This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Last King Of Scotland

No, this is not a review of the film which got Forest Whitaker an Oscar – I have not watched it (if anyone has, I'd like feedback). But it did spark off a train of thought.
In the first place, Forest Whitaker, whom I first saw in “Platoon”, is someone whom I’ve long thought underrated as an actor. Certainly, looking at some of the people who have won best actor awards in recent years, one would get the idea that he should have won some time earlier. Just like Denzel Washington, who, also, had to wait inordinately long before winning an Oscar.
Of course, there is the little fact that these two men had their own low points – ifWashington acted in “Glory” and “Malcolm X”, he also acted in “Courage Under Fire”; and Whitaker may have done “Platoon” and “Good Morning Vietnam” but he also did “Phone Booth”. That said, I must admit I enjoyed “Phone Booth”. It was so ridiculous it was funny. I watched it more than once.
Well, to get back to what I wanted to talk about, “the last king of Scotland” was
"His Excellency President for LifeField Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VCDSOMC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."
Rather a grandiose title for a man who got noticed and promoted because of his gift for sucking up to his British superiors, being a keen footballer and boxer, and someone who got his nickname “Dada” because of his standard excuse whenever a woman was found in his tent – she was his dada (sister in KiSwahili). It’s kind of easy to think Amin was a cross between buffoon and homicidal maniac, but it should be remembered that his predecessor, Milton Obote, was so awful that the world heaved a sigh of relief when Amin took over in a military coup; and that Amin’s fall did not end violence and civil war in Uganda; and that the current Ugandan government of Youweri Museweni is as responsible as anyone else in stoking the flames of Congo’s never-ending civil war.
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

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