This marks the 100th post of Baby Pictures of Famous Dictators. In hindsight, I never intended to start a cultural phenomenon. But a phenomenon I have started nonetheless. Whether I determine the zeitgeist, or the zeitgeist determines me, I cannot know. What I can do is strive to know. I will not stop striving, can’t stop striving. I will post or I will die posting.
Six months ago, BPoFD was born out of my life’s most wrathful and beleaguered moment. For years, I had been watching ESPN‘s unending, inane, pervasive, demented, obsessive-to-the-point-of-compulsion analysis of the professional football player Brett Favre. Never was this reportage related to Mr. Favre’s athletic performance on the football field. Never. Potential months of my life have been wasted enduring the channel’s coverage of Mr. Favre’s fickle nature. His baffling inability to make a simple decision, his persistent flimflamming and jean commercials. There was no escape. Every program on the network seemed contractually obliged to spend a minimum of twenty percent of airtime discussing Brett Favre’s recent text messages, breakfast selections, sock color, unitchable itches, and how these entirely inconsequential factors influenced his utterable predictable decision to again retire and/or again un-retire. As pain usually goes, there really is no relating, but this was causing me intense psychological and psychic anguish. Even the sight of a pair of Wranglers set my soul writhing. I’d awake from fast-dissolving nightmares to find fistfuls of my own yanked out hair, big as racquetballs. Most maddening was how easily I could have remedied the situation. Serenity was a changed channel away . My fury had reached a point that my understanding the situation preempted my processing of the pain. I could not comprehend. There was nothing interesting about the situation in the least, and, still, ESPN kept on and kept on and kept on and kept on and kept on. Then, suddenly, hope. Brett Favre, remarkably, had done something interesting. He had sent a number of lascivious text messages to a female employee of the New York Jets. The centerpiece of the collection was a picture of Mr. Favre, pants down, erection gripped, splayed on a hotel bed, wearing Crocs. In addition, he had left multiple pathetic, embarrassing voicemails on the employee’s answering machine. And like that, clouds parted and sweet sun fell upon my skin lovingly and I was as happy as I ever was.
This sensation lasted for exactly one day, and in the resulting, decimating aftermath, BPoFD rose, as ESPN spent roughly thirty seconds covering the news, and was done with it, forever, as if it never happened, and in that moment I knew I needed a voice. I needed BABY PICTURES OF FAMOUS DICTATORS.
Mostly, though, thanks for reading, you! If you’re worried about how to properly commemorate the occasion, feel free to purchase the latest edition of Versal Magazine, which went on sale today and features my masterwork of short fiction “Tornado.” Literary magazines are to coffee tables what fanciful hats are to heads, and, in the perplexing event that you do indeed buy one, I will personally sign your copy, which, barring any unforeseen blips, will one day be worth even less than the three gallons of gas it’s worth now. Mostly, though, thanks for reading, you, again!