6 Brutal Leaders And Their Ridiculous Secret Hobbies
Everybody needs a hobby, but people find release in many surprising ways. A mechanic might unwind by knitting, a ballet dancer might take up boxing. But what do you do to unwind after, say, a long day at the genocide factory? Just ask these guys:
Hitler Loved Disney and Sketched Characters
Everybody knows Hitler was an artist, and while paintings of his have supposedly popped up before, recent sketches discovered in 2008 shed a little more light on the twisted mind behind the madman: He was a Mouseketeer. Well, in spirit anyway. The sketches were of two of the seven dwarfs, Bashful and Doc, along with an unsigned sketch of Pinocchio.
Everyone needs a hobby.
Hitler wasn't just a casual fan either. He not only owned a copy of Snow White, he thought it was one of the greatest movies ever created. His love for all things Disney was so well known that Joseph Goebbels, history's second greatest monster, gave Hitler Mickey Mouse paraphernalia. Goebbels later wrote in his diary that Hitler was "very pleased." This was presumably followed by "he clapped his hands in glee, and immediately ran to his room to change into the mouse ears and Donald Duck footy pajamas."
Osama Bin Laden Ruled the Volleyball Court
Osama Bin Laden hates America. He hates everything about it: The sacrilegious freedoms we enjoy, our arrogant politics, the way America snorts when it laughs. You know this already; you've probably seen his Vlogs. He just hates America so fucking much, he loathes every fiber of its black, accursed soul... well, except for volleyball. That shit's awesome.
We're not making this up; stories of Bin Laden's volleyball prowess come from insiders like his former bodyguard, Nasser al-Bahri.
So why is America's number one enemy also the number one fan of the homoerotic near-orgy from Top Gun? Maybe his love for volleyball is the one exception that proves the rule, or maybe it's actually the cause for his hatred; a bitter jealousy at all of our immaculate beaches and regulation nets coming from a dude stuck in a low-ceilinged cave using old clotheslines. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the 6'4 Arab guy in a country where rural villagers think fun is forbidden by God is predisposed to dominate the crap out of that sport.
You might say he's "built for the game."
Oh, and throw in the fact that Mohammed Atef, the former chief of Al-Qaeda, also used to be a star volleyball player, but wasn't allowed to play on the same team as Osama because they were just that good, and we think the United States' next move is clear: Stage a fake volleyball competition, and arrest the unnaturally skilled giant with the fake beard (over his regular beard).
Hey, it worked for Robin Hood.
Saddam Hussein Wrote Sappy Romance Novels.
In late 2001, CIA officials found a novel at an Arabic book store in London titled Zabibah and the King. Penned under the clever pseudonym "S. Hussein," (seriously, how did we ever catch that guy?!)
Ladies, are your loins quivering yet? If not, you are in direct violation of Iraqi law.
Zabibah and the King is an allegorical novel based on the history of Iraq... in the same way that Transformers is an allegorical TV show about the industrial revolution. Liberties are taken, is what we're saying here. The book is set in ancient Iraq, where the fair and just King (Saddam) falls in love with the beautiful and innocent Zabibah (Iraq). After several long, thinly veiled discussions on God, love, poetry, matted back hair and dank spider-holes, the King and Zabibah eventually fall deep in love.
Ladies love a man with his own gilded throne.
But on a walk from the King's Palace to her home, Zabibah is attacked and raped by her cruel husband. Here's a line from the actual passage:
Yes, the girl is Iraq, the fair-haired (?) King is Saddam himself, and the cruel husband is the United States of America. And if you actually needed that explanation to get the subtext, you owe your elementary school English teacher a sternly worded note, though you'll probably need some help writing it. Then again, perhaps we're being unfair here: We shouldn't exactly be expecting subtlety from the guy commissioning 30-foot gold statues of himself for every town square in the country.
...Is that a disco ball on his head?
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.
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..."
Kim Jong Il and Basketball
Considering we once wrote an entire article about the wacky things Kim Jong Il did, 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 found lots of both James Bond and Daffy Duck, or the fact that he imported over $700,000 of Congac a year.
No other world leader could rock those shades.
But it was his love for basketball that puts him on this list. Kim Jong Il's favorite player was, 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 was such a fan of Jordan's, in fact, that he owned a VHS recording of every single game he played with the Bulls. He 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 was so obsessed with basketball that he wanted to turn North Korea into a national basketball powerhouse, and was constantly bringing in coaches to give seminars on the fundamentals of basketball, and 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.
Want to know how to go mano-a-mano with a president? Daniel O'Brien can help with How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country!