One of the virtues of having most of a day off is that, when you run out of things to do, there's all kinds of stuff on the Internet that you sometimes don't get around to reading when you have to write for the Internet. Today, I was perusing Foreign Policy's blog Passport and saw the most hilariously subversive OpEd in a long damn time, written for South Africa's Mail & Guardian by Binyavanga Wainaina. It's called "The Aspiring Dictator's Guide," and contains 12 easy ways to be a successful African dictator. Examples?
AndRule 3. Make America or China happy. Make Israel and Saudi Arabia very happy. Become a Muslim, like Idi Amin. Visit Moammar Gadaffi often. He likes African leaders. We do not know why. Pray with George Bush and let him see your soul. Make your country's leading supermodel the ambassador to France and Italy. Ask her to wear a mini when presenting her papers to Nicholas Sarkozy.
Rule 11. Do not send all the money you steal to Switzerland and do not give it to your wife. Buy US treasury bonds and hide them in your children's library. They will never use it. Why should they read? Daddy is rich. Do not have businesses in your wife's name. Or in your children's names. Deal in euros, Krugerrands and diamonds.
If all these things fail and you find yourself in State House surrounded by screaming citizens carrying homemade weaponry, make sure you have a Hummer (Raila Odinga) in your garage. They are cheap now in America. You can burst out of your palace and make your way to Somalia, where you can become a pirate who earns $50-million a year.
Man, has Nick Denton heard of this guy? I bet he comes really cheap.