#3. Al Capone Wrote Sappy Love Songs
Say what you will about Al Capone, but he was inarguably a hardass. He was the world's most famous criminal in an era that, according to what little we gleaned from Kevin Costner movies, was basically nothing but non-stop drive-by Tommy gun shootings. He's still the default mental image you have when somebody says "gangster": generically Italian looking guy, big pin-stripe suit, fedora--that's him.
Somehow this picture is more terrifying than any shot in Scarface.
He was the very essence of badass bad guy... well, except for the sappy love songs.
AND THE BANJO!
His one documented song (though it's said he wrote many more) was titled "Madonna Mia," and it was essentially a heart-wrenching ode to his beloved wife. It doesn't seem to fit into the dangerous mob boss image, but Al does manage to save a little face when you realize where he wrote most of his stuff: Alcatraz prison. And that's balls. In a place where you're sodomized and stabbed and then sodomized again just to "fuck the knife out of you," Capone sat in his cell and played dainty love ballads. On a banjo.
In a cell that was much nicer than the average dorm room.
#2. Joseph Stalin Drew Naked Men
When he wasn't busy sending people to the Gulag, Joseph Stalin relaxed by settling himself in with a cool drink and a roaring fire... to draw himself some good old fashioned pornography. And if that isn't odd enough, he'd also write scathing remarks about people underneath the pictures, just because he thought it was funny. And hell, he's right:
"Hey, comrade fatso! A ridiculous mustache doesn't justify 'eating for two.'"
The signatures on the drawings have been officially authenticated as Stalin's, but after analyzing the pictures, Russian psychologists have gone on record as stating that they "didn't find any expressions of homosexuality." Though they begrudgingly admitted immediately afterward that "this material of course does prompt you have this thought."
Just a little bit.
So don't worry, proud, patriotic Russians, the "Great Leader" wasn't a fancyboy or anything... he just really, really comes off like one at first.
"A little mass-murder, a little nude sketching, a little mass murder, a little nude sketching..."
#1. Kim Jong Il and Basketball
Considering we once wrote an entire article about the wacky things Kim Jong Il does, you could probably guess who was going to be at this spot. And we didn't even mention the (true) fact that among his movie collection you find lots of both James Bond and Daffy Duck, or the fact that he imports over $700,000 of Congac a year.
No other world leader could rock those shades.
But it's his love for basketball that puts him on this list. Kim Jong Il's favorite player is, of course, Michael Jordan, and that makes sense. They've basically been in a media blackout since the mid-90s, they're probably just now getting Space Jam.
Because North Korea doesn't have enough problems.
He's such a fan of Jordan's, in fact, that he owns a VHS recording of every single game he played with the Bulls. He's even invited Michael to North Korea for a meeting and a friendly game or two but. Perhaps not approving of North Korea's controversial "Kidnap Everybody Kim Jong Il Thinks is Amusing" policy, Jordan declined. When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited North Korea in 2000, she gave him a basketball signed by Mr. Jordan. A nice gesture, to be sure. For anybody else, that gets put right on the mantle. For Kim Jong Il, that ball gets displayed in the Museum of International Understanding, which he built.
For the ball.
Albright picked well, is what we're trying to say.
Kim is so obsessed with basketball that he wants to turn North Korea into a national basketball powerhouse, and is constantly bringing in coaches to give seminars on the fundamentals of basketball, and he's had regulation basketball courts built at every one of his palaces.
But that's all pretty tame, it's just missing that trademark Kim Jong twist... and here it is: It's not the basketball you're thinking of; Kim "invented" the game we're talking about. The main difference between the basketball you know and Kim's version is the scoring system: Three points for a dunk, four points for a three pointer that touches nothing but the net, negative one point for missing a free throw, and eight points for a shot in the last three seconds.
And those are just the officially documented ones. Off the record, we heard you have to play the rest of the game upside down for traveling, goaltending gets you a week of reduced rations and for the love of Christ, do not foul in the fourth quarter: Your family gets eaten by wolves.
In all North Korean sporting, the Great Leader is the only one who wins.
Theodore Hawkins writes at Thebackofthefridge.wordpress.com
If you missed it, here's our article on why North Korea is the funniest evil dictatorship ever. For the lowdown on some American leaders, check out the Cracked classic The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All Time.
And stop by Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to discover ancient videos of Y-chromosomal Adam and Eve totally doing it.