Imagine how terrifying and exhausting it must be to spend every day in Kim Jong-un’s inner circle. Standing just off camera, as your despotic boss delivers another rousing speech to the nation about the delightful prospect of all-out nuclear war and unseasonably warm, vaporising temperatures, his bellicose rhetoric becomes ever more distant as you become lost in thought as to how you can protect your Supreme Leader from the truth again today.
For instance, he must never know that the ‘microphone’ he’s speaking into is just a sock-covered whisk. Or that the country’s missile silos are completely unmanned because all the operators have cannabalised each other. And everything possible must be done to maintain the ruse that the Angry Birds app is not a game, but a sophisticated trajectory planner and launch system for hurling nuclear warheads at the U.S. mainland.
Suddenly there‘s an eruption of over-enthusiastic applause and you’re back in the room (the ball pond wing of the Ryongsong Residence, to be precise). The speech has come to an end. And so another day of pandering to a power-crazed and hopelessly deluded egotist begins.
I’m fairly certain that the closest thing we have to Kim Jong-un in the West is Justin Bieber, whose downfall, I am delighted to say, is well under way and delightfully entertaining. But he’s definitely got the whole ‘dictator’ package going on: a love of exotic animals, a general assumption that he’s above the law, a growing ruthless streak, increasingly bizarre behaviour and excessive vanity. And similar to his North Korean counterpart, he’s also surrounded by sycophants who are too afraid to tell him when he’s being a total cockend.
Many of the most notable dictators in history had a soft spot for animals. For instance, Muammar Gaddafi had his own private menagerie in which he kept hundreds of ostriches, rare-breed camels, hybrid cattle and several breeds of sheep and goats, making him the Johnny Morris of North African dictators. Unfortunately, as you might expect from a ruthless despot who brought death and suffering upon his own people, his animals sadly suffered a similar fate, with the vast majority perishing in the sun-baked desert west of Sirte after he fled from power.
Uday Hussein (admittedly a dictator’s son rather than a murderous national figurehead himself) famously fed love rivals to his pet lions. He also used to playfully throw his own friends into the cage of his monkey, Louisa, a violent drunk with a taste for whiskey, who would scratch his friends’ faces as punishment for losing consciousness during heavy drinking sessions.
Similarly, our Dear Leader, Justin Bieber, has a capuchin monkey called Mally (although, I obviously can’t account for its drinking habits and temperament). In typical ‘above the law’ style, Bieber recently flew into Germany with his monkey without a scrap of relevant paperwork, which subsequently incurred the wrath of Munich Airport’s customs officials and led to Mally being seized and quarantined.
Some people have observed that Bieber’s relationship with Mally is eerily reminiscent of Michael Jackson and Bubbles. But it’s his choice of simian that actually sets him apart from Jackson and perhaps indicates that there’s still a fragment of sanity left in his tiny mind. Because instead of opting for a chimp that could potentially rip his pretty face off during a frenzied attack at a red carpet photocall, he sensibly plumped for a Marcel-like monkey partner instead, which makes him more ‘Ross from Friends’ than ‘King of Pop’.
It was recently reported that Justin Bieber’s entourage (a sort of A-List SAVAK) smashed up fans’ mobile phones in an Austrian nightclub, from which he and his chums were swiftly banned. Like any aspiring dictator, his security apparatus is to be feared. In future, any disloyal ‘Beliebers’, cornered ‘haters’ or anyone with the temerity to snap unauthorised photos in his presence will likely end up like Nicky Santoro at the end of Scorcese’s Casino: beaten half to death with baseball bats and then buried alive with only a few shallow breaths remaining in their broken bodies.
Only someone with a messianic level of self-importance would keep 20,000 young fans waiting for two hours at a gig, but that’s exactly what Bieber did only a few weeks ago. Unofficially, the reason for the delayed start of his concert was that he overslept and then decided to play video games in his dressing room. (The official excuse for his lateness was “technical problems”, which I assume meant that ‘Lego Lord of the Rings’ wouldn’t load on his Wii.) If Bieber wanted to really hammer home his complete lack of urgency, he should’ve arranged for the O2 Arena’s giant screens to loop a video of him taking a dump backstage while reading the back of a shampoo bottle. Maybe with the odd yawn thrown in for good measure.
Another aspect of Bieber’s increasingly odd behaviour is that he seems to constantly exhibit the signs of paradoxical undressing. He recently flew into Lodz Airport in Poland in temperatures of -10C, yet wandered through security completely shirtless with his trousers at ankle height and a thick layer of frost forming on his anus. When the cold gets too much for him, I expect we’ll see him wandering aloofly through chilly European airport lounges wearing a screaming coat of live capuchin monkeys.
The final aspect of Bieber’s increasingly erratic behaviour is how aggressive he’s become. He’s currently under investigation for allegedly hurling threats and spittle in the direction of one of his neighbours, a mere mortal who had the audacity to complain to Bieber’s face about his reckless driving around the neighbourhood in his Ferrari at 8am (at 100mph). Like any good dictator, he clearly believed that his anti-social behaviour was beyond reproach and was obviously incensed that anyone should dare criticise him. A perfect way of dealing with this arrogance – if you’re listening, L.A. Country Sheriff’s Department – would be to crush Bieber’s Ferrari and chrome Fisker Karma into microwaved-sized blocks of scrap metal, then at least he can push them around in a shopping trolley when his career is over and he’s living under a motorway intersection (only three years away, according to veteran music manager Peter Mensch).
According to “a source” quoted in a recent article, Justin Bieber constantly relives his 2011 appearance as host on Saturday Night Live by replaying the tape – along with his own music videos – to his entourage on the tour bus. This is frighteningly similar to how Osama Bin Laden wiled away the hours inside his Abbottabad compound during his final years, watching endless news coverage of himself on a battered 14″ television. When you imagine Bieber’s entourage nervously forcing themselves to laugh at the same SNL episode night after night – as he scans the room closely for anyone displaying a severe lack of enthusiasm – it’s certainly vanity worthy of a dictator. But one who perhaps knows that his days are numbered and that his grip on power is weakening.
Still, who knows what the future holds? Maybe Justin Bieber will eventually flee the limelight and spend the rest of his days holed up in a North Korean nuclear bunker playing Angry Birds with Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un.
After all…when dictators fall, they fall hard.