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.