Guys, if you've ever taken post-Labor Day prognostications as any kind of serious indication for how the end of year is going to turn out, we're in for a real doozy.
Today, as we read all the reports about the joint Israel-U.S. missile test in the Mediterranean, and Obama's push for a strike against Syria, international news treated the reading public to a, um, confoundingly idiotic event: Dennis Rodman's return to North Korea.
The NBA star, whose first visit was sponsored by VICE, flew out to Pyongyang today to spend some time with his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, on a "[diplomatic]" mission for basketball. Not, as he told Reuters, to ask for Christian missionary Kenneth Bae's release. Rodman's trip is hot on the heels of North Korea's recent cancellation of U.S. special envoy Robert King's visit to the country to do just that.
But get this. Both King's and Rodman's trips would have purely been coincidental if King's had not been cancelled, which is pretty curious in and of itself, but what's weirder is how Rodman is getting to Pyongyang. I mean, I'm sure Jong-Un and Rodman like, you know, Snapchat and shit, but Rodman isn't going there on his dime. In this short video from the Irish Independent, you can see Rodman wearing a shirt with "Paddy Power" printed on the back.
Paddy Power is an Irish-based bookmaking company. Offline, they run telephone and brick-and-mortar betting outposts, but it seems like they're making moves to make online gambling their cash cow, since they just signed a deal with Facebook for live cash gambling. In that video, note that Rodman says he's going to Pyongyang to talk about a basketball league. With money from a company that's put out odds on a possible assassination attempt in the past, all I'm saying is: basketball league, celebrity spokesperson, online gambling, international markets, North Korea...
What we do know for sure, though, is that there are going to be some killer pictures of Kim Jong-Un and Dennis Rodman looking at things.