Friday, September 24, 2004

Poet-president takes over TV

When I saw this headline on the Daily Telegraph's web site, I thought that I had missed Michael D. Higgins being elected. It sometimes happens that big events pass me by, so I was only a little surprised when I thought we'd had an election for President and I had missed it. And, that Michael D. would take over TV for poetry readings (only his own, of course) if he were elected President is as certain as night following day.

Alas, Michael D. has not been elected (and won't be, apparently). The story has to do with President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan, who is "interested in poetry, philosophy, history and music", according to Turkmenistan's Washington Embassy. He is also a man of great humility having decided not to appoint himself President for life and not to receive the title of the greatest Turkmenian writer. {The Daily Telegraph is somewhat disparaging of Mr. Niyazov, but really, shouldn't all nations have a national holiday celebrating their leader's favorite fruit?}

Sounds like Mr. Niyazov and Michael D. have so much in common. Maybe Michael D. could succeed Mr. Niyazov in Turkmenistan?