Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Great Turkmenbashi, RIP

The great dictator of Turkmenistan, Sapurmurat Niyazov, may have been no less cruel towards his opponents and dissenters than most tyrants, and certainly no less addicted to his own cult of personality.

But for all that, his regime provided plenty of unintentional comedy.

Who else but the great Turkmenbashi would have renamed the months of the calendar for himself and his family?

Only the great Turkmenbashi could have decreed that old age begins at 85.

Or command the people to celebrate a holiday to honour the muskmelon.

And surely one can understand why the great Turkmenbashi required people to study the philosophy in his great Rukhnama to pass a driving test.

(Well, can ants united defeat a tiger or a lion? Can they?)

The great Turkmenbashi was immortal until the day he died, and thus having left no declared successor, his epigoni will fight fiercely to seize his vacant throne. But none of them will provide the entertainment value of the great Turkmenbashi.

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