Peter Anspach compiled one of the greatest humor collections from the early days of the Internet, the list of things not to do if you were Evil Overlord.
It's time to update the list for the 2000s.
Being an Axis of Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It funds your Swiss bank account well, there are all sorts of perks, and you can have your pick of beautiful women. However every Axis of Evil Overlord I've read about in newspapers or seen on CNN invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are Middle Eastern oil barons, Asian despots, South American revolutionaries, or sub-Saharan African strongmen, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present...The Top 20 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became An Axis Of Evil Overlord
copyright 2005 Greg
1. I will maintain a military of an appropriate size, so that my generals are busy with their military duties, and will not have time to plot my overthrow.
2. I will feed my people adequately. Their work in my glory is much more productive when they have the energy to toil all day.
3. I will construct offices, factories, and residences, built to modern standards and up to code. Not only will it provide jobs for skilled laborers and engineers, it will prevent major destruction during the next natural disaster.
4. Before I appoint my son, brother-in-law, or other member of my tribe to a position of power, I will first check to see if someone better qualified is available.
5. I will receive advice on important technical matters from knowledgeable outside consultants not subject to my prisons and my Legions of Terror. I will tend to believe them over the advice of someone in my direct employ, who is more interested in saving his own hide than in providing good advice.
6. Before I buy armaments and military supplies from a willing seller, I will first check on that nation’s success in past military endeavors
7. I will not anger a military superpower with the ability to blast me from orbit just because I’m feeling contrary. To that extent, I will not assert that I want nuclear facilities for peaceful energy production. No one will believe me.
8. I will make sure only those people who aided me in the past can claim the credit. If the revolution that put me in power occurred 22 years ago, I will not allow some 20 year old to claim to be a veteran of the revolution.
9. While I will probably be able to get away with destroying part of my population, I know I will get in trouble if I destroy my wetlands, cause the extinction of an adorable animal species, or speak out against global warming. I will understand what matters to the world’s opinion leaders. 10. While I will understand the importance of good recordkeeping to the functioning of the state, neither I nor any member of my government will be stupid enough to document mass killings, genocide, or anything else that could remotely be considered a war crime or a crime against humanity.
11. I will understand that while the United Nations, Jimmy Carter, and CNN will take me at my word, others will remain skeptical.
12. I will not jail the leader of the opposition. It only makes him stronger and better known. Instead, I will appoint him to a government position with a comfortable salary and no real power. Such an appointment is a much better way of making someone disappear.
13. I will not persecute bloggers. It doesn’t help. Posts will disappear into the ether, but reports of persecution will never die.
14. I will endeavor to have the attractive citizens
of my nation on my side.
15. I will not change the calendar, money, or other basic feature of society to suit my whims.
16. I will hire a skilled hairstylist
and purchase a wardrobe of finely tailored suits. I wish to present a professional and presidential image, and military uniforms are so 1980’s.
17. I will recognize that I am the political leader of my nation. I am not an actor, musician, or anything else, and I will not subject my people to my amateur efforts.
18. If individuals from free nations wish to come to my nation, and protest against their own nation in favor of my nation, I will first consider if they are suitably aware of the real world
, lest they look foolish and make my nation look worse at the same time.
19. If things go dreadfully wrong, because I ignored the other entries on this list, and the military superpower allows me to escape my nation with my Swiss bank account intact prior to their invasion, I will take the opportunity.
20. And finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with a free weblog
.(Feel free to add to the list, or provide links to highlight elements of the list.)
Update: Welcome, Carnival of the Vanities readers. Some of my favorite posts are here