Sunday, January 30, 2011

What are the odds on there being a second literature-related Saddam Hussein story in the news in as many weeks?


Pretty good actually!

Close on the heels of the news that there exists a personal Koran formerly owned by the late Saddam Hussein and written in the dictator's own blood, professional comedian (or mean-spirited jerkoff, depending on your perspective) Sacha Baron Cohen has announced that his next movie is going to be called The Dictator and will be based on Zabibah and the King, an allegorical romance ostensibly written by Saddam Hussein. I say "ostensibly" because in 2000, after going over it with a fine tooth comb, the CIA decided it probably wasn't actually written by Saddam Hussein, but that he had "suffused" the novel with his own ideas.

With a few notable exceptions, dead dictators have never been particularly satirizable, and it's hard to imagine how Cohen'll find any belly-laughs in a ghost's ghost-written opus. Isn't Saddam Hussein just kind of depressing to think about? I don't know. If Cohen's interested in doing it right, he should probably spend some time reading Kim Jong Il Looking at Things. That thing is hilarious.

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