Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wacky Diplomat Funtime Show

I suppose it's a healthy response to the deadly wars and political upheaval for diplomats to gather and hold wacky talent shows. You know, some down time away from staring into the abyss.

The Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Forum has "become well known for the party which comes near the end of a packed week of talks".

Wars rattle on and on and spread from nation to nation as if it were kudzu. Diplomacy from all quarters is distinguished by ineffective ideas. So what's a diplomatic delegation to do? Play dress up and mock themselves, of course.

Poor Condi Rice, reeling from Middle East battles, the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, and an impossible-to-top performance of Colin Powell dressed as a cowboy and serenading a Japanese Foreign Minister. So she's opting for a somber tone, planning on tickling the ivories with a Brahms recital.

One must wonder if a somber mood at the mocking talent show is another klunky response to expectations of performance.

In the past parties of diplomats-gone-wild, participants offered such skits as:

Previous numbers have included a Russian minister dressed as Star Wars baddie Darth Vader and an Australian attempt to demonstrate beach cricket while singing Beach Boys song Kokomo.

But it is the US that has excelled in the past, and in particular, former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

At the 2001 meeting in Hanoi, he dressed as a cowboy to sing a country and western song about doomed love to then Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, in traditional Vietnamese dress, who ended the song with a kiss for her US counterpart.

The following year, he played a pre-recorded video compilation which showed people including President Bush and his wife begging him not to sing again.

But his star turn came in 2004, when he donned a hard hat and carried a hammer to perform the Village People classic YMCA. He was backed by five US officials in the colourful outfits - including policeman and biker - made famous by the original band."

Rumor has it that "fiddling as Rome burns" is a time-honored tradition.


  1. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Oh Joe,can't they have a little fun.

  2. somewhere near equal amounts of work and fun is great ... just not seeing much of the work end of that equation, James!

    of course, that could be far better for the world in the long run ... as Will Rogers used to say, the nation is in peril when Congress is in session ....

    who knows - if we could provide free keggers for world leaders, the world could be a happy fun place!