Most people spend their free time at work getting distracted by Internet videos. Whether you spend your down time at the office looking at cute cats, skateboard crashes or hardcore pornography, the Internet is there for all of us. When my soul is wasting away at a day job, I find solace in watching videos of happy North Koreans.
It’s mostly out of jealousy. Here I am, trapped in front of a computer for 40 hours a week, yet there is an entire nation full of people who have no choice but to cheer with joy. There is no other option for them in life. Whenever someone says the names Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un, it’s like the secret word on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: everyone goes ape-shit. If they don’t, they’ll die, which is an enviously easy choice.
North Koreans aren’t dragged down by the trappings of middle age in America. They don’t have mid-life crises, identity issues or career setbacks. They are happy or they’re dead. Who wouldn’t want that? I have the same conversations every time I walk into work: “How was your weekend?;” “What’s new with the family?;” “It’s almost Friday!” Do you think North Koreans care about any of that sort of drab crap? Hell no. When I watch them on YouTube, their conversations look amazing. “I’m so happy because I love Kim Jong-un!” “I’m even happier than you!” “Oh my God, we’re all so happy!”
North Korean videos make it look like the entire population consists of teeny-boppers who got backstage at a Justin Beiber concert. They are crying with joy at the sight of their leader. That’s how happy they are. We don’t cry for joy over anything in this country anymore. Can you imagine if we rallied around our President the way they do? We wouldn’t have Fox News or the Westboro Baptist Church. We’d have organizations like the I Love the President So Much Club getting into fights with the I Love Him More Than You Society.
North Koreans storm into the water to chase after Kim Jong-un because he makes them so happy. If I spill a drop of water on my shirt at work, the day is ruined. They give him hour-long standing ovations. They march in unison. They sprint and dance and sing and cheer. We write political blogs.
Can you imagine how much more pleasant Fox News would be if we were all as happy as North Koreans? “Y’know what I think? I think the President is doing a perfect job.” “I agree with you.” And then instead of a mindless 24-hour news program that digs for the whisper of a story to sensationalize, the TV could go black and we’d have to be outside like those joyous North Koreans.
I know your first thought is they don’t have any choice. Well doesn’t that sound nicer than waking up every day and having to figure out how to be happy all over again? I’d love it if my options in life were to be happy or die. It would be such a nice motivator. They are happy around the clock and it fills me with envy. And if they’re not happy then they’re dead. They don’t have to see therapists or get in touch with their feelings or go on retreats. They can just be happy or not be around anymore. In America we can pursue happiness and we usually come up short. In North Korea? One hundred percent happiness.
So whatever Kim Jong-un is doing, keep it up. Not only does he have a flawless approval rating at home and a national press that has his back. He also has an ardent supporter across the pond. One who watches the North Korean leader’s devoted followers every day and wishes for the day that he can be as happy as them.