Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can a dictator have good taste?

When the rebels got to Qaddafi's palace, there was a lot of pointing-and-laughing at his tacky and outlandish stuff, from jewel-encrusted guns to scrapbooks full of Condi Rice. There's a certain element of that which was just "how the mighty have fallen" and "how weird the mighty are"--the press ran almost the same articles about Qaddafi that they did about Michael Jackson's Neverland (even calling Qaddafi's compound "Neverland"). And with Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, The Dictator, I feel like we're going to get a retread of Qaddafi's weird taste in art, in fictional form.

Which raises the question for me, is there some connection between power and a taste for kitsch?

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