Archive for February, 2011

The Gaddafi Show

22 February 2011

Last night, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (or Qaddafi for players of dictator-themed scrabble) released this bizarre video to prove that he is in Tripoli.  I can only assume that buildings he was in front of were distinctive enough to prove to Libyans that he was indeed there.

What I found interesting was the setting of the video.  This is a man who has been the ruler/dictator of a major North African state since 1969. And yet, this is how he is presented: in a very small car, with a very large umbrella.

There’s something about the combination of the small car and the big umbrella that seemed out of keeping with his status as a major world leader and repressor of his people. It’s not quite Saddam Hussein caught ‘like a rat in a hole’ (let alone Mussolini’s ill-considered trip to the Esso garage in Milan, or Mr and Mrs Hiter’s honeymoon in a shell hole) but it is possibly a step in that direction. Anyway, it certainly wasn’t up to his usual standards, either in his ramblingness of speech, as shown at the UN in 2009 or the lavishness of his surroundings, as shown in the past with his tent and uniforms as well as is glamorous entourage.

From the graininess of the video and the dystopian backdrop, I couldn’t help feeling like it was the start of a bad 80s music video – especially when watching a version without English translation.  I like to think that after the end of the standard clip, when Gaddafi lowers his umbrella, what actually happened is that he launches into some kind of musical song and dance routine (perhaps along the lines of Monty Burns’ ‘See my vest‘, or something from Team America). Or maybe it develops into a rap video, with some bumping and grinding from his select female entourage:

Sadly, I fear we will never know.