“The Trilateral Commission, in 1993, adopted a new protocol stating that ‘due to the lowering intelligence of the average American, and the poor genetic pool, ALL American presidents will now be selected OUTSIDE of the United States.’ Obama from Kenya. McCain-(their original choice) from Panama.
But- and here is the scoop to end all scoops. Sarah Palin was NOT.. repeat NOT.. born in the USA as she has repeatedly claimed. Her real name is Sarah but her last name is Pa-Ling. She was smuggled into Alaska on a Japanese whaling vessel in 1970. You may think this is a joke.. but here is the proof. “
Everybody knows, “You Betcha” in Chinese (Yo Bet choo Wa) means “I destroy Capitalist America with nonsense salad made of words.”
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Not to be outdone by all the “Birther” silliness, we thought we would add this bit of evidence. We can’t decide whether this photo is the smoking gun (baby in this case) or a very clever hoax. (ok. A little clever) We let you be the judge.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I didn't fit in there. I knew it. The owners of the distributing company knew it, all the other workers knew it and in the end, I became proud of that fact. I had promised my big shot brother, who had- in his own words- "pulled a lot of strings" and "called in a lot of favors" to get me this job, that I would work there for at least a year. The only person I could relate to at that place was George and all the other workers only pretended to like him. All in all, it was a dirty exhausting job with lots of heavy-lifting and absolutely no possibility for promotion. And, despite this, it was still a rather tedious job.
So much for the background. Now comes the bit about Crypto-quotes. A simple substitution cipher is one in which each letter of the original text is replaced by a different letter, which altogether makes a quote by a famous person.
For example, Mark Twain's quote would be written:
RQK HUBSG YFQ TYFPQF HC DIH ID KUHT HTYB Y SCCP QLYADXQ.
These would appear every day in The Oklahoman, and, being impatient with crossword puzzles, I would wile away my free time, trying to figure them out. Later, one of my co-workers, Richard, had taken the time to instruct me carefully on the details for solving these puzzles. Common letters-patterns for both consonants and vowels, single-letter words, two-letter words. After awhile, I became quite good at it and within, say, 5 minutes, I could usually work out the solution. (Now I couldn't complete one to save my life, for some reason.)
After about a month, I came up with a prank that I thought- at that time, anyway- was genius. My plan was to solve the puzzle first thing in the morning, before Richard had had a chance to look at the newspaper. And, then, I would drop the secret message (that is, the solved cipher) into the middle of a normal conversation, as if, it were some kind of sudden insight. Later, I imagined, he would begin to work on the problem and realize what I had done. If he had already solved the puzzle, then the joke would come off immediately. Ok. I admit, it isn't a knee-slapper by any stretch but it seemed clever at the time.
That particular day the secret message was: The beauty of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. Noble sentiments, to be sure, but I was not especially interested in any deeper meaning.
The front office, where customers were met and served, was to be the scene of my “escapade.” I was not officially welcome there and, staying past a 10- minute limit would provoke sharp remarks and spiteful looks by the overeager management. Kyle, the owner's younger brother, was the mildly incompetent service manager-or whatever they decided to call it- in charge, at least in theory of a crew of service representatives. In the crew, there was Matt, a kind of young but rather heavy person with a very narrow sense of humor. In fact, his view of everything was pretty narrow. Melvin, the only black guy there, who tended to push the limits because he understood his racial advantage. To put it more precisely, Melvin was completely aware that the company needed him slightly more than he needed the company. And finally there was steely Louisa with the short reddish hair that naturally spiked. Wallet and chain and the perennial cowboy boots.
I forget what the conversation was about; certainly it had nothing to do with beauty or friendship or understanding. Probably something work related or some off-duty exploit. I let them chat awhile and then I said, with an impressive air of astuteness. "You know something, the beauty of friendship. You know what I think? The beauty of friendship is to understand. And.. to be understood." There was this strange moment of hesitancy and blankness. This was something I hadn't counted on. I casually looked around. Matt squinted at me, trying not to look cock-eyed. I suppose he didn’t know how to respond. Louisa's eyebrows were knitted and stared at me in bewilderment. Rich was paying no attention at all and began reading an article in the paper. I decided, at that moment to make my exit. I waited and waited, but the plan fizzled. On this particular day, Richard had been called out of the office and had not had time to work on the crypto-quote. Hadn't had the time or inclination. And that was that. Well. actually, no.
Later that afternoon, Louisa came to the warehouse. "Say, um. What are you doing after work?" She asked me. This certainly took me aback. I was strictly an outsider, as far as the service department was concerned. They would openly discuss Sunday picnics and Saturday beer parties without even thinking about whether to ask me. I am sure, if in the unlikely possibility that I had been invited, I would have graciously declined. If I was an outsider, they belonged to a club I had no desire to be a member of. Still, for Louisa to make a special effort intrigued me.
"I was thinking about going out for a beer after work. Want to come along?"
I didn't really know much about Louisa. A few details about a troubled relationship with a drunken father. My first thought was, therefore, that she needed somebody to talk with, somebody that had a certain amount of perspective and distance.
So after work, she drove us across town in her monstrous 4 by 4 to a little hole-in-wall bar named something like "Pearls." Small reflective windows, discreet signage, a wraparound gravel parking lot. Flat roofed and a minimum of exterior decoration. I must have driven past this place a hundred times but, instinctively, I sensed it was not my kind of place.
Going from the hard Oklahoma sun to the cavernous dimness of the bar felt like somebody had thrown a burlap bag over my head. As my eyesight returned, I noticed that every other person in the bar was a woman. Women dancing with women and rough looking women with arms around cheerleader types. Frowning women behind the bar looking at me skeptically. Louisa was a regular and made sure to introduce me to her friends there. "A man I work with." Then, it dawned on me, that Louisa had heard me chirp my little quote about friendship and concluded that I was passing on some kind of "secret handshake."
A few of the women feigned hospitality and half-hearted introductions were made. Louisa got caught up in the bar social circles while I tried not to become a victim of some ass-whooping by an angry lesbian out settle some scores on my chin. As I downed the last of my beer and, with a jaunty smile, made my way to the door, I realized that, once again, the joke was on me. At least here, at Pearls, I didn’t have to try to fit in.
Friday, July 24, 2009
One of my guilty pleasures has always been Zeki Muren. The first time I stumbled upon his image on a cassette cover, my reaction was,"Who is that... woman?" By then, Muren was well past the definition of "over the top" and working into peculiar.
Muren was given the freedom to live and perform as he wished because he was recognized as a cultural asset and a contribution to the appreciation of classical Turkish music. I was impressed by how easily Zeki Muren was accepted by Turkish audiences despite the fact that his appearance was extremely feminine, especially in the second half of his long career. He was the cultural equivalent to Liberace except with a lot more talent.
Imagine sitting in a nearly empty diner in a backwoods Turkish town and watching with a few bored middle-aged waiters what I mistook to be a masculine lesbian. By that time, he was into the frosted and elegantly arranged hair, pink sparkling tops, rings as large as ice cubes. It was a bit too easy to make a hasty judgment and write him off as just another cultural oddity that foreigners, from time to time, have to accept when they live abroad.
Still, the waiters didn't look like all that disturbed by this singer's appearance. In a nation that prides itself on his macho image, here was a performer who had found his niche as far on the opposite side of male bravado as possible and yet there was none of the shocked revulsion that one might have expected. One point for Turks- they seemed better able to separate the artist from the Art.
Zeki Muren was born in Bursa Turkey, on 6th December 1933. He began his career by performing in local summer theatre and in 1944, moved to the big city of Istanbul with his father's support to pursue his dream of becoming a singer.
After completing his training at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, he recorded his first single in 1951 when he was a regular singer on Istanbul Radio. Its success began a forty-five-year professional career in which he composed more than one hundred songs and made more than two hundred recordings.
His first musical film “Beklenen Sarki” with Ms. Cahide Sonku the greatest female Turkish film star at the time received the success it deserved. Zeki Muren made 18 consecutive films with all great success.
If you have never seen a Zeki Muren film, you really ought to hunt one down, especially one of his black and white ones. Playing the romantic lead was no doubt problematic and for the most part, he tended towards playing shy and yearning types that loved the female lead from afar. The technical quality of his films are, for the most part, impressive but the storyline can take some striking and outrageous turns. One time I watched a film, which plodded along from song to song but then ended with a wild chase in which Muren tries to kill himself by running into an oncoming train while he is being chased on the railroad by a bride in full wedding gear!! anybody know this film? I would love to see it again.
Muren's stage performances were novel and extravagant by any standard and Muren was one of the first to use a catwalk stage in order to mingle with his audiences. In fact, it was this dialogue with his audiences, his manner of interacting and his diction and pronunciation of the Turkish language that probably best explains his appeal.
Between his films, Zeki Muren appeared in daytime matinées for women only.
"Only women come to listen to singers, and they bring their food and tea with them, like a picnic. They eat together, they dance together, they laugh together, they cry together."T.H., a graduate student at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, explains,
"Zeki was very popular at these matinées and made many jokes about the fights between mothers and daughters-in-law. My mother has told me that not one single seat could be found, and at some matinées, there was standing room only."By the time I arrived in Turkey, Muren was fighting accumulating health problems. He tended to lead a solitary life in Bodrum and appeared only rarely in public. Perhaps it was vanity and perhaps, he wisely chose to be remembered his past performances and his previous film and television appearances.
His failing health in the last five years of his life lead him to write many songs about death and dying. Muren died of a heart attack following a live performance on stage in Izmir for TRT television on September 24, 1996. His death caused the greatest public grief in years and thousands of Turks attended his funeral. T. H. observes,
"For those who felt sadness over Zeki’s death, there was still comfort in playing his music on records and videos. Zeki was unique, without precedent—an original. "
By the way, as a commenter has pointed out, I was remiss in not including the link to the entire interview cited in the text above. The interview from which quotes were taken was conducted by the late Mr. Sean Killeen whose colorful life and contributions are noted in the links below. I encourage all readers to look at the links below.
The interview in full. http://www.pcasacas.org/SPC/spcissues/22.3/killeen.html
A dedication to Sean Killeen: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/babbles/2009/03/25/the-passion-of-rpcv-sean-killeen/comment-page-1/
Sean Killeen’s obituary -Feb. 8, 2003 http://www.nyfolklore.org/pubs/voic29-1-2/obit.html
Thursday, July 23, 2009
No matter what time of day or night, when you turn on Turkish television you are quite likely to be in the middle of Kadir Inanir film. This is no surprise since this actor starred in 182 films ( as well as 7 television series. Obviously, despite having to work with some poor material throughout his career, this is an actor that enjoys his profession.
Probably one of his best films, Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim, (The Girl with the Red Scarf) based on the novel, "Yol Arkadasi," by Chingiz Aitmatov, won the Golden Orange award for best director and won second place for best film in 1978. Not a masterpiece, to be sure, but certainly above average in terms of acting and storyline. Inanir, in this film, stars with another famous Turkish actor, Turkan Soray.
When a passing trucker sees a girl wearing a red scarf and falls in love with her, he names his truck after her. Later he marries her. In so doing, he rescues her from poverty. He loses his driving job because of an illegal act of kindness and is forced to become a mechanic. His despair having driven him to drink, the woman finds living with him unbearable, and he turns to another for comfort. She herself leaves home and meets a gentle man whom she comes to care for. Later, she is confronted by a choice between her husband and the new man. She leaves the decision up to her son, and he chooses the best possible man to be his father. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide
His classic good looks have allowed him to make the sometimes difficult transition from early romantic leads to character actor today. For your contributions to Turkish cinema, Kadir Inanir, we salute you.
Below is a short clip from one of his films, which can give you a general idea of his appeal and charisma.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
When I picked up this campy gem, I really had no idea who this woman was. Seda Sayan. This must have been very early in her long career. ( Early 80s?) Besides the awkward pose in the mirror (making her look like a pair of Siamese twins that have not been seperated yet) my ever-watchful eye was attracted to the futuristic/phallic stand, the Charlie’s Angel hairstyle and the furry carpet. Why, it could be Graceland!
Information from Wikipedia:
She was born in 1961 Istanbul, Turkey. She started her career as an actress. She starred in several movies when she was young, the most famous one was called "Imparator" in which she was Kadir İnanır's love interest. She also starred in some TV series, such as: "Sırtımdan Vuruldum" (1997), "Evimiz Olacak mı?" (1999), "Hastayım Doktor" (2002).
She also performed in the comedy, "Hababam Sınıfı 3,5" in 2006, which received poor reviews. Now she hosts a very popular talk show on Channel D in Turkey, which is called "Sabahların Sultanı", the last part of this talk show had been shown under the "Sabah Sabah" title.
She has some musical albums as well. The most recent is titled "Bebeğim".
She is one of the richest celebrities in Turkey and won the best classical singer (female) in 1997. According to media-monitoring statistics developed by Ajans Press is the Turkish Media's "Entertainer of the Year", with a record count of 4,307 major media-mentions from January through June 2006.
As I mentioned before, I used to collect Turkish postcards. In some of the small towns and out of the way places, you are likely to find all sorts of items like this. I imagine that this postcard served a specific purpose – a soldier to his girlfriend back home. Despite the skirt being a tad too high, and the woman practically smirking at the earnest serviceman, I found this postcard both odd and yet touching.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Scientists tell us that moons like ours are fairly uncommon in the universe, occurring, at most, in only five to ten percent of the planetary systems. The Earth is unique amongst the terrestrial planets in having a large satellite, the Moon, which, relative to the Earth, has the largest mass of any satellite - parent system. George Rieke, Ph.D., an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., says our moon is unique -- formed by a massive collision in space. "There was another planet about the size of Mars that was on a disastrous orbit across the Earth's orbit and so the Earth and this other planet ran into each other," he says. At the time of this collision, the Earth was still in the initial cooling stages, but following this crash, two distinct shapes formed from the molten debris.
When life began on Earth, the Moon was much closer-possibly only 20 to 30 thousands of kilometers away, and it would have looked extremely large in the sky, at least 20 to 10 times bigger. As a result of the Moon's close proximity, its tidal effects were much stronger. According to Richard Lathe, a molecular biologist at Pieta Research in Edinburgh, these tides could have helped drive the evolution of early DNA-like bio-molecules by regularly fluctuating the salinity levels. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4786-no-moon-no-life-on-earth-suggests-theory.html
The tides caused by the Moon, according to some biologists, may also have played a role in later evolution as well. The land affected by the ebb and flow may have been the only reasonable area for the emergence of the first terrestrial life forms Areas that were sometimes wet but not underwater may have allowed the transition from oceanic life. The regular rise and fall of sea level creates an unique environment in the Solar System, where life is exposed to both immersion in water and exposure to air in the space of a few hours.
The Moon, born at a crash scene, must surely have been essential for the development of intelligent life on this planet and possibly such intelligence is a very unique event in the Universe. (Does it fill you with fear or awe and reverence to consider that in the entire Universe, intelligent life on Earth, thanks to the Moon, might be unique?)
Finally men looked up at the Moon unavoidably and this has constantly spurred us on intellectually. There the Moon appeared, constantly taunting us for the answer to her riddle, through the ages challenging scientists to explain its face, sometime in shadow and sometime in glorious fullness.
For these reasons, but mostly because of your inspiring beauty on a summer night, we salute you, enchanting Selene.
Poem on God and The Moon
by Sukasah Syahdan
Before we ask if God exists
we should ask if man really
landed on the moon.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
One of my favorite stories from the New Testament is one known as “The Good Samaritan.” In my opinion the parable is commonly misinterpreted. Most people think of this story as a call to charity for those less fortunate and in this narrow sense, I suppose that is true. There's a lot more to it than just "doing good" and helping your fellow man in hard times.
Jesus often encountered skeptical audiences during his short ministry. There were many in the crowd that wanted to see this young rebel run afoul of the authorities, both the clerics and the Roman government.
And behold, a lawyer stood up and put him to the test, saying ,”Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you interpret it?” And the lawyer answered, “You should love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you should love your neighbor as you love yourself. And Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will have eternal life.” But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho and he feel among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half-dead. Now by chance, a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed to the other side. So, likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, crossed to the other side of the road. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound his wounds, pouring on oil and wine and then set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and he took care of him. And the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I return.’
Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell amongst the robbers?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy on the victim.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Samaritans were hated by the story's target audience, the Jews, to such a degree that the Lawyer did not mention them by name but as "The one who had mercy on him." The Samaritans in turn hated the Jews. The enmity was in essence religious: both groups accused each other of misinterpreting the Torah, of falsely considering themselves God's chosen people, and of conducting false worship, unacceptable to God. Thus the parable, as told originally, incorporated the current religious and ethnic tension to teach, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than burnt sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6).
Today the story is often recast in a more modern setting where the people are ones in equivalent social groups known to not interact comfortably Thus, cast appropriately, the parable regains its message to modern listeners: namely, that an individual of a social group they disapprove of can exhibit moral behavior that is superior to individuals of the groups they approve; it also means that not sharing the same faith is no excuse to behave poorly, as there is a universal moral law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Good_Samaritan
So the question is, who is my neighbor or, actually, to whom am I a neighbor? Acts of kindness and mercy are open to all humans and compassion does not belong to one faith or one people.