What I Want for Christmas

By James Fallows

Now that you ask.

KJun1-shirt.jpg


Thanks to my old Shanghai/Beijing colleague Louisa Lim of NPR for the tip. Place your orders here.
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Update. This note is representative of a number I have received:
I don't know if you intended the Kim Jong Un t-shirt post to be ironic, to express genuine hope for change in North Korea, to make fun of people who consider Obama to be a socialist, or something else that went over my head, but I found think this post would have been in poor taste coming from anyone, but it's in especially poor taste coming from you. Please re-think putting the link to buy the shirt on you website. Yuck.  To me, the shirt comes across as a dig on Obama, and it trivializes both the atrocities of the North Korean regime, and the places where Obama can genuinely be criticized on human rights issues.
Sigh. To any and all who took offense, let me clarify that: I don't make light of the terrible hardships befalling people in North Korea. I don't think that Obama is a socialist or a missing member of the Kim family. I don't actually view the latest Kim, whose hairdo is very different from his father's but equally attention-drawing, to be a likely vessel of reform. I am not making fun of the original Shepard Fairey "Hope" poster or the expectations it helped create. I am not taking sides in the endless copyright quarrels about those posters. I don't even overlook the very high international stakes involving Chinese-North Korean-South Korean-Japanese-U.S.-Russian interactions on the military and economic future of North Korea.

I thought the shirt was funny! This is in the category of "a little joke."

Back to earnestness soon. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and associated holiday greetings to all.

And if I were being earnest about gift-giving, I would say that Steve Clemons makes a superb case for our superb new Civil War issue. Check it out.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/what-i-want-for-christmas/250402/