Friday, December 22, 2006

"Turkmenbashi" statues live on

Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov Dies at 66

At the hazard of kicking around a man after he dies (notice not one peep from me when Pinochet died), where can you start with this dude? I guess... saying he was simply nuts is a good start.

OK, #1 - under his "President-For-Life" rule, it's been illegal to: have beards, play video games, have gold teeth, report the news on TV while wearing makeup, use the internet, hear recorded music, listen to car radios, have a dog, and lip synch.

"save the gold fillings for monuments, of me!"

There's a full list of his eccentric decrees on wikipedia.

#2 - He named cities, amusement parks, the month of January, and astroids (!) after himself. (showing his softer side, he also renamed the month of April after his mother. Aw.). And yes, he had gold statues of himself that rotated so he always faced the sun. The most amazing (and infamous) decision was to have an ice palace built in the middle of one of the hottest deserts in the world, with an aquarium of exotic fish placed at the top. Apparently it was actually built, but this link makes it sound like a regular building. I wish I could find any info on a massive ice structure in the desert... come on internets! Most of the info is from 2004, so maybe the idea.. umm, melted.

"Let us build a palace of ice," said President Niyazov, "big and grand enough for 1,000 people."
The idea is to build the palace in the Copa Deg Mountains outside Ashgabat, now baking in the summer heat, with a long cable-car running up from the city.

"Our children can learn to ski," Mr Niyazov enthused, "we can build cafes there, and restaurants."

Because, yeah, impoverished people living in the desert are really jonesing for winter sports.

In addition to the ice palace, other plans he had in mind at the time of his death were for "a huge, man-made lake in the Kara Kum desert, a vast cypress forest to change the desert climate, a ski resort and a 40-metre pyramid."

"I hope that when you celebrate my life there will be no recorded music. Or dogs."


Anonymous Shannon said...

Pbr-bashi, El Presidente for Life!

December 26, 2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger l said...

Hunh. I swear I left a comment yesterday.

Can I work on your campaign? I would totally vote for you. Screw Pedro.

December 29, 2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger pbrchicken said...

vote for me!
no ice palaces, or gold effigies!
solar power', neat!

not sure if that rhymes, but damn that's a good platform.

January 03, 2007 2:14 AM  

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