Is Gaddafi crazy? Or just mad that everyone spells his name wrong?

If you follow the news like I do, you’ve noticed that over the last couple of weeks, one topic has been dominating every news medium.

Well okay, three topics. But I’m ignoring IHOP’s free pancake day and Justin Bieber’s haircut. So when you cross those off the list, you’re really only left with the situation in the Middle East.

I think there are several lessons that we can take out of the turmoil in that region of the world. First of all, it’s worth remembering that rebellions spread faster than mono in a high school. One group of people fight for their freedom and win it, which inspires others to fight their own oppressors. Hence my belief that we should fight the tyranny of Dan Snyder.

But unfortunately, there are some situations that peaceful resistance is futile against. Namely when you’re fighting a psycho with a lot of guns and money. Because as my dad always says, you can’t argue with crazy—crazy does what crazy wants. And in Libya right now, crazy is running the show and mowing down anyone who goes against crazy’s rule like they’re a British agency’s representative standing in front of a drunk secretary on a riding mower in the Sterling Cooper office.

(Please tell me that someone out there got that reference. I can’t be the only one who loves Mad Men, right? I’m going to feel like Dennis Miller if no one got that joke. And I’m REALLY going to feel like him if no one got THAT joke. Where’s Keegan’s bell when I need it?)

I know that I’ve spent a lot of time planning what the world will be like when I take over and rule with a well-manicured iron fist. But in the last few weeks, I’ve re-evaluated my stance on dictatorial rule. And while I hate to quote two of the most famous political assassins of all time (and apparently the t-shirt that Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested after the Oklahoma City bombing… it’s truly fascinating what you can learn on Wikipedia), I’m starting to see the logic in “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” When a tyrant refuses to step down and do what’s right for his or her people, it’s time to take action.

So for example, Oprah is an example of a good ruler. She led her people for many years, but eventually decided on her own accord to step down.

Although that may not be the best example. Because she just launched her own television network. Which could be seen as an attempt at actually extending her rule over an even wider population. And she’s stepping down now that I’m a published author without first selecting one of my books as her book of the month. I’m kinda mad about that.  But I’ll forgive you Oprah if you pick my book before you leave your show.  Seriously.  Call me.

Okay, new example. Hosni Mubarak put up a tough front, but when it came down to it, he stepped down rather than resorting to extreme acts of violence and a potential Civil War.

Unlike, of course, Dan Snyder and Moammar Gaddafi. But before we lean toward political assassination, it’s worth looking at the factors that caused these deadly dictators to rise to power. And if for no other reason, the US needs to learn that when we step into other peoples’ problems without a solid game plan and exit strategy, it doesn’t end well for us. We do great if we’re defending ourselves—I mean we showed our enemies who was boss in World War II. Because it definitely wasn’t over when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor.

Vietnam and Iraq, however, gave us a little more trouble. Now in Dan Snyder’s case, military force is absolutely necessary on the part of the US, because it’s an affront that’s occurring on US soil. But in Libya, we need to tread carefully.

So why is Mr. Gaddafi so crazy? Is it something in the water? Has he gone mad with power? I mean, I know Lady Gaga would say he was “born this way,” but I don’t think that’s the case in this particular situation.

Because I understand this particular brand of madness. Better than most people can.

The problem is in his name.

What’s so wrong with his name? Easy. Spell it for me.

I’ve been opting to follow the Washington Post in spelling both his first and last name, but is the Post right?

No. No, they’re not.

They’re not WRONG. They’re just not right. Because there is no correct way to spell his name in English.

And as someone whose name is spelled incorrectly on a daily basis, I understand the urge to go on a killing spree over a wrong letter constantly put in your name. I’m not going to lie. I’ve considered genocide against the people who can’t spell my name correctly when it’s right in front of them on Facebook or in my email address. Of course, I lack Gaddafi’s resources, so I’d be more likely to elbow someone sharply or step on their foot for screwing up my name rather than taking his route of ordering the military to open fire on crowds. But if you gave me military resources, I can’t promise I wouldn’t use them against the people who can’t be bothered to spell my name correctly.

And the people who put leashes on their kids. But that’s a topic for another day.

Gaddafi, however, has way more of a reason to be angry than I do. Yes, I get annoyed when people put an “h” on my name. But he’s got it far worse. Because the English language just doesn’t have the right letters to express exactly how his name is pronounced. So every single English spelling is wrong. I was surprised when he first made headlines and I saw that his name was spelled with a “G” because I’d always heard it as more of a “K” sound. Which apparently is actually a little closer than the “G” that everyone is spelling it with. Because the closest approximation is “Qaddafi.” But Americans fear the letter “q” when it’s not followed by a “u” and therefore that spelling is an abomination to us. Which I understand. I always have a moment of panic on the first day of school if I see a name on my roster that has a “q” followed by a random second letter because I have no idea how to pronounce it without the “u.”

So what’s the answer? How do we appease the beast without leaving a mad dictator in power?

It’s easier than you might think. We just need to add a 27th letter to the English alphabet. We don’t need to use it for anything but Gaddafi’s name, and in fact we shouldn’t. We should make him feel special by giving him a Prince-like symbol for his name alone.

Then, while we’re distracting him with his own personal English letter like a carrot in front of a horse, we establish a real democracy.

Everyone wins.

But don’t worry. When I eventually take over the world, you won’t need to invent a new letter for me. Because it’ll be illegal to spell my name with an “h” at the end. Which, in the end, is what’s really important. My happiness. Get used to it people. It’s happening. But if you learn to spell my name correctly, when the revolution comes, you’ll probably be spared. Unless you’re a Cowboys fan. Or a Duke fan. Or Dan Snyder. Because some people just need to be stopped no matter the cost.

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Gaddafi: crazy like a fox, but funnier than Somali pirates

So as I was looking for a topic to write today’s blog on, I noticed that the biggest news stories of the day were the murder of four American’s by Somali pirates, the New Zealand earthquake, and the Libyan protests of Moammar Gaddafi.

I immediately dismissed the pirate story, as it’s hard to make murder funny. Well, okay, that’s not ENTIRELY true. It’s hard to make murder funny when it’s innocent people. Even when they’re killed by pirates. I mean, South Park made the pirates funny. But they can be as inappropriate as they want because they don’t have a teaching job to worry about keeping. I also dismissed the Libya situation for the same reason. Which left me with the New Zealand earthquake. Unfortunately, the New Zealand thing wasn’t that funny either. I mean, there’s only so many Middle Earth jokes you can make. Besides, hobbits are pretty steady in an earthquake because of those big hairy feet. Orcs? They go down like a Kardashian on a pro athlete. But hobbits are fine.

And I’m not too worried about New Zealand. Apparently Australia and New Zealand are the only two nations that would survive a nuclear holocaust. It’s true. Wikipedia said it. Therefore, it’s unequivocally true. If Wikipedia says evolution didn’t happen, then it didn’t. But since Wikipedia said the people of New Zealand are going to be the ones repopulating the earth eventually, I feel like they’ll be fine.  Even if the Shire does need some rebuilding.

(I’m kidding.  The people of New Zealand are in my thoughts through this whole catastrophe.)

Which brought me back to Libya. Initially, I figured Libya wasn’t funny because it lacked the elements that made the Egypt story funny. I mean, you can’t make ten plagues jokes about Libya. Or mummy jokes.

In fact, I knew pretty much nothing about Libya.

To the point where I got very confused when I read that it was in the Middle East because I thought it was in Africa and had to look it up on a map.

Then I felt REALLY dumb, because Libya IS in Africa, but apparently northern Africa counts as the Middle East. Which seems a little off to me. I mean, if Libya is the Middle East, shouldn’t Greece and Italy be the Middle East too? They’re right across the Mediterranean from Libya. They’re closer to each other than Alaska and Russia, and Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house.

Then I read a few news stories on what’s going on in Libya and realized that I was dead wrong. (Look mom, I’m admitting that I was wrong about something!) Moammar Gaddafi is actually hilarious.

Well okay, I guess not TECHNICALLY hilarious. I mean, he’s nuts. Like certifiably crazy. And his militant supporters are killing the protesters left and right. And he’s threatening to basically blow himself and his entire country up before he’ll step down. But he’s much more funny in a psycho, not-remotely trying to be funny kind of way than Hosni Mubarak could ever be.

I mean, Mubarak may have had dictatorial tendencies, but Gaddafi is the real deal. Unlike Sarah Palin, however, who’s crazy and stupid, Gaddafi is crazy and smart.  Like a fox.

What am I basing that on?

Easy. His argument for why he can’t step down as leader of Libya.

Are you ready for this?

He can’t step down because he has no official title.

Utter genius.

Think about it. He’s been in charge of Libya since the late 1960s when he overthrew the monarchy. But he’s not the dictator. He’s not the emperor. He’s not the king. He’s not the president. He’s not the owner. He’s not even the Dude.

And if you aren’t OFFICIALLY any of those things, he’s right. You can’t actually retire from a job you don’t have.

Well played sir, well played.

So I did a little research on Gaddafi to find out more about this “Mad dog of the Middle East.” Apparently Ronald Reagan gave him that nickname. Which I don’t think strikes quite the amount of fear into people’s hearts as Reagan intended. I mean, I’d get it if the British called him a mad dog. They’re psycho about keeping rabies out of the country there because they don’t have it. Sort of like Australia with frogs. Like I wish the US had been with those creepy Frankenfish, stink bugs, and Sarah Palin. But here, rabies is totally preventable with a shot. And curable in people. Not all that scary.

Gaddafi took over Libya at 27 years old and saw himself as being the next Che Guevara. Which seems to mean that he dressed eccentrically and wore sunglasses all the time. But I don’t know how successful this plan was, because I’m pretty sure they’re not selling t-shirts at Urban Outfitters with his picture on them.

And in order to describe the kind of government that he started in Libya, he made up a word, “Jamahiriya,” which is supposed to mean something along the lines of a direct democracy. Which I think he misspelled and meant to describe as a direct demoCRAZY. Because in an actual direct demoCRACY, if the people don’t want him in charge, he’s no longer in charge. But I’m not going to argue semantics here. It’s hard enough to figure out how to pronounce “Jamahiriya.” In my head, it sounds like when Newman said “jambalaya” in the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld.

So let’s recap here. Gaddafi rose to fame in his mid-late twenties as a self-described cultural icon. He dressed bizarrely and wore sunglasses whenever possible. He has a nickname that makes no sense in relation to anything about him. And he makes up words to describe situations that he finds himself in. And he’s completely and utterly insane.

Sound like anyone we know and love today?

Yes, my friends. If they did a tv show called “Libya Shore,” it’d be starring Moammar “Mad Dog” Gaddafi and following his adventures as he sets a horrible trainwreck of an example for his country and the whole world.

He even fist pumps.

And the double fist pump.

Although, if he starts talking about grenades, I’d duck and cover, not just hide from the ugly chicks.

But who knows? Maybe he’ll eventually take a page out of Mubarak’s book and leave peacefully.

I mean, Angelina did it. And I have a hard time believing that Gaddafi is crazier than she is. Smarter? Yes. Crazier? No.

But I would like to wish the people of Libya good luck. And the people of New Jersey as well. It’s going to take both groups a long time to win this war. And like the people of New Zealand, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Let’s take a cue from Egypt and free ourselves from Dan Snyder’s tyranny. Viva la resistance!

There’s a lot of talk in the news right now about the unrest caused by Egypt’s ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after 18 days of protesting his 30-year pseudo-democratic reign.

No one knows exactly what’s going to happen in Egypt as of right now, and people all over the world are watching to see if whoever comes to power next will be the savior that Egypt wants, the peacekeeper that the Western world wants, both, or neither.

But more concerning in several situations are the copycat protests in other governments under similarly non-democratic rule. And while, in theory, these revolutions should be good for the people of these nations and should bring about a higher level of equality and rights for all citizens, people are worried about new autocrats rising to power in a very out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire type of scenario.

After all, revolutions are, like the flu, weddings, babies and Bieber Fever, often contagious. The people of other nations see that Egypt was able to shatter a seemingly-unbreakable leader and want to do the same thing in their own lands, for their own people.

And in one case in particular, I think this is a necessary step toward providing the freedom and respect that all people should be entitled to. Because really, there is only one leader who so grossly financially rapes the denizens of his territory as he rules with an iron-fist to destroy all that his people have spent their lifetimes believing in. And whenever a brave soul tries to hold this leader accountable for his inhumane and tyrannical ways, he hides behind that all-encompassing shield of the religion card, insisting that those who wish to free themselves from his iron grip are infringing on his rights to his religious views.

No, I don’t mean the leaders of the Muslim world, many of whom strip their women of all rights while hiding them behind veils.

Nor do I mean the North Korean government, who threaten the lives and safety of their neighbors.

Nor am I encouraging revolt even in a situation where it is probably necessary, in the case of the Dalai Lama who is kept in exile, unable to return to his palace in Tibet.

No, my friends. There is only one place in the entire world that is in greater need of rebellion than any of these places. Only one people who so desperately need to take inspiration from the Egyptian people—those brave souls who finally decided they could take no more and had to fight back, no matter the cost. Only one people, who are being kept from the greatness that they so wish to achieve by a tyrannical despot, whose very name is enough to make his people cringe with shame and make his enemies rejoice in the damage he has done to his people.

I refer, of course, to Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Dan Snyder, who gouges the loyal fans in every way possible to make a few extra dollars that he will then spend defending his ridiculous image in the media.

Dan Snyder, who spends obscene sums of money on players who cannot and will not help our team return to greatness, while letting players who could restore the honor once associated with the Washington DC football team waste away or leave the city.

Dan Snyder, who punishes coaches with atrocious public humiliation for not being able to perform under the impossible conditions that he has created for them.

Dan Snyder, who is revered by Cowboys fans, Giants fans, and Eagles fans for having utterly destroyed the Redskins franchise.

Dan Snyder, who is in the midst of a lawsuit with a DC-based newspaper, claiming that a picture of him with scribbled on horns is an anti-Semitic slur instead of the (perfectly justified) demonization of him by fans who are tired of paying twenty extra dollars to park two miles from the stadium. Fans who are tired of paying $8 for a Coors Light (which as we all know, shares the unfortunate characteristic with “love in a canoe” as being f***ing close to water). Fans who are tired of the constant belittlement and shame that comes from wearing a Redskins jersey, even after we’ve managed to win a game or two.

Now before you try to sue me Danny boy, please know that I speak as a fellow member of the tribe. And as a Jew, let me assure you that we, the loyal Redskins fans, don’t hate you because you’re Jewish. We hate you because you’ve emptied our wallets to watch our team lose week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. If you took our money and used it in efforts to truly revitalize the team, we would give it to you gladly. But in the current system, we cannot help but despise you. And we would feel the same way if you were a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Wiccan, a Scientologist, an atheist, a Muppet, God, the Devil, Bruce Springsteen or Glenn Beck.

Your spiritual beliefs don’t bother us. The fact that our team can’t hold it together enough to even be in contention for the playoffs once in awhile, however, damns you irreparably in our eyes.

So my fellow Washingtonians, it is time to rise up and protest as the Egyptians did. And just like in biblical and modern-day Egypt, the righteous shall win out against the tyrant.

Our country was founded on the idea that all men are created equal and that no man should stand as an unopposed dictator, ruling his people as his whims dictate. How have we, the people of our nation’s capital, forgotten that most basic tenet that our lives were created from?

It won’t be easy. And it will probably take more than 18 days of peaceful protests to get his attention. And some of us will probably lose our houses and have to sell off belongings that we value, because Dan Snyder will surely charge us an arm and a leg to park wherever we are protesting him. But the time is here. Our time is now. Grab your Redskins gear and flags and join me as we take to the streets to regain our team.

(But please pack your own beer and snacks before you join the movement. Our revolution is going to run out of steam REALLY quickly if we have to pay for parking every day AND pay the Fed Ex Field prices for beer and hot dogs. Even Dan Snyder couldn’t afford to spend 18 days protesting with those prices.)

Viva la Resistance!