In 2000, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein published a best-selling romance novel titled “Zabibah and the King”. The novel spawned a twenty-episode TV series and a stage musical.
So what’s the book about?
“The plot is a love story about a powerful ruler of medieval Iraq and a beautiful commoner girl named Zabibah. Zabibah’s husband is a cruel and unloving man who rapes her. The book is set in 7th or 8th century Tikrit, Hussein’s home town. Although the book is on the surface a romance novel, it is (and was intended to be read as) an allegory. The hero is Hussein and Zabibah represents the Iraqi people. The vicious husband is the United States and his rape of Zabibah represents the U.S. invasion of Iraq at the end of the Gulf War.” — Wikipedia
The book was a best-seller in Iraq and is estimated to have sold one million copies. According to the back cover the royalties were to go to “the poor, the orphans, the miserable, the needy, and charities”. Did that actually happen? I’m not sure.
The Iraqi publishers used four paintings by Canadian artist Jonathon Earl Bowser, to illustrate the novel, putting his painting “The Awakening” on the cover. Bowser did not authorize the use of his art and has attempted without success to obtain compensation for copyright infringement.
Is the book still for sale? Yup. You can buy a copy HERE on Amazon.
BONUS FACTS: It was once rumored that the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy film The Dictator (2012) was adapted from the novel.
The CIA believes that Zabibah and the King was written by ghostwriters under the direction of Saddam.
Netflix is one of the world’s most popular subscription and video streaming services. I love it to death but I’m still a little irritated that they pulled King of the Hill without my permission. Below are 10 facts about Netflix you probably didn’t know. Enjoy!
1. Netflix has 98.3 Million subscribers
2. The idea behind Netflix came in 1997 after the CEO was charged $40 for a late VHS copy of Apollo 13.
3. Netflix was established in 1997 which makes it older than Google which was founded in 1998.
4. In 2000, Netflix was offered to Blockbuster for $50 million who declined the offer. Netflix is currently worth $20 billion and Blockbuster is… not.
5. Netflix is available in nearly 50 countries.
6. New Netflix employees start at around $18 an hour. I seriously need to rethink my career choice.
7. Netflix employees are allowed to take as many vacation days as they want.
8. Netflix uses disguised warehouses and unmarked trucks for security purposes.
9. . Netflix employs a team of “taggers” who are paid to watch Netflix and tag the content.
10. In 2014 Netflix spent $0 on marketing its DVD rental business and 6 million people still used it.
Netflix Pillow Gift – $7.99 Amazon
The kooky guys usually seen sitting in a car having conversations about SONIC’s new deals and food items are improv comedians Thomas James (T.J.) Jagodowski
and Peter Grosz.
Jagodowski (age 45) is always in the passenger seat and Grosz (age 43) is always in the driver’s seat. The two were chosen from more than 150 actors who auditioned for the TV spots and made their television debut in 2003 for SONIC’s “Two Guys” campaign.
Grosz has received two Emmy Awards for his writing on “The Colbert Report” and Jagodowski has appeared in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Prison Break,” “The Ice Harvest” and “Stranger Than Fiction.”
In 2010, the Two Guys were dropped from SONIC’s national advertising campaign and this caused an uproar amongst fans. Their 2012 comeback was staged as a social media publicity stunt featuring the duo pleading for their jobs.
The SONIC Two Guys campaign is one of the longest-running marketing campaigns in history.
BONUS FACT: In 2014, the company announced plans to add 1,000 restaurants in the next 10 years, including an additional 300 in California alone.