Of all the things we can worry about today, I’m choosing this: What is Baby Doc doing back in Port au Prince?
I admit to a small interest in the former Haitian dictator. I was a Vanity Fair subscriber in the mid-80s, when Jean-Claude Duvalier and his wife, the scarily beautiful Michéle, ruled over the island with a sort of heedless hauteur and corruption, and the magazine published several long articles about their last days, which I always thought sort of clever of the editors — you had a story that was legitimately important in terms of world affairs, but with all sorts of gossipy details about the people involved. This is from Michéle’s Wikipedia entry and the usual cautions apply, but it’s of a piece with much of the reporting of the time:
Mrs. Duvalier’s family amassed wealth at an unprecedented rate during the later part of Jean Claude’s dictatorship. By the end of his fifteen-year rule, Duvalier and his wife had become famous for their corruption. The National Palace became the scene of opulent costume parties, where the young President once appeared dressed as a Turkish sultan to dole out ten-thousand-dollar jewels as door prizes, while the homeless were encouraged to watch the festivities on televisions that had been set up in the parks where they slept.
Alas, the Duvaliers have since divorced, and any entertainment in Baby Doc, the Sequel will have to be provided by someone else.
I recall, during the expulsion of the Duvaliers in 1986, an audio clip on NPR of the howling crowds outside the presidential residence. One shrieked that Michéle was a layz-byan and a voodoo priestess. Wouldn’t surprise me. It would certainly beat sex with Baby Doc, one of those unfortunate disappointing sons inevitably described as “pudgy.”
And that has been your Inane Ruminations on Deposed Dictators for Tuesday, brought to you by Masterpiece Classic, now showing “Downton Abbey” on a PBS station near you. Check local listings.
I hate the beginning of the week. Monday is insane, Tuesday is mostly insane. It’s not until Wednesday that I can finally relax, get a workout in and maybe do a little writing for myself. So let’s skip to a brief bit of bloggage today. Drumroll for the..
Born this way blog. Just outstanding.
Other heart-transplant candidates join a long waiting list. Dick Cheney merely decides whether he wants one.
Then he sends out for a young man to be freshly slaughtered. Civilized by popular demand: Then he consults his doctors to see if he might be a candidate for such a procedure, and joins a list to wait weeks, months or longer for a donor heart, all the while promoting awareness of the organ shortage and encouraging others to discuss the option with their loved ones, and sign the back of their driver’s licenses to indicate their willingness to donate, should the occasion arise. And all of his friends get together and hold a spaghetti dinner and silent auction at the VFW*, raising $800 toward the roughly $787,700 procedure.
* Venue suggested by Sue.
Now, commence chattering about the goings-on at Downton Abbey. I have some copy to move.