Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dancing with Dictators

Dearest Friends, I'm convinced that evil dictators are stalking me. No, don't laugh, it's true, honest. Remember when Kim Jong Il followed me in his Honda Accord? Well, I had another narrow escape...

It happened yesterday at the Granville Island Public Market. I had popped over from work at lunchtime to buy a bit of fish for supper. Having settled on a half-dozen succulent Digby scallops (which I pan-fried that evening to joyful perfection), I was making my way out when who should walk right past me but Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe. He was dressed in a yellow polo shirt and chinos, but I recognized him in spite of his disguise. Unfortunately, he slipped away into the crowd before I could react. In hindsight I should have incapacitated him by flinging scallops at his head, but the shock of seeing one of Africa's most nefarious tyrants in the throbbing epicurean heart of Vancouver cost me precious moments.

I am now fretting about my inevitable next encounter with a dictator. Will I bump into Burmese generalissimo Than Shwe at Zulu Records? Or will I'll espy Uzbekistani President Islam "I'm prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people" Karimov buying a pungent Epoisses at Benton Brothers? Whoever I encounter next time, I pray I have the presence of mind to do the right thing...

The Cortinas - Fascist Dictator (buy here if you've got $40 to drop on vinyl)
Scientist - Zimbabwe Dub (buy here or e-here)
Okapi Guitars - Radio Free Zimbabwe (buy here or e-here)
This fantastic track has a thumb piano in it. God, how I love thumb pianos...

Go here to read what Amnesty International has to say about Zimbabwe and here to read HRW's take.