Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Personality by the bucketful.

Now that is a healthy head of hair.

North America (and in fact, North Americans) have a vague text book idea of what is involved in a cult of personality. It seems almost like a cartoonish concept that might be conceived by a caricature of a science fiction villain used to scare the villagers below. It should however be noted that in fact some of the worlds most vicious tyrants have almost turned concept the cult of personality into an art (we dont include Mao Tsetung in this one cuz that was primarily Warhols doing, awful joke, i know).

One of the most ignored, yet colorful of such rulers was the recently departed Saparmurat Niyazov. Born from the shocking poverty of central asia came a man that could be described as one part Liberace, one part Imelda Marcos and one part Stalin. Needless to say this equals a recipe for fun!

Turkmenistan lies to the right of the Caspian sea and is sandwiched between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the north and Iran and Afghanistan to the south. The population of Turkmenistan just like much of the other countries in the area are a rich mix of local tribes and ethnicities (primarily Turkmen and Uzbekistani, some Russki's thrown in for good measure). Its not uncommon for most (if not all) countries in this region to fall into ex-soviet hands after the fall of the USSR. Turkmenistan being hardly an exception to the rule, Niyazov took rule almost immediately after glasnost/perestroika. It wasnt much longer after that that he also named himself "Turkmenbashi" or in english, the leader of all ethnic turks and why not? He HAD won the 'election'. Please note the quotation marks around the word election, those are supposed to denote a tone of sarcasm.

Like any good leader it was necessary for him to let the people know who was truly boss. What better way is there to show the general public that youre the boss than by posting posters and paintings of you everywhere. Stalin did it, so did Hitler and Mao and they were all fairly successful in their work. Why not one up those suckers anyways... it could be suggested that perhaps you build a gold statue of yourself on the tallest building in your capitol city. Just to spice it up, you should make it rotate 24 hours a day with the sun. Thatd be really bitching. Seriously. Niyazov did this.

That is the fucking statue

The best part is that noone is going to stop you. Its not because you carry the threatening title of 'Turkmenbashi' or because of your impecable taste (you banned the following: Ballet, beards, long hair and music) but because you, hold one of the worlds largest supplies of oil. Please also take this as encouragement to rename several days of the week and if necessary a month (as well as buildings, planes and a meteorite) after your beloved mother (and self, its nice to switch it up every once in a while).

Initially Turkmenistan, although a predominently desert country, had out produced its neighbours in the 1980s and 90s in the cotton industry. However, as of late its crops had begun to diminish and it was now time to focus on its golden goose, gasoline. It wasnt long before old friendships were refreshed. Its here that Niyazov's old buddy Russia (and distant cousin Ukraine) step into the picture. Needless to say both are very hungry for oil and gas and are willing to do quite a bit to receive it (not unlike a sick crackhead). The true question is what is going to happen to this country and what is Russia (and to a lesser extent the Ukraine) going to do about it?

Russia has been in the spotlight as of recent with accusations of partaking in activities of the espionage variety and have not been particularly shy about supporting dictators in the past. Even today there are huge human rights issues with regards to how it is carrying itself in Chechnya. The next question will be how and where do Western Europe and North America fit in? This isnt to mention the fact that the neighbouring countries have been in an uproar (particularly Iran and Afghanistan). There is a giant gaping hole in Turkmenistan waiting to be filled and noone with any credibility to fill it.

2 Comments:

Blogger youngflizzy said...

I gotta admit, dictators are...ah man, i can't say anything funny 'bout them. Nothing.

"How to Drive a Nation into the Ground"

1:31 AM  
Blogger CeePee said...

HAHAHA
seriously.
I also forgot to write about the epic book that he wrote. I believe everyone has to read it at least once and you have to take a morality test when you go for your drivers license.

4:29 PM  

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