The mind is like a parachute. If it doesn't open, you're meat.

The amazing, sweet irony of coincidence

08 Mar 2007

I stumbled upon this Register article about the banning of YouTube in Turkey. It became very quickly painfully obvious that some brain dead ultra nationalist idiot in my backward little country figured out how to use a computer and a webcam and managed to upload an insulting video about Kemal Ataturk.

Now, one thing to know about Ataturk: He is modern Turkey’s greatest hero. The man who singlehandedly changed the Ottoman empire into the modern secular Turkey, with all it’s problems (army interventionism controlling the islamist element resulting in a brutal police state and others) but also all it’s pluses (although what-ifs about the fate of the Ottoman empire without Ataturk are too far fetched).

Now, Ataturk is a sensitive subject for nationalist greeks. See, he is the one responsible for the “loss” of the greek Asia Minor lands and population. He was the leader that beat the arrogant and reckless greek leadership, chased them back to their ships and kickstarted a wave of refugees that swamped Greece. In short words: He beat us[1].

So it is without surprise that the video started a whole flood of flameposts and answers, the vast majority just a spew of direct bare-fanged accusation of homosexuality, incest to various degrees, dubious parentage and perverted sexual habits. From both sides.

I followed a few, mostly trying to piece together the original insult (since it was done in turkish) and I only managed to get sick. The amount of barefaced, ignorant hatred just makes my stomach churn.

So I turned away from my browser, started iTunes and clicked on play. I have it on shuffle, so what comes up is random and oh!, I sometimes think computers do think independently: “Senden, benden, bizden”, a wonderful ska version of “Perhaps”, by Athena started playing.

Just a small reminder that it’s not all hate. A bit of music that crossed the borders to give us common ground.

So yes, even my computer knows better than all of you brain dead nationalist idiots out there. Keep on living in fear.

[1] This is of course a gross oversimplification of history that ignores the geopolitical situation in the wake of the ottoman empire’s demise. There are several tomes of historical data about the balance of power in the region and they involve almost all of the big european powers (the British Empire, the French - as empire and as democracy -, the Prussians and then Germans, the Russians and later the Soviet Union) together with the Balkan nations-in-forming in exactly the situation that resulted in the term “balkanized”.

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