Split Screen Tyrants

10 April 2011

Damn, how does one keep up with it all? It’s gotten to the point where unless the leaders of Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Ivory Coast are personally out there with an AK 47 mowing down their citizenry, their antics may go unnoticed, much less reported on, for days, maybe weeks.

The Washington Post has tried to cope with this by giving us a brief “Turmoil in the Middle East” box score each day at the bottom of the front page, but there we can only learn the latest from Lybia, Yemen and Syria — although there was the gratifying picture of an Egyptian billionaire and main man homey of Gamal Mubarak, Ahmed Ezz (will he learn to rap in prison? Note to Ahmen: call Jay-Zee for representation) in an immaculate white jump suit sitting in a cell he shares with the ex-tourism minister.

Never one to be reactive, I came up with a solution. I asked Gbagbo, Ghadaffi, Assad, and Saleh to wear small lapel clip Tyrant-a-Cams, so we can see what they see: giving orders to open fire on protesters, upraiding their wives that they can only take so many kilograms of jewelry in the getaway plane, or drawing up a list of “reforms” they think might give them another few weeks hold on power.

You may think this was not an easy sell, and you would be correct. To obtain their cooperation in this enterprise, I had to give away a 30% stake in my joint venture with Logitech, the company who came up with the technology. These men are thinking ahead to the day when they may need to earn an honest living in whatever country they can persuade to receive them as Tyrants in Exile.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, looks like we dodged the Budget Bullet and have lived fight another day. Good on you, O, the Great Compromiser. Now if we could just figure out what your end game is — or are you just making it up as you go along?

Rupert Scofield


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