November 8, 2009

Most people think that running a dictatorship is as easy as hopping on one foot, that once you’ve reached out and grabbed the seat of power, you’re on easy street. No worries, no hassles, just the occasional revolution to clamp down on. And sure, at first, that’s what it is. When you initially seize power, there’s a lot of bloodshed and upheaval and no one really knows what to do, all headless chickens. Except you. You’re the one with the mission, the vision, the wide-eyed dream of a country controlled by you. And that dream is certainly enough to carry you to power. But is it enough to keep you there?

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Dictator Style

November 3, 2009

Citizens, it is no secret that autocrats worldwide are fascinated by the doings of our colleagues. Whether it is weaknesses to exploit in upcoming conflicts or new punishments we might like to implement in our own realms, there is always something we can learn to enhance our own heartless power base. Which is of course why your Sugared Treat was delighted at the release of a little book called Dictator Style: Lifestyles of the World’s Most Colorful Despots by a peon named Peter York. The title promised delights on the level of reading Mugabe’s diary (which I did once when we were staying in the same luxury resort at the expense of our starving citizens back home. That man has problems.), but sadly, the content did not provide the voyeuristic amusements I hoped for.

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