I have a friend in Hawaii, with whom I cracked a joke about North Korea dropping a nuke on his arse. Ha ha ha, what a card. He wrote back shaking his fist at North Korea and I replied that I was actually just joking and that North Korea was precisely as likely to nuke Hawaii as the US military was to find WMD's in Iraq. And besides Hawaii is DU radioactive already and it was the US military what dunnit.
He conceded the point but came up with an analogy about North Korea being the weird trouble-making kid in school who still deserved to cop a beating if for no other reason than to get him to shut up and stop being a dickhead.
Cool. Why don't I run with the analogy?
The fact is that neither my school chum, nor anyone, has ever met the North Korean kid, nor even laid eyes on him. Every single thing we ever heard about him came from the gang of kids who run the school newspaper and the school website where they like to post little quicktimes they make with their handicams and laptops. And for anyone reading the paper or looking at the website it's transparently obvious that that little North Korean kid is a troublemaker who deserves whatever's coming to him. We pay no attention to the fact that the sum total of everything we know about him comes from the tiny cabal of kids who run the paper.
But the thing is that the kids who run the newspaper are buddies with the school bully who extorts everyone's lunch money. Sure enough, this is never mentioned in the school newspaper. The bully, by the way, doesn't actually front up and take your money. He's much more sophisticated than that. What with having compromising pictures of the headmaster, half the teachers, and the people who run the tuck-shop (cavorting with his sister Lolita) he takes a 50% cut of the lunch money after it goes through the tuck shop's till. No one in the school apart from the headmaster even knows that this goes on. Even the tuck-shop lady thinks the money goes into the school's 'general revenue'.
Instead everyone just complains about the high price of the pies and sausage rolls, and about how crummy and run down the school, and the grounds, and the facilities are. The teachers don't complain too much because the bully paid for special catering just for the teacher's room with real espressos and everything.
Whether the North Korean kid had figured any of this out or not, he decided not to participate. Instead he brought his own lunch from home (kimchi bibimbap, I expect) and thus didn't pay any money to the tuck-shop at all. Well that's him fucked. Truth be known the school bully doesn't really need the North Korean kid's money - he's already the richest guy at school. Hell, he's richer than the teachers! Put together! But that's not the point. Such independence cannot be allowed. Everyone must be kept in line and no alternative to the bully's tuck-shop game may be permitted. If everyone brought their own lunch, then where would he be?
At the behest of the bully, the North Korean kid is a constant target of the school newspaper. It's relentless and it's effective and everyone hates him. And of course the footy team hates him. They hate him as much as they hated that Iraqi kid. But even the cool kids hate him too after they saw that crazy puppet show quicktime that the newspaper kids made. It was called Footy Team America and, believe it or not, took the piss out of the jocks. It was as smutty as hell, complete with copulating puppets, and all the naughty rebellious kids thought it was great. "Ha ha ha, look at those stupid footy wankers!" they said. But they failed to notice that the jocks thought it was great as well. And the lot of them, bedazzled by the smut, thought nothing of the fact that the North Korean kid, along with all the Arab kids, were depicted as dickheads who deserved their beating at the hands of the idiotic but otherwise righteous jocks.
Don't forget, none of these kids has actually even met the North Korean kid, nor even heard a peep out of him. But that's how it was for all the foreign kids. If it wasn't for the newspaper no would even have known they were at the school. Take the kid from the CAR for instance. "Kid from the car? What car?" "No dickhead, not the car, the C-A-R, the Central African Replic. He sits at the back of the class, a few seats away from the Zimbabwe kid." Sure enough, since we all read the school newspaper, we know all about the Zimbabwe kid, who is a crazy little bastard. But truth is he's not half as fucked up as the CAR kid, but since the CAR kid eats at the tuck-shop (unlike the Zimbabwe kid), he ain't in the paper and no one knows who he is. Not forgetting of course that there's nothing like being hated by all the other kids to make a crazy kid crazier. Meanwhile the CAR kid hangs out at the tuck-shop and is 'normal', albeit invisible, and then the bell goes, and he's off home for his nightly self-mutilation frenzy, not that anyone cares.
As for the school paper, everyone admits it doesn't always get it right. Like that time when they had that big story about the Iraqi kid having a collection of guns, with his bedroom walls covered in pictures of other school kids with targets drawn on them. They made a little animated quicktime about him too. And yep, the cool kids thought is was funny as hell.
Finally when the footy team went to his house and absolutely kicked the living shit out of him, the school newspaper had a daily report about how we'd find those guns and pictures with targets any day now. The student president even appeared in the school paper to announce that they had found them: but it wasn't true and eventually the paper dropped the whole topic. "Anyway he's a spastic, look at the way he walks, and we're helping him to be normal." And each day the footy players dutifully drag him down to the tuck-shop so he can be normal and stop being such a fucking retard. And rotten ingrate that he is, he doesn't even thank them. Typical.
Mind you, no one had ever met the Iraqi kid face to face before they took to him with baseball bats, and it never occurred to them that before his kneecaps were smashed that he could walk just fine. Whatever. Astoundingly, a few kids actually wondered at it all and wondered if perhaps the gun story was bullshit and that really the whole thing was about something else? Perhaps the Iraqi kid made a pass at that Olive Oil chick? Who knows? We recall some vague thing hinting at something or other in the school newspaper. Anyway at least the little Iraqi spazmo is hanging out at the tuck-shop and being normal now.
And down at the tuck shop, pies in hand, the kids talk about the latest story about some other kid they never met - "Did you see that thing in the paper about that North Korean-Iranian-Russian-Chinese-Venezuelan kid? He has a basement full of crossbows! And his bedroom wall is covered in pix of kids with arrows through their heads! And he's a freak who dresses up as a lesbian! And he tortures cats with a Fisher-Price Play-Doh Factory! And, And, And..."
And were a kid in school to stand up and say that the school paper is bullshit and that no one has even met these kids, and that it's all about the tuck-shop lunches, everyone would laugh their arses off. "Tuck-shop lunches! Huh? What are you talking about? Like lunches have anything to do with anything?! You're just some vego poof who doesn't like pies! ♬Erh-oo-erh♫ Have some salad! Besides if there was a some crazy scam like this, we'd see it in the school paper! Duh!"