Prime Minister of East Timor
Xanana Gusmão

Antonio Cruz / Agência Brasil

Xanana Gusmão looks like the kind of guy you could have a jam session with. After that, he’d probably read you some poetry, and then give you a massage. And then the massage would turn into… something else.

Actually, Xanana doesn’t just look like that kind of guy, he is that guy! I know, because that’s how he became leader of a country that previously didn’t exist. Xanana got his old hippie friends together, did some spoken word, and gave Noam Chomsky a nice rubdown. Before you know it, hundreds of white people across the world were demanding that Xanana get his own country, because he is so sweet and laid back.

That and he “convinced” less attractive leaders of the world that Timor should be independent. He stood up at lecterns, all handsomey, and went “blah blah blah” while assorted dignitaries got lost in the eternal depths of his soft brown eyes. Soon they were nodding appreciatively at what he wanted, whatever that was. Also, he was in jail for a long time. If there is one sure-fire way to become leader of a country, it is by being in jail. Just look at Nelson Mandela! Or Barack Obama!

The only flaw I can find in his attractiveness is that he looks too nice. Like Mr. Rogers nice. Like “yeah he’s ok to have over for dinner, but I wouldn’t want him alone with my wife, or my children.” Also he is probably corrupt, since he arranged to have his Vice President become sole importer of food in the country, which means $$$! We can only hope that Xanana got some kind of kick-back from this, because it would be too bad if he wasn’t rich. He is too good-looking to be poor.

Fun Facts

  • Xanana was named after the hit musical “Xanadu,” but his mother didn’t spell it correctly. Because of Indonesia.
  • There is no “West Timor,” the reason being that there is no word in the Timorese language for “West.” There are also no words for “happiness,” “love,” or “independence.” (The last one is why it took them so long to become “their own country,” because the Timorese sorta just wandered around trying to do something, but they weren’t sure what).
  • Lots of Indonesians died trying to become independent from Indonesia (oh I guess they’re called “Timorese” now, whatever). You can read about it in “books,” but it is kind of a boring story, really.
  • East Timor used to have the world’s worst soccer team, but now they are 199th, out of 200, because they managed to not lose once, to Cambodia, who the New York Times calls “hardly a soccer power.”