Friday, July 25

The Friday Random Ten+5 takes its beef global.

Last week I caused an international incident by calling out Liechtenstein for not recognizing my ancestral homeland of Slovakia -- or I would have caused an international incident, had anybody in Liechtenstein actually read it. Whatever, they probably have to go into Switzerland and ask for permission to use the Internet just like they have to do for everything else.

But Liechtenstein's utter lack of any kind of response has only emboldened me, and this week I'm calling out five more countries I got problems with. I'm not talking about the same old "Axis of Evil" countries we all can't stand, I'm talking about other below-the-radar countries we're not even focusing on yet. So here are Five More Countries I'm Calling Out For Whatever Reason:

Oh, I'm sorry, The Gambia. Which should be the first indication that there are some serious wankers in this country -- I mean, their insistence on referring to themselves as "The" whatever pretty much makes them the Ohio State of sovereign nations (which means that if their national football team ever does qualify for the World Cup, they'll only end up getting blown out by South Africa). Not only that, but they're clearly hogging the Gambia River just to spite their perfectly nice, respectable neighbors in Senegal, and their president, Yahya Jammeh, issued a directive this past May for all gay people to leave the country in 24 hours or face beheading. Nope, no repressed issues there.

Hugo Chavez's whole "look at me, I'm a megalomaniacal South American commie" routine was cute for a while after he got elected in 1998 -- kind of had a nice, nostalgic mid-'80s feel to it. But now the guy's just being an asshole. Not to mention he's making some very bad choices in terms of friends -- dude, seriously? Fidel Castro, who was barely even upright when you first met him in 2004, much less now? Vladimir Putin? Oh, sure, he acts like he's your friend now, but just wait until the first time you try to cut your oil exports to Russia -- you'll be waking up not with a horse's head in your bed but with a big glowing lump of plutonium. Basically, Chavez seems to be setting his country up perfectly for a "Boogie Nights"-style downfall; it's only a matter of time before he nearly gets killed in a botched drug deal and is reduced to giving a hand job to the president of Ecuador in the UN parking lot.

Saudi Arabia
We've been focusing so much attention in Iraq and Iran and whatever else these days that we seem to have forgotten that Saudi Arabia was home to 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers, not to mention the fact that they're all getting stupidly, insanely rich off of our addiction to foreign oil. Yet we still refer to them as an "ally." This is one sick, abusive relationship we've got going on here, isn't it?

OK, yes, they have kind of an awesome flag, but this former Soviet republic still maintains a system of political repression and human-rights violations as blatant as any country out there. This is mainly due to the legacy of the late Saparmurat Niyazov, the bat-shit-crazy former president (and gold-medal Wayne Newton impersonator) who decreed that a loyalty oath had to be recited regularly by all government officials, TV reporters, and schoolchildren and even renamed the days of the week after his family members; he also wrote a book that he unilaterally declared the nation's seminal work of literature and spirituality, placing it on the same level as the Koran. Basically, his sole ambition over the course of a 16-year presidency seemed to be becoming the retarded man's Kim Jong Il, and it resulted in the kind of bizarre personality cult even the Bush administration would never be able to create, if only because nobody would ever believe that George W. Bush could write a book. And by all reports, it's continued to a large extent even two years after Niyazov's death.

They still have slavery there. 'Nuff said.

I hereby dub the five of thee, along with Liechtenstein, the Axis of Suck. Turn in your diplomatic credentials at the door.

And now the Ten:

1. A Tribe Called Quest, "4 Moms"
2. Groove Armada, "If Everybody Looked the Same" (Sth 3205 12" mix)
3. Pixies, "Tame"
4. Orbital, "Way Out"
5. The Roots, "100% Dundee"
6. The Rolling Stones, "Under My Thumb"
7. Nine Inch Nails, "Gave Up" (remix)
8. Underworld, "Glam Bucket"
9. Pixies, "Debaser"
10. The Chemical Brothers, "One Too Many Mornings"

Now for your Random Tens, and the nations on your shit list (if you didn't mention those last week), in the comments.


CoolSchool said...

Good 10, 2 Pixies songs. Did you see they were just named the best band to come up of MA evah?
Suck on it J Giels band.

Megs said...

Whoa there, Doug, WHOA. The Gambia may have some points to its discredit, but it also has this: How far should a girl have to fly for 5 stars and a decent bikini wax? Banjul it is, baby. I'm booking my trip this month.

Anonymous said...

And to think I thought Turkmenistan was a fictional name, kind of like "Berzerkistan" as featured in current Doonesbury strips. Berzerk turkeys is a way of describing so many of those smaller SSRs, and also the Bush foreign policy wanks.

Carla said...

Doug, I don't know why I don't read your blog more often...brizilliance :)

Holly said...

I've had it up to here with the Welsh.

1. Man or Astro-Man? - Man Made of CO2
2. A-Trak - Frenchies Act A Fool
3. The Thermals - Pillar of Salt
4. Sing Down the Moon OST - Catskins
5. Damone - Out Here All Night
6. Lou Reed - Perfect Day
7. Ash - Cherry Bomb
8. The Walkmen - Another One Goes By
9. Doris Duke - Since I Fell For You
10. Pat Green & Cory Morrow - Live Forever

michael said...

I think The Gambia sounds like a very lame NBA expansion team. Actually, the only singular sports name that bears scrutiny is The Thundering Herd. The displaced Sonics are apperently considering 'Wind', which could be appropriate in Chaucerian fashion. When they inevitably stink it up, headline writers could refer to them as the Flatus. Maybe The Gambia would be better.

michael said...

Holly, have members of Man or Astroman reached drinking age yet? We used to see them in Athens, and they're certainly the best band that ever had to bring their moms with them to get into clubs.

In defense of the Welsh, not only did England take their land, the damn Brits appropriated their whole history, including Arthur, Merlin and the whole Round Table thing. So they've a right to be snotty. Enough to make a bunch of people give up on vowels altogether.

michael said...

The fictional name is Khafiristan. Minor story by that horses' ass Rudyard. One of the greatest movies ever made.
Peachy and Danny. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, and even if you don't. This is five out of four stars. There's a mpral certitude ineffably connected to Michael Caine. This could have been played by Peter O'Toole, but you know, pne's mad and one is just in touch with God.

And if you like Sean Connery, he gets to play a minor god here, and he plays understated and purely brilliant.

No kidding, and I'm not sure why I thought of this now, but I'm telling you all, rent this movie if you've never seen it.Nobody ever made one better.