December 09, 2011

from memory lane to the highway of bigotry

My last post was about a memory of mine, and speaking of memories reminded me this stupid news story of ignorance and complete bigotry:

Mina Ungan
There is a book titled "The Memoirs of a Dinosaur" written by Mina Ungan which became a bestseller in Turkey when it was first published in 1998. I remember that the book was around at the time but I don't particularly remember reading it, maybe because I really didn't read it or maybe I couldn't find anything interesting for me. But that's not the point.

The book is actually a autobiography, a book of memoirs, in which Prof. Mina Ungan defines herself as a dinasaur not only because of her old age but also her dedication to communism.

And, a teacher in a high school in Ankara advises this particular book to her students as a very good example of a memoir. However, the school administration decides that this book (which is not in the cirriculum) is not appropriate for the students. They think that this book promotes infidelity, drinking, smoking and bad moral values. So the administration asks for an investigation of the teacher.

An inspector comes.

In defense of her advice, the teacher says that this book is one of the best examples of a memoir in Turkish language because it doesn't only portray the life of the professor but also gives us insights about many important figures of her era.

It turns out that, this man whose job is supposedly to investigate the whole matter in an objective manner had already given his verdict maybe even before he had arrived to the school. And he forces the students to sign a report which blames the teacher for her inconvenient suggestions for the school.

One of the students tries to defend his teacher, saying that this is not the only book she advised. The kid says that the teacher wanted to acknowledge her students about some important books they should know about, and her list also includes the works of Anton Chekhov.

"Do you mean that terrorist whose picture is all over the t-shirts," asks the inspector. And now it is the kid's duty to teach the inspector about Che and Checkov.

"Whatever," says the inspector. "None of them are from our religion and you shouldn't be reading them anyway."  To be fair, these are not his exact words but my interpretation, but you can bet they reflect his exact words.

Thanks God, there are still some parents who refuse to take the highway to the bigotry, so they file the so called inspector for misuse of his office.

You can find the entire story here, in Turkish.

December 06, 2011

the fury by Brian De Palma

In a post I wrote some time ago, I mentioned about the new Tron movie and how it made me connect to my childhood.

The same thing happened with the movie The Fury, directed by Brian De Palma. I can always trust a De Palma movie, and this one from the year 1978 did nor fail me: It is indeed a great movie.

Brian De Palma
But the thing I loved about it was more than a great movie experience. You see,  I had watched this film very long years ago, when I was not older than 10 years of age. I saw it in a movie theater, I watched it with subtitles, and even though i can't visualize it, i know that my aunt took me to the theater. Well, if it is really the case, then she must have been forced to take me because she met with her boyfriend. :)

Some time ago, my wife and I watched the movie Snake Eyes which was another treat from De Palma. After seeing it, we checked the IMDB site to check his other movies because I told my wife that I didn't remember a bad movie from this director and we could watch all of his movies. So we looked up the movies he made, and all of a sudden... BAMM...  I saw "The Fury" in the list. And I just knew that it was that great movie I had watched when I was a little kid.

It took some time to get the movie, but recently we had a chance to watch it. My wife loved it as a first timer, and I loved it too because I didn't remember most of it, and it again reminded me of my childhood.

My post involves spoilers after on, so don't read it if you think it will spoil your possible future experience.

I actually remmebered three scenes and a semi-notion about the movie. As the scenes turned out to be correct, I really loved it how it connected it with my childhood.

The first scene was the train-test scene where they put an experimental head gear to the girl to see if she can move a train with her brain waves. And of course she did. And while doing it, she saw some brutal visions. I remembered that scene. Only that, it was far less gore than I remembered. But I was only ten or even smaller at the time, and the notion "gore" was probably much different than how we see it today, so that makes sense.

The second scene was in a amusement park when the boy killed some Arabs. Even though the scene was not exactly how I remembered it, it was there already.

And in the third scene, the girl scrubbed the wall with her hand exactly as the boy scrubbed the arm-chair he was sitting on because they had a psychic connection. I exactly remembered how the boy scrubbed the arm-chair. I actually didn't remember the scene she scrubbed the wall, but I knew she did it.

And as the scenes came, I had a physcic connection with my childhood, enyoyed them all in a very different way, far from the experience the movie itself provided.

The semi-notion I mentioned above turned out to be wrong. I thought the boy and the girl were siblings. Well, I am not sure if I made that up later, or misunderstood the movie back then - which is very likely, Or maybe it was translated wrong. Because you see, if it is not my imagination playing tricks on me (which I admit that it is very likely), I somehow remember people whispering "Oh, they are siblings." in the movie theater. And there is actually a scene where it says they're like twins, but not actually blood-related, so it could also be a case of wrong translation. 

And it was a good thing that I didn't remember anything else about the movie so I didn't know how things were going to resolve.

OK, thank you for putting up with my silly childhood memoirs. And if you want to see what it is about, this is the post I wrote about the new Tron movie.

November 28, 2011

do we need x-men to avoid another world war?

The movie 13 Days starring Kevin Costner was about the Cuban Crisis that took place in 1962, when. Americans found out that Soviets were about to plant nuclear missiles in Cuba. And of course, USA had no intention to allow such a risk so close to their mainland.

But it was somehow a minor detail in the movie that, USA had already planted nuclear weapons in Turkey, which is pretty much the very same thing Soviets were trying to do in Cuba. Yet, Turkey was merely mentioned in the movie as if the whole thing was something with no importance at all. Wait a minute, the whole thing had indeed no importance at all. You put nuclear weapons or you take them back depending on the on going political situation. What's Turkey got to do with such gravely political matters?

Anyway, it was a realistic drama about the Cuban political crisis. And when I say realistic, I don't of course mean that the movie was loyal to all the facts about the situation. No, such a thing is rather impossible because I don't think there is a way to know all the facts about it. However, it was realistic in the sense that the event and the characters who took place in it were portrayed in their natural phyiscal features.  I mean, there weren't any flying men around, for example.

But it is too much to expect historical and political accuracy from a movie. After all, a movie is a way to tell a story, and there are zillion ways to tell the very same story. Think about it, it would have been a completely differet movie if it had been made by the Soviets. Of course, there weren't any Soviets in the year 2000 : )
The way I see it, when it comes to historical and political accuracy, the movie 13 Days is not any different than any other movie with the same plot even if there are super heores in it. Oh well, there is a movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis with super heroes in it: X-Men First Class. In this movie, the entire crisis turns out to be a conspiracy designed by a super villain, and X-Men save the day, even before they were oficially called X-Men.

Turkey is again mentioned in this latter movie, but she is still just a pawn in the league of big players.

So OK, it was either the common-sense of the politicians or the X-Men, a nuclear war was avoided that time. My question is, will the world be able to avoid such a crisis one more time, or are we just heading full speed to another World War. While I sincerely wish that we can avoid it one more time, I am rather pessimistic about it.

I recently read a book called "Huzur" (Peace, in English) from Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, a great Turkish novelist. The book was first published in 1942, and it is a shame on my part that it took so long for me to discover such a great writer. Any way, very interestingly, the characters in his book had some very interesting thoughts about the upcoming war - which was WWII for them, of course.

So in a friendly chat about the upcoming war, one of the characters says that: "A war can be avoided if it is a political one. But there is no way to avoid it if the world is shifting to another state." When you think about it, the Cuban Crisis was indeed a political one with no intention to shift the world's political state. However, today, the world is changing and there is a war coming with the clear intent to re-shape the world. 

I have a very little hope that a catastrophe will be avoided, simply because another character in the same novel says that "And now we expect that, those people who caused this crisis will suddenly change their minds and come to reason." Of course, he wrote that in a marvelous way, very hard for me to translate literally.

November 21, 2011

war clouds over Syria

I don't think it is any news to anybody that USA used Islam as a tool to achieve her goals. The notorious Al-Qaeda is nothing but a by product of the US policy against the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan - only if you can call the supporting troops of an allied country back then as an invaison army.

I don't suggest that USA has a secret agenda spesifically about Islam. It is only that, Islam happens to be the major motor for the societies in the region, that's why they used it and that's why they're still trying to use it. It it were Hinduism which was dominant in the region, today we could be talking about radical Hinduism.

After seeing how things can get out of control and the sufferings can reach to your own homeland even if it somehow seems far enough to feel secure, you may think that USA has learnt her lesson and abondened the policy of messing with the nature of societies. Nope, you would be wrong if you assumed that. However, USA did indeed learnt her lesson and now she has another tool to play with.

Enter moderate Islam

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Companions did a marvelous job of representing themselves as the saviours of the real democracy in Turkey. It was nothing but a marvelous PR campaign and I see examples every single day which proves my belief that neither Tayyip Erdogan nor incumbent AK Party is capable of understanding what real democracy is. It is quite evident that the only more freedom they want is more freedom for Islam to the extent that it changes the entire fabric of the nation and the republic.

Let me digress a little, to give you one little example and tell you what is going on in Turkey nowadays. Right at this moment I am writing these lines, there is twitter campaign to ban a site, namely ekşi sozluk which is a wiki with tens of thousands of users, because they insulted Islam, Allah and the prophet Mohammed. It is interesting to see that the prominent names who iniated this rage against the wiki are from Taraf daily, a newspaper which self-claims to be the champion of democracy in Turkey. And suddenly, we started to see tweets coming from these very democrats demoning the entire site and want it to be banned. And when it comes to insulting Islam, who can dare to stand the opposite?

Now back to main subject I was planning to write about.

With AK Party coming to power, we started to hear more and more western leaders praising the value of moderate Islam and the role of Turkey to lead the region as a model for perfect moderate Islamic country. But wait a minute! Is Turkey a moderate Islamic country? Last time I checked, she was still a secular country, but everyone seemed to ignore the warnigs about the true nature of the republic and kept mentioning Turkey as a role model for a moderate political Islam. And those people who tried to say that this was the exact concept the entire Turkish Republic had been built against, are labeled as anti-democratic racist ultra-nationalist Kemalists, and some of the most stubborn names of this notion are in jail now, leaving the entire political arena to so called democracy champions who are so eager to ban a web site because they claim that it insulted the believers.

Note that I still don't know what is written in that site which caused such a  harsh reaction, and as a matter of fact I don't even care. What I know is, my faith is stronger than some people who insulted it - only if there is really an insult, and I don't need anyone asking to ban it to protect my faith. 

I wish it was all about a twitter rage against a web site. But I am afraid things are much worse than that.

Now, please let me remind you that our Recep Tayyip Erdogan fought so hard against the obvious will of his county to allow US troops enter Iraq through Turkish lands, right before the occupation. I still think that not allowing the troops was one of the most dignified actions in the history of Turkish Republic, especially after it turned out that every excuse for the war was a lie. Well, that was a time when RTE had just seized the power so his efforts to pass the bill failed because almost everybody was against it, but after 9 years in power, I am pretty sure he can pass any bill he wishes to pass today.

And what is the most important, most dangerous agenda in Turkey today? Syria, of course. All of a sudden, Prime Minister Erdogan and his co. realized how an awful dictator the leader of Syria is. And since Turkey is a moderate Islamic country with the perfect democratic records, RTE keeps talking about intervening Syria if the current regime doens't stop the violence against her citizens. And as Hillary Clinton once said:
Turkey should strengthen its democracy at home, and promote peace and stability in its region so that it could realize its full potential.
Right. And, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Mark Toner said that Turkey had become an increasingly vocal opponent to what was going on in Syria and an increasingly powerful voice among the international community in calling for Bashar al-Assad to end the violence and to allow for a democratic transition to take place.

Turkey is about the engage a war against Syria for a very wrong cause - as if there is such a thing as right cause for a war. But you see, today we all know that all the Arab springs are false alarms and there is no hope for a real democracy in any of the countries which uprised against their dictator leaders. It is completely another matter if they were right to uprise or not, but it is quite evident today that the result has nothing to do with the initial intentions of a better living - yet again, if there were any. But what really bothers me is all that praising Turkey receives for all those war-mongerings as if all this stage play really intends to bring democracy and human rights to Syria. Nope, it will simply bring misery just like all other wars in the entire human history brought.

Note: I think I should also note that I don't see all of the events going on as an American conspiracy theory. First of all, USA or any other western power doesn't have the power to create something which is already not there. I fully understand that the lack of true democracy and the increasing tendency to become a more religion-driven country is the problem of Turkey herself and this is what we have to deal with ourselves. However, you can't deny the power of western powers which are the absolute masters at manipulating nations with every every tool they realize that they an toy around. Secondly, looking at things more globally, I think USA pretty much shares the same role with Turkey: just a pawn. I don't belive in the conspiracy theories of a room full of evil men who actually rules the world, but there doesn't reeally need to be. In every phase of time, policies are always determined by people who has the power, and today, the power is money, and there are sources which have more money than any country can possibly have.

September 30, 2011

(un)finished art projects tend to drive me mad

I remember reading an article about the piece of a famaous artist. The man who bought the picture calls the artist to make sure if a certain spot on the canvas is a mistake or something delibarate. So the famaous artist comes and checks his work, says that it must be a glitch, and corrects his painting right away.

So in a way, the article says, a picture is a never concluded art form and the artist may change it anytime.

I think differently. Even if it is a never-intended glitch, it is a part of the art piece and it should not be corrected. That's how it was created in the first place. I know that an artist would like to reach perfection rather than seeing a glitch on his work, but if it is done, then it is done.

The same thing should go for all other art forms, whether it is a piece of literature, or a movie, if you consider the latter as an artist form.

Whether art or not, if a movie is finished and released, it should be condisered concluded and not altered any more. So, you see, I really love the Star Wars series, but I hate to see George Lucas enchanting changing the picture over and over, adding and removing things, etc. And he does that even for the films of the series which he didn't direct himself. If it is done, then it is done. I watched and loved the films in the 80s and I prefer to see them in the way I loved them when I was a kid.

And there is this Turkish movie which I prefer not to mention the name because it is directly related to my job. But you see, there are 4 different versions of the very same movie that I am aware of. The movie was a huge success in the domestic market in Turkey, and the director keeps sending it to various festivals with various versions.  I think this is kind of cheating. And it should probably be banned.

September 26, 2011

learning from our experiences and adapting

We learn and we adapt. And that's how we survive. Or at least, this is how we tend to perceive ourselves.

But this might be a wrong perception at all, especially if we learn the wrong things in the first place. Sometimes we learn not to adapt. There are a lot of people out there who refuses to adapt without even thinking what they are actually opposing. Obviously, this is not a wise way to live. Unfortunately, the opposite of something wrong is usually equally wrong, so some people learn to adapt everything around them, which is not wise either.

Most of the cases, the human race is unable to see where we are heading. And to worsen things, those people who can actually foresee the coming events - not necessarily because they stuided the art of fortune telling, but because they have a clear understanding of what is actually happening - don't have a voice strong enough to make other people listen.

Because, we all learn ourselves, mostly from our experiences and really very few of us can truly analyze the past to derive lessons - even if they can truly access the information about past events. Past experiences of our forefathers don't really mean much to new generations, and their stories tend to be seen as some sort of past time actitivity. So we repeat and repeat and repeat the very same mistakes just to suffer the very same pains all over again and again.

I tend to find it really unfair that the salvation of our souls is an individual journey, especially when no one has the control of the conditions which we find ourselves in. Somehow it makes more sense to think that salvation is a communal achievement, and we either make it altogether or none at all. There is an Islamic thought that we are all a part of the same ocean, and when we die, our souls join to the ocean itself. So this ocean either goes to heaven or to hell, taking all of us to the same place. 

But the problem is, we can't realize that we are all connected to each other and to our past. We perceive the life around us as an individual adventure while in fact it is far from it.

Or at least it makes more sense to me when I try to explain life to myself. The funny thing about it, life doesn't really care if I can explain it to myself or not. Life is just life, and it goes on, no matter what it is essentially.

And I sometimes wonder if it would be a better world if we could somehow have a common experince pool, a pool of all the experinces of the human race -and even maybe beyond it - where we can actually access it. I am not talking about learning about the past through history books or anything of that sort,  but I am talking about perceiving the experiences of our ancestors as if it is a part of our own mind soul.

And when I think more about it, I think it is somehow better this way. Because even though the renewal of experiences has a risk of leading us to our own catasptrophy with each new generation, this renewal is also a blessing because it means we can forget. And if we can forget, then we can forgive, too, and perhaps it is better to start all over again with each new individual rather than passing all the grudges of the very long history. 

Turkish and Greek Conflict Over Cyprus Summerized In A One Minute Video

There is a very interesting scene at the beginning of the movie Pirates of Caribbeean - Dead Man's Chest.

The lead character Jack Sparrow - played by Johnny Depp - gets cursed and doomed to death by this mithological monster Kraken. Figuring that the monster will track his smell, he throws out his hat to the ocean, only to be found by two fishermen.

The very interesting thing about these fishermen is that one of them speaks Turkish and the other speaks Greek, both in the Cyprus accent. And they seem to understand each other even though they speak different languages. As far as I know, actually due to some information which is very easily found in the net, these two actors are coincidentally hired to play the scene and when they realize that one of them is from Turkish Cyprus and the other from Greek Cyprus, they suggest the director to play the scene in their own languages respectively.  And the director Gore Verbinski agrees.

So these fishermen find the hat, and fight over it because wearing it makes them feel like a real captain. And then...  well, watch and see yourself. Don't worry, it is only one minute.

September 02, 2011

casual discontent against the western world

My fellow blogger Ayak posted a video about mistreated dogs in a shelter in Turkey, and she got a lot of negative reaction. I think she didn't deserve them all.

It is up to you to decide whether the negative comments are just or not. You can read the first thread here.And then you can jump to this follow-up thread she opened because she had to lock the comments of the first one. But her post and especially the reaction she got reminded me about this topic I have been actually planning to write for a while.

The casual discontent against the western world in Turkey... 

There was definitely an increasing discontent against the western world in Turkey around the begining of this millennium, among the part of the society who are nowadays defined as the White Turks. This term is used to define the political elites who ruled this country and the people who supported them, who see themselves as the owner of the country, but lost power in the last 10 years. They prefer to see themselves as more educated, more open minded, more secular, and more of probably everything else. It is another matter if this statement reflects the truth or not, but personally, I think such a self-definition is far from the reality.

This discontent is largely different than the kind of grudge more conservative part of the society who has the power now has against the western world. The thing is, us White Turks started to feel that we are extremely abused by the western world, with all the unkept promises especially by the EU. And there is a common belief that both Europen countries and USA actively helped the PKK terrorists. We feel betrayed and we are angry. It is abslolutely another matter if the allegations are true or not. I am talking about the feelings here. 

On the other hand, the conservative society has a more rigid grudge against the western world based on some historical reasons such as the collapse of the Ottomans, along with the open credit USA has given to Israel against Palestine.

White Turks have already made peace with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, as the descendants of the people who were already sick of this ill body and looking forward to something entirely new, hopefully better. On the other hand, the conservatives still have fantasies about the mighty Ottomans.

So the discontent of us White Turks has a completely different fabric. But the fabric does not matter. It was pretty much clear that the path to unifying with the western world was obviously speeding to a wall.

For those who wonder what all these have to do anything with my fellow blogger Ayak's post, you can now read the negative comments in this perspective: "You migt be right but who the truck are you to tell me this as if you are perfect yourself."  Now, this is the kind of the discontent I am talking about.

And of course, the let's not forget the fact that she considers herself as a part of this country after being married to a Turkish man and living in Turkey for 13 years, and I thought this was the main principle in Turkey that we have been fighting for all the time: Everyone who considers himself/herself as a Turk is a Turk.

...and the rise of the incumbent AK Party.

Just at that time, Turkish political scene witnessed an unprecedented rise of a political figure: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is now the prime minister of Turkish Republic. 

Even though there were several video records of him saying all the things against the western world and democracy itself, he changed his political views almost overnight and became very democratic and very pro-western. 

Those people who dared to call him and his companians as pretenderds were rapidly labeled as ultra-nationalist Kemalist White Turks, trying to imply that we were something evil. There was an enormous PR campaing which AKP handled almost prefectly, both domestic and international, and suddenly they were the saviours of democracy in Turkey as opposed to archaic White Turks. 

I am not going to say something very stupid such as the" USA or the western world brought Erdoğan to power." No, this is too much even for the current superpower. But you know what, they really didn't have to. They just stopped backing the so-called White Turks and started to support Erdoğan who seemed to be a more promising ally for them. 

And this whole thing has some consequences, of course. 

August 25, 2011

knight rider kids

In the month of Holy Ramadan, it is more likely that you will hear an elder person whining about the good old days. A typical lecture starts with "You call this Ramadan? You should have seen it when I was a kid." And of course it is followed by the festival routine: "So you call this a Bayram? You should have seen it when I was a kid."

Well, the world inevitably changes so as the way we celebrate Ramadan and the festival following it. And as a matter of fact, resisting this change might have some tragic consequences as we saw a couple of years ago when some kids were lost and presumed dead while they were knocking the doors of the neighbors to ask for treat. It is OK if kids go and knock everydoor in a village or a town where everybody knows everybody, but it is very dangerous when kids insist doing this in a big city. Perhaps this is a very extreme example, but it happened and it was tragic.

In the classical way to celebrate a Ramadan festival, or Bayram as we say it in Turkish, or Eid as Arabs say it, families visit each other in an hierarchical order, and honestly, no one can convince me that it is better than taking the time for a holiday. But no matter how I think, the elder people will always talk about the good old days. Whether they convince me or not is another matter, naturally.

On the other hand, even though I hate to admit it, I am a middle aged man now, and I have my own memories of celebrating the Bayrams. Ask a senior and they will immediaty dislike it, but actually I remember those days with a good smile on my face. And when I think about it, it is actually not limited with the Bayrams. The world was a better place when I was a kid.

But the real question here is: "Was the world really a better place when I was a kid, or did I just enjoy it simply because I was a kid." I think the answer is the latter one.

I am actually the last generation who had a semi-decent childhood before the computers hacked our lives. We had computers and computer games, and we spent some extraordinary hours in front of our home computers, as they were used be called back then. But they were not the center of our lives and we actually had a chance to go out and play - not in the shadow of ugly concrete buildings but in the open. We were the Knight Rider Kids. That show was a legend when we were kids. They were great days.

But they were great becuase everything was an exciting adventure for us when we were kids. Try to show the best episode of the Knight Rider to a kid today and he will die either because of extreme boredom or laughter. But we loved it back then.

Does this mean those were better days? Well, they were of course better but not because we had the Knight Rider on our TV screens. They were better days because we were kids and we were ready to enjoy life as it was given to us. And I guess what elder people miss is not actually those old days and how they used to this and that, but their own childhood as we all do, as a matter of fact.

August 19, 2011

the boxing scenes in the movie Fighter

As I mentioned several times in this blog, the first thing i want to see in a movie is a good script. It doesn't have to be the greatest story ever but it has to have a good script written by a person who knows what he is doing.

Last night, my wife and I watched the movie Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. Actually, I translated the movie into Turkish when it was first released here, but of course the subtitles were not mine this time when we watched it.
The movie is about boxer Micky Ward and how he won the title. It is indeed a great story. Well now, real life stories tend to be trickier because the story is already there and you can't twist it to make more appaling. And I beleive this movie has a great script, focusing on the conflicts this Micky guy has, instead of making a pure boxing movie.

I particularly loved this film because there were really some very solid similarities between his life and mine especially when it comes to family ties. It struck me the first time I translated it, and it struck me again yesterday while I was watching it. And my wife too, shared the very same feeling with me.

So I checked some of the reviews this movie got, and saw that a lot of people disliked it because it didn't cover Ward's presumably the best boxing matches. Well, I am totally Greek to American boxing scene so I can't know about that, but I wonder: "Does it have to?"

I mean, first of all, this is not a Rocky movie. It is not about boxing entirely. It has boxing scenes alright, but boxing is not the focal point of the story. It is about a man who becomes a champion against all the odds. The guy wins the title and it ends. It doesn't necessarily show us how great this man fights even though there might be one or two missed opportunities there, because there is an incredible knockout which could have been handled glamorously.  Yet, you enjoy those scenes as they are.

From the script point of view, it would be rather far-fetched if it actually tried to cover all the great matches Ward had.  And the story would have get lost. As I told you, making a story out of real life experiences is indeed tricky and I am simply glad that the script doesn't fall into such traps. So I'm not sure if all those people who say that all those fights should have been included to the movie realize that it would have been a very bad movie if they had actually included all of that stuff.

And as a side note here, even though I enjoy Mark Wahlberg's acting in general, the star of this movie was actually Christian Bale, doing a great job while perfoming Ward's elder brother. You realize what a great job he had done when you watch a piece of original video of these people at the end of the film.

August 05, 2011

this cool thing called triberr

I once met an interesting guy in a new year party one of my friends threw last year. The guy claimed that in this new era of connections, you only need 5 links to connect to anyone in the world. Meaning that, you might be a complete stranger to me right now, but if we dig enough we will see that you are a friend of a friend of a firend of a firend of a friend, at worst. People were joking "Oh, you are a friend of Obama then."

Even though this theory can't obviously cover every indiviual in the world, at least not in 5 steps, i think it is a true statement in general. Sometimes I come up people with interesting opinions in linkedin, and when I check out who wrote it, I see that we are connected in 3rd degree with most of them. Of course, a sample from linkedin can definitely not represent the world itself, but ok, i think you get the idea.

Now, the real question is: how effective is it? Let's assume that I can indeed find a link with anyone in 5 steps. Does this mean anything? Whatever personal advantange that I migt be after, can such a loose chain provide me that? Not at all.

On the other hand, Dunbar's Number suggests that a person can maintain an effective and meaningful social relation with 150 people at most. Do you remember the movie The Devil Wears Prada? Miranda character, portrayed by Meryl Streep in the movie had to hire assistants to remind her who the people were who attended to her party. Because, she had to look like she knows every one of them while in fact she had no clue who the hell they were. She had far reached her 150.

This 150 people can be called a tribe. Your tribe.

Now, this guy called Dino Dogan and his associates have created this system triberr which helps you to build effective and meaningful tribes in twitter. I am not really sure why they chose the "tribe" notion other than anything else, but I have a feeling that we all listened to Seth Godin while he was talking about his social tribe theory.

If you have a blog or an online business, or anything online that you want to spread to people, twitter is really a good way to do it. Well now, the follower numbers in twitter can easily override the 150 limit, but we (should) all know that twitter is not about building social relations but about promoting your message whether it is a groundbreaking idea or just a detail in your life. There are a lot of people who love to tweet when they go rest room. I didn't go that far, but I frequently tweet about what I eat or drink...  Mostly coffee as a matter of fact.

Triberr is a cool way to multiply the number of people you reach through twitter. If you are not a celebrity and don't have several thousands of followers already, your reach will always be limited. That's why most users rely on the power of retweets. Basically, you tweet about something and hope that other people will retweet it so your message will be heard by a much bigger crowd. And triberr lets you build a tribe, a group of effective twitters who will promote each other's blog posts on a particular RSS feed. If you post to a blog, all your tribe members will tweet it so the number of people you reach will multiply. It is indeed a cool feature.

August 01, 2011

eastern promises

The movie Eastern Promises is actually about Russian mafia in London and it has very little to do with anything Turkish in it, but the opening scene has some Turkish dialogues so i thought i should talk about it in my "movies with something Turkish in it" category.

In fact, the only thing Turkish in this movie is the old guy and his nephew who speak Turkish, and later on, it turns out that they're Kurdish, not Turkish. And honestly, even that is not enough to explain the horrible accent they talk. And even though the Turkish dialogues are just a few, the old man manages to make the wrong choice of words. He tries to calm his nephew saying "Durgun." which is obvioulsy a wrong pick from the dictionary.

But don't bother, this Turkish/Kurdish touch is not really significant for the overall plot, and it wouldn't really matter if the guy was from anywhere else. As I told you, the film is actually Russian mafia, and it was quite an interesting film. 

I was too tired and it was indeed a very hot night yesterday, but my wife and I kept watching it until the end credits, and we would do that if there weren't anything Turkish in it. Yet, it is still nice to hear or see something local in a foreign movie.

July 20, 2011

to a liberal society through the reverse direction

In my previous post, i mentioned about my wish to live in a more liberal society. Perhaps I should reprhase it as "open minded society" because when I actually think about it, I am living in a liberal society eventhough it doesn't look so at the first sight.

This statement is particularly true for big cities who suffers from migration, but not villages, towns or even relatively small cities. But if you are living in a city as crowded and chaotic as Istanbul, you will amazed how liberal this city may be - yet again, not in the first sense you would think of. 

It is all based on the balance of power, or rather, lack of it. We are not really a open minded society, we just have to admit it,  and even those of us who seem like more open minded than the rest of us can hit to their walls much earlier than you might expect.  What's more, those walls don't usually confine the owner itself, and they attempt to confine other people too, when ever possible. However, nobody really has the power to achieve it.

Sultanbeyli, one of the most crowded
urban areas in Istanbul

This may not seem like a bad thing in the beginning. And for a lot of reasons, it is indeed better that people don't have enough power to intervene other people rather than they have it. Unfortunately though, this does not necessarily lead us to a more liberal society that I long for. Rather, it leads us to chaos.

I specified "big cities such as Istanbul" for a reason. These cities are suffering from a ruthless migration. Now hold on, I am not suddenly going to become the next fascist asshole who tries to get rid of aliens in hometown. Nope, that's not it. But you just have to see that these people are coming from villages or towns, or even smaller cities in which not-open-minded societes have an oppressing effect on them. And when they come to a big city where things already seem like chaotic, they get this impression that they are free to do everything they want because there will be nobody to stop them. And there will indeed be nobody to stop them. Because nobody wants to get into trouble, especially when they know that it might be extremely hard to get out of that trouble, if they can ever.  Because from an indiviual point of view, we are all powerless.

I am not saying that everybody suddenly becomes uncontrollable. But from a sociological point of view, only 5% of a society sharing a same pattern of habbits can easily dominate the rest, especially if the rest 95% prefers not to get involved. And you can bet that, we overreached that 5% barrier long  time ago.

So in a way, we are indeed a liberal society, because if you want to do anything, it is very unlikely that there will be anybody on your way. But is highly questionable if this is the right directon to achieve that liberalism.

July 13, 2011

what is the difference between cheating and pretending as if cheating?

My wife and I watched one of the old episodes of the tv show Californication, last night. And let me tell you this, the show takes the notion complicated to a far new level. The kind of life those people in the show are having is beyond my comphresension. And even though I prefer to define myself as a supporter of indiviual freedom, this show really makes me consider my thoughts on the issue. It pretty much seems like freedom may be extremely destructive if you are not equipped with the right tools which will make it useful.

To make things clear, let me assure you that i am not trying to put myself in a morally superior position. God knows what I would have been doing if I had been one of those characters. But let me assure you one more thing, even though i find myself wishing that i lived in a more liberal society, more than often, this kind of "lost in freedom life" is too much for me.

But I'm not going to discuss that today. There was something very intersesting in that episode we watched last night, which made me think: "what is the difference between cheating and pretending as if you cheated?"

There is this Hank character who is a total womanizer. And there is this Karen character who is his... err, i don't know, it is indeed complicated. They obviously love each other but they have an impossible relation because Hank is not a kind of a person of responsibilities. He is a good guy in nature, but he just doesn't care enough for anything. Or at least, this is how I see him.

So, last night, this Karen character told Hank that a particular third guy is a good kisser, implying that they made sex, or at least kissed passionetly. It was not true. They did not make sex, and they did not even kiss. The other guy tried to kiss her, thinking that he had a green light, but Karen stopped him. Their lips contacted for a few seconds, but it was not a legitimate kiss.

But Karen wanted Hank to think that they kissed. I can understand her reasons. She wants to make Hank jeolous. It is another matter if it is right to make sex with (or even kiss) another person to revenge or to make someone jeolous, but given the fact that she chose to do that, what is the point in not actualy cheating someone but pretending as if you did? I mean, this is not some kind of an unfortunate misunderstanding. She delibaretly choses to make him think in a particular way, even though she doesn't do it. She is obvioulsy not the kind of a person who would pursue her basic instincs, but she choses to make him belive that she is like that. And I don't get that --  lol, as if I get anything going on in that show.

July 01, 2011

ego master

What do people actually think when they hold a tooth pick in their mouth? Do they really think they look cool? Well, they obviously don't. They just look stupid. And it is funny that nobody has told them this bitter fact.

Actually, if you look around, you will see people doing things which they desperately hope that will make a cool impression. You can even say that this is one of the basic instincts the world spins around. Everybody wants to impress everybody, and everybody has a different way to do it. Some of these methods work, some of them don't work, and some of them cause just the opposite of the desired effect.

Like the family breakfast we had about a month ago. One of my nephews said he was finally allowed to plug his computer because the school season was over. At this point, I agree with his parents: a pc may be nothing but a distraction when it comes to studying. And making a research for the homework might be nothing but a bullshit excuse to spend some time in front of the pc. But this is not what I'm going to talk about.

The kid told me that his keyboard and his mouse didn't work after months of not using it, so they had to buy a new set. Then he kept his story, which was about a computer game. And at that point, his father intervened and told his son to tell what kind of a keyboard and mouse they bought: wireless. Wow, cool. I mean, is it really? Come on, why would anyone would give a shit about the wireless keyboard you bought? And is this even something you can brag about? You can go to any market and buy the thing. What is the big deal? I mean, I can understand if the 14 year old boy told it himself, but even he knew that this was not something you can make a cool impression with.  People on the table were kind enough to say "Oh, cool!" not letting the guy how he made a fool of himself. But this was what he did, while in fact he thought he made a very cool impression. Oh, crap.

I see people on the bus, on the road, in the office, and practically everywhere trying to impress other people. It is really funny, and for most of the time it really doesn't work.

And me? Of couse I am not immune to this very basic human istinct. Just like anybody else, I would like to see people are impressed by me. And I think I have my own unique method which works pretty well. The trick is: never ever try to impress people. Don't push things. If you think your wireless keyboard is something you can impress people, just wait until they visit you and see it themselves. If there is anyway that stuff is going to impress anyone, this is it. And for those strangers who most people desparately try to impress even though they will probably never ever going to see them again, I don't know why they even bother.

June 16, 2011

brain power

Would you prefer to be ultimately handsome, or ultimately rich, or ultimately clever?

We used to ask this question to each other pretty frequently when we were kids. I remember "being rich" was never the answer, because you could always get rich if you were ultimately clever or ultimately handsome, using appriopriate methods of your choice.

The movie Limitless is about the story of a loser writer who is introduced to a miracle pill which boosts his brain power. And suddenly he becomes a very smart person. For the first time in his life, he knows what to do and he knows how to do it.

And it was like an answer to our cliche question: "Looks is nothing. You have to be smart."

The intresting thing is,  I bet if you go and ask any person out there, he/she will tell you how important it is to be clever. Now, go and ask him/her what he has ever done to be more clever. I am not talking about miracle pills -which would be great- but I am talking about anything. OK, maybe his/her mother made her drink lentil soup when he/she was a kid, because there is a common belief in Turkey that lentil soup makes you more clever -even though I never proved it personally :(. But other than that, ask him/her what he has really done to improve his/her brain.

Then ask him/her what he/she has done or is still doing to improve the skin, the beauty, the breasts, the dongle and such. Or, open your spam box and see if anyone has ever cared to post you some miracle solution to boost your brain power. Look harder, maybe there is one little mail you missed between all those viagra ads. If you are really bored and don't have much to do, perhaps you can scan the newspapers for the last 3-4 months or longer to compare the news stories about a new method to boost your sexual power and brain power.

OK now, I am not a fool to tell you that sexual power is not important, because of course it is, but don't you really think brain power is extremely underrrated even though it might actually be the cure for all of your problems? Or, doesn't people care about it?

In one of his Tolstoy's novels, I remember a character mentioning a poem which was something like:
Everybody complians about their situation
But nobody complians about their mind
They seem very content about it.

June 06, 2011

the chain of coincidences

I don't enjoy the kind of movies which spans a long period of time, like a life story of a person, which doesn't focus on a particular story. I also don't enjoy a movie which needs a voice over or a narrating character to tell us what is going on. Honestly, this is the cheapest trick ever.

So these are the two major reasons why I didn't like the Benjamin Button movie. It wasn't really telling us a story but giving us some extracts from an obvioulsy very extraordinary man and who lived for more than 70 years. For most of it, the movie relied on the narrative speech instead of real drama. It is true that some of the images accompanying the narrative speech were appealing, but this is not enough.

There is a scene in the movie in which this Benjamin character talks about coincidences. I don't remember the details, but Benjamin talks about 2 or 3 people and how their actions coincided with a car accident. And if any of the characters had done anything slightly different, the accident would have never happened.

It is so true.

And this was the scene I remember when I got sick in he bus earlier this week.

I almost never get sick and this is one of the rare things I like to brag about. However, I got sick in the bus and I just had to get off. And it all lead me to a stranded position. I got off the bus. I knew I needed to eat something to sooth my stomach.

Simit is a kind of a Turkish pretzel which is quite common and can be found at almost every corner. And there was actually a street vendor at that bus stop I got off. However, the money I had with me was one of the biggest banknotes in the circualtion and there was no way the vendor would change it for me for a simit less than 1 Turkish Lira. OK now, perhaps he would but I didn't care to ask.

Funny about it, I went to the local grocery the night before with the same banknote and bought bread and some eggs. I gave the money to the grocer but she said she couldn't change it so I should keep my money and give it some time later. That's quite a common thing in Turkey that you can almost always pay for something later on if you have a personal trusting relation with the seller. You take whatever you want and just say "Is it OK if I pay it later?" And unless the seller person thinks that you are abusing the situation, he/she always says "Of course."

So that's what happened the night before. But of course, a street vendor will never tell me "You can pay later" just like he will never accept a huge banknote for one simit. So, I got off the bus feeling very sick, with a kind of a money which was practically no help.

I had two choices. I could grab a taxi and go back home, spending almost half of that banknote I mentioned above, or, I could convince myself that I felt better in the open air and try to go work. And I chose the latter.

Now, there are two ways you can pay in a bus. You can use some sort of an electronic ticket. You pre-load some money into the ticket and use it in the bus. I have one of those. But the trick is, I have what they call a one-month-ticket which is far more cheaper than buying tickets for every ride. The problem with it is, there are certain lines which doesn't accept this one-month-ticket and you have to pay for every ride.

And the second option is to pay in the bus.

So my electronic ticket didn't work in the bus which I took to go to work. I could have chosen a different bus, but they are always over crowded. This bus I got on is a double deck and it is almost never full because they ask money for every ride which makes it a quite expensive way to commute.

And you get it right, the guy in the bus didn't have enough money to change the banknote I gave him. Anyway, he sorted it out in the end, but it was really a big deal.

And why did I get sick in the first place? Because, I opened the air conditioner two days ago. And that thing makes you sick. But I prone to think that my body is strong enough to endure an air conditioner. After all, I am notorious for my cold-room addict. I love to sit in a 16 degrees celcius room which means pretty cold for human standards. But this time it was rather different because we re-organized the desks in the office and now I am sitting right below the air conditioner. 

It made me sick either because I was fool enough to sit just under a blowing cold air, or more likely, its filter wasn't clean enough and was actually full of bacteria which explains my collegue who was sitting at the far end of the room got sick too.

So I felt sick at night, took some pill and felt better in the morning. I took a vitamin pill which was honestly as big as my foot, just to support my system. But the thing is, I never have a breakfast except sundays, meaning that I took that vitamin pill on an empty stomach which turned out to be a very bad idea.  

So you see, if I had done anything in the entire process differently, none of these would have happened. If I hadn't turned on the air-conditioner, if I had't taken that vitamin pill, or at least had the common sense to have a few bites of bread or something else with it, or if the grocer woman had changed the big banknote that night...  then you wouldn't be reading this post.

By the way, that coincidence scene was rather interesting in the Benjamin Button movie but it was more like a patch because it wasn't really contributing to the main story, if only, there is any story in it.

April 22, 2011


In one of my previous posts, i talked about the movies that mention Turkey or something Turkish. Well, this might be a good category and i wil try to post about the movies which include something Turkish in it.


The movie Unknown opens with a Turkish dialogue, or you can better say a monologue. It is a phone talk actually. Liam Neeseon and his wife goes to Germany to attend to a seminar. And they take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. And the taxi drivers talks in Turkish on the phone all the time. And it is fun because he doesn't talk something nonsense but something which makes sense, somethnig which anybody can talk about.

This blog is not about spoilers so i will leave the rest to you.

April 18, 2011

the real deal

i used to think that even if there is heaven and hell, they should not be in he way they are described in holy books. i mean, it is pretty obvious that the most common heaven and hell concepts directly appeal the basic insticts of men (not men as in male, but men as in humans -  even though they are mostly male oriented). so i always thought heaven and hell should be about something else, and the average description is nothing more than a metaphor. and honestly, it is quite hard to understand why almost everything we consider sin here is going to be free and available forever in the afterlife.

World of Warcraft Battle Chestbut, have you ever played any virtual reality games? second life for example is quite popular.  and there is another virtual reality game whose ads i see all the time and i think it is pretty much sex oriented. in fact it doesn't have to be an alternative-to-real-life game. for example the game world of warcraft is a rather old but still very popular game which provides you an online complete universe with its own set of rules, full of orcs and trolls and dragons and such.

The Sims 3: Generationsand of course lets not forget the legendary life-simulation game the sims. even though i never enjoyed the simulation system of the series, they allow you to create and play and enjoy a completely new life.

the thing about these games is, they still feel like a game and there is probably a long way before they start to feel like the real deal. but don't bet that they will never reach that point, because obviously, they are going to reach. and one day,  you will wear a helmet maybe and find yourself in a virtual world which is not so virtual any more.

at this point, i wonder what if this is all about a game? Perhaps, this is really a computer code and we are just shades in this world. what is worse, we may not even be closely related to the actual player who is playing a virtual reality game in a much more advanced world. well, if we can do it even today, why shouldn't somebody else with a far more advanced technology do it?

well, if this is really a computer code which started suddenly and created this universe right after a complete blankness as it is told in the holy books, then there is a big chance that everything we are told about after life is going to happen as they are told. because someıne designed it to be like that.

April 12, 2011

one life

Lie to Me: Season Twoin one of the episodes of the tv show Lie To Me, a woman pretends as if she is crazy just to get into a mental hospital,  because she thinks this is the only way to hide from a psychopath who she had met when she was a teenager. now,  she is afraid of him, and needs to hide from him, so she thinks this is the best option for her

and i try to understand the kind of a life spent in a mental hospital just because you are afraid of a person out there, and naturally, you need to survive. so thanks god this is just fiction and nothing in this show can be related to a real life situation.

Changelingso what about the movie Changeling, based on a true story? In this film, Christine Collins, played by Angelina Jolie is put into a mad house only because she insists that the kid police has found is not her missing son and her son is still missing. and the police locks her in a mad house because this crazy woman challenges their authority. it sounds wild, but it is a true story.

and i wonder, how easy it is for some people to ruin other people's lives, as if life itself is not hard enough without their harrasment -if only the word harrasment can fit into this.

almost every day, you can read the story of a poor woman in Turkey who is murdered by someone close to her, sometimes because of the most stupid reasons. a woman says her husband "what kind of a man are you," and the guy has to kill her to prove what kind of a man he is. a 50 something year old man kills his 37 year old wife because he is too jealous and the woman insists going on even though he tells her never to go out.

the lives end all of a sudden because of an asshole who has obvioulsy not understood what it means to be a human being.

in this country, you can even die just because you are in a bus whose driver thinks that the red light is for other drivers.

unfortunately, this is not a movie, or a game which you can start all over again if you die. no, this is the real thing (well i sort of doubt that actually but let me explain it some other time). this is the one and only life we have, and it is hard enough even without those assholes around you. and it is just unfair that a poor soul has to deal with such a menace.

but yet, i never heard that life is fair anyway.

February 28, 2011

Movies That Mention Turkey

While watching the movie I am Number Four a few days ago, i saw a Turkish map in one of the scenes and it stayed for 4 or 5 seconds.

Don't worry, there aren'y any spoilers in this post and i won't reveal anything about the movie.

That Turkish map had nothing to do with the main story. It was some sort of a passionate destination, and it could have been anything. And interestingly Turkish map stayed on the screen pretty long enough to make sure that everybody would see it. Because you see, in movies, you actually miss details more than you would ever imagine, but this 4 second scene was impossible to miss.

Well, I really don't think that one of the assistants grabbed the first thing she found early in the mornnig which happened to be the Turkish map, knowing that they were going to shoot a scene about the dreams of a young girl and any object would be just fine. No, there must definitely be more than that.

That map might be there because the director is a true Turkish fan. That'a a probability. After all, this is his movie and if he wants to add a scene about Turkey, then he adds it.

Or maybe, there is some sort of a lobby group in Hollywood who try to influence the directors and/or the producers to convince them to insert such scenes into the irrelevant movies. Because you see, this is actually a great opportinity for publicity. That scene will be seen by tens of millions of people.

And in fact, that's exactly why i think somebody could have actually paid for that scene. It seems really unlikely that the director would grant such a publicity just because he is deep in love with Turkey.

I sometimes come upon Hollywood movies which are somehow Turkey related. Here are some of the films that i can remember on the fly which mentions Turkey  in a way or other.

  • I am Number Four: As i said before, this was a total easter bunny for me because the movie itself has nothnig to do with Turkey. 
  • 13 Days:  It totaly makes sense in this movie because it is about an incident in history, and Turkey has a role in it.  
  • Green Zone: This movie is about Middle East. Even though Turkey is not really mentioned most of the movies that takes place in Middle East, this one is particularly different. The American base in one of the cities in Turkey has something to do with the story, and actually it is one of the key points. 
  • Conspiracy Theory:  This is perhaps the weirdest one. The movie is about a guy who keeps "creating" conspiracy theories. And in one of this theories, he says there will be a terrible eartquake in Turkey and it will kill tens of thousands of people. This is actually one of the details in the story, something you will probably forget 10 seconds later you watch - unless of course you are not Turkish, you don't expect such an eartquake in Istanbul. And the weirdest thing is, that eartquake actually happened and killed tens of thousands of people, only 2 years after the movie was made. 
  • Three Men and  Baby: This is one of those "I don't know anything about Turkey but I can't stop myself shooting a scene about it which is essentially bullshit." One of the three guys in this movie is an actor and goes to Turkey to shoot a film. And while he is Turkey, he makes a phone call with home, and in the background we see a fictional part of Turkey, which actually has nothing to do with it. As far as i remember, there were some camels and some people who were wearing some Arabic clothes. The fact is, there aren't any camels in Turkey and people don't dress like Arabs. For more about this false image of Turkey, you can read this article about the movie Turkish Ottomans. I am not realy sure if it was this movie or the sequel to it, but there was definitely a scene about Tukey in one of them.
So OK, this was really a very quick list and there must really be tons of them. You are free to add new movies to the list.

    February 18, 2011

    how singapore police uses social media to fight crime

    do you how singapore police uses social media to fight crime? depending on your own field of interest, such a topic may concern you or may not.

    what i actually wonder is, why is there a facebook ad on this topic? why does it look like a friendly news story instead of a facebook ad? and why does the link take me to a site full of freindly singapore police?

    is it just a coincidence or is it a campaign to attract people especially the potential tourists who race to cancel their vacations in tunusia and egypt? and if so, i hope my country is not sleeping at all.

    in case you wonder, you can click here to see where the ad is linked to. 

    February 15, 2011

    bullies never fail me

    i spend quite a lot of time on online games. they are free, they are simple and they are interactive. playing against other players instead of a computer makes even the simplest game a great fun.

    and it has been quite a time since i first started to play online strategy games, more than 10 years. the evolution of such games is actually following the evolution of offline pc games. they were extremely simple in the beginning, and now you can see the graphics have evolved to a next level, with still a lot of room for improvement as long as your pc and the web browser in it allows.

    and there is something never changes: the bullies. you can always find them, no matter what game you are playing. well now, even though most of the players i met are pretty cool and mature guys and gals, you can never expect everybody to behave. some are just immature bullies, who are either just some losers in real life, or just real kids who are still trying to find a way to deal with the society, or both.

    org castle
    nowadays i am playing this game called castle of heroes. it has been a while since a game captured my interest for more than a month, so i guess this game is really cool- of course, depending on what you expect from a game.

    The basics of the game is quite easy and actually inituative. You make buildings, you make armies, and you attack other players or maybe the AI in the game to gather resources. It is pretty much the same for almost all such games. Now, of course the parameters differ from game to game so it may take a while to master it, but it is quite easy.

    There is one thing though, which is not predictable, which makes such games so appealing, and that is the human factor. You play against other players not some computer.

    But not all the players are so fun. I was attacked by another player some time ago.

    undead castle
    OK now, almost all of these games have some sort of a bashing control system. The game doesn't allow a powerful player to attack to a newbie. So there is a range system. No matter which parameter this range system considers, you have to be within the same range to attack another player. This means that if a guy has been playing this game for a year and if he has built an immerse army, he can't simply attack you and farm your resources. So this system provides some sort of a protection. 

    But yet, it would be no fun if the range is too narrow. After all, these games are based on a combat concept, and if you can't attack anyone because of a very strict range system, then the game is no fun. Meaning that, a powerful player can still attack me especially if he is over the average and i am below the average.

    And that's what happened with this guy. Just because we are in the same range doesn't automatically makes our armies equivalent. But that's OK, that's the part of the game. So I can live with that.

    a typical war scene from the game
    Now, one day when I woke up, I saw that this guy has attacked and sieged me. And I was still pretty new to the game so I couldn't figure how to attack back. For a friendly gesture, I asked him how I was supposed to attack back, because i simply didn't know how to do that. He replied me saying that he would not tell it to me. I guess he didn't get it that I was just trying to be friendly, and this information he was not going to tell me was not a rocket science after all. Well, this should have been my clue actually, and i should have really understood that this guy was nothing but a kid, a "behind the keyboard bully" as we say in turkish.

    So, again for the sake of being friendly, i told him that maybe he would have wanted to play fair. He replied me saying that he was fair, or the game wouldn't allow him to attack me anyway. Now of course, this is just a silly excuse, because as i told you, just because we are in the same range doesn't mean that we are equal. no, he was much more powerful than me. but the thing is, i wasn't even talking about the army sizes. i was talking about the gameplay itself.

    inside of an elf castle 
    anyhow, i learnt how to do it and then i scouted his armies, and saw that it wouldn't be wise to attack him. and i told him that. i mind you, i was still trying to be friendly.

    i got a very stupid message saying that i wouldn't dare to attack him, but he would keep attacking me until i would get angry and make the move. i told him that he was nothing but a bully and ended the conversation. i told him that i would not reply his messages any more. and i didn't.

    last thing the guy said that i was a loser. and honestly, that was just the dumbest thing he could have ever said. i really doubt that the guy is older than 16.

    he indeed kept attacking me.

    well now, i was already in a guild, a very friendly and a powerful one. so i told the guild master about the guy, and they made him stop attacking me.  so simple and effective and in the very same language this keyboard bully understands. he didn't bother me anymore.

    it really never fails. these bullies are eveywhere. and i guess i just have to consider it as the part of the fun.

    if you like online and free strategy games as i do, just give it a try and join me in the castle of heroes before it is too late and i get tired of it.

    February 05, 2011

    silly saturday perfect

    my blogmate Ayak started this silly saturday niche some time ago. she shares those silly little things, those embarassing moments in her blog pretty much regularly. i will give the link to her blog at the end of this post in case you may want to check out yourself, but somehow i doubt if it will be any use because sometimes i feel like she is the only one who reads me, lol.

    i have a very silly saturday story for today, and for a change, i will share it in my own blog because this is so stupid that it deserves its own monument. and besides it is upmostly upsetting that i really have to try to cool it off or it may literally burn my nerves.

    now, my job mainly consists of two particular tasks: 1. translating a movie for subtitles. 2. synchronizing (or spotting as we call it) the subtitles with the movie.

    the clients we work for are free to choose their own translators. meaning that i dont translate all those movies. but, it is me who does the spotting (at least for most of the times)  if they come to us for subtitling. and even though this spotting job might seem a very fun and easy job, believe me it is not. it is easy to spot the subtitles if im already the translator. i know what goes where. but if the client uses a diffeent translator, it is very probable that they will work with someone who doesnt understand or care the basics of subtitling. if that is the case, then my job is a nightmare. there are times when i spend two or three days working on the same movie, practically meaning that i re-translate the entire thing because it is uselss in the original form.

    so, there is this turkish film which is going to be released pretty soon (hint: follow me on twitter and you will know which movie i am talking about). and as it is the case with turkish films almost all the time, we have a deadly short deadline. now, the subtitling project is the very last sub project for the entire film making process, so we are always the guys who have to work fast to catch the deadline.

    and yesterday i finally received the dvd of that film. now, i have been asking for that dvd for like a week. i told my boss everyday that i needed the dvd. and she (supposedly) talked to the client. i recieved it only yesterday.

    now, the first stupid thing i realized was the hand written date on the dvd. it said february 2nd. let me remind you, it was february 4th yesterday. so for whatever silly reason i dont know, they sent the dvd to me two days after they actually made it. and all that time i was crying out that i needed that dvd. unfortunately, this is the kind of misorganization i have to deal with all the time.

    the feet suffer because of the mindless head:
     a turkish proverb.

    so i got the dvd yesterday. and as always, there are several projects going on at the same time. so im making my plans. i will take the dvd home with me. i will finish some other translation on saturday (today) i will work on the spotting of that movie on sunday (tomorrow). and yesterday (friday) was another busy day for me and i could hardly leave the office at midnight.


     Now I have to go back to the office, which wont take less than 2 hours in the messy Istanbul traffic, i will get into my room, take the dvd which wont take more than a stupid one minute, and go back to home in the  still messy Istanbul traffic. and i will be wasting my entire saturday because...  yes, i am a moron who is incapable of taking the stupid dvd with himself even though he is ridicolously making  plans about it.  

    and this is my silly saturday perfect.

    so anyway, if you want to check this marvellous blog that Ayak runs, just click somnewhere on this very sentence. 

    and even though it is completely irrelevant, i couldnt help but give the link for this (in)famaous one minute video.