Magazine | December 31, 2013, Issue

From the Twitter feed of Kim Jong Un, @youthcaptain . . .

@unclesongthaek Trying to reach out to you. Please read my Tumblr. Hard to talk to you when all you do is yell. I know I’m not perfect. Neither are you. #isanyone?

I’ll come right out and say it. Don’t care if it’s controversial. Do not understand what Katniss sees in Peeta. Found that part of @thehungergamescatchingfire totally unbelievable. He’s such a wuss. #teamgale #gokatniss #cannotwaitformockingjay

They say Obamacare website wait times are now somewhere between two and three hours. Impressive! Kudos, @barackobama! Don’t let the haters get you down.

@mileycyrus Guurrl! Totes get what you were going for with the twerking performance! I’m also trying to “be my own person” and would love to talk to u! Follow me back so I can DM you! Ttyl!

Finally making real progress with some family issues during a very honest and emotional therapy session. If anyone out there in Twitter land wants to know if family therapy works, I’m here to tell you: IT DOES!!! #itgetsbetter #humble #gratitude

@oprahwinfrey Can. Not. Believe. You got shut out of Globes. Loved loved loved “The Butler” and think Hollywood Foreign Press is probs racist. Come to NoKo! Would love to host your show on my network!

Any #millennial Tweeps have advice on how to talk to old dudes about why change is important? Feel like I’m trapped in a totally whack generational thing and trying to feel my way. Hit me back! Thnx!

Weird how in America the leader is so skinny but the country is so fat. Complete opposite here in DPRK. Would love to know how my country stays so slim! Personally, I cannot say no to the carbs. #ironyalert

It’s not wrong to cry when you’re being honest with your family about your weight issues and your trust issues. Being laughed at by certain older family members when I’m trying to be transparent and vulnerable in therapy session is NOT HELPING. #lookingatyou @unclesongthaek

New Rachel Maddow column in WaPo about Bush legacy of destruction in the Rep. party. Smart take! http://rftsWaPo.3256

Looking at pictures of my dad @kimjongil’s funeral procession. Feeling #grateful and #blessed but also mad. Dudes carrying his coffin don’t “get” me or new media. Wish there was some way to “youngify” my posse. #thinking #outsidethebox

Hot tub selfie! Twitpic.2309.vfg #thankyoudratkins #waterwascold #dontjudge

The person holding the Talking Stick is the person who gets to talk in the therapy session. DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY @UNCLESONGTHAEK DOES NOT RESPECT THAT. Thinking that maybe we need a new family therapist. This one is not respecting the rules and letting certain family members dominate the session.

#page#Open offer to all members of the @obamacare website task force: Please check out my blog on @squarespace. See what I can do? Like the GIFs and the visuals? Let me know if I can help! #reachingout #buildingbridges #we’renotsodifferent

Impossible to understand how anyone manages to rule a country without the use of #instagram or #facebook or #massexecutions. Hey, @vladimirputin! Follow me back so we can DM. #greatminds

Hey! Medical Tweeps! Please tell me: Is this an animal bite or a zit or something else? Oozing something and itches like crazy. But how did it get there? #needsecondopinion #notcrazyaboutDPRKdocs #itscoldinthebathroom #dontjudge

Difficult to make progress in family therapy because the reality is that after each session I have to execute the therapist. Tough finding new ones.

Hey, @dylansprouse! Stay strong, bro. We’ve all been there!

Advice from my Tweeps on dealing with old dudes so far: start writing honest and transparent Tumblr (did that), sit down and have guided discussion with facilitator present (did that), or kill them all. #thinking

Ever have a family situation you think will get better if you just sit down and communicate honestly and halfway through you realize that it’s never going to change? Gives me a sad. #notsurewhattodo

Hey, @unclesongthaek, meet me at my office later tonight. Please come alone. Don’t wear anything special.

Hey, @auntkyonghui, don’t think @unclesongthaek is going to make it back in time for dinner. Just go ahead and eat. Will catch up with you later.

Hey, @uncleleungma, meet me at my office later tonight. Please come alone. Don’t wear anything special.

Hey, entire @peoplesrevolutionarycouncilDPRK, meet me at my office later tonight. Please come alone. Don’t wear anything special.

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! Brody dies??? Please tell me this doesn’t happen. Will never watch the show again if it does. #homeland

Sorry, Tweeps! Should have put a SPOILER ALERT on that last one. #mybad

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Broken Heartland

I was not entirely looking forward to Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, mostly because I worried that the movie, about an old man taking stock of his life on a Plains-state road ...
Politics & Policy

Built to Last

Has the Founders’ revival peaked? The big bios of the big names, now in big paperback editions, still sit on bookstore shelves, like Pleistocene megafauna, yet the subject stimulates feelings ...
Politics & Policy

Generation Gaps

A couple of times while writing this review I almost typed “Bill Clinton” instead of “Pat Conroy.” That’s not surprising. The former president and the bestselling novelist who wrote The ...


Happy Warrior

Heading South

Whether or not Nelson Mandela was emblematic of the new South Africa, his memorial service certainly was. Thamsanqa Jantjie, the lovable laugh-a-minute sign-language fraud who stood alongside President Obama gesticulating ...
Politics & Policy


Appalachian Immigration Reading Kevin D. Williamson’s article (“Left Behind,” December 16) reminded me of my experience working with urbanized Appalachians in the Indianapolis neighborhood known as Stringtown back in the early ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Maybe Kim Jong Un’s uncle tried to talk to him about Obamacare over Thanksgiving. ‐ Supporters of Obamacare decided to start saying that the website is now basically working, never ...

The New Inequality

For about 47 minutes the president successfully moved the conversation to income inequality, the very existence of which proves that the fundamental transformation of America into a grey smear of ...
Politics & Policy


PICTURESQUE Rising ambitiously, they set a goal Of smoking out the red, reluctant sun, Which smolders like some just-embarrassed coal. Whatever looks to start has not begun, But still the clouds’ bombastic undersides – All glowing ...

Most Popular

Poll Finds Nevada Voters Support School-Choice Programs

According to an April poll, a large number of Nevada voters support school-choice programs. The poll, conducted by Nevada Independent/Mellman, found that 70 percent of voters support a proposal for a special-needs Education Savings Account and 59 percent support expanding the funding for the current tax-credit ... Read More

Is Journalism School Worth It?

Clarence Darrow dropped out of law school after just a year, figuring that he would learn what he needed to know about legal practice faster if he were actually doing it than sitting in classrooms. (Today, that wouldn't be possible, thanks to licensing requirements.) The same thing is true in other fields -- ... Read More

Wednesday Links

Today is ANZAC Day, the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli: Here's some history, a documentary, and a Lego re-enactment. How DNA Can Lead to Wrongful Convictions: Labs today can identify people with DNA from just a handful of cells, but a handful of cells can easily migrate. The 19th-century art of ... Read More

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Alfie and Haleigh and Charlie and Jahi

When British hospital officials tried to pull the plug on 23-month-old toddler Alfie Evans on Monday night in arrogant defiance of his parents' wishes, many Americans took to Twitter to count their blessings that they live in a country that would not allow such tyranny. "Stories like Alfie Evans make me ... Read More