Trump to Kim: All this I will give you
President Trump pitched paradise to Kim Jong Un in a four-minute movie trailer made especially for the summit in Singapore last week, complete with cautionary tale, dramatic musical score and a lot left for the imagination. It features the two men and images of glory and strength: the perfect tease for the chubby millennial ruling North Korea known for killing off family members and playing video games.
Kim is like Trump. They love screens and they especially love seeing themselves on screens, so in Trump’s quest to forge a new relationship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he is seducing Kim with an offer to play the hero in blockbuster Hollywood fashion. The showmanship is impressive and I have to give it to Trump for the acting. He plays the Great Seducer.
If you watched Trump and Kim interact in front of the flags on television or see the movie trailer, you might agree with me they looked like adolescent panda bears pawing each other. Trump wooing Kim with praise and groping his arms and hands and shoulders while heaping praise – ridiculous amounts, with fake sincerity – made for television. Its like watching a daytime soap opera and Donald Trump plays Don Juan of the World: mesmerizing. Stupefying, even. Moderate consumption is advised.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to make the world a safer place,” said our president, and he wasn’t kidding. He had his guys in the government, dba “Destiny Productions,” create a fake Hollywood movie trailer emblazoned with a faux White House logo starring – you guessed it – The Big Guy. It’s so corny it could be brilliant – like when the CIA used the guise of making a science-fiction movie in Tehran during the hostage crisis to rescue American diplomats enhanced and sprinkled with magic pixie dust in the movie “Argo.” If it looks shimmery, it is shimmery.
Trump’s pheromones are his values – sex, condos and television. All of the patting on the back and acting starstruck – in a movie – as president while scenes of a white horse fording raging rivers, and smiling, well-nourished children laughing in bumper cars appear in the background. This is what high-speed rail and prosperous, glittering cities will look like if you come with me, pal, it suggests. The summit and the movie was an enticement to lead young Kim astray using an elixir potent among strongmen of any age: more power and more glory and now in HD and on television.
The summit, but even more so the fake movie, was like a perfume-bottlelike puff of what it’s like to have the life of Donald Trump, leader of the free world and owner of golf courses, palaces, and fancy hotels everywhere. Fame and fortune and money rolling in like thunder. Just agree to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula, Chairman Kim, and we have a deal. You’ll be a star, like me – or a beloved wiseman – or both – whatever you want – plus a membership in the international big boys’ club thrown in for good measure. Maybe there’s a timeshare they talked about. Trump’s killer card, one he’s holding close to the chest, is offering up adoption by Melania. He knows lil’ Kim’s vulnerability and he’s exploiting it live. It’s unclear whether to laugh or cry, really, like seeing the sloppy seduction of someone in a bar, except Trump is stone sober. Netflix is reality.
Imagine if in addition to getting a Nobel Peace Award for striking a deal with North Korea, Trump also gets an Academy Award for best picture? It would be a Trump-style retort to Hollywood and elites who also mocked his chances of winning the White House. But then again it could not happen. We'll have to wait and see.
Here’s the Washington Post reporting of the movie, but be sure to catch the video:
“Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact,” the narrator said near the beginning, as alternating shots of Trump, Kim and North Korean pageantry flashed on the screen. “And only a very few will make decisions or take actions to renew their homeland, or change the course of history.”
The message was clear: Kim had a decision to make. Then the film progressed from grim black-and-white shots of the United States’s 1950s-era war with North Korea into a montage of rose-colored parades and gold-tinted clouds.
“The past doesn’t have to be the future,” the narrator said. “What if a people that share a common and rich heritage can find a common future?”
The same technique repeated even more dramatically a minute later in the film, when the footage seemed to melt into a horror montage of war planes and missiles bearing down on North Korean cities – much like the apocalyptic propaganda videos Pyongyang had produced just a few months ago, when Kim and Trump sounded as if they were on the brink of nuclear war.
But in Trump’s film, the destruction rewound itself. The missiles flew back into to their launchers, and a science-fiction-like version of North Korea took its place – one of crane-dotted skylines, crowded highways, computerized factories and drones, all presided over by a waving, grinning Kim, accompanied always by Trump. “Two men; two leaders; one destiny.”
“You can have medical breakthroughs, an abundance of resources, innovative technology and new discoveries,” the narrator said, the footage more and more resembling a Hollywood movie trailer as it built to its finale:
“Featuring President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un in a meeting to remake history,” the narrator concluded, as Korean words flashed on a black background: “Is it going to become a reality?”
Coming soon to theaters near you.
As published in the Portland Press Herald