No one can blame the people of Pakistan if, 64 years after their country came into existence, they tired of the ‘bossing’ and the ‘bragging’ of their leaders and decided to treat themselves to some ‘boogieing’ instead. It might still be some time before their fantasies are realised, but on Facebook — fledgling dreams do find form in social networking sites — young Pakistanis have expressed their robust support to King Julien, the king of a pack of lemurs from the animation movie series Madagascar, for the post of president when their country goes to the polls next year.
Before you reach out for that psychoanalytic tome (or access instant search engines) to gauge the significance of 6,000 Pakistanis choosing a fictional simian character as one fit to lead their nation, or begin to look anew at the political careers of leaders past, from secular founding fathers to radical generals to insipid civilian leaders, we would ask you to desist. Rather, we would prefer you visit that particular social networking page, and discover how strains of dark comedy and biting satire can actually save people from completely losing hope, or how pointing fingers and rolling with laughter can be a more viable catharsis than throwing up your hands in despair or banging your head against the wall.
If something is rotten in the State of Pakistan, trust King Julien to inspire serious introspection among his followers, from debating whether a particular Pakistani cricketer can be traded for a pair of rabbits, to popular punch-lines that reveal that the Norse gods had imbibed their martial skills at training camps based in Pakistan. In any case, the choice exercised by Pakistanis can always be exercised by nationals of similar dysfunctional states, who can avoid being saddled with insensitive megalomaniacs and choose the more benign rule of a WALL-E, or even a Lightning Macqueen. Don’t play dumb with me, we hear you say. We answer, as King Julien would have: Who says I am playing?