So Kim Jong-Il is dead.
He’s the last of the lot. Saddam’s been dead awhile, and this year saw the end of Khaddafi and bin Laden, and even Castro went and retired.
All the boogeymen of my youth are gone now. It’s odd. I was never really that scared of any of them—they were never all that real to me—but it’s odd to think they’re actually dead. However much harm they did to very real people over the years, when you’re a kid and you grow up hearing about a vague bad guy a long ways away, they tend to become a mostly mythological figure. I think I devoted about as much mental energy to Kim Jong-Il over the years as I devoted to the Krampus, possibly less.
I’m sure we’ll get new ones—nature abhors a vacuum—but I can’t help but wonder if we’ll be going “Dictator A? Feh. You should have been around for Saddam, now there was a CIA-funded lunatic! This one couldn’t oppress his way out of a paper sack! I bet GWAR never wrote a song about HIM!”
A little too soon to see what the death of this boogeyman will mean for the people of North Korea, and I don’t know enough to hazard a guess in any particular direction, but here’s hoping things get better.