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I Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 28, 2015 THOUGHTS BY DAN ABOUT THIS THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso (july 23, 1892, HALLE SELASSIE Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia Empire-AugaJst 27, 1975, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): The King Who Could Not Be Touched Selassle in more tradi- tional Ethiopian garments. In many ways the rise and fall of Ethiopia's Haile Selassie is the classic story of the African dictator much like General Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, General Sani Abacha, and Sekou Toure who emerged as heroes of colonial liberation only to become murderous tyrants over the nations they helped gain independence. But there is also something unique about Selassie and his legacy that extends beyond Ethiopia. For one thing, Selassie is the only figure I examine in this series to have a reli- gious following. In Ethiopia, Selassie is still regarded in near mythical stature while continuing to be a highly con- troversial figure. But his influence is nowhere near as strong as it is in Jamaica, where the Rastafarians be- lieve he was something of a messiah who will someday rise again. I don't want to dwell too much on Selassie's enduring religious followers, however, as the scope of this article is more about how powerful he believed himself to be and how, in turn, that affected his rule. It's an important question because Selassie was Em- peror for a very long time, nearly sixty years. During that time, there was an evo- lution in the man who rose from revolutionary to power drunk to an advocate for Westernization in Ethiopia. Then again, Selassie was never a man of violence and any cynical outlook toward his rule has more to do with mental corruption than brutality. Selassie is a far cry from the likes of, sa)~ Charles Taylor, but he transformed from revo- lutionary to holy man to something of an infamy. Selassie got started on his military career early on, be- coming a commander by the age of twenty. From there it was a steady ride up for Selassie, becoming the Crown Prince and Regent in 1916 and Emperor in 1930. This was a time of big changes for Ethiopia. The new emperor, Lij Yasu, shifted his affiliation toward Islam, alienating the Chris- tian base. Selassie (or Tafari Makonnen, his birth name which he still used at the time) seized this opportunity to lead an opposition. By 1916, Yasu had been deposed and Ras Tafari, Selassie's new name and the one his religious following bears, became Regent under new Empress Zawditu, Yasu's aunt. Here is where the similari- ties between Selassie and the Shah of Iran run deep, making it something of a mystery why the legacy of one ended with a religious follow- ing (albeit not without contro- versy) and one has largely been forgotten after a fright- ening revolution in 1979. In opposition to the Empress Zawditu, Ras Tafari began pushing Ethiopia to- ward a more modern state and, though it would at first be overshadowed by his vic- tory against Italian forces, this was really a sign of trouble to come for the new ruler. In truth, there were many good things that came out of Selassie's push for Western- iizafion. Most importantly, in 1923 he was able to have Ethiopia admitted into the League of Nations. The over- whelming popularity of this victory helped him take full control of the army in 1926 and crown himself k{ngtwo years later. In 1930, when the Empress cried, Ras Tafari took on the name of Haile Selassie ("Power of the .Trin- ity") and took full coritrol of the government as Emperor. Selassie in his most famous portrait. There were early signs of a future dictator. For in- stance, he had demanded the regency go by a new rifle, namely ~king of kings." But the Italian invasion of 1935 deflected attention from this behavior. Ironically, this came at a good time for Ethio- pia in the sense that Selassie's work on a new con- stiturion was put on hold, but a bad time for the Emperor. On the surface, Selassie's new draft for a constitution sounded promising for the future of Ethiopia. It was pushing toward moderniza- tion and something closer to (Continued on Page 13) Let' s Design It! by Jeanette Cataldo Let's Talk Accessorizing ... Accessorizing can make or break your room. When designing a space, always keep a budget for accessories. I'm often asked "are accessories important in design"? The answer, absolutely! Accessories are objects that complete the space and show off your personality. Accessories include things like artwork, accent pillows, antiques, sculptures, photographs and collectables. For instance, designing in a neutral palette leaves so many openings to have fun with accessorizing. Vibrant Artwork Will Wake a Space Up! Accent pillows always a great accessory. Artwork adds UPop." Sculptures (one of my favorites) Wall sculpture can be dramatic. A table sculpture will add something out of the ordinary. "Putting it All Together; with a Neutral Pallet Need assistance putting it all together? Call for a design consultation or stop by CATALDO INTERIORS HOME 42 Prince Street, Boston, MA 02113 857-317-6115