Tajikistan is one of those "quirky, hilariously terrible" countries that falls short of North Korea and Iran levels of instant-name recognition and South Park episodes. That's gotta suck. Like, you're trying hard at instating corruption that penetrates all levels of society, becoming a main passage for drugs and weapons in Central Asia, and over half of your people live in poverty. What's a state on verge of failure got to do for some pop culture recognition out here?
Tajikistan's missing element: A pathetically embarrassing leader. It needs a Kim Jong Il, a Muammar Gaddafi, a comically evil leader that people can identify the country with. But Tajikistan's "President" (read: your average despot) Emomalii Rahmon decided to step up to the plate. A video of him from his son's wedding in 2007 surfaced last week, featuring a very drunk Rahmon dancing like a buffoon and doing a karaoke duet with some other dude, as one should at one's son's wedding. The video got, like, 300,000 views in two weeks, which is really nothing when compared to the 2 million views on "GOAT SCREAMS LIKE HUMAN BEST COMPILATION VERSION 3." But instead of coming ahead of the video and owning it, Rahmon was so embarrassed that he pointed his finger at the Internet and yelled, "BEGONE!" And because Rahmon practically owns the whole country and has instituted a system of fear and economic reliance on his regime, it was so.
President Rahmon blocked YouTube for the whole country of Tajikistan and on the independent channel K+, and though the Tajik government didn't explicitly state the video as the reason why, it's pretty obvious that poor lil' Rahmon's is feeling embarrassed about it. Only one major Internet provider has not instated the ban, which will affect the 2 million out of 8 million Tajiks with Internet access.
Way to go, Rahmon. With one drunken video snafu, Tajikistan is well on its way to North Korea levels of international fame. Can't wait to see what stunt you'll pull of next! Best of luck.