PART OF THE FUNNY BEHIND THE DICTATOR is satirizing how ridiculous real-life dictators can be once they’re good and power-drunk. Sacha Baron Cohen’s Admiral General Aladeen does stuff like hold his own Olympic games, and fly in Megan Fox all the way from Hollywood just so he can bang her. It’s all ridiculous, but not quite, because dictators do quirky crazy stuff all the time when they’re not crushing dissent and building nuclear warheads.
Being a dictator is practically a free pass to go nuts. Unlimited money. Unlimited power. It’s everybody’s fantasy, and if we were on the high seat, we’d probably indulge in some kooky stuff too. Here are five historical, *ahem*, “eccentricities” of dictators that are fittingly becoming of Admiral General Aladeen.
1. Sleep with as Many Women as Humanly Possible
We all know a dictator takes what he wants, and if there’s one thing that unites a dictator with his people, it’s want of poontang. When you think about it, it’s a way more sincere public relations campaign than visiting a stupid orphanage. See guys? I’m just like you! I may be your mighty, infallible overlord, but I need to bust a nut too, sometimes!
A real life dictator probably couldn’t pull off paying Megan Fox to fly to his country to have sex with him, but if Admiral General Aladeen isn’t averaging two conquests a day, then he’s not quite the dictator Fidel Castro was/is.
IT’S TRUE: According to sources that may or may not have made the number up, Castro reportedly slept with roughly 35,000 women. Suck on that, Wilt Chamberlain.
We’re tempted to call bullshit on that figure, but Cuba’s like, the size of Tennessee, and it’s an island to boot. Hypothetically speaking, if you’re a woman and you live in Cuba, and Comrade Fidel wants to be on you, and you don’t want any part of it, there’s only so many places you can hide. Wow, that’s depressing. Forget we just said that and look at this picture of a puppy:
2. Kill the Wife
Sad, but true. And kind of funny. We’d be remiss for not mentioning this one, because we all remember being taught in history class about King Henry VIII, who had like a couple of his wives executed because they couldn’t bear him a son, or he got tired of looking at their faces. It didn’t matter. He was a king. He could do what he wanted. Off with her heads! Buuuuut chronic uxoricide isn’t limited to medieval England.
IT’S TRUE: Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, allegedly ordered his second wife Kay to be murdered and dismembered because she was having an affair with and had gotten pregnant by another man. She was the one who was Kerry Washington in the movie The Last King of Scotland. If it was us, we might just go with a simple divorce, or turn the other cheek because the real father is an alien sent from Scientology heaven (Zing! Tom Cruise joke! Scientology joke! See what we did there? We can’t wait for 2006 to be over so we can make fun of something else).
3. Grow a Mustache
Porn and law enforcement are the only other two corners of human civilization, to our knowledge, where a man can grow a mustache and not be laughed at or just suspected of being on next week’s To Catch a Predator. It wasn’t always like this, of course. Mustaches used to be universal symbols of danger and intrigue, powerful enough in a “I’m gonna wreck that there vagina” way to span galaxies and unite rebel alliances.
But being a dictator essentially boils down to two things: you’re metaphorically stuck in frozen carbonite as far as social norms and trends go, and you get to officially not give a f*ck. This makes dictators and mustaches a natural match for each other.
4. Rename Everything After Yourself
Having the kind of misguided, biblical ambition to want to name the months of the year after yourself and the power to actually do so sounds like an option offered by that skeevy virtual reality club Tom Cruise goes to in Minority Report, where all you have to do is jump into a pod and all your dreams come true.
To get something named after yourself — be it a street, building, stadium, or organization — you generally need to have done something great with your life, or at least had a shitload of money and gave it away to some charity. The underlying point being that you sort of have to earn the right to put your name on a public facility. George Washington won The Revolutionary War, so he got a city. John D. Rockefeller built an oil empire, so we’re reminded of him every time we watch Saturday Night Live. But we all know normal rules of merit don’t apply to dictators, not least of all Saparmurat Niyazov.
IT’S TRUE: The “President” of Turkmenistan (yep, it’s totally a country, we checked) from 1990-2006, Niyazov went above and beyond the usual dictator megalomania by officially renaming the month of January after himself, and other months of the Turkmeni (Turkmenian? Turkmen?) calendar after members of his extended family.
5. Play God
Few things are sacred and unmolestable in the eyes of a dictator, and those precious few things don’t always include god. You can’t do much better to maintain power than telling people you’re divine. Before electricity it was like, the oldest evil-dictator trick in the book. And fortunately for the sake of this article, there are still a few countries out there who can’t quite stay on the grid, and people like Francois Duvalier to exploit that and play God.
It’s True: Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, “President” of Haiti from 1957-71, declared as a part of his propaganda that he was God, or something like that. Whatever he implied by tinkering with the Lord’s Prayer and just inserting his name where Father (God) used to be, and then making all Haitian school children recite it every day in school.
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Our Doc, who art in the National Palace for life,
Hallowed by Thy name by present and future generations.
They will be done in Port-au-Prince as it is in the provinces.
Give us this day our new Haiti
And forgive not the trespasses of those anti-patriots, who daily spit upon our country…
So wait, does that mean that Haitian children, for a time, had to clasp their hands and apologize to Papa Doc after every time they gave in and jerked off?