Does Turkmenistan have to have an eccentric dictator? The late Saparmurat Niyazov wrote the main textbook in used in Turkmeni schools, banned car radios, built an ice palace in the desert, and renamed months and days for members of his family.

Now President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has banned satellite dishes from the capital Ashgabat because they are ugly. It doesn’t matter that everyone in the city of 700,000 needs a satellite dish to watch TV. After all, it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, located near the Iranian border.