Saddam Hussein is still alive at the time of this writing, but he's scheduled to be executed in a couple of hours. CNN is on in the background - they switched from Gerald Ford retrospectives to this story, and their coverage is shaping up to be a ghastly version of a New Year's Eve countdown - I'm waiting for the clock to start ticking down to 10 pm tonight, dawn in Baghdad, the time of the hanging.
I'm sure Hussein, the self-styled Braveheart of the Middle East, would choose martyrdom of a more spectacular nature (drawn and quartered? strapped onto a scud missile launched into Israel? crushed by a giant apple?) than a simple rope snapping his neck, outlaw style, but that's how the Iraqi government wants it. Low key.
Then there will be the aftermath. I remember when his sons Uday and Qusay were blown up in a firefight a while back, and footage of their bashed-in corpses were broadcast right afterwards, the excuse given that, well, in the Arab world, the people there would never believe they were really dead unless the evidence were thrust in their collective face. Right. So why execute this man during Islamic religious holidays? Perhaps they'll broadcast the whole thing live on Al-Jeezy, in Smell-o-vision®.
Last week I saw some promos from a new pseudo-controversial CBC sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie, which looks like a multi-cultural spin on the Corner Gas formula - the bumper-sticker marketing campaign describes the show as 'Coming Sunni' and 'Halal-arious'. May I join in? 'It looks like Shiite!'