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Thursday, May 26, 2005

People Who Inspire Me

Part 1

This is a series about certain people who have inspired me throughout my life. Some are evil, some are good, some are famous, and some are not. To a certain extent, every person you interact with or read about will inspire you in some fashion, but these are the most influential in MY life.

These people will not be in any order, but I will break them down into groups. I will also have pictures of them is possible. If I don’t have a picture, I will draw one.

World Leaders

#1: Idi “King of Bling” Amin

This man was one of the funniest dictators of all time. He once wore so many medals, awards and ribbons that his uniform tore apart under the weight. The world came to know him as the “Butcher of Uganda,” but he decided to give himself this title:

"His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."

He was also known to call himself “The King of Scotland.”

After his rise to power, Amin had his political rivals arrested then decapitated. At a formal dinner, he had the frozen heads placed around the table as “guests” while he ate and engaged them in polite conversation, admonishing the heads for opposing him.

Yes, maybe he was a mass murderer and a megalomaniacal buffoon whom ran his country straight into the ground, but hey: HE HAD STYLE!

#2 Ronald Reagan

How could any body that listened to Reagan’s “evil empire” speech, and watched the “Star Wars” address from the White House after the movie The Day After aired not love this man? Along with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, he destroyed the Soviet Union with nothing more then rhetoric, disinformation, and a few leaks about the U.S. Air Force’s new “Magic Invisible Bombers.”

Me and my friends used to play games when were kids where somebody made a “Red Square” dirt pile, and then we threw “MX Missiles” (rocks or sticks) at it. Then we would go home and draw pictures of mushroom clouds. Later on when we were in high school, we wanted to make a movie called “The Walking Reagan Robot,” but we never got around to it.

#3 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon became my obsession when I started playing a NES game by Koei called L’Empereur. In this game, you simulate Bonaparte’s political and military career. This was the hardest video game I have ever played in my entire life. I stated playing it when I was 14, and the one and only time I won it was when I was 25.

My obsession with wining this game had some positive results. I was so consumed with winning that I learned A LOT about the Napoleonic era; just because I wanted to know everything that happened so I could avoid the mistakes that Napoleon made. I could then conquer Europe! I learned about the British Navy, I learned about the Cossacks in Russia and about 19th century Prussia. I wrote papers on these subjects in school that earned me “A’s.” I learned about the Ottoman Empire, and read War and Peace; More “A’s.” To learn more about strategy, I read Sun Tzu and took up chess. The teachers thought I was a devoted student of history, but I did ALL of this just so I could win a Nintendo game about 19th century warfare and politics that was created by a team of 20th century Japanese.

A side note: Napoleon was not short, as he is usually depicted. This idea was invented by the British as a propaganda device. Napoleon was actually several inches taller then the average man of his time.

#4 Malcolm X

The first autobiography of a black man I read was Richard Wright’s in the 10th grade. Malcolm X’s was the second. I loved Black Boy, and in fact still have the copy of the book that I “borrowed” from SM North library. I remember that the librarian came to my English class when we were supposed to read an autobiography, and presented several options. Black Boy was the only one she tried to discourage us to read, so of course that was the one I picked. That book changed my life, and I still remember the look on the librarians face when I choose it. As influential as it was on me, it did not have near the impact on my life that Malcolm X did.

When you’re a white kid raised in America, your parents, family and friends tell you things about black people. I don’t know what black people tell their kids, family, and friends about white people, but I don’t imagine it’s much different. That’s why I think when I wanted to read about black people, the librarian looked at me like I was a traitor.
While I knew about slavery, discrimination, Jim Crow, Etc., Malcolm X was the first person that made me SEE these things from a black person’s point of view. He made me understand how black people actually felt about the things I just knew the basic facts of.

#5 Adolf Hitler

Of course this man has influenced every person born since the 1910’s, but for me he has been the inspiration for more jokes, impersonations, satire, and irony then any other person whom has ever lived.

For instance, my friends and I would slick our hair back and draw push-broom mustaches on our upper lips with a Sharpie pen, then have “Dueling Hitler’s.” This is where we would shake our fists at each other and spout gibberish German rants at until we all started laughing too hard too keep it up.

While I hate everything this man represents, Hitler’s actions have reformed this entire planet for all time to come. Consider these two things that Hitler and WW II directly caused:

1: The Cold War
2: The Creation of the State of Israel

#6 Margaret Thatcher

This was the most powerful woman in all of human history. Cleopatra, Catherine the Great and Helen of Troy shrivel to insignificance at the feet of “The Iron Lady.”

America respected her, and the USSR feared her. This woman is most likely the reason that Mother Russia never set out to conquer Western Europe in the 80’s when they had a chance. The Politburo knew that it was Thatcher, not Reagan that would turn the Rodina into a radioactive wasteland if they did.

Thatcher radically changed the British economy, privatizing government controlled industries, and changing tax policy. While these actions had bad results initially, the economy recovered and continued to grow. Thatcher is the only female British Prime Minister, and the first PM to be elected to 3 consecutive terms.

When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British Territory, in 1982, Thatcher sent the Royal Navy including submarines to the area. The submarine HMS Conqueror sunk an Argentine cruiser and scared the rest of their navy back into port. A ground attack was ordered on the islands themselves. The British took many losses, but the Islands were retaken with relative ease.

Thatcher allowed the US to store nuclear weapons in the UK, and allowed Reagan to stage the1986 attack on Libya from British air bases.

When the Iraqis invaded Kuwait in 1991, Thatcher had to brow beat George H.W. Bush into sending troops to Saudi Arabia and expelling Hussein’s forces by telling him; “This is no time to go wobbly!”

Next group comming soon..

Tommy Masterson


Blogger Jabot the Scrob said...

Your politics suck but the Napolean part is cool.

12/04/2005 3:13 AM  

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