Monday, August 13, 2007

a new covenant from the quorum

i said after the polls that turkey's future now rests with the ability of tayyib efendi & co. in working out a new "covenant", a social contract, that enables turks, who have become absolutely unqualified to live together as a "society", to reestablish the media of coexistence again.

that requires an intellectual acumen and faculty which obviously surpasses the ken of tayyib efendi & co., whose cerebral acuity is mainly honed by islam. however, the legitimacy they have harvested in the elections can only be turned into real political power if they can re-write the rule book of cohesion and diversity.

yes, certainly power writes its own truth; but if the rule book is to be convincing, applicable and workable, it has to be universally functional rather than local, regional, even national or otherwise parochial.

for a basically rural population that has resettled in urban surroundings and modified it to its taste physically,psychicallly and ethically, universality is hardly a priority. furthermore, whether they have a feel for its utility or not, the political cadres of such popular/ist movements as the akp are rarely accoutered themselves to administer and cope with a cognitive innovation that cannot be grasped by practice alone but requires a philosophical gestalt of knowledge and action.

paradoxically however, tayyib efendi & co. are better positioned than almost any modernizer in turkish history to lead a gradually modernizing and geographically urbanizing nation accross that rubicon: first, because the 47 percent poll victory does not give the akp any license to do what they were feared they would do. that leaves them to wear the universal armor of "westernization" for their own "protection". second, they must have realized that while they may keep the outside of their heads islamically geared, keeping time to the universal tango inside, brings more kudos. third, "they" (and relatively, turks) are indeed getting richer; and the hedonism that is the hallmark of richness, simply gets smothered by parochialism - look at the saudi youth finally launching their kind of a "protest" movement. fourth, tayyib efendi & co. are pragmatists enough to realize that their success at the ballot box owes more to the pro -eu policies they adopted in the first three years than abdullah gül's ouster-by-direct-order from the presidential race or the quasi-religious show of nationalism they tried to replace their slackening eu drive with. the eu, after all, is a milestone on the eternal course of universality.

"writing" a social covenant is quite different from writing and passinng a new constitution - you do not do it with your pen, you do it with your life. it is tough because when lives cannot meet and merge in legitimacy, they eventually jeopardize each other. that is why, only in the last week there were more than one "drunken driving caused deaths" reported in the peapers per day. that is why a poor rich not so little fashion model was put in prison, while a mother was murdered by her son after a family sanction. that is also why we have dried up, after very parochially, stealing from our own nature the lakes, wetlands, swamps, moors etc. to turn them into fields, hotels, factories and even universities.

a universal life code cannot brook privilege or exception or stupidity, that have become the aggregate root cause of the anomie that is consuming turkey.

and tayyib efendi & co. are the only campaigners, brave, powerful yet still desparate enough to seek and discover the order within chaos, to serve everyone. the polity quorum (*) they command is not complacent enough to refuse seeking assistance from opinion makers outside their turf, at home and in the world.

after all, tayyib efendi & co. set forth with the ambition of making islam an organic component of the dominant world-culture, what better chance can they expect to have than write its universal tenets into a life-saving covenant of coexistence?

(*) a polity quorum consists of the designers, deciders, advocates, implementers, alternatives, critics and opponents of policy, active in the fields of politics, academe, arts, media-communications, industry, finance, commerce and the clergy. it exercises its potency, among other matters, on the structures and contents of communication and , even when not directly involved in that trade, can function as a body of "communication elites" by means of its global social influence. a polity quorum tends to establish itself as the david that can slay any goliath threatening society. the polity quorum can sway the representations of truth to its will with recourse to the power of discourse by which it tacitly provides the public with templates of thought and political action.

and if they fail? too many unneccessary but inevitable deaths later, just as was the case in the wild west, the wild east of the third and a half world will also settle its frontier rules. or the frontier will settle its rules.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

state of thick headedness

practice what you preach?

according to turkish law, every person who rides a bike is supposed to wear appropriate head protection gear. from time to time, as almost every other law in turkey, that rule is put into effect by our esteemed police officers.

since the norm is not normally enforced, the normal thing to do in summer is not to wear a helmet (*).

so once or twice each summer, the police stop and ban from traffic thousands of riders, also booosting the state budget with the huge amount of fines they issue.

the next day, normal becomes normal again, the norm is shelved again, and the police can't give a damn whether you wear a scarf or the greener half of a water melon on your head while riding. till the next shake down...

you know who does part of the stopping, helmet-checking and writing tickets?

who else? the very motorcycle-mounted specialized traffic police of the state of the republic of turkey, of course.

the point is, those guys themselves do not and are not required to wear helmets or serious protective gear in summer either!

(*)although turks are angry when you suggest that so long as they do not need to protect it, their heads may be thicker than hot asphalt, they continue to assume high temperatures add extra resistance to their skull.

public enemy on two wheels

i wrote a post in türkiş garfucius about turks smoking and talking on the phone at the same time, while riding a motorbike - naturally, this should go as a follow-up in turkish but i do feel a responsibility to warn the unwary world public against the extent of the threat my countrymen are capable of posing (as to turks who cannot read english, they'll either hear it from me or somebody else, guess it or be the very threat themselves - in any case, they are used to live with turks and their turkishnesses as they still find it necessary to pro(per?)secute those who supposedly insult "turkishness").

yesterday evening, long before any legitimate time for raki, i saw a man lighting a cigarette
while riding with his phone to his ear!.. i stopped to watch, expecting him to fall but probably because something happened with his cell phone only yards from a turn, he parked, fixed the wrong and started talking again. i rode away.

Friday, August 03, 2007

preposterous pagans in muslim prayer

in one of kurt vonnegut's novels, the hero, malachi constant, wallowing through a river viscous with industrial effluent, reached the conclusion that if god allowed nature to be so violated, he could not be caring less about his creation. "i am not a(n environmental) conservationist any more," constant said, "because god himself is not".

i watched in the news last evening thousands of people gather to pray for rain. that collective defiance of reason and common sense was further aggravated because the prayer was official! the istanbul mufti's bureau (probably corresponds to a bishopry) decided that since thousands of citizens desired so, the prayers could be held under official sanction.

there was more to the farce! the national directorate of religious affairs approved and endorsed the mufti's decision. so within 10 days of tayyib effendi & co.'s electoral victory, approaching the second decade of the 21st century, the secular muslim turkish state became complicit in a metaphysical travesty of science and rationality.

three centuries after descartes, in modern turkey hoping to become integrated with cartesian europe, a solution to draught which is the direct outcome of utter human stupidity and lack of mathematical reasoning, was sought in supplication to divine providence.

turkey never was water-rich and the quality of its water reserves was only mediocre. it had to preserve, protect and improve its water as a matter of politics if it were to be admitted to the eu. i harp on the "political" with intent, because unless it has a political repercussion, nothing in the third-and-a-half world is of import. don't believe me? listen to the ruckus over the draught - you'd think it was the eve of the second world war, everyone blaming the other for negligence. let's make it clear that the current deterioration in our entire environment is a national success story. what else can be said in a society where parties do not even bother to pay lip service to environment where 85 percent of the populace smokes a pack of cigarettes per day? it needs far deeper a vision to care about resource economy!

turkey's most popular-ever-politician suleyman demirel first boasted, then apologized for having desiccated 95 percent of the country's wetlands. the state water works, malaria control center, the road, water and electricitiy authority etc., all contributed to the disappearance of myriad streams, both above and under the ground.

lakes were dried to turn into construction sites or agrarian areas. cities polluted any body of water, stagnant or in flux, with their excrement and effluent. the seas got their share of the filth, and until people could not find the water to brush their teeth with, their worth as fresh water sources was totally ignored.

we burnt away our forests. more than the forests we lost to fires, we donated to our enterpreneurial classes and their foreign partners so they could build hotels, other touristic installations, recently, water guzzling golf courses, car factories - even universities!..

every marshland or swamp was dried by planting eucalyptus trees that are as thirsty as sponges.

we washed our precious cars till their paint came off, we watered the streets so that cars and other vehicles could slide dangerously in the resultant mud, we lost water through bad plumbing etc., etc., etc.!

so much irresponsibility, so ubiqutious idiocy and now what do you expect but such official irrationality?

i noticed that some of the muslims praying for rain were replicating drops falling, shaking their fingers downward, as if in palsy. that is a pagan ritual. psychologically, such acts represent an archetype that indicates the individual's urge to achieve his/her object of desire through identification with it. but religiously, it is anti-islamic, anti-monotheistic, it is blasphemy!

thus, in effect, the "modernist", secular muslim turkish state is officially sanctioning and assigning its mufti and clergy to conduct blasphemous pagan rituals which it finances out of its budget!

draught, by proxy of famine is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. had he lived to see these days, would apostle st. john the theologian have added preposterousness? (*)

(*) preposterous in latin corresponds roughly to "ass over head"

note: i am not (particularly) against religion or prayer, even pagan versions. my objection here is to the state, accepted as the epitome of rationality in the hegelian to weberian tradition, funding and sponsoring a religious ritual held for obviously unscientific, irrational and futile ends.
then, i too, can demand at least that the state pay for (good red) wine that we propose to consume in a drinking orgy to anger teetotaling pagan gods who will send down their wrath in the form of rain . we may also please the dionyssiac deities, who may deign to rain water on us as a blessing. who can say this proposal is more or less viable or effective than praying for rain?

garfucius questioneth

garfucius asketh blasphemously:

how possible is it, not to be proud of being a member of the race of humans who can simultaneously smoke a cigarette and talk on a mobile phone, while riding a motorcycle without a helmet or other protection?

hast the lord bidden that the cranium of that race thicken with the summer heat?

alas, at which stage of evolution does the brain become an accessory only?

america will save europe again

summer laze, i'm just browsing the news if i feel like it, rather than become interested in it. the best pieces that caught my attention in the last two days are about gordon brown's visit to dubya.

i've read that gordon's not going to be dubya's poodle, as his predecessor was (supposed to be). he is not smiling at dubya as much as the one who preceded him did. he is giving back great britain its dignity that it is busy losing in the cesspool of contemporary politics that's called iraq.

lord! how great america really is and how patheticallly small and ineffete its bickering and bitching allies this side of the atlantic!

look at the world, america has long hit the lowest ebb of its popularity in history, much worse than viet nam, where it had at least the filmsy alibi of fighting to free humanity from the evil of communism.

look at the world, look at 500-odd years of modern history pioneered by europe. look at all the ideals held so much in esteem, all originating from the european experience and interpretation of life. look at europe, the fount of philosophy and ideas.

look how poorly an influence europe has on the world, in spite of all that intellectual treasure!

look how meek merkel is, how sardonically vacant sarkozy, how insidiously they are undermining each other to the extra joy of the poodle and now gordon, while how negligibly, as far as the world is concerned, the others are going about their businesses.

like it or not, coca cola is obviously more effective than karl marx, britney spears more guiding than j. p. sartre (if anyone remembers him); everybody knows what a humvee is, nobody recognizes hamlet any more!..

america is great because it has built the world in every corner of which it can exist, at least as an enemy. europe is shrinking smaller and smaller because it refuses to live in any world but its own!

look at europe with its grand history being laid to waste by the likes of merkel or sarkozy who are as alien to its essence as a texan cowboy. look at its ignorance of itself and its obligation, its responsibility to the mental and experiential commonwealth of the human race.

look at a giant drowning in its own feces because it has grown too lethargic to move.

dubya gave the brit pm, the new non-poodle one, a leather fighter pilot's jacket as a present - which he wore with a frown.

don't worry, america will be coming back to save europe of itself, too. not long till it saves itself from dubya and his heritage of evil.