Looking at the images arriving out of North Korea as Dennis Rodman helps select and train the country's basketball team, he looks like he is taking himself very seriously.
Juxtaposed between two players in the foreground, casually puffing a cigar, he appears to be a cinematic trope; the gruff-voiced producer on the verge of finding his next big star. But in America, we know Dennis Rodman, and despite being remembered as a basketball player, you're more likely to find pictures of him in a wedding dress.
While having a great old time, Rodman received a real downer of a letter from a man who was born in a North Korean prison in 1982, and forced to stay there because he was the nephew of a man who had attempted to flee to South Korea.
"I happen to be about the same age as your friend Kim Jong Un. But if you ask him about me, he is likely to refer to me as “human scum.”
Mr. Rodman, I cannot presume to tell you to cancel your trip to North Korea. It is your right as an American to travel wherever you wish and to say whatever you want.
But as you have a fun time with the dictator, please try to think about what he and his family have done and continue to do. Just last week, Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle."
And if Rodman lived anywhere near reality, this may have hit home. Maybe it did, too; maybe Rodman will think less about what wil make a great headline or made-for-TV movie and more about how ridiculous it is for him to call the dictator of North Korea his "friend."
(All photos AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)