June 26, 2006

Is It Me, Or Do Dictators Just Keep Getting Cuter?

Forget about the massacres, and the firebombings, and the tortures, and just look at these men:

Let’s face it—tyrannical dictators are absolutely adorable.

Take Castro. Can anyone look at that man and not see their grandfather? The bushy beard, the kind eyes, the fine musk of a hand-rolled cigar. I can just imagine chatting with him on a porch some afternoon while the smell of tobacco mingles with the scent of Mrs. Castro’s fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through a squeaky old screen door.

Okay, yes, the missile crisis. But come on—that was thirty years ago. And besides, it was the Russians, not little, brown, shriveled Fidel. Castro’s harmless now, like a raisinette. I hear he can only eat mushed-up banana and has to deliver communist propaganda via sign language. Isn’t that just the cutest? His little brown hand peeking out of a bundle of blankets, signing about the evils of capitalism?

Castro’s a baby doll; it was all Khrushchev. That reminds me, though: Khrushchev was cute as all hell too. Remember the little gap in his teeth? And the way he got all red and slammed his shoe when he didn’t get his way? Just like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

It’s okay, Nikita, shhh, it’s okay…who’s my big boy? Who is he? That’s right, you are! If only Kennedy had known how to handle things. Niki didn’t need a nuclear stand-off; he just needed some juice and a nap.

And Saddam. Fearsome when on the loose, but as soon as we got him behind bars…what’s that Saddam? More Cheetos? Okay, but finish your Ruffles first. And he’s got the orange powder in his beard and everything…ooh! I could just pinch him! Sure, he tortured and killed thousands of his own people, but look at him—he’s learned his lesson. Let’s get him a Fudgesicle.

It’s the beards, I think. No one can stay mad at a good beard. Perhaps it’s the wide-eyed child in all of us, marveling at the jolly white beard of Santa Clause. Or maybe it’s our yearning for a simpler time, when lumberjacks still roamed free. Whatever the cause, a full on Burl Ives just screams “Take me home and pet me!”

That’s the only reason Hitler is so hated. No beard. Just that little Charlie Chaplin thing, like someone smeared him with shoe polish. No one likes a mustache, Adolf. That was your first mistake. The whole jews thing was just more of the same.

Who else was ugly? Steve Buscemi is ugly, but he’s not a dictator. He is ugly though, right? Christ. He’s got those bug-eyes, like…like, I don’t know, a bug of some sort. Fargo was good. Did that win the Oscar? Buscemi’s great; I’m not saying anything against his acting. He just looks like a human body with a goldfish attached to its neck. Hey, I just realized, he’s got a mustache too! Weird, huh? Anyway…

Kim Jong-Il. You thought I forgot you, didn’t you? Look at you, all tiny and fetus-like. Who could hate a fetus? Besides Pro-Choicers, I mean. Seriously, he looks like a Pokémon. Or remember the Blue Meanie from The Yellow Submarine? I think he even wears the boots.

That little black tuft of hair on top is just icing on the cutie-pie. In all honesty, Kimmy should just quit the dictator gig and start marketing a line of bobble-heads and trading cards. He’d make a mint.

So, in conclusion: Fidel Castro’s cute as a button, Saddam Hussein’s even cuter, and Kim Jong-Il’s as cute as a harp seal riding a rainbow to baby-town. If tyrants keep getting cuter at this rate, expect the next President of Chile to be a teddy bear stuffed entirely with puppies. I can hardly wait.

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