spending hours drunkenly regaling anyone who would listen with tales of the benevolent leader’s all-around awesomeness and “€œwaving around a signed copy of the dictator’s huge manifesto, telling everyone they should read it.”€ Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this whole embarrassing stunt is the sight of Dennis Rodman publicly endorsing a work of literature.



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