The Supreme Dear Leader is dead—and while it's been a morning of hysterical weeping for us at Gizmodo, we can't help but look back at the five star dictator's life. And boy, did his country blow at tech.
Now, let's all keep in mind that this has nothing to do with the people of North Korea, who have suffered for unfathomably years under the rule of an insane asylum. But despite all his outrageousness and eccentricities, Kim Jong still ran his country like someone playing Sim City by smashing his face into the keyboard. And it showed. Below, the five greatest duds in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Golden History of Successful Progress.
North Korea's nukes are capable of terrifying the entire world, if the entire world agrees to hop onto a giant raft in the Pacific Ocean and hope a defective Taepodong-2 rocket careens into it. North Korea's ICBM test launches have all been enormous failures, crashing into the water like some majestic, aluminum whale. The second and third stages of the rocket never even ignited.
Didn't you hear? North Korea achieved what's escaped the modern world for decades: clean, powerful, plentiful nuclear fusion. All it took was chicken wire, an old issue of PC Gamer, some shoddy North Korean concrete, and a single tear from Kim Jong Il's eye. Oh, and a lot of pretending.
More like shittier netbooks, am I right? Ha ha. But really, North Korea's attempt at an ultraportable For the People makes the PlayBook look like an engineering marvel: Fisher Price form factor, and an OS stripped down to nothing. But it includes several fun programs, like Paint Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Il's Fun Picture Maze, SimStarvation, and Kim_Jong_Il.exe (possibly a virus).
If you're doomed to a life of compulsory labor for a failed economy run by a madman, at least let your authoritarian psycho-state provide you with some fun diversions. Nope. Arcades in North Korea were a perfect reflection of everything else in North Korea: sad, rundown, and about as much fun as mining coal.
Not only does North Korea deprive its people of functional arcades and food, it won't even let them catch a hazy glimpse of their southern neighbors' Christmas lights. In fact, Kim Jong called Seoul's twinkling display "psychological warfare" because it spread the message of Christmas. If only North Korea would look to its friends in the United States, it would know Christmas lights have nothing to do with Jesus, and everything to do with looking awesome and wasting electricity.
Ugh, come on, if you're going to run an interent propaganda machine, at least import a copy of HTML for Dummies.
BONUS: One Awesome Thing
Although he isn't directly responsible for it. Kim Jong Il provided the source material for "Kim Jong Il Looking at Things," one of the most delightful Tumblr Internet Sites to ever pop up. Thanks!