The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

March 2, 2013

It’s fitting that Rodman paid visit to North Korea

By Lynn Saternow
The Herald

---- — FORMER NBA player Dennis Rodman recently paid a visit to North Korea. How bad could that turn out?


Rodman — who made more news off the court than for rebounding by wearing wedding dresses, make-up, crazy hairstyles, tattoos over tattoos, and tons of jewelry — went to a country that no American in his or her right mind would visit.

Of course the term “in his or her right mind” comes into play here.

So, was anybody surprised when Rodman came back and proclaimed that current North Korea leader Kim Jong Un was an “awesome guy” and that his father and grandfather were “great leaders.”

Excuse me?

The current leader’s father — Kim Jong Insane — was a brutal dictator who was ready to drop nuclear weapons on anybody just for the fun of it. And his grandfather — Kim II Sung — was the founder of that country and cost a lot of Americans their lives in the Korean War after he invaded our ally South Korea.

Kim supposedly has said that he hopes Rodman’s visit — which came with a few of the Harlem Globetrotters — would warm relations with the United States.

I’m sure it will, Kim. We always like to send psychos from our country to visit psychos from your country. After all, why wouldn’t we be friendly to a country that wants to drop nuclear missiles on us?

We do not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, so it is difficult to get into the country. However, I’m not surprised that a person like Rodman would be allowed to visit there.

The big surprise is that we let Rodman back in this country.

•However, with Rodman returning, maybe he could meet with Congress to discuss this sequester thing. Obviously, he’s about as crazy as all the people in our government right now.

Wait, make that as crazy as all of us voters who keep putting bad Democrats and Republicans back in every political office no matter how poorly they represent us.

•Most of us regard Rodman as a kook, so it’s not that big a deal what he did. Or what he says.

But many of us will remember when Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam during the Vietnam war and spoke out against our troops who were fighting there. That was serious stuff, yet she returned here and continued a strong movie career before making millions on workout tapes.

Then again, would you rather buy a workout tape from Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda? Nuff said!

•The Vietnam War caused a great divide in this country, especially among young people during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Protesters were everywhere. I saw a lot of it during my college days at Kent State, which eventually led to four people being killed by the National Guard there on May 4, 1970.

Just recently on the radio I heard the song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young that reflected on those shootings.

But while many of us were against the Vietnam War, intelligent people still backed our troops who were only doing what was required of them when called to serve their country.

Still, many of us still consider it one of the biggest mistakes in our country’s history. It’s hard not to tear up when many of us visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Or for me when Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young blare on my radio: “Four dead in O-HI-O.”

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at