Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear Kim Jong Il...

Hope You are Fine. Wish You Were Here
Obama Writes Letter to N. Korea Leader

© 2009 Leighann Lord

Special Envoy and honorary post man Stephen Bosworth delivered a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, written by President Obama. The contents of the letter are unknown but it is part of the effort to get North Korea back to talks about nuclear disarmament. Political paparazzi may wonder what this heretofore secret letter says, but style mavens everywhere really want to know: handwritten or typed?

In these days of email, texting and Skyping, handwritten letters are a lost art, but Barack Obama is a class act. He knows a beautiful handwritten note on presidential stationery could be just the thing to the North Korean leader. And what writing implement would the President use for such a sensitive missive? Ballpoint? A roller ball? Fountain pen? Fine, medium or broad point?

Script or print, pristine penmanship is of paramount importance. Chicken scratch will not do. The First Lefty’s (and by left I mean which hand he writes with, not the political side to which he leans) handwriting has to look as good, if not better than, he does. Future American Presidents may not have this ability. Cursive writing is not a part of today's educational curriculum. As lamentable as I find this to be, times do change. We no longer expect urgent political messages to be sent by Morse code, Pony Express or carrier pigeon.

I wonder what the letter smelled like. In the days of yore, it was cool for correspondence to be scented. Calvin Klein's Obsession does it for me, but Enjouli might better capture the fragrance of freedom.

More than likely the letter was typed using a very tricked out version of Microsoft Word. (White house Word?) What is the favorite font of world leaders? Serif? Sans serif? Times New Roman and Helvetica are safe but boring. A high level letter like this begs for a bolder font, one that communicates presidential power and political savvy without being too ostentatious. Maybe something reserved and classic like Bookman Old Style, or fun and light-hearted like Comic Sans. Before you scoff and reject the latter out of hand, remember nuclear weaponry is heavy stuff. Maybe Earwig Factory is what the doctor ordered.

Not doubt done on a beautiful cream-colored, heavy weight, watermarked paper (multipurpose laser, bulk-bought from Staples would be insultingly informal), how long would a letter like this be? Anything more than three, single-spaced pages might get a little tedious. The trick is to be brief without being incomplete. But since this is not a new dance between the U.S. and N.K., I think a simple heartfelt handwritten note would have sufficed:

Dear Kim,
Don't be such a hard ass.
Call me.
Love, Barry

Bonus? You can fit that in a Twitter post.

Leighann Lord is a standup comedian. See her perform New Years Eve @ Sweet Basil in Queensbury, NY! Check out her other upcoming shows @ Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

KateGladstone said...

I hope that our president doesn't address a totalitarian as "Dear" for reasons of etiquette (or for any other reason).

How about:
You have killed many of your own people and enslaved the rest, while the world feeds you -- and you call this a philosophy of 'self-reliance.' I've decided to take you at your word, when you claim your nation needs and practices 'self-reliance.' We have just canceled our care packages to Pyongyang. Any nation wishing continued relations with the USA will do the same."