I had the same initial reaction as Prof Crispy to the public displays of emotion in North Korea following the death of Little Elvis. I thought they had to be fake—especially those of the news readers, who were apparently so choked up that they couldn’t even make the announcement—all part of an elaborate charade meant to assure the official minders that everyone is still firmly on-board with the regime. Or, if by some chance these people actually were crying, it had to be the result of years and decades of brainwashing on a massive scale. Either way, it was an inkling of how much it must suck to live in a place where the head of state is regarded with such reverence. Then it occurred to me that here in America, a country supposedly founded on opposition to rule by powerful figureheads, we’re not too far behind. Almost fifty years out, and people are still nostalgic for Came-a-lot, and look at all the pomp and bullshit that went along with the death of Saint Ronnie a few years ago. I thought they were never going to put that fucker in the ground. And, for a more recent example, of course, there’s always this.