Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is a Phil Collins fan

Over the weekend, CNN reported on a number of tidbits about Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but the one that stuck out the most, IMHO? The 47-year-old is an admitted fan of former Genesis frontman Phil Collins.

This was hardly a scoop on CNN’s part, but merely a factoid packed into a bulky profile that was originally reported by the Washington Post more than a decade ago.

Out of context correspondence from a WaPo report dated April 27, 2000:

Bashar Assad [is] soft-spoken and congenial, a fan of … Phil Collins tunes downloaded to a Walkman-like digital music player [and] is mapping his own path by trying to address the social and economic demands of the next generation.

^^^ seems appropriate ^^^

Now, what to do with this tidbit of info? Are we to understand a more humanized version of Assad? Is this, coupled with the Assad Meets Tumblr which launched over the weekend, supposed to portray him as no different a power-hungry world leader than John Kerry or Queen Elizabeth? Maybe we’re to criticize his pop culture blind spots — unless Assad is aware of the Brooklyn-branded irony that has co-opted the ’80s pop star, it’s not like the man has done anything in the last few years. Perhaps none of this matters. In the divine words of Homer J. Simpson, “it’s just a bunch of stuff that happens.”

I’m going to get more coffee so we can discuss. To get things started, it’s probably fair to mention that Phil Collins has another wealthy/famous mass murderer in his fan club …


h/t inagist, WaPo