Wednesday, October 03, 2007

i absolve the laz

i have often wondered about the reverse-correlation between the eggregious plight of traffl over turkey and the socio-economic paradox that the "plight" is caused by vehicles whose ownership indicates a certain degree of economic achievement, which, on paper at least, requires a modicum of intelligence, of which at least some should be devoted to organizing the way those vehicles are used, which is not.

complicated? ok, cars are expensive (1); right? in order to buy a car, whether to use privately or to professionally haul third persons and goods, one needs to invest a fair fortune; right? that assumes, the owner of a car has to have an income which is at least a few times above the average per capita income; right? so, on a quite rough scale, persons who own motor vehicles can be included in some degree among the economic élites of the society (2); right? that, normally, indicates some success at business/work; right? except very rare and often decidious cases of pure dumb luck, such success cannot normally be achieved without some intelligence as the basis of acquiring some capital, acumen or skill; right?

then, how come those fellows, who, supposedly, are endowed with a certain degree of mental acuity, use their vehicles (or let them be used by third parties) in such utterly dumb and stupid fashion that trained circus monkeys and bears can do a better job? to put it another way, where goeth the brains that serveth the turk (3) for the acquisition of that chariot, whence it hit the road?
i have pondered a lot about that question and, it appears although the answer was before me all the time, i could not see it because of a technical - methodical mistake that blinded me:

my life long observations, heuristic experience and studies have led me to conclude that the laz (including cretans), who incidentally, are a "race" (4) that raises not only the brightest specimens of the local population, but also the dullest and most witless, are usually successful in life because of a single-minded purposefulness and obsessive perseverance over one single objective, to which all other acts of life simply append as accessories. for example, if temel (5), the proverbial laz, who lives in rize sets his mind on showing his new watch to his betrothed in istanbul, he can drive 700 miles in five hours only to discover at the bosporus bridge that he forgot the watch home; turns back, recovers it and returns in seven hours... when the laz are concerned, the dumbest individual can, at the most critical moment, do an incredibly clever thing that makes a physicist look like a dimwit - and of course, vice versa: a genious laz surgeon may forget the keys to his bentley in your left ventricule. naturally.

i missed the generality of temel-ism. i overlooked that the trait which distinguishes the laz is a universal human condition that i exclusively ascribed to the laz because its frequency and range are relatively higher among them to fairly consider a trademark. in that bout of temel-ism, i could not see that the entire turkish populace is affected by the same affliction! indeed, there seems to be a rapid laz-ification of turks recently... did you notice how turkish pedestrians wait for the traffic light to turn green? almost without exception, they step down the sidewalk on the pavement, frequently take a few steps onto the road, definitely blocking cars and putting life and limb in peril? did you observe how drivers honk and horn their way in at top speed through every gap in traffic only to brake hard and wait at the intersection, where they try to beat the lights, transgress into the line of crossing cars and cause a deeper mess?

i previously wrote that the mental faculties of an average turkish driver is generally equal to that of a sperm, rushing in absolute fixation toward the womb and the ovum in competition with 70 million others. that compulsive mental state is the bane of traffic in turkey. however, as jean paul sartre argued once upon a time, one's outlook in life is an integral attitude, you cannot be a a tender, compassionate torturer but you can be a neat one. so, if you drive like a sperm, it probably means in all walks of your life, your intellective modus operandi is equally spermatazoic.

thus, i now know why and how individuals who otherwise possess paltry cerebral proficiency, whose intellectual attainment hardly reaches the dizzying heights of mediocrity, whose cognitive universe cannot extend beyond a fetishistic devotion to football and a football team, have ably conquered the molehills of economic progress since the inception of özalism... a pathologically success(result) oriented single-mindedness, hinged on a totally iniquitous veneration of money and material gain that completely disregards the means and method over the end, has swept the ethos of society down the drain to the gutters of pragmatic opportunism.

then dawned the dark ages of conservatism...

once the normative structures of living together, which are usually the yield of decades, even centuries of urban praxes are destroyed by avid hordes, typically of parochial backgrounds, who cannot adapt to cosmopolitan urbanity, the commonest rubric ascends to become the canon of society. naturally, that most basic rubric is heavily perfumed with religious dogma; which by definition, is deficit to regulate the transactions of a modern society.

hence, the pervading, ubiquitous, pernacious, venal anomie that plagues the third and a half world.

i heretofore absolve and acquit the laz for all their social sins...

(1) in turkey, proportional to income, they are even more expensive.
(2) in turkey, where dollar billionaires abound but few major companies get into the higher ranks of the fortune 500 list, economic élites, too, have a sub-mediocre standing by universal standards. so, owning a car/vehicle is a realistic socio economic status indicator within its particular community - frame.
(3) my definition of turk is rather generic and covers the north-western demography of the byzantine - ottoman empire, which, for me, one and the same historio-psychological entity. it includes ethnic turks, greeks (of hellas as well), armenians, kurds, the laz (then again, laz comprises all but markedly all eastern black sea people and very significantly, the cretans) and assorted apocrypha; some albanians, bulgarians, macedonians, bosnians etc... by contrast, the azarbaijani are excluded by reason of a separate mentality.
(4) a true laz is the member of a historic clan of indeterminate origin from the mountains of eastern black sea, speaking an old dialect that sounds like a mixture of turkish, greek and armenian. by reference, the people of the eastern black sea region are often called laz. they are attributed a special mentality, humor and character that has inspired at least 40 percent of jokes in turkish. they resemble those the french tell about the belgians.
(5) temel is literally, foundation; actually, a greek word, themelion, of the same meaning. it is also one of the most common - if not the commonest - name among males of black sea extraction.

No comments: