Just when you think you are going to have a quiet week where nothing much happens, how else can you explain the current media obsession with the athlete’s accommodation in India for the Commonwealth Games, then up steps a World leader and World leading loon.
Thursday saw the opening of the new session of the UN in New York and this is a good time, if you are a loony World leader who is still allowed in the UN building, to make a bit of a name for yourself.
Many fondly remember Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, friend of Cuba, hater of America, lover of Power, Oliver Stone documentaries and really long Presidential broadcasts, taking to the podium sometime after President George W Bush and declaring that he could still smell the sulphur.
So the parking was terrible, as usual (it’s quite a popular event), and the Central hall at the UN was a buzz. Who would be the star turn? Would Chavez do his old “US devil” material? Would Raul Castro be as funny as his brother whose Donald Duck impression is legendary? Has Mugabe moved beyond, slightly dodgy, close up magic ending with his rousing version of “My Way”?
There was palpable excitement as former Miss Tehran, semi-finalist on “Fundamentalists Got Talent (for denying the Holocaust)” and, now, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strode purposely to the lectern.
Mahmoud, 36, 24, 36, is best known in diplomatic circles for his after dinner speaking with which he makes enough money to fund on orphanage for injured sheep in down town Jerusalem, which he swears blind doesn’t exist. His usual subject is great cricket anecdotes 1975 to 2005 so many were keen to hear his take on the recent brouhaha between England and Pakistan, which, if you are interested, started after a disputed prawn cocktail at the 2 teams' pre-series curry and fish and chips night. Why people can’t just split the bill 50/50 is beyond me. That’s how the Boer War started you know, well that and an argument over tipping. William Gladstone said 10% and Paul Kruger said 15; the rest is made up history.
Anyway, the President began strongly. A string of fantastic one liners about Iran being ready for dialogue based on “respect and justice” and that the “UN was loosing credibility with its continued sanctions against his country.”
However the real fireworks of the act came when the beats kicked in. His recent conversion to the joys of hip hop was one of his states better kept secrets but it soon became clear, as his DJ dropped some phat grooves, that he has skills.
As the bass boomed out the US, British and several EU delegations show that they were no fans of Public Enemy. He worked through a selection of their hits but it was his reworking of “911 is a joke” that really blow the roof of the joint.
As people walked out his rhyming became really creative, “inside job” and “Mohammed is God”, and “Secret plot to support Israel” with “your plans for getting us to give up our nuclear aspirations will fail.”
As the rhythms faded and the dry ice cleared Ahmadinejad collapsed to his knees as an assistant came out and placed a cape across his shoulders. He then leapt back on to his feet and stood with his fist in the air. The band struck up, a surprising tight horn section now you ask, and he left the stage with a glint in his eye and the look of a man who had made his point.
Most of the audience, that stayed, agreed that he was hell of a showman but many said that the reasonable points he made, such as comparing the nearly 3000 people that died in the attack on the twin towers with the hundreds of thousands who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, were some what lost in the paranoid rhymes.