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Sep 21, 2014 KIM (SQUARED)

The Unbearable Lightness of Nibbling Emmental Holes

Every great leader knows that slander and defamation by enemy sources goes with the territory, even more so when one is part of a ruling lineage that encompasses heralded births involving weather & astral phenomena, migratory birds and seasons. Still, there's so much thick skin one can muster for the onslaught of mean-spiritedness that is reserved for the truly great figures of history, like Kim Jong-un of North Korea.


It is one thing to be falsely accused of despotic governance, tyrannical fits, extravagance on the expense of your penniless citizens and utter disregard for their livelihood in general and quite another of being fat. Nobody nowadays expects journalists to have some sort of conscience, integrity or ethos, but this line of attacks, exploiting a man's outwards appearance is beneath even them.


In this case, the spiteful diatribe against Kim alleges that his ballooning waist is a symptom of his gluttonous appetite for Swiss cheese (aka Emmental) and what's more that  he is a cheese hoarder. It is indeed a cruel, heartless world where a true "connaisseur de fromages" " is reduced to a mere glutton.


Kim has never been reticent or reluctant to acknowledge the deep admiration he has for the impeccable craftsmanship of the Swiss, namely their cheese making and ski-lift manufacturing skills. As a nuanced adolescent in boarding schools in Berne, Switzerland, he spent long hours tucked in his room, contemplating the meaning of life with a platter of exquisite cheese nibbles by his side, his only companion, and soon developed a most refined palate.


In those formative years he frequently found himself mesmerized by the ski-lifts on the surrounding slopes and he would spent a great many hours in alpine chalets observing them, transfixed by their inexorable march, the complimentary spirituality of triumphant ascent and melancholic descent, a mechanical yin & yang of sorts, in awe of their mountainous resilience. He would thus stare the continuous procession of floating seating, for hours on end, alone, with just a pot of fondue in his arms or emmental chunks in his pockets, sometimes both.


There were times, some deeply philosophical moments, when he caught himself brooding over a piece of emmental, studiously tracing the cheese holes, their smoothness, their randomness, delving mentally into them like they were nooks and crannies in the athenaeum of universal knowledge and he a culinary explorer of its hidden treasures of intellect. He was thus no longer holding a simple dairy product but  a savory chalice of fermented wisdom which he, the future leader of a proud nation, had the insight to perceive as such. He would then proceed to eat it.


And then there was this one sublime, transcendental occasion when he rode the chairlift at the local ski resort, up and down in a loop for the whole day, with a piece of cheese in his mittens. Blessed were these few hours, up there, dangling from his seat, enveloped in the flowing, smooth mountain slopes, grasping affectionately a premium chunk of emmental, its pale yellowness radiating among the snow-whiteness like a full moon, its idiosyncratic holes absorbing the vastness of the landscape, the weight of existence.


No wonder he has been vying, once succeeding his dearly departed father, to built a ski resort in his native land and has recently successfully done so (albeit without his preferred choice of equipment). But not, as vile critics have suggested, in whimsical megalomania and cruel disregard for the plight of his people, but rather in an effort to establish a national spiritual epicenter, an allegory of transcendence for the whole nation. Yes, most citizens are forbidden from visiting it, yet not out of malice but out of fatherly love, as God restricted Adam and Eve from tasting the tree of knowledge. They are also notoriously bad skiers. Plus it's also a unicorn sanctuary.


As far as his weight gain is concerned, it is of course neither a dietary nor a health issue (everybody knows you can never gain weight from the emmental holes) and certainly not an attempt to look like his beloved and revered grandfather, Kim Il-sung; how preposterous! The simple truth is that his spiritual maturation is reflected in his changing physical appearance which is unconsciously resembling more and more the platonic solid of a block of Swiss cheese.

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