Anybody who has ever driven a car knows about the ‘blind spot.’ It’s the place just behind you where no matter how cleverly you position your mirrors and no matter the breadth of your peripheral vision, you just can’t see. In life we all have our blind spots, either physical ones or mental ones. I have a blind spot, a perceptual impediment, when it comes to the subject of Libya. Here is my problem. I’m a verbal synesthesiac. It’s what dooms me to my occupation as a poet. I can see words. I don’t see them as groups of letters on a page; they are concrete things to me. They have colors and shapes and sounds and flavors. I can almost touch them. Anyway, whenever someone says ‘Libya,’ the word is so close to ‘Labia’ that the most distracting images spring to my mind. I imagine a romantic desert land full of exotic veiled nomadic women with huge collagen nether lips, pouting and puckering like moist oases. So, you see my problem. I have trouble maintaining my objectivity. But I’m not the only one.
The Poet’s Eye is wide with amazement at the many and subtle ways that the political Right can find to beat up on Barak Obama. Every world event provides a new opportunity for them to frame the questions so as to put him in a ‘damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t’ position. One of their favorite ploys is to cast him as indecisive and slow to move on important questions, “He should have done more, quicker,” is the refrain. We hear it in reference to the perceived inaction of our country in the matter of the Libyan insurrection. This is a completely specious accusation.
In keeping with my interest in megalomaniacs and millionaires, dictators and demagogues, I have long been fascinated by Colonel Gaddafi. Wait, no, that’s Kaddafi. Or maybe it’s Qadhafi? There are whole web sites dedicated to the different ways to spell his name. I call him KaDaffy Duck. Military dictators have their own genre of comedy. It derives heavily from the Theater of Pomposity. There have been so many day-time TV quality dictators in my lifetime that they become interchangeable and it’s hard to distinguish one from another. It takes a rare amount of flamboyance and panache or cruelty to stand out as a Military Dictator. Castro is hard to top for pure animal charisma but QDaffy has to take the cake for arrogance and caprice. Plus, he has an innate sense of theater.
KDaffy probably wore out his welcome with the world when he pulled the Lockerbie scam. Dictators enjoy a certain amount of immunity from world scorn if they play nice with international money and only beat up on their own people. But patience with extra-territorial adventures, especially ones which involve the violent deaths of innocents, is remarkably thin. And, if blowing up the airplane were not bad enough QDaffy had the temerity to gloat about it when securing the release of the bomber from Scotland to be ensconced as a monument in Tripoli. That move may have been the result of cold petroleum diplomacy but it didn’t play well for the Duck on the world stage.
There is a certain purity in self-delusion, especially on the scale portrayed by QDaffy. It’s almost noble… to believe in yourself or your own legend in zealous defiance of all facts and evidence. It’s why we grudgingly admire people like Charlie Sheen and KDaffy. They are examples of what happens when headstrong children are given too much money and the latitude to indulge their most frightening excesses. True insanity has no hint of self-doubt, and we are all naturally attracted to confidence. But it seems that now KDaffy’s role as brat of the world has worn thin. Even though you don’t have to leave the continent of Africa to find a half-dozen despots whose brutality exceeds the antics of the Duck, he has committed the unpardonable sin of becoming tiresome, so he has to go.
As I write, the associated powers that be have declared KDuck an international pariah and have declared a ‘No Fly Zone’ which is a Newspeak euphemism for “We’re gonna bomb yer ass if and when we feel like it,” It’s over for KDaffy. The world awaits in morbid curiosity to find out just how his demise will unfold. Often the most cinematic and satisfying thing about the story of a dictator is the fitting end he meets. Will he hang by his thumbs like Mussolini or skulk in his bunker and take the coward’s way out like Hitler? What form of poetic justice will be his sentence? Maybe he’ll surrender figuring that he can run his show in some smaller venue like the World Court for a few more seasons. I could sell tickets to that.
I’m being charitable here. There is really only one way to end a dictatorship based on a cult of personality like KDuck’s. You have to cut the head off. Exile won’t do. He must be murdered or martyred in one way or another; only the details remain. Will he be taken out by some anonymous drone attack? Will he fall on his own rattling sword? Maybe he’ll try a disappearing act and sell T-shirts to conspiracy buffs for decades to come. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of KaDaffy Duck.
All of a sudden I began to change
I was on the dance floor acting strange
Flapping my arms I began to cluck
Look at me..
I’m the disco duck — Rick Dees