I've been a little bored as of late. Nothing too serious, and certainly nothing which would offend the sensibilities. But nonetheless, I could use a pick me up. I was thinking the other day about which I'd rather be: a tyrant, a dictator, or just a plain old despot. Tyrant won out.
Imagine the sunny possibilities and you'll be as giddy inside as am I.
Listening to critics would be a concept of the past. In fact, I'd have the power to do so many despicable things to my foes at the slightest hint of back talk or constructive criticism. I will say what I want, when I want, to whom I want, and dare anyone to raise a single disgruntled syllable in defiance. (Hmmm...this could actually work.)
Rich beyond traditional measure, your money would suddenly - and until death do US part - become my money. A palace would be in order, don't you think? And a yacht. And a fleet of cars. And if history is any guide, I'll require a large and very gaudy military-inspired wardrobe in various tans and shades of green with dark sunglasses and epilates made from the tusks of adolescent elephants. I would need a trove of servants with a low threshold for pain and an insane need to please me in every way I could imagine. I wouldn't be that difficult to please, but just in case, they shouldn't be too attached to their limbs. Or their mothers. It's hard to find good help these days. Am I right, or am I right?
I'd certainly have to do something about the international community, though, as world leaders of democracies and those who ally with them tend to look down upon those of us who rule with a keen eye, and a wide albeit ferocious iron hand. I'll print my own money, plastering my face across our national currency, so the sanctions which will be inevitably dumped on me four or five or twenty years in (depending on what I can do for those world leaders of democracies and those who ally with them so they'll look the other way, or if I can get a printing press from the CIA, I'm just sayin')...either way, it won't matter much. I'll have an army and maybe a navy if I'm by the sea...oh how I love the sea...and I can use those forces to protect myself until an upstart makes a play for my power. But wait. As the leader of the military, several well-timed killings...er...'training opportunities' should be all that's required to keep my people in line and cherishing me until either they die of strikingly unnatural causes or until I no longer need them.
What I sat and wondered, though, was where my mentors in tyranny went wrong. Saloth Sar (aka Pol Pot) had a tiny addiction to killing people, murdering what is believed to be about 25 percent of the Cambodian population during his reign, using the brutal policies of the Khmer Rouge. He clearly needed a friend. Although the numbers of tortured and murdered were much lower - somewhere around half a million - the crazy but amazingly influential Idi Amin amassed a ginormous pile of both cash and never-ending titles (e.g., His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshall Alhaji Dr. Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, and CBE). At some point, he was very politley asked to leave Uganda. I'll bet even he didn't know what DSO stood for. And that's the real shame here, isn't it? And who could forget about everyone's current favorite, Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584). Famous for his abolute fits of rage, and the whispered mental illness that probably contributed to Ivan's less than cordial disposition, he is credited with transforming Mother Russia, in part, into the countries of the former Soviet Union that we all so love today. Last on this list, but absolutely positively not last in our hearts, let's talk about that crazy kid from North Korea. Don't get me spun up about this guy. He's playing the game like a true champion, folks. He inherited a country from his dying father and dead grandfather (technically, in that order), he magically made a woman appear (not like Kelly what's her name from 'Weird Science') who may or may not have been married to someone else at the time of her discovery, he has routinely taught his underlings lessons in loyalty and marksmanship by murdering and exiling those who challenge him, or anybody caught watching South Korea's version of Univision - there's a joke in there. And let's not ignore the funny way he likes to test the world's mental and military resolve by gleefully launching rockets and playing hide-and-seek with a mysterious stash of enriched uranium. Genius, really.
Okay, I've got the trappings. I have the mentors (and I know what to do and what not to do...a nod to you, Messers Stalin and Hitler). I know how to thwart reproach from the international community and profit mightily from the labor and natural resources of the country which I will rule by murder and maim...shout out that dastardly desert Wiley Coyote, Saddam Hussein. But I don't know how to actually become a tyrant. I'm 42 and it's probably too late to instill a deep and biting hatred of my parents at this stage in my life. I don't have the intestinal fortitude to begin torturing animals or attempt to take someone's life for sport. I'm not really all that good at stealing things, and I'd probably look rather foolish attempting to take over a bank and claim everything within for myself, including the sub-prime mortgages and HR nightmares. I am not an insignificant military wannabe, and I don't plan to enlist what with my bum shoulder, intermittent tennis elbow, and my severe disdain for anything that requires rolling under barbed wire or eating ready-made dehydrated food out of a bag. I haven't quite developed a taste for blood, or the ability to influence others to do anything short of let me into traffic - even when I've decided to throw caution to the wind and use my blinker. And I can only assume that I wouldn't look good in epilates. Although I do rock burnt sienna and most oranges. My color wheel runneth over.
All is however not lost. Propped up by the current net neutrality John Oliver told me about, the amazing and ever-flowering Internet has come to my rescue disguised as Amazon.com. In its cavernous bosom I have found a book - an actual paper copy book - on how to be a successul tyrant (the only books I advertise for free are 'The Brotherhood' and 'Chief of Staff' by Mark Vertreese...go to Amazon.com if you want to see the dictator book for yourself). The shock and awe has yet to abate. As soon as I figure out how to skim somebody's credit card, or hook up with one of those crazy Russian gangs who ripped off Target or The Home Depot for one of the extra cards they have on file, I'm going grab that thing using somebody else's Amazon Prime because I have some reading to do.
Go ahead and start hiding your women and children and money. But not too well because I don't want this to resemble work. And like David Banner said (if you have to look that up, you are no longer my friend), you probably won't like me when I'm angry. Even though I look particularly good in green, as well.
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