This column is written by Northern Kentucky author Rick Robinson and originally appeared in The Daily Caller. It reprinted with permission.
Someday in the not-too-distant future, a music writer will author a coffee table book entitled August, 2013, remembering this moment in time as pivotal in the history of pop culture. Glossy pictures of a misunderstood female performer will adorn slick pages filled with lofty praise in tribute to the shift she caused in the paradigm of performance art.
The book will not be about Miley Cyrus’s twerking (for us old rockers, read: dry humping), or what she did with a foam index finger at the annual MTV Music Awards. Instead, the book will highlight the life and horrendous death of singer Hyon Sung-wol.
A South Korean Newspaper reported that this week North Korea’s communist dictator, Kim Jong-un, executed a dozen members of the Unhasu Orchestra – including Jong-un’s former girlfriend, singer Hyon Sung-wol – as their relatives and musicians from three other pop bands were forced to watch. Following the firing squad, the on-lookers were all sent to concentration camps.
Didn’t catch that story on Entertainment Tonight?
Which is why the public’s obsession with Miley Cyrus’ twerking instead of Hyon Sung-wol’s assassination may say more about us than it does about the teen idol formerly known to Disney Channel viewers as Hannah Montana.
Band Drama on Acid
North Korea’s Lunatic-in-Chief Kim Jong-un used to date singer Hyon Sung-wol, a popular singer and performer. His now-dead father, Kim Jong-il, disapproved of his son dating a woman with an I.Q. to the right of his on the x-axis and made him break off the relationship.
While the young lovers went their separate ways and married different people, rumors swirled that the two continued to have a romantic relationship – rumors that apparently upset North Korea’s First Lady. To make this story even more weird, Jong-un’s wife is also a former member of the Unhasu Orchestra.
According to reports, under pressure from his nagging wife, Kim Jong-un had Sung-wol and eleven of her fellow performers arrested and killed by a machine gun firing squad.
Instead of Miley Cyrus and her latest 15 minutes of fame, the death of Hyon Sung-wol is the story in music right now. MTV and others should be shouting it from the rooftops to build international outrage.
Yet, instead of reporting on a dozen voices that can no longer sing, the media is focusing on one that still (allegedly) can – Miley Cyrus. Since Cyrus’ lewd performance on the MTV Awards, where she stuck out her tongue often enough to be considered the female answer to KISS’ Gene Simmons, our airwaves have been filled with clips and commentary on the appropriateness of her bawdy behavior.
Maybe we’ve just come to expect this from Kim Jong-un. After all, he once killed one of his cabinet secretaries by tying her to a pole and shelling her with mortar fire. Still, this month, Hyon Sung-wol and her eleven musical martyrs were only some of the voices not singing.
Several members of the female punk rock band Pussy Riot remain in Russian jails for musically advocating a popular uprising against the government at a concert in Red Square. Apparently, a lyrical call for revolt nearly a century after the people’s revolution gets you 20 years in a Russian jail.