Those weren't fireworks in Asia


Much of us find a level of comfort — if not unbridled joy — in following traditions that have been consistently adhered to, or passed down from one generation to the next.
Darin J. McCannDarin J. McCann
See, traditions can take many forms, and come from a variety of sources. For instance, I gladly let grown men punch me in the arm as hard as they could when I got promotions in the Marine Corps, and I love nothing more than watching the new employee get treated like dirt at newspapers — much as I was many years ago.

As a child, my favorite family tradition centered around the Fourth of July. My late grandmother worked for Avon and she had dibs on a timeshare the company held in Bethany Beach July 4th week every year.

Each July, the family would pile into various cars and meet up in Bethany, where we would play on the beach, eat like we just walked out of a desert and watch the adults get really goofy after putting down box after box of wine.

Yeah, I said boxed wine. Got a problem with that? We’re McCanns, you understand? We don’t hold ourselves to any standards set by mere mortals. If we want to drink wine out of a box, we drink wine out of a box. If we want to eat spaghetti with chicken, we eat spaghetti with chicken. If we want to get together as a family and roll winos for their coins, we ...

But I digress.

The point is (and I think we’ve already eclipsed the possibility of a satisfying point by now), we had our traditions. We’d go to dinner at the same places every year, go to the same waterslides and make our own sundaes at the same place. We’d watch the fireworks together, laugh a lot and start looking forward to the next year’s trip on the ride home to D.C.

It seems other people are starting their own Fourth of July traditions.

That loveable dictator, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, decided to display his own fireworks show on our Independence Day. Kim, who has dubbed himself the “Great Leader,” fired off several test missiles between Tuesday and Wednesday — one of which reportedly has the potential of reaching the coast of Alaska. Kim’s problem was that the tests were a failure, as the missiles reached the Sea of Japan before falling helplessly into the sea.

Apparently, Jong’s talents at leading missile warfare pale to his abilities in golf. The troll-headed leader announced that he shot 38-under-par during his first try at the game, including five holes-in-one. To add to the comical experience that is Kim Jong-il, the guy parades around everyday with a jumpsuit and a hairstyle that looks like he dipped his head into a jar of Vaseline and jumped in a clothes dryer.

In fact, the only thing keeping this guy from being the funniest person on the planet is that he’s positively nuts — and equipped with nuclear capabilities.

For the first time in memory, the world seems united in regards to the “Great Leader.” Nobody likes him, and most think he’s just crazy enough to do something incredibly stupid. South Korea and Japan, in particular, are sweating the prospect of the troll doll firing one of these missiles at their nations, and China has been proactive in asking everyone to just remain calm. See, China’s a bit aligned with the jumpsuited madman, but even they don’t want any part of this latest stunt.

Ever have a down day where you feel like the world is against you? Welcome to the life of Kim Jong-il. The entire world is literally against him. He’s entering the class of Hitler and Hussein — though Hussein somehow became a tragic figure to some in this nation because they don’t like our current president. Apaprently, the sanctioned rape, torture and murder of innocent people takes a back seat to politics ...

But that’s for another day.

This is a day for Kim Jong-il. As our paper was getting put to bed Wednesday night, officials from around the world were scrambling to decide what to do with the well-armed lunatic.

According to reports, Kim agreed to freeze his nuclear weapons program in 1994 for financial aid from several nations, including the United States. Is this latest display just another attempt to extort money from the world? Or is he just crazy enough to think he can do whatever he wants and destroy anyone who doesn’t like it?

Actually, we can probably assume he’s crazy enough to do just about anything. And that might be the scariest part of the entire situation.