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Jan 8 2015

Your Freedom of Speech

Afraid. That is what I recall feeling on a fine summer night   in Oxford. We had just settled down with our pints outside the pub having a conversation about the situation in the Middle East, when the lady from the next table started butting in. She ignored me because of my nationality and asked my friends if they thought it was right that muslims should come to her country and blow people up. The lid blew off when I greeted someone in Turkish -my mother tongue. Even though I have always made a point of being loudly critical of nationalist sentiments back home, being yelled at by a stranger about speaking her  effing language in her effing country triggered a nasty feeling. It put me in my place. When the patrons and staff of the pub came to intervene she shrieked: “This man’s a radical! He’s talking radical stuff!” My blood rushed through my temples, pounding like a drum as I waited someone to respond: “Oh yeah? What did he say?” The thought of being tried with a charge of terrorism in a public trial outside a pub in Oxford terrified me. I am not ashamed to admit it.

Thankfully the tide of public opinion was on my side this time. At some other pub I might not have been so lucky. Last night as I read everyone who’s opinion I respect, who’s friendship I cherish, racing to stack the tallest tower of soap boxes, shouting on top of their lungs: “This is the darkest hour of democracy!” I tremble once again. What if I don’t condemn the attack louder than everyone else? What if I don’t apologise for Islam stooping lower on my knees than everyone else, like Charbonnier never did? Would my defiance be used to justify that imperialist war or this discriminating policy? I do not have the dignity nor the courage of white men. I would rather live.

As the language of standing erect against terrorists gushes out of a shaft and washes over me, I watch stupefied as commentators try to determine for whom to save the biggest synonyms of the word ‘coward’. Is it to be those spineless terrorists, who are terrified of freedom? Or these yellow bellied, lily livered pansies in the media who have surrendered to their demands by censoring the pictures in their own pages?

I come from a part of the world which is perhaps rightfully mocked for the tendency of it’s men to commit terrifying acts of martyrdom to prove their bravery. The promise, allegedly is that they will also get to impress a thousand virgins with their virility in the after life. Being familiar with the routine of blood thirsty men who have silenced everyone who disagree with them, unshaken in the belief that they are standing united against a common enemy, I can’t help but ask myself: What retribution will we wake up to? Will there be hell to pay? What will it be this time?


Mar 22 2014

A Gratuitously Extended Fecal Metaphor

Some point at the tender age of twenty one, he realised the only way to stay sane was to write. Gush his anger in ink, drown his fury in words. Shit got on his nerves then, as shit gets on his nerves now.

Some point at the tender age of twenty two, he met his childhood sweetheart’s husband. He clenched his fists, gritted his teeth and sucked it up, as the man talked about the bloody chinks and the fucking fags. He held back not from a fear of confrontation, not because of some misguided belief in diplomacy. But because his indignation would be interpreted as jealousy. Shit rubbed him the wrong way then, as shit rubs him the wrong way now.

Some point at the tender age of twenty three his father gave him a lecture about ‘being a man’. He sat through the sprays of saliva as he was told about a woman’s place, about the sanctity of the family and about respect. Shit pissed him off then, as shit pisses him off now.

Some point at the tender age of twenty four, he was ordered to pick up a gun and salute the flag. He dreamed of wiping his ass with the piece of rag and throwing it in their faces. He cleaned up his own shit then, as he cleans up his own shit now.


Mar 13 2014

The Official Countdown for the Collapse of Western Civilisation

I’m at the bar. There’s a man at bar. I look at the man at the bar. The man at the bar is having a smoke. I look at the man at the bar. The man at the bar looks at me.

I’m at the toilet at the bar. There is a queue for the toilet at the bar. The man from the bar is in the queue for the toilet at the bar.

I get talking to the man at the bar. The man at the bar is talking to me. The man at the bar is angry. The man at the bar is angry, with the state of the country. I ask the man at the bar, why he is angry. I ask the man at the bar, why he is angry with the state of the country.

He does not reply.


Mar 6 2014

One Fine Sunday Afternoon

We strolled past the ice cream vendors, the selfie takers, the shit cake bakers, the lobster enthusiasts. You tugged my sleeve and pointed at some kind of art. I did not understand the work, much less enjoyed it.

A man on a tricycle called us out by shouting: “Can analysis be worthwhile?” We responded “Is the theatre really dead?” He was a classmate of yours from school. Adamantly, he revealed to us his new political treatise. As he hit the pedals of his trusty steed – “I call it ‘Triceratops’ coz it’s a horny vegan like me, dig it?”- he turned to me and said:

“Your English is really good!”

You and I… well you and I, we exchanged mischievous glances, buttoning our lips too keep the laughter in. I looked for authorisation, you blinked approvingly as if to say: “do your worst.” Feigning pampered embarrassment wasn’t difficult, since my eyes were already on my shoes.

“Thanks” I said, “So is yours.”

He paddled off, confused, out-weirded.


Feb 20 2014

Dünyada İnsanin Başına Gelebilecek en Kotu 2 Sey

Tabi ki herkesin hayatı boyunca kesinlikle yaşamak istemeyeceği deneyimler vardır. Ölmeden önce görmeniz gereken 15 manzara, yaz tatili için gitmeniz gereken en şahane 28 sahil den sonra, işte karşınızda: Dünyada insanın başına gelebilecek en kötü 2 şey.

1.) Isminin ‘Yorgo’ olmasi.

2.) Babasının kim olduğunu bilmemesi.


Feb 16 2014

Uses and Applications of Nitrogen Gas and Liquid Nitrogen in Industry

“Even boring sex is better than no sex at all.” She announced; swelling with pride,  jutting her chin in defiance, as if she was smashing a taboo in the presence of queen Victoria herself.

He was confused. He failed to see how what they have just done should  compare favourably to anything else that is boring. Like that documentary that was on last night, or that module he took back in university: “Classical Political Thought.”

They found themselves in the kitchen with a glass of water each. Gulping down their hangover remedies of choice. He, Cataflam. She, Ibuprofen.

“I really have a lot of work to do today…”

She said, averting her eyes.

There was a moment of awkward silence, their glances landed on the open magazine lying on the kitchen table. It featured an attractive heterosexual couple. The man sporting a five o’ clock shadow, his eyes closed and nose buried in his lover’s neck, lips reaching for a passionate embrace.  She, her eyes flaming with desire, yet not neglecting to look straight at the camera.

“JALOUSIE- Be Impossible to Forget”.

She took another sip of water, tapped the page the commercial was on and declared:

“They are going for a demographic of 27 to 35 sexually active singles.”

“Right.” he responded, too tired to feign interest. “I best get going then.”


Dec 17 2013

East, West and Tampons

We have come to see Orientalism as an anchored mechanism, that manufactures ’subject’ and ‘object’ labels along very distinct criteria. Edward Said’s (Said ) celebrated exposee of Orientalist writing reveals a unified discursive practice. Allegiance to the colonial cause and an inclination to register observations in a light that is favourable to it is the primary identifier. Said condemns Orientalist discourse for it’s failure to account for the variety of experience that comprises the Orient, and for relying on facile generalisations. However his analysis falls into a fundamental episteomological pitfall. His entire project of creating a knowledge and discourse over Orientalists, results in the repetition of the sort of generalisations Orientalists themselves have relied on when observing and re-creating the Orient. In a sense then it could be said that Said objectifies the Orientalists, much like Orientalists objectify the Orient.

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Nov 26 2013

Once

I have told you a hundred times,
how your love inspires,
how your trust transpires the truth
and how I aspire
to be,
like you

You have told me a thousand times,
about your troubles with your mother
the quarrels with your last lover
just when I thought your problems are over
they started all over.

And like a rock I tried to stand
Because I was taught, that’s what it means to ‘be a man’
So we played the last card in our hand

Until we had no more rhymes left.


Sep 22 2013

Richard from the Pub

Richard slammed his fist on the bar, and loudly declared to his excited audience:
I’ll tell you annova fing, mate!
The barman nodded at him with tired eyes, without distracting himself from his work.

I bet…

He said, and paused for effect. His blood flushed veins bulging in shades of purple and crimson.
I bet there are more nobel winners who drink at the Crown and Anchor, than all those fucking Muslims put together!

“Sure, mate”
The barman said

Just then, Jez brayed from his corner on the armchair at the end of the bar.
“You talking about Mexicans? I bloody hate Mexicans!”

Fuck off, Jez!
Richard shouted back.
“Bloody Mexicans. Feckless, flatulent, fucks.”


Sep 14 2013

51st Shade of Grey

She flicked the ashes of her cigarette. Blew the smoke down her bare breasts, and said:

“Perhaps, we could think of ‘us’ as, passing ships in the night.”

He shook his head. He had no idea what she just said, nor did he care.

Whose toothbrush did I use just then? Was it hers?

It didn’t matter. That would not even make it to the top 100 of the dirtiest things they have done. He leaned over to her ear and whispered:

This song is perfect!

She gently lifted her warm butt-cheek and released a strange perfume into the balmy night from her silky buttocks, accompanied by a fanfare of trombones played by a thousand angels.

Yes! I knew something was missing!