While the excitement meter on your crumby life continues to hover between “lame” and “blah,” the King of Swaziland spent most of last week trying to choose a new wife out of 20,000 bare-breasted teenage girls who danced before him in that country’s annual Reed Dance Festival. Poor guy. Despite attempts to modernize that country’s archaic attitudes towards women the King continues to wield absolute power and the tradition of picking a new wife each year from Swaziland’s thousands of virgin girls continues. King Mswati III has taken 14 wives since he came to power in 1986, following in the footsteps of the previous monarch who ended his reign with 70 wives and 400 children. In 2002 the mother of the king’s new wife began a lawsuit alleging that the king had kidnapped her daughter but the court ruled that the king has the right to select wives in the traditional way. Last year the king even took back the one small step toward his culture’s enlightenment by abolishing the law against having sex with teenage girls. The king himself initiated the rule in 2001, but has since repeatedly broken his own law and been forced to pay the fine of several cows. (Reuters)

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