It was that noted tweeter-about-town Londiniensis who pointed this out. That of the three famous deaths of recent days, Christopher Hitchens provoked much mourning and opining; Vaclav Havel died and nobody (on Twitter) really mentioned it, and Kim Jong Il provoked mostly jokes. Of course, Londiniensis put it more succinctly than that.
But it's an interesting world we live in, where a death that could threaten the world provokes mostly puns on the deceased's names. Given the starvation of so many of North Korea's people and the imprisonment of people fort their politics and their beliefs, I would say that the man, and the system that put him in place, are no joke at all. Hitchens was always challenging, but will be forgotten within a decade, I would guess - tell me in 10 years if I'm wrong. But Vaclav Havel was a blooming hero.
Maybe the Facebook / Twitter generation are already forgetting the horrors that the Eastern Bloc's leaders inflicted on their long-suffering people. Havel, an articulate critic of the regime in what was then Czechoslovakia, spent years in prison. As the regime crumbled in the late 80s, somehow Czechoslovakia managed to transition to a democratic state and then - amazingly - the Czechs and Slovaks managed to split their nations apart without the bloodshed other countries suffered from.
It's not down to me of course. But if the popular view is the right one, and if people end up where they deserve, Kim Jong Il is currently eternally enjoying his own form of hospitality. Vaclav Havel is in a place where he can write all the plays he likes, and the government won't get touchy. And Christopher Hitchens is probably in the bar.