Dennis Rodman Charms North Korea

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 10:00 AM

By Jon Friedman

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I'm afraid I might be getting jaded. Nothing shocks me anymore. I am a certifiable news junkie but lately, I feel as if I have seen it all. Do you feel the same way? (Yes, I thought so, It's OK to have this posture. In fact, by now, we may be in the majority.)
Sure, I used to be the kind of person who, when he followed the news events, reacted by being shocked at the ludicrous nature of the world around me. No more, though.
To wit: Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea?? Ho-hum. Hey, why not? Of course, a basketball star who was infamous for his wild-man behavior could show up in one of the world's most publicized under-the-radar nations. 
Yes, the flamboyant ex-NBA Chicago Bulls great appeared on the dark side with the Harlem Globetrotters, to spread America's two great foreign messages: global peace and the National Basketball Association. Rodman was always known as a great team player, one who preferred to rebound and play defense than shoot the basketball himself.
But enough about Rodman — back to me. When I first saw this bizarre headline, I shrugged. I doubt I was the only one. There was a time when people like me would be talking nonstop about the absurdity of the bulletin. But it just seems to be a part of our national fabric of kookiness.

And when you think about it, somehow, North Korea should embrace Dennis Rodman, whose claim to fame as a player was his a) phenomenal ability as a rebounder b) selflessness on the court and c) his multi-colored hair colors and other examples of his wacky, look-at-me style.
Would anyone be too shocked if the head of state of North Korea emerged as a major Dennis Rodman acolyte, who also liked to show up in public in multiple hair colors?
It doesn't really matter what diplomatic progress America has made, with the help of Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters. This should be a bit of media nirvana. You have the addition of the Globetrotters, who also heroically broke through in the Iron Curtain once upon a time, lending their special dignity to the proceedings.
Rodman served as a perfect counterpoint to the Globetrotters. Journalists should love the opposites-attract combination of the two icons. 
But that would have required the media to take seriously Rodman's diplomatic mission — and why add a semi-serious tone to the news today?
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for Click here to read his latest column. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution. Click here to order a copy. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.


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