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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

March 20, 2012

So All Politicians Everywhere Feel the Same

This is from USA Today:

The frustrations of the presidency once had Barack Obama reach for a literary metaphor.

"At times he couldn't help feeling, as he told one associate, a kinship with the protagonist in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea," writes David Corn in his new book on the presidency.

"He had, against tremendous odds, caught a big fish, but on the long voyage back to shore, his prized catch had been picked to pieces by sharks," Corn writes.

This is from the CIA's Iraq Survey Group report:

One of Saddam’s favorite books is Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea, the Nobel Prize-winning story of one man—Santiago, a poor Cuban fisherman—and his struggle to master the challenges posed by nature. Saddam’s affinity for Hemingway’s story is understandable..In Hemingway’s story, Santiago hooks a great marlin, which drags his boat out to sea. When the marlin finally dies, Santiago fights a losing battle to defend his prize from sharks, which reduce the great fish, by the time he returns to his village, to a skeleton. The story sheds light on Saddam’s view of the world and his place in it.

Also, the Godfather is the favorite movie of both Obama and Saddam. That's less funny, of course, since the same thing is probably true for 50% of the people who've ever seen it.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at March 20, 2012 12:54 AM

Awesometastic! I was eagerly awaiting the next installment of "Our Leaders: Thank God They're Completely Different From Saddam Hussein."

Posted by: Sam Mc at March 20, 2012 01:37 AM

Obama is also a fucking lawless thug who has no right to be president, so that's another thing they share.

Posted by: Tom Murphy at March 20, 2012 04:48 AM

I don't know if they've been authenticated or debunked, but supposedly the Assad family communications showed that the dentist dictator's wife wanted a copy of the latest Harry Potter book/movie (not sure which).

If true, that's both funny and depressing. Do even dictators sympathize with (fictional) good guys fighting magical fascists? Come to think of it, Ari "Mouth of Sauron" Fleischer supposedly liked the LOTR movies. So why not?

Posted by: Donald Johnson at March 20, 2012 07:47 AM

The Old Man and the Sea? This site is so educational--I would have placed my bet on Spongebob.

Donald Johnson:

I'm surprised at you: Never assume the sympathies of a dentist dictator's wife.

But I really like that fabulous "Mouth of Sauron" moniker for Fleischer.

Posted by: N E at March 20, 2012 08:55 AM

My favorite movies include

Groundhog Day (Atrapado en el Tiempo)

What About Bob?

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

The Golden Compass

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 20, 2012 11:12 AM

Very interesting. Now we know what happened to Saddam: He was spirited away into the US, underwent plastic surgery and an intensive English course, and became President of the United States. The MicFic will do anything to carry out their dastardly plans. This is conceivable, therefore it definitely happened.

Posted by: Duncan at March 20, 2012 11:30 AM

I was suffering from ATR withdrawal symptoms, so was surprised to see that the last post before this one was only 18 days ago. We need more frequent posts, dammit! Where did all those guest bloggers go?

Also, my favorite movie is possibly Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". I wonder if any dictators liked that one...

Posted by: Faheem at March 20, 2012 01:06 PM

Saw the movie, neglected to read Hemingway's book.

I worked on shrimp boats in the Gulf of Mexico for a number of years, and yes, I want to be a dictator, preferably of a country with a large and viable military. Nothing sez control like a large military.

Tom Murphy: WE voted Obama into office. He has EVERY right to be President, good, bad, or indifferent. Ya git whut ya vote 4.
(unless, of course, Ole Rooster Cogburn actually found PROOF, not some bullshit documentation, Obama was born in Kenya)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 20, 2012 01:28 PM

Faheem: AGREED!!! Since digby banned me, I too have suffered terribly.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 20, 2012 01:31 PM

yeah- the only difference is that one guy emulated the godfather and put the smack down on his enemies, while the other guy is weasly accomadative towards them, more like fredo

Posted by: frankenduf at March 20, 2012 01:45 PM

frakenduf: Obama preaches Democratic Party but practices Republican Party. Obama and the Repubs aren't ememies.( except for race problem, of course.) Its the Democrats that Obama smacks down, but, apparently, they love it. Go figure???

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 20, 2012 02:49 PM

How is it that when Allende's compound in Chile was stormed, his office was found to be overflowing with pornography and a copy of "Mein Kampf" was located.

And when Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan was set upon, it too was overflowing with pornography and a copy of "Mein Kampf" was located amidst the nudey magazines.

Such synchronicity! And yet no one in the mass media world questions any of this.

Posted by: Elise Mattu at March 20, 2012 09:22 PM

Elise Mattu: ANY book with "Kamph" in the title seems to be fairly popular and porn ALWAYS is, gunned down or not. (I think it was the phone company, AT&T, who killed Allende)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 21, 2012 01:37 AM

Saddam Hussein also enjoyed snacking on Doritos.
So what?

Posted by: Alex at March 21, 2012 11:23 PM

What, nobody's going to make a Barack Hussein Obama joke?

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at March 22, 2012 04:17 AM