Is the world heading towards nuclear confrontation? If it is, no-one has told the Hang Seng Index, which – perhaps hardened by Hong Kong’s inundation with palm oil – opens today with a very mild and probably overdue touch of profit-taking.
Back in the days when grown-ups ran the world, North Korea’s formulaic ranting and contrived freaking-out was predictably wacky: a measured-if-apparently-extreme counterpoint to the calm and sober US/global leadership norms. Now the troll becomes the trolled. Kim Jong-un’s regime faces a self-regarding fantasist blurting threats, not merely of any ‘fire and fury’, but a sort ‘this world has never seen before’ – from one of his golf courses in New Jersey.
In a competition to be the most loopy, victory goes to the authentically, shockingly unexpected. North Korea is essentially backing down if all it can do is answer Trump with an even higher level of berserk shrieking-maniac tantrum stuff. The unimaginably scary scenario is that Kim suddenly goes statesmanlike, gets a proper haircut, and starts acting straight and moderate.
As a humanitarian gesture in these dark times – a preparation for Armageddon in the form of pickled eggs. Method: hard-boil, cool and peel the things, place them in a plastic bag, then massage them seductively with garlic, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, whatever, etc, but especially and mostly chili sauce (eg this), then leave in the fridge for a week…