Tag Archives: Robert Mugabe

Mugabe and Ahmadinejad are Like Reality T.V. Characters We Hate

13 May

Appreciate the feeling of intense, yet futile rage? Interested in yelling at your computer screen for the next few minutes? Then take a little time to watch the video above, of Mugabe and Ahmadinejad’s press conference in Harare a few weeks ago.

If you can’t bring yourself to click on the play button (I get it, I really do). Here’s the text according to the New York Times:

Mugabe: “President Ahmadinejad and myself have the same policy, and same stance, anti-imperialist, anticolonialist, and stands to protect our sovereignty and our right of ownership of our resources.”
Ahmadinejad : “Iran and Zimbabwe are two countries that continue their efforts to maintain their sovereignty and they move in the path of independence, and do everything in the path of peace, brotherhood and justice.”

You know those people on reality tv shows who take things way too far? Like, Person X in the house finishes their milk so they decide to retaliate by humiliating that person in front everyone else in the cruelest way possible? And then they never, EVER let it go, and use it as an excuse for all sorts of heinous behavior? As a viewer, you think to yourself, “I was with you before you went insane and made this a bigger deal than it needed to be.”

These are the same people who are generally nasty, and think it’s okay because “that’s who they are.”  When others start confronting them about their behavior or actively avoiding them, they claim to be victims of a conspiracy to persecute them.  And then, finally, when they realize how isolated they are, they claim it’s because everyone is just s000o jealous and intimidated by whatever magical qualities they possess. The sad thing about these people is that in claiming that they don’t care about everyone  and “didn’t come here to make friends,” they make it painfully obvious that they really wish that everyone loved them.

On the world stage, Mugabe and Ahmadinejad are these people.

People in the West must hate them because they’re secretly bloodthirsty neocolonialists, and the overwhelming majorities of their own citizens who vote against them must be brainwashed. They, the autocrats, are the real victims in all this, the real peacemakers who are sincerely trying to build a better world.  And if you try to bring up all the truly heinous things they’ve done, you’re twisting the facts to try to paint them as villains. Moreover, it’s important to remember that their cause is absolutely noble, and that whatever means they employ in its pursuit are justified.  So if you disagree, it’s you who has the problem.

And just like when you’re watching Real Housewives/The Real World/The Hills you want to scream: People don’t hate you because they’re jealous! They hate you because of the awful things you do!

The nice thing about reality t.v. shows is that you know that these people are going to get their comeuppance one day. It will either happen on the reunion special (when the rest of the cast gangs up on them) or it will happen after the camera stops rolling, when their lives fall apart and they inevitably become has-beens.

My question is: when will the real world start resembling The Real World? When do the millions of people who have borne the costs of Mugabe’s disastrous policies get to see him shamed and punished? If he ever gets indicted by the International Criminal Court, I don’t want a professional, austere trial. No Truth and Reconciliation Commissions for me, I want it done reality t.v. style, complete with cruel humiliation! I’m talking the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion level humiliation, with tears, jeers and Andy Cohen feverishly attempting to moderate. We could even bring out surprise guests, like people who have been illegally detained and tortured in secret prisons! And of course, someone will attempt to beat Mugabe up, except this time, Andy Cohen will be instructed not to intervene and instead, just let it happen. Aaaaaaaaaaah.

And then Mugabe will say he’s so sorry for every single thing he’s done. We’ll listen quietly while he talks, but then we’ll tell him that just like Jill and Bethenny, we’re DONE. “Get a hobby!” we’ll say, “Preferably one that suits the prison inmate lifestyle.”