More Intensity


There are many reasons I’m glad, and you probably should be too, that I don’t participate in nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

For example:

In what was apparently an attempt to drive home his country’s determination to develop nuclear weapons, no matter what the United States said, Mr. Kang once told American negotiators that he would quote from the novel “Gone With the Wind.” He said slowly in English, “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”

I would have been all like “Dude? Pretty sure that’s The Red Sea Sharks!”

And then it might have gone nuclear, because Kang Sok-ju “could turn prickly, bombastic and sarcastic, especially when he was tired,” according to his New York Times obituary. (Although, hey, I get that way too sometimes, so maybe we’d be alright.)

I’ve never read nor seen Gone with the Wind, and am probably OK with not ever getting to either. But boy, would my life be the poorer for not having read The Red Sea Sharks. If Frederick Forsyth had written a Tintin book, this would be it, and it’s where I learned the aforementioned proverb:


You’re probably all like “Dude? Pretty sure ‘the camels pass’ is not ‘the caravan moves on!'” And you’re right. But the English edition rather lamely alters the proverb, kept true in the original. Not anything I’d start a nuclear war over, but it does make me prickly.


And, since I’m griping about what’s lost in translation, check out the English letter from the Emir to Tintin:


As quoth Mr. Suntory Time: “Is that everything? I mean, it seemed like he said quite a bit more than that.”