NEW YORK—Admiral General Aladeen recollected that he and this Georgia Straight reporter once got it on. “Wait! I know you!” he told the Straight at a news conference for his movie The Dictator. “Did we have a… a little one?” “Yes,” the Straight said, though we didn’t.
The other 250-odd journalists in the room laughed approvingly, prompting the Straight to add that, clearly, she was a memorable, ahem, lay. “No, you were not,” Aladeen said. The Straight begged to differ, but in any case, maybe that beard of his wasn’t so hot either. “As I remember,” Aladeen said, “you had a pretty good one.” Curses.
Aladeen’s alter ego, Sacha Baron Cohen, wasn’t there—well, so to speak. As with his other characters, Ali G, Borat, and Brüno, the British actor prefers that his extroverted creations do the talking for him. Or—while promoting The Dictator (now playing)—the insulting, abusing, and, well, dictating.
The dictator, in full dress uniform, wasn’t a solo act. He brought “supporters” holding signs featuring his bearded, shades-wearing visage and such slogans as “I Heart Aladeen” and “Give Persecution a Chance.” At seemingly choreographed moments, they cheered and chanted “Aladeen! Aladeen!” with great vigour. Then there was his all-female guard, whose uniforms involved miniskirts, berets, stiletto heels, and AK-47s (or persuasive replicas).
“Welcome, devils of the Zionist media!” Aladeen said. “And death to the West!” The roomful of devils laughed.
He wasn’t there to discuss The Dictator. That would have pointed out that he was a fictional character talking about a fictional film in which he was a fictional character (specifically, the fictional leader of the fictional nation of Wadiya). Too meta. No, Aladeen was there to be Aladeen, who fears dictators are victimized for “doing a tiny little bit of genocide”—and to do a kind of standup routine with patsies, er, members of the media.
“Why don’t you take your hat off?” he demanded of a writer, who revealed a balding noggin. “Put it back on again, sir. Grow some fucking hair! Where are you from?” Canada. “You’re even more hated than Wadiya.”
He surveyed the room. “Wonderful to see so many journalists, and they brought their prostitutes with them,” he said, meaning the female reporters. The “prostitutes” appeared not to mind.
Someone asked which United States presidential candidate Aladeen would endorse. “Well, I would say Santorum, despite his liberal views. But since he is out of the running, I don’t know.” Later, he offered: “If it was money I was giving, I give my full support to Mitchell Romney. He has the makings of a great dictator. He is incredibly wealthy but pays no taxes, and it’s not much of a leap to go from firing people to firing squads.”
According to Aladeen, there have been “sex activities” with many celebrities. As he told Playboy Brazil, he has already invaded that country—meaning the model Gisele Bündchen. And the pregnant Megan Fox (who has a Dictator cameo)? “There are rumours that I am the father,” he said, “but this is literally impossible. It would be the first-ever anal conception.” He was unremorseful about depositing Kim Jong-il’s “ashes” on TV host Ryan Seacrest. “It’s not the first time he has had Asian man poured all over his chest.”
Some topics kept popping up. “Are there any more Jews here? Put your hands up.” Laughing, several obliged. “Do we have enough sacks?” he stage-whispered to a subordinate.
Unlike at most news conferences, Aladeen requested genital viewings. “You are a Jew?” he asked an Israeli reporter. “Prove it, prove it. Come on. No need to be shy. There is nobody watching.” The subsequent peep show appeared real. “All I can see is hair,” Aladeen complained, peering intently downwards.
In the end, dictators’ Day-Timers are as jammed as anybody’s—except possibly with more beheadings and fewer women’s-rights luncheons.
“Please enjoy yourselves, and we have Rolexes here for you,” the Admiral General said upon departure. “And you may enjoy the prostitutes we brought in—or the boys, if you like, if you’re from Canada.”
Oh, and incidentally: “As long as you write good reviews, your families will be released.”
Watch the trailer for The Dictator.