The new year is a time of reflection, when one looks back and assesses achievements and failures before starting on new and hopefully fruitful projects.
Well, that may be true for other people; me, I just lie back on my bed of money and wait for the next sugar-bowl full of cocaine to be delivered.
When I think about it though, I must admit that some items in 2013 piqued my interest, particularly the rise of Kim Jong Un and the way he consolidated power and ruthlessly eliminated his enemies. Even more impressive: the way the recent story that he fed his uncle to the dogs played in the West.
Just imagine the reaction of middle managers across the US and Europe when the story broke -- of course the first response may have been ridicule, amusement, and memories of Hollywood movies and their portrayals of similar scenes, but think for a second about what must have come next. Surely, they must have thought, the story had a grain of truth in it? And that's when the fear started, after which you can be sure no one wanted to tangle with Kim Jong Un.
Then, when the story was found to be false, and satirical to boot? Device screens may have flashed in anger, but in the end well-meaning good governance types likely didn't know what to think -- and that, little autocrats, is precisely the point! Never undervalue the ability of well-placed propaganda, whether you develop it yourself or whether it falls in your lap (as is the case with Kim) to confuse and confound democrats the world over.
Why, if I were Kim Jong Un, I would unleash agitprop every month! 'Kim dates Parisian mode!' 'Kim threatens to obliterate India over insults!' 'Kim hosts ex-NBA professionals for basketball game, leaves room when drunk former player has melt down during press conference!' Wait, that last one already happened.
Well, it's clear that in 2014, Kim Jong Un is well ahead of the curve when it comes to propaganda.